Monday, March 14, 2011

Flow into Spring with Ayurveda

Flow into Spring with Ayurveda

by Maria Garre, March 2011

As we welcome the wonders of Spring time with warmer weather, rains that nourish the soil , and the migration, emergence of animals and plants from their Winter hibernation, we ourselves undergo an internal transformation as well. According to Charaka, a great Ayurvedic authority, 7 days before the Spring Equinox and 7 days after the Equinox is the transition time to slowly make changes necessary to effortlessly and healthfully welcome the new season. With the Spring Equinox a few days away, the time is now!

According to Ayurveda, Spring time is Kapha dosha predominant time, which brings the gunas (qualities) that are heavy, cold, dull, liquid, dense, slimy, and oily. Though this simple list does not seem to offer much information it is actually quite enlightening. These qualities have been prevalent since the Winter season (another Kapha time) but now in the Spring time whatever quality was increased in the Winter and not decreased during the Spring will adversely affect the health of the individual. Following the Ayurvedic mantra of “Like increases Like” we adopt the opposite qualities of hot, dry, sharp, mobile, and light to offset any imbalance.

We are all familiar with Spring allergies, congestion, sinusitis, and excess mucous. This is nature’s way of melting away our inner “snow”. Just as the mountain snow is melting down into the rivers making the rivers to flow along with increased rains, our bodies follows suit much the same way. As you can see the gunas are all prevalent in the very illnesses that are common during the Spring time. So this is the time to melt away what was built up in the winter and release any excess heaviness, mucous so that we may feel light, refreshed and renewed like the emerging Spring tulips.

Spring Tips:

  • Start to wake up 30 minutes before sunrise. Kapha time begins around 7 am therefore to not increase Kapha qualities in the body it is important to be up and moving before the sun is rising to move toxins and stagnant lymph accumulated over the night.
  • Morning dinacharya to include: neti, nasya, tongue scraping, abhyanga with heating oils (unless ama is present), dry brushing (2X per week), warm lemon water upon waking, early morning walk.
  • Clean up the diet. Just like we like to Spring clean our homes it is time to Spring clean your inner home. For Kapha predominant Prakriti this is considered a great time Spring detox. Ayurveda has specific Spring detoxification recommendations knows as Panchakarma.
  • Enjoy some type of daily exercise like daily walking. The best way to move excess heaviness and mucous is to move the lymph and blood that circulate throughout the body.
  • Slowly energize your Yoga practice with more challenging Asanas (backbends and arm balances are perfect!)
  • Avoid heavy and dulling foods like excess dairy, wheat, and cold foods.
  • Continue to eat warming foods and spice them up