Spring is the beautiful season of vibrant colors, joy and celebration. It is also the season of dynamic energy, when nature blooms and flowers around us, birds migrate to warmer regions and many animals spring from hibernation. Spring is a season of physical and emotional burst of energy and around the world many countries celebrate the oncoming of the season with festivals.
For many of us however, the transition from winter to spring can be a bit difficult and not as graceful as nature’s transition around us.
The qualities of spring are warm, moist, gentle, and unctuous and just like warmth melts the accumulated snow and ice of winter, the increased warmth in our body starts to loosen and liquefy the accumulated phlegm in the body.
We often find ourselves feeling heavy, sluggish, and perhaps experiencing the aggravated symptoms of allergies, colds, coughs, and even emotional dullness.
According to the science of Ayurveda these symptoms are a common phenomena and understanding this cycle of nature and living in rhythm with the nature according to the season helps us prevent the common imbalances that occur. And most important, listen to your body – signs and symptoms are its way of communicating with you.
Just as you dress for the season, spring clean your home and make space for the season, we encourage you to eat and exercise for the season, bringing you closer to the balanced rhythms and cycles of nature.
- Jump start your day with a glass of warm water and teaspoon of honey (only add the honey once the water is at drinking temperature)
- Spice up and season your meals with ginger, black pepper, long pepper. Use garlic, ginger and chili pepper in moderation
- Prepare tea with equal amount of cumin, coriander, and fennel and drink throughout the day
- Prepare and drink tea of equal parts dry ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon after each meal
- Enjoy a weekly one day juice fast with apples, pomegranate or berries – or a mixture
DAILY ROUTINES & LIFESTYLE:
- Enjoy and celebrate nature
- Go outdoors and tune into the beauty that nature has provided us with
- Wake up early (before 6 AM) and shake up the aggravated phlegm with a strong yoga practice or other brisk exercise
- Go to bed and sleep before 10 PM, which will support the body’s natural tendency to heal and purify itself
DIET & NUTRITION:
- Eat lighter regular meals on a steady routine; avoid heavy, oily foods, cold drinks, and ice cream. Limit dairy products and bananas especially during the morning
- Include bitter, pungent and astringent foods in your diet; legumes such as split peas, red lentils, as well as garbanzo and pinto beans
- Include pungent vegetables such as radishes, and astringent greens such as spinach. Take special note to what is in season (at farmer’s markets) – it’s nature’s way of sending us a message
- Meat eaters should cut down on seafood, shellfish, and duck. Red meat should always be eaten in moderation
- Avoid taking nap during the day as it increases the qualities of heaviness and sluggishness.
- Regularly practice several breathing exercises (Pranayama) such as “bellows breath” and “right nostril breathing.Watch a demonstration of bellows breath – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMoqzvUAb5o&feature=related
- During Spring, try to practice the following breathing exercise on a regular basis. If you have any questions about this exercise, please email us.
- Bellows Breath is a stimulating breathing exercise that helps your body release energizing chemicals, calm the mind, and increase energy. It should NOT be performed on a full stomach.
Your breathing should be free and clear – blow your nose to unblock your nostrils and clear them from mucus.
- Sit on the floor cross-legged, or sit on a chair. Keep your spine, back and neck aligned.
Keep your mouth gently closed – this breathing exercise is performed through the nose.
Breathe in and out quickly and forcefully using short, rhythmic breaths. Inhales and exhales should be performed with equal force and length.
- Your stomach muscles should power the breathing – stomach muscles expand with the inhale, and contract with the exhale (like bellows). You can place your hand on your belly during the exercise.
- You may feel slightly lightheaded, so start by doing this for 15 seconds only. With practice, slowly increase the length of the exercise by 5 seconds each time.Watch a demonstration of bellows breath: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMoqzvUAb5o&feature=related
Revitalizing Breathing Exercise: Right Nostril Breathing
Right nostril breathing is a very simple and revitalizing breathing technique
- Close the left nostril and inhale and exhale through right nostril for 8-10 times
- And please always remember to “just breathe.” Breathing is truly the most essential exercise we can perform. Not inhaling enough oxygen or exhaling enough carbon dioxide, can have consequences such as fatigue or mental fog.
- Deep breathing is a fast way to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, which some call the relaxation response.
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today”
— Swedish Proverb
Remember, that what you do today becomes the cause of your health or imbalance for tomorrow, so please take care of yourself today.
Eat healthy natural foods and choose to live a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Remember to self-nurture!