Sharon’s Ayurvedic Tips for Spring Cleaning the body to feel, do
and be your very best.
As spring unfolds, let your health blossom along with the bulbs you may have planted last fall, and the buds on the trees. Flowing with the seasons is easy when we follow a few basic principles. Right now, the variable weather and damper conditions signal a change from conditions inherent in the Late Fall/Early Winter, known in Ayurveda as the Vata time of year (typically cold and dry) to those of "spring time in the Rockies" which is more of a Kapha Climate - one that is cool and damp. Modifications to one’s diet, yoga practices and breathing activities that honor this seasonal change are in order and will keep you feeling your very best! If we move gently through the spring season and take care to clean out the accumulation from the winter season, our health can flourish all through the summer and into fall!
Update your diet for Spring by including more bitter tastes (ie: herbs such as dandelion), as well as spicy (ie: fresh ginger herbal tea) and astringent (ie: all pulses) tastes. These tastes open the channels of elimination, clearing excess mucus and moisture from the body. Reduce kapha-aggravating sweet, sour and salty foods which could cause water retention at this time. It is still a good time, as in
winter, to minimize raw and cold foods, eating warm, lightly cooked meals instead. Compared to rice (Basmati Rice is the exception) and wheat, there are lighter grains such as quinoa, millet and barley that are all Kapha reducing.
Suggested spring cleaning practices include:
• Eat light, easily digestible meals and reduce snacking
• Eat a kapha pacifying diet (more alkalizing ~ one that supports clearing out winter accumulation by emphasizing bitter, pungent& astringent foods. Nature provides us with perfect foods in every season. Springtime sprouts, greens and berries provide an exceptional natural detoxifying power.)
• Continue sipping warm water throughout the day. Consider drinking warming teas made with ginger, cinnamon, and/or dandelion;
• Use raw honey as a sweetener - Raw honey clears mucous and kapha due to its
heating, drying and channel clearing effect. It is the best sweetener for kapha types and is good for all in spring. Never heat honey as it changes into a hard-to-digest toxic substance.
• Use the Neti Pot -rinse both nostrils with warm, salt water over a sink to help ward off colds and hay fever, and to keep nasal passages clear, supporting cleansing, seasonal breathing practices;
• Do daily yoga, pranayama & meditation and take a walk outside. Change up your yoga practice as the seasons change! Weave in some deeper breathing practices and some faster paced yoga flows are great while the weather is still cool (Sun Salutations are a great way to get mucus and lymph flowing now) to support clearing of winter accumulation.
In the event of a spring cold, help clear mucous by eating light, warm, simple foods as you rest. Soup is ideal. Avoid dairy products, sweets, fried foods and yeasted bread which increase congestion. Fresh ginger tea is excellent, especially with raw honey added once the tea has cooled down.
Have questions? Would you like more information? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to shedule a private session. Or come to a weekly group class for support along the path.
May this spring be your very best!
Namaste, Sharon Alexander, RYI 500 hr.