As we move into the gloriously muddy and sneezy months known as Spring, we have, hopefully, begun to embrace detoxifying our bodies, removing the cobwebs of stored toxins and priming our bodies to burn more calories, stay awake longer, and re-energize for those long days coming up. Here are some great Spring tips to prime you for your best summer ever:
Eat Light: In Ayurvedic medicine, Winter is a time when we accumulate kapha, the dosha or constitution that represents water and earth. When kapha is balanced we feel steady, supported, calm, collected and focused. When out of balance we feel sluggish, tired and heavy. If we cannot shed the kapha of winter we risk becoming unbalanced, gaining weight or not shedding the few pounds we gained over the holidays. One great way to shed kapha is to lighten up our eating. Think about the first fare of the season and you cant go wrongtender mixed spicy or bitter greens, peas, shoots, seeds, nuts, asparagus. Move toward having big light salads with seeds and peas at least once a day with a light dressing of olive oil, spring herbs like mint, and lemon. Stay away from kapha producing food like dairy products, iced drinks, sugar, and fried foods.
Rise with the Sun: Again, as the days lengthen and get warmer, we tend to need less sleep. Shake off the last of winters blues by beginning to get up early and spending the time walking in nature or sitting quietly and watching the world around you for a bit. Spring is a time of renewal, a powerful shift in the world, and it is important to bring the body gracefully and easily into the new season. By being aware of the world around you and noticing the changes that occur it is possible to also be more aware of the body and the kind of movement and food that it wants.
Wood and Wind: Although many people associate winter with being sick, it is often spring that brings colds and flu. Spring is a time of extreme temperature changes, wind, and wet weather. These can wreak havoc on the body and the immune system. In Chinese medicine, spring is known as encompassing the wood element, which is related to the liver and gallbladder and the taste of sourness. Strengthening the liver and tonifying the blood at this time is a great way to boost the immune system and the overall health of the body. Herbs such as astragalus and fresh ginger are great for the liver right now as are fresh dandelion greens and drinking water with fresh lemon.
Setting Goals: Many of our new years resolutions have either been broken or could use a bit of refocusing. Spring is a great time to do this. There is more light to get outside and exercise, more fresh foods beginning to show up at farmers markets, CSAs, and grocery stores, more time and energy to refresh our goals. The earth is coming alive again and we feel that vitality within us as well. It is a potent force that can be used to truly change our lives and bodies.