Before the tress sprout happy buds, before tulips stretch up above the grass (or snow) and before spring makes us happy, spring is damp, cold, and cloudy.
In Ayurveda, spring is known as kapha season, where we transition from the bitter cold of winter and move into the damp chill of spring.
Since kapha season is damp, cold, cloudy and heavy, Ayurveda uses the opposite qualities to bring balance.
Season change is important because according to Ayurvedic philosophy, we are a small part of the bigger nature so when the weather (bigger nature) changes, we have to adjust too or we will get sick.
Since kapha season is damp, cold, cloudy and heavy, Ayurveda uses the opposite qualities to bring balance. Therefore, to stay our healthiest in spring, we would bring dryness, warmth, and lightness into our diet and lifestyle.
Following a seasonal-balancing diet and lifestyle can help prevent imbalances like spring colds, congestion, allergies, even lethargy and lack of motivation. With some simple diet and lifestyle tips
We just need to warm up and lighten up and we’ll be excited
5 Ayurvedic lifestyle tips for spring:
1) Dry Foods.
Overall kapha season foods will be dry, light and warm.
Honey is the best food for spring! Honey is drying and scraping. It’s awesome to drizzle on toast or add to apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon for a kapha-balancing breakfast or snack. Vegetarian diet is recommended this time of year and food should be well-spiced to enhance digestibility. Grains like barley, quinoa, amaranth or corn combine nicely with roasted vegetables, in fact, roasting food over a fire (dry, heat) is especially balancing for spring.
We want to avoid foods that are heavy, goopy and cold (like yogurt) because our digestive fire will dampen and when our digestive fire dampens, we can easily get sick.
2. Get Moving!
The best thing we can do to stay light, warm and inspired is to bring up the heat from the inside out through invigorating exercise! Kapha is watery/oily so we need to release excess water through sweating and move our our bodies to generate internal heat.
After a stagnant winter, bring the LIFE into your workouts and make it jazzy. Some ideas include Zumba or dance class, power yoga, power walking or jogging, rowing, biking. Anything that lasts between 15-30 minutes that warms you up and makes you sweat a little is good!
If workouts are really hard for you, find a workout buddy to inspire and keep you accountable. Your challenge will be to make workouts super fun. Do something you really enjoy, not only because it makes life more fun, but because if you hate it, you won’t come back for more.
3. Spring Clean Your Physical Space and Emotions.
Kapha’s natural tendency in nature is to build and bring heaviness. The counterbalance to that is to make more space!
It’s kinda perfect therapy that we all feel like spring cleaning this time of year! So go ahead! Clean out your office, pantry, linen closet, your kids’ closets. Whatever feels like it’s been stagnant or overfull for a while, clean it up, organize it. Crank the tunes and get it done.
Emotional clutter will also weigh us down. Sometimes we keep material stuff as a symbol of the emotional stuff we are not ready to let go of.
Are you doing that? Does your closet or garage full of stuff you don’t use symbolize old emotions that are cluttering up space to move, create, love, and inspire?
If so, take a moment to recognize those old feelings and let them go.
If you are reliving old experiences and carrying old emotions that are no longer serving you, let them go.
Set yourself free. And recognize that you will probably feel so much lighter emotionally once you let the material stuff go.
Sometimes we keep material stuff as a symbol of the emotional stuff we are not ready to let go of.
4. Donate or Volunteer!
When we give a little of our talents, our perspective, or our time to contribute to the greater good we feel LIGHT in heart and spirit. Kapha season is all about lightening up, not holding tight and collecting things.
So as we release old physical clutter and old heavy emotions, we can take it to another level and GIVE some of what we have to others.
Think about it this way: It’s not about you losing something, it’s about them gaining something — how awesome is that? We all love to help others, so go for it! Don’t hog it, move it on to a new home and feel awesome about that.
And because we are universally connected, when we give to others, we actually give to ourselves.
5. A Dry, Sunny Vacation!
Trust me, I know how you feel once we enter the winter dregs because I grew up in Wisconsin — winter can last 5-6 months!
If you are not in the habit of scheduling a spring break to a warm, sunny place, figure that out in the next month or two and travel somewhere inspiring to dry out and warm up.
Bring the sun! Counterbalancing the damp, cold and heaviness has such a positive benefit on our emotions, mood and bodies!
In fact, I’ve recommended the desert as a therapy for my clients before! Get to a beach or desert, somewhere gorgeous. Delight your eyes. See space and nature. Note: A cold dense forest would not be the right choice for a spring break. Get to the warm sun.
If you are wanting a happier entry into and throughout spring, chose 1 of these recommendations to work on this week. Reading about Ayurveda is awesome, but transformation doesn’t happen unless we act!
Start bringing Ayurveda to life!