The ayurvedic lowdown on spring…
Signs for early spring are here! sometimes it seams like the cold is never going away making it tricky to make adjustments. So here is the lowdown in some ayurvedic guidelines to help us stay in good health and holistic bliss.
In the next few paragraphs, I am just going to mention a few concepts that will help you follow the information in this post. I highly recommend that you read some of the resources listed in the Ayurvedic Institute website for a more complete introduction ayurvedic science in and tests to find out what your constitution is.
Ayurveda is the science of life. Ayu refers to all aspects of life or life span and Vedas means knowledge at the deepest level or wisdom.
According to Ayurveda, space (ether), air, fire, water, and earth are the five elements that exist in all organic and inorganic matter. Yes! you and me are a mix of these five elements. Our psychological tendencies and our five senses are directly related to these five elements. Hate to disappoint you but the fifth element is not the perfect being, a woman, as Luc Besson like us to believe.
These five elements combine into three basic energies called doshas. Vata, pitta, and kapha doshas are present in every one of us in varying degrees producing our individual differences and preferences. They govern our biological and physiological processes of our body, mind, and consciousness. We need to keep them in balance to maintain good health and to provide noble qualities like, understanding, compassion, and love. When we get them out balance due to eating and habits that aggravate them, they can rise emotions such as anger, fear, and greed.
The seasons and the times of the day are characterized by cycles of vata, pitta, and kapha. So to maintain good health during the four seasons requires that you live in harmony with these natural cycles by making changes in what you eat, what you do, and even the clothes you wear.
Summer and late spring are the seasons for pitta, fall is the season for vata, winter and early spring are the seasons for kapha. To remain in balance, we need to follow a regimen to pacify the dosha for the season. In spring, we need to follow first a regimen that pacifies kapha and as it grows warmer and closer to summer, a regimen that pacifies pitta.
The qualities of spring are warm, moist, and gentle. As ice and snow is melting, the kapha that we accumulated in winter is melting. This is why detoxifying is so important to help us prevent colds, allergies, and sinus congestion. For some tips in gentle detox, see previous post Feeling a bit rusty? time for spring cleaning!
What to eat
Favor foods with bitter, pungent, and astringent taste.
- Bitter taste foods help you to detoxify your system and to balance kapha and pitta.
- Pungent taste foods promote sweating and clear the sinus passages and balances kapha. Don’t over do is as excessive intake can aggravate pitta and vata.
- Astringent taste goods help to balance kapha and pitta.
Here is a list of recommended foods spring:
- Green leafy vegetables, green and yellow vegetables, kale, celery, broccoli, sprouts, and beets (bitter)
- Legumes such as yellow split peas, red lentils, garbanzo, and pinto beans (astringent)
- Radishes, spinach, and okra
- Chicken, fish, turkey, rabbit, and venison
- Onions and garlic along with not spices such as ginger, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper (Pungent)
Here is a list of foods to avoid as they aggravate kapha:
- Heavy and oily foods
- Dairy products, especially in the morning
- Crab, lobster, and duck
- Ice cream and cold drinks
What to do
Respecting and following the rhythms of nature are essential to good health. Here are some of the recommendations:
- Do a one-day juice fast once a week. Tips in Feeling a bit rusty? time for spring cleaning!
- Wake up early.
- Go for mornings walks.
- Avoid sleeping during the day because it aggravates kapha.
What to practice in yoga
Practice kapha-reducing postures such as:
- Sun salutation
Practice breathing exercises such as:
- Right nostril breathing
Practice these exercises early in the day as doing t at night might increase the vitality to the point of keeping you awake…
Raw apple sauce
Apples are beneficial for kapha so I thought you might like to try this easy recipe for my favorite snack: