Updated: Apr 25, 2020
Spring is about getting inspired by nature: re-discovering our radiance, liveliness, health and creativity.
How well we are able to keep our health, balance and our immune system optimal and with that enjoy liveliness and creativity, is greatly influenced by our lifestyle, everyday choices and self-awareness.
This time of the year we are exiting out of the dark, sluggish, moist and cold winter days and entering into summer.
Late winter is dominated by the Kapha quality (earthy/watery) in general although the constant changes in the weather, the buzzing around and the sneaking in dryer qualities also carry the Vata quality (air/space).
Both of these qualities have an effect on us, especially on those whose constitution is already dominated by one or both of these doshas.
If you feel the same way as nature does nowadays: alive, radiant, energized, healthy and creative then the effects are positive on you, so enjoy every minute of it.
On the other hand if you feel different, not so great or unmotivated that is also natural.
In that case you might have accumulated one or both of the above doshas during winter or in the last few weeks.
In Ayurveda we wish to learn to understand our own functioning better and the first step to that is to observe. Observe your physical sensations, energy levels, emotions and mind patterns. Maybe even write down every day what you experience.
Balance is not a permanent state, it comes and goes, however when certain negative tendencies persist for longer period, it is worth looking into it, so balance can be restored.
What kind of negative tendencies do you experience these days (spring time) if any?
Do you feel sluggish, slow, lazy and unmotivated?
Do you struggle with slow digestion or have no real hunger, but still feel like eating all the time?
Do you feel foggy in your mind, or barely can put up with the emotional storms?
It might be the Kapha nature of winter that put you out of balance or this is the quality you have accumulated in access lately.
Here are few tips which can help to restore the balance of Kapha dosha:
Set up for yourself a good morning routine including waking up before 6 AM.
Exercise daily and it may be intensive: jog, do flow yoga or a challenging workout even if it is 20 mins.
Use breathing exercises to train the lungs and invite freshness.
Eat only when you are hungry; maybe even do a one-day-per-week fast with herbal tea or lemon water.
Use millet, amaranth, buckwheat instead of wheat.
Your food may be light, dry and use more spices.
You may avoid or reduce the consumption of meat, milk products and sweet fruits.
Use less oil, limit sweets and nuts. If you crave sweets use honey (but do not cook it).
Eat lots of cooked green vegetable and lentils.
Sip warm herbal teas with nettle, dandelion, hibiscus, eucalyptus, dry ginger or sage.
These guidelines can be followed in general, when you do not experience any negative tendencies, but wish to refresh, lighten and cleanse the body after the winter heaviness.
However do NOT follow the above tips if your answer to the questions below is YES:
Do you feel rather weak, tired, and restless?
Do you struggle with constipation, dryness and irregular appetite?
Are you overwhelmed, worrisome, and anxious?
If YES, it might be the change of seasons putting you out of balance which carries the nature of Vata (Air) or this is the dosha you have accumulated in access.
Here are some tips, which are different from the above, on how to help the Vata dosha to get back into balance:
Set up a daily routine and do not force extra items in it.
Engage in one activity at a time.
Do sports, but do not exhaust yourself with it. Choose mindful movement rather a fast paced vinyasa flow if its yoga.
Use breathing exercises to train the lungs, refresh the body and calm the mind.
Eat 3 meals a day in a fix hour, and in a peaceful setup and if you do plan a fast, let it be a mono diet fast.
Beside the cooked greens add other root vegetables which are still available, like beets, sweet potato.
Avoid eating too much lentils and pulses, you can use eggs instead or tofu.
Leave out caffeine from your diet or reduce it to minimal.
Use spices generously, except chilies and garlic (some is ok).
Do not engage in any major activity or use your phone after 8 PM, include mind calming activities like concentration/meditation practices and get into bed by 10 latest to ensure a good sleep. Yoga Nidra is a great way to relax the mind before sleep.
Sip warm herbal teas like licorice, saffron, lavender, fresh ginger, cinnamon, rosehip.
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