Early spring – Ayurvedic routine. Ayurveda was created to help you live connected to the changing nature. Seasons are one of the way nature manifests its transformations. So here are 9 Ayurvedic tips on what to do, what to avoid, what to eat, and what to expect from Spring.
Spring is considered the king of the seasons. If you practice yoga, you might be familiar with one of the famous yogic books: “Bhagavad Gita”. In this book, Lord Krishna (one of gods) has a conversation with a human being: Arjun. And this is how Krishna describes himself:
“I am the Soul in the body, the Mind in the senses, The Eagle among birds, the Lion among animals, the Bodhi tree among all trees, and of all the seasons, I am Spring.” -Ch.11-
Spring is indeed the season of celebration and life. It is when people feel energized, and happy to go outdoors again. It is when everything blooms and grows, and simply comes back to life.
Ayurveda describes spring as: warm, moist, gentle, and unctuous.
And here is the interesting fact: due to the warmth of the spring weather, the winter ice melts. Inside your very own body, the same thing happens. When spring comes, it melts the stable kapha dosha in you (the winter element), what creates sneezes, runny nose, and other liquefying things. This is why so many people get sick, as soon as spring comes.
If you are a kapha person (find a link to the test in my post here), in addition to cold, you also easily get affected by pollen, plant fragrance, and perfume. It may cause allergies and fever in kapha people. Vata and Pitta people on the other hand, get super happy when spring comes.
The beginning of spring is still a kapha dosha. Therefore, you should be following a kapha pacifying diet (full of pungent, astringent and bitter tastes). Moreover, plenty of exercise daily, and remaining active.
Some other Ayurvedic recommendations for spring, to reduce tiredness, allergies, sinus congestion, hay fever, etc… are:
- Include more of these herbs (you can boil them in water and have a herbal tea): ginger, black pepper, tea made of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds in equal proportions.
- Strictly avoid heavy and oily foods. Also, limit the intake of sweet, sour and salty foods (following the kapha pacifying diet). Also, avoid dairy products, especially in the morning (yup, that means no scramble eggs for breakfast!), cut out cold drinks and ice-cream (wait for summer with those).
- Favor bitter, pungent and astringent foods: legumes, red lentils, beans, radishes, spinach, okra, onion, garlic, and hot spices like ginger, chilies, black pepper (be careful not to overdo them). Walnuts are also good for this season, and all the green & yellow veggies.
- After each meal drink some tea made from ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon.
- Use more honey, which is heating. A cup of hot water with a spoon of honey pacifies kapha. But do not cook honey, it becomes a poison when cooked!
- For meat eaters: chicken, turkey, rabbit are recommended. Avoid seafood during spring.
- Fast. It is a great season to clean and detox the body. Observe a fast for one to 3 days. Fast on an apple juice, pomegranate,or berry juice.
- Wake up early in the morning. Begin your day with exercise: Sun Salutations, or a walk. Do yoga. Some of the postures you want to include are: fish, boat, bow, lion, camel, handstand or a shoulder stand. Bhastrika is the perfect breathing practice (take fast breaths in and out moving your belly in and out for 30 sec. Repeat 3 times).
- Do not nap. It aggravates kapha. Instead read a book, or go for a walk.
As spring advances and heats up, we will have to change our routine again. At the beginning of spring we need to pacify kapha. Later on, when it gets warmer, we need to start pacifying pitta. I will write about it when the time is right. For now, enjoy the beginning of spring!