That's right - winter is officially over! But what does this mean for our seasonal health? And our food? Or motivation, mood? Ayurveda has the answer to all this and more...
Here comes the sun...
You may have seen them, the beautiful little snowdrop buds bursting through the hard earth - it means Spring has arrived!
Contrary to the popular belief that Spring begins in March, February 1st (also known as Imbolc in nature religions) is actually the end of Winter and start of Spring (don't believe us ask Conor Farrell).
Seeing those first buds is such an uplifting sight and a sure sign that life is returning to the land! The sun is on his way back to us in the northern hemisphere - hurrah!
So, other than being able to go outside a whole lot more, what does this mean for our health and wellbeing? We have 7 sumptuous tips to ensure you keep the spring in your step this Spring.
1) Grab your coat - we're going exploring
The world is changing and so are you, take a look outside! Nature is becoming quite the pretty picture as we start saying goodbye to the heavy, dark, thick qualities of Winter and a warming hello to the nourishing, moist qualities of Spring. The increase in warmth and moisture initiates not only a growth spurt for the buds but for us too! As the climate shift is one of the most dramatic in the calendar year this starts a palpable shift in mind and body. You may be feeling it too... a natural craving for more activity, to climb out from under warm blankets, to go outside more to explore and seek excitement (the complete opposite of how we feel at the start of Autumn...). It's time to get up and do it! Changes is activity levels throughout the year are natural part of seasonal cycles and following the Spring desire to get up and move more is the key to Spring wellbeing. So grab your coat and walking boots and take a peak at the world!
2) Pre-cleansing - getting ready for seasonal detoxification
Getting yourself out and about more is not only a great way to gear yourself up for a good year (as well as shed some pounds) but is also crucial in supporting your body in preparation for seasonal detoxification. As temperatures rise, the body no longer feels the need to store winter fat and instead shifts from building insulating fat to burning and releasing it (or we call it the melting of Kapha in Ayurveda). This can cause a dip in appetite, onset of seasonal allergies (if your liver is congested or kapha is too high) and can make getting out of bed difficult, if you didn't have time for regular exercise over winter (we don't judge you on that one this year though! Lockdown has been tough!). So what to do? Begin putting together an adequate pre-cleanse plan (we'll talk about FULL cleansing in April) to support your body is a stella way to avoid nasty seasonal symptoms - this includes more activity, a change in diet, some detoxifying practices (such as body scrubbing) and changing your waking and sleeping habits (more on this in step 4).
3) Embrace the changing seasonal plate
Unless your an experienced cleanser, with a cupboard of bitters at the ready, getting to grips with the changing seasonal plate can be a tad confusing. To make it easier we've listed the top 5 changes you want to make to your eating habits this Spring.
1-Get light - Lightening up your diet is key to fat metabolism, this can be anything from reigning in the take away's and eating lighter foods (such as our nutty green winter salad or warming chickpea and almond harira) to full blown fasting. If you want to go for the latter, make sure you get support along the way so that your doing it with your specific dosha and Agni in mind. 2-Get bitter - Adding more bitter greens to your diet, these reduce kapha, support weigh loss and help strengthen the liver to support fat burning. 3-Get sour - Citrus and other sour foods help to break down excess congestion and support the gall bladder to break down fat. 4-Get spicy - Strengthening the digestive fire with spices like ginger, garlic and turmeric will prevent dips in appetite and will increase pitta. 5-Get low carb - Carbs become naturally less native to this season as we progress into Spring, if you find yourself tired, easily bloated and full, avoiding carbs and enjoying more fresh vegetables instead will help.
4) Discover Ayurvedic daily routine & put the spring is your step all day!
Find out the best time to sleep, to wake up and (most excitingly) what Ayurvedic therapies are best for the season. You can get the full scoop on using Ayurvedic routines on our Charya page.
5) Learn about your dosha (mind-body) type and work with it not against it
For many, discovering your unique mind body blows the lid off your understanding about self and, most importantly, about the cause of symptoms you get this time of year (or any time of the year). You can get a basic idea of your dosha using online questionnaires (we recommend this one, until ours is available) or you can book in with us and find out your dosha and any imbalances you might have for sure (as well as get personalised remedies and healing tools for your unique health and life.)
6) Get intentional!
Spring is THE perfect time to get intentions and sow seeds for the new year. As the start of the agricultural planting season, both literal and metaphorical seeds are being sown! Whether you go little (such as journaling your goals, as we inspired our Instagram followers to do this week) or go large (and sign up for something bold like vision boarding - we recommend working with Michala on this one) start laying down some ideas of what you want 2021 to look like. Do you need support with your health goals? Check out our MY-AYURLIFE Plan or Health Coaching Packages - maybe we can help!
7) Network and get social
Yes, we know, you have zoom fatigue. But it can't be denied that socialising, in any way you *legally* can is the only way we are going to get through this! If the science tells us anything, it's that bonding with buds, connecting with comrades, laughing with loved ones and poking fun at partners is the best medicine for, well most things! Whether this means joining in the bants and seasonal recipe sharing over in our Ayurvedic Living and Eating for Self-healing group, zooming in your pj's (like we do on Saturday mornings) or just following step 1 with your household or support bubble, we urge you to keep those socials going!
Have a beautiful Spring folks <3
Well, there you have it, our 7 scrumptious steps to starting your Spring satisfactorily. We wish you a fresh, light and easy start to 2021! Though, if that's not how it's working out so far, you know where we are!
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EATING Ayurveda: 🎃Need inspiration on what to cook in Winter? Check out more recipes here
Not sure where to start with organic? Check out the amazing, incredible RIVERFORD FARM - they stole my heart many years ago for being a beautiful, authentic, ethical, democratically-run business with the best interest of the planet and farming at heart.
Living Ayurveda: 🎃Do you want to know how to stay healthy and well this Spring? Check out our Winter Lifestyle tips here
LEARNING Ayurveda: ✅ Do you want to learn more about Ayurveda? Want to know about your mind body type and imbalances, your Agni (digestive fire) type, your mind type, how to detox and the best daily and seasonal routines for you? Join our next Introduction to Ayurveda for Self-Healing Course.
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