Spring is coming and so is a change in our bodies. A time of new beginnings and the release of the stored energy of the heart accumulated in winter. We use the principles of Spring Ayurveda techniques to maintain balance.
Keeping Balance Through Spring Ayurveda
During Winter the predominant elements building in the body and mind are Water and Earth, increasing ‘Kapha’. As it starts to warm up, the Kapha that has accumulated in the colder months begins to liquefy and move, so we are more susceptible to colds and hay fever at this time. In addition, we often have stored toxins due to the tendency to eat heavier foods and sweets and exercise less and this can over-tax digestion (‘Agni’) and lead to the accumulation of undigested food wastes or toxins (‘Ama’).
Because seasons are a time of change, they will also activate ‘Vata’ (air & ether), responsible for movement, communication and circulation. When Vata is increased it instantly affects our digestion, which becomes like a fire blowing in the wind – creating variable digestion, so it’s a good time for a Spring Ayurveda Detox.
There are ways to stay balanced and avoid unhealthy kapha illnesses as the season eases out of winter and into spring.
• Weather: Notice the weather changing with the seasons and how your body reacts.
• Exercise: As spring approaches enjoy vigorous exercise at least three to four times per week. Walking, running, dancing and yoga are all good ways to burn off kapha’s lethargic, slumping energy.
• Sleep: Try to wake when the sun does or earlier to avoid the lethargy of kapha taking over.
• Diet: Our diet should consist of hot (in temperature), light, bitter, dry, pungent fresh foods (like dark leafy greens) to counteract kapha’s heavy qualities. For example, eat warm, baked, broiled or grilled foods fresh from the stove or oven. Avoid cold, heavy, sticky foods such as yogurt, cheeses and ice creams.
* Add more vegetables to your diet and cut down on cold, sweet, salty or sour food.
* Avoid cold drinks and enjoy warm ones. Ginger tea provides an excellent beverage for both spring and autumn, warming the body and enhancing agni (our digestive fire).
* Add more spices, such as turmeric, paprika, ginger, cayenne (if you can take it!) and black pepper to your food.
Recipe – Ginger Tea
To make 1 litre of ginger tea, chop an unpeeled 2 inch piece of whole ginger into coarse pieces and place in a 2 to 3 litre pot with one litre of purified water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, allowing the tea to simmer for 15 minutes covered. Strain the tea and store in a thermos bottle or glass jar.
To make 1 cup of ginger tea, take a piece of whole, unpeeled ginger root and grate 1 heaping teaspoon. For a quicker version just put in chopped pieces. Stir the ginger into the a cup of hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain or let the ginger settle to the bottom of the cup.
Following just some of these suggestions will facilitate a smooth transition from winter into the full flowering of spring. We give thanks to the ancestors for Ayurveda’s 5,000-year-old science of health and healing that helps balance the body and mind to create marvellous health and wellbeing.
At Phoenix Yoga Studios we couple Ayurveda within our yoga practice to give a complete, all round approach to wellbeing. Nourish and rejuvenate your mind and body through Ayurvedic Nutrition, Indian Herbal Massage and Indian Face Massage.