Spring Renewal: planting seeds for health this spring!

Mar 21, 2024
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Get into the flow with nature. Ayurvedic advice to support health through the spring season.

The Seasons and Rituals of Self Care According to Ayurveda ~ SPRING!

According to Ayurveda, each of the seasons has three distinct aspects or time frames and qualities:    Accumulation – Aggravation – Palliation 

During the Accumulation phase there is a transition from the previous season's elemental influences and adoption of the new season's elements.  During this period we work to reduce any overaccumulation of the previous seasons doshic influences while preparing ourselves to integrate the new seasonal influences.

During the Aggravation phase we experience the peak of the elemental forces of that season.  Therefore in order to maintain balance we look to the opposite qualities of those elemental forces so as not to have an over accumulation that might lead to discomfort or disease.

During the Palliation phase we begin to see the elemental force of the season waning which signals a time for us to take actions to mitigate the accumulation of those influences upon our body/mind system.

Spring is an amazing time of the year as the weather transitions away from the influences of winter and we witness more hours of sunlight and temperatures that begin to warm. The deciduous and fruit trees are full of buds and flowers.  With all of this blossoming, our spirits are uplifted with hope, inspiration and great creative energy. All of nature is creating new life.  In early spring we are in the accumulation phase, with the elemental forces of spring or the energies of Kapha (Earth and Water) building.  The creative, building energy of Kapha is palpable making this the perfect time of the year to gather the plans, tools, materials, people and creative juices together to bring into manifestation the visions and dreams seeded during the incubation period of Vata and Winter. If you have a predominance of Kapha dosha in your constitution, you will need to be extra vigilant with the Kapha ritucharya practices (movement exercise daily, deep cleansing breathing, warming spices to keep digestive fires cooking well) 

Spring Ritucharya (Rituals of Self Care)

Diet: Balance the cold, moist and heavy energy of kapha with warm, dry and light qualities. Baked, broiled, or grilled warm foods should be emphasized. Increase the amount of vegetables especially bitter greens to detoxify the liver and provide ample fiber to promote easy elimination. Add pungent spices to increase digestive fire to support the transformation of food into nutrients that can build healthy tissues. Increase astringent, pungent and bitter tastes to balance kapha. 

Avoid: Excess dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, creamy sauces), sugary foods (including excessively sweet fruits such as bananas, mangos, stone fruits). Limit sweet, sour, salty tastes as they tend to increase kapha.

Drinks: Warm or Hot water, Ginger, Clove and Cinnamon Tea. 

Kapha Balancing Tea 

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbls Cinnamon Stick
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger

Place cinnamon stick and turmeric powder into pot of water and boil for 3 minutes. Add fresh ginger, boil 2 more minutes. Add small amount of either maple syrup, honey or rice syrup. Strain and serve hot 

Herbs: Trikatu – Ginger, Black Pepper, Pippli (Long Pepper), Turmeric, Tulsi, Ashwaganda, Triphala (Haritaki, Amlaki, Bibhitaki), If you are feeling sluggish or negatively influenced by built up toxins, add Gudduchi to your tea.

Bodywork: Gharshana (massage with silk gloves), Abhyanga (Oil massage) with warming oils such as sesame or mustard oils. These types of bodywork stimulate lymphatic movement and warm the body to improve circulation and movement through all the body channels.

Sleep: Try to wake before the sun and avoid sleeping during any daylight hours. The static quality of Kapha will create a desire for more sleep, so we balance that downward pulling quality by rising early and exercising soon after rising.

Dress: Warm bright colored clothing like yellow, gold and orange. Also, be prepared with layers of clothing as temperatures can vary. Because Cold is a predominant quality of Kapha, we want to make certain we don’t aggravate the cold by not having appropriate warm clothing to meet the temperature.

Yoga/Exercise: Increase Sun Salutation repetitions, and Vinyasa style flowing asana practices to balance the static quality of Kapha.

Heating postures: Warrior I, II, III, Navasana (Boat Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose).

Twists to increase digestion and elimination: Parivrtta Trikkonasana (Revolved Triangle), Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side Angle Pose), Marichiasana III (Seated Twist). Vigorous walks in nature especially in the morning hours can be a marvelous way to connect with the burgeoning energy of spring as well as move the static energy of Kapha.

Get outside!  The warmer dryer days are upon us, and the inspriation of creativity and growth in nature is all around us.  So, go get out in nature, walk, stroll, saunter, hike, bike etc...  Enjoy!

Pranayama: Bhastrika (Bellows Breathing), Kapalbhati (Breath of Fire), both are heating and energy moving pranayama practices. It’s all about getting body, mind, circulation moving in the spring.

Spring is the ideal time for deep detox cleansing of the body.                               Ayurveda recommends detox cleansing twice a year during the big tranisitions weather wise.  Spring and Autumn.  During the spring we work to release the excess energies of earth and water elements that accumulate in our body systems that can create heaviness, sluggishness, and excess weight gain.  Even those who do the best job with impeccable diet and exercise through the winter, still need to detox as we are all living in environments with plastics and chemicals that our bodies need to assimilate.  These cause stress on our liver in particular.  A spring and autumn detox assures we are giving our bodies the best advantage of maintaining vitality and resliency.

Call the clinic to set up an appointment to discuss your Ayurvedic Detox Cleanse (253) 927-0660

Remember that Life is a precious gift and is meant to be enjoyed fully!