Our top 10 Ayurvedic Tips for getting the best out of yourself this Spring
Hello sunshine my old friend....
At last - after what has felt like a never-ending winter, the sun is slowly returning! The buds are starting to pop up through the soil after a long slumber and the world is becoming speckled with colour. Spring brings with it the energy of rebirth and renewal. As we see the world around us begin to grow, we too feel inspired to grow. With increased energy and motivation, we feel the innate desire to make a fresh start.
As the cold dry winds blow themselves out and the world once again becomes a wellspring of the warmth and moisture, our bodily channels start to reopen and the subtle processes of detoxification begin, initiating the very best 'fresh start' you could ask for - one of mind and body. To ensure we remain in balance during the transition, Ayurvedas says we must adapt the way we live and eat as we move into Spring.
Using Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle to support natural detox processes through Spring will help you to get light, bright and fresh and purge the mind and body of accumulated imbalances and toxins. This is particularly relevant for Kapha (earth water dominant) Prakriti/Vikriti people who may already struggle with allergies. As Spring is a predominantly Kapha season (due to increasing moisture) allergies can get much worse if a supportive lifestyle and diet are not adopted promptly. So make sure you are prepared if you want to avoid the March wheeze and sneeze!
To help you get the most of our your Ayurvedic Mind-Body Spring Clean we have listed our 10 things to consider:
1) Kapha-Pacifying Qualities: As we move away from cold, dark nights and the need for hot, heavy and grounding soups/stews leaves us, we begin to naturally crave lighter, fresher, greener foods that encourage the body purging processes. To support removal of accumulated toxic load (developed due to lower metabolism and reduce exercised during winter) Ayurveda recommends a kapha-pacifying diet. Think light, hot, dry and green! Less grains, more greens. Less sweet, more bitter and astringent. Right now, warm salads are your best friend!
2) In season foods: Get to grips with what foods are in season right now. Mother nature has very cleverly given us a plethora as green things to get us into a natural state of detox. Pair kale, asparagus, cabbage, spring greens, chard, lettuce, watercress etc with other seasonal foods such as eggs, fresh cheese or light and dry lentils, beans and peas. Swap wheat and rice for hotter, lighter grains such as barley, millet or rye. Go for apples and pears and small amounts of citrus fruits over bananas and don’t forget, eat your fruit on its own to prevent creating more toxic load from incompatible food digestion.
3) Get spicy! To increase metabolism and prevent your digestive fire (agni) being overwhelmed by the detox process/melting kapha we recommend adding hot pungent spices to your diet including onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, cumin and small amounts of chilli or cayenne pepper (at least 1 meal a day minumum!).
4) Get active: The best way to purge the pounds from Christmas and fully embrace the spring energy is to get active. Start up the gym membership or recommit to your goals from January. Find out what exercise is best for your constitution and commit to it, 3 x a week without fail, your body will thank you and you will feel yourself grow in energy and enthuasism with the world around you!
5) Sleep and wake earlier: As the sun wakes up earlier, so should you! The early bird catches the worm! Waking as close to 6am as possible will boost weight loss, aid detoxification, increase energy levels and your ability to wake up (if you went to sleep at 10pm) supporting your commitment to a fresh start. Start pulling your sleeping and waking times back by 15 minutes every 3 days is a great way to start.
6) Get a tongue scraper: As melting kapha enters the digestive system to be cleansed from the body you might notice a white or yellow coating on your tongue. To get rid of this you can get a tongue scraper which you can use every morning after brushing your teeth to clear away oral toxins and maintain fresh breath.
Ayurvedic Home Therapy
7) Self-Massage: 2-4 x weekly massage with warm organic (cold-pressed) sesame oil (not the toasted kind) followed by a dry scrub (salt scrub or chickpea flour). This will invigorate lymphatics, support detoxification, wake you up and give your skin a beautiful healthy glow so you can start thinking about how good youll be looking for the beach in summer!
8) Get herbal: Immune and liver support are crucial in Spring. We suggest adding ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom teas to your 'must drink' list. Also, formulations such as Chyvanprash Jam, Triphala and Sitopaladi are great if you want more intensive immune and detoxification support and help with allergies.
9) Wear warm colours: It’s so easy these days to just wear black, or grey, they go with everything! But spring is the perfect time to start wearing all those kapha-reducing oranges, reds and yellows you have had hidden away. Colour therapy is such an easy and fun way to create warm feelings in the heart and mind and activate the motivating, inspiring, energetic energy of manipura and svadisthana chakras!
10) Be bold! Embrace your inner warrior and start planning your action for the year, what do you want to achieve? What are you going to start doing with the energy of renewal? Maybe start with some warrior yoga poses and see where it takes you!