Spring is a season of reset, new beginnings, renewal, and regrowth — a time for nature and natural beings to manifest the latent potential. Spring season is called Rituraj in Sanskrit. It means king of the season. Just as the seeds that are germinating, flowers are budding, insects are buzzing, and leaves unfurling, we are deeply affected by the gentle stirring around us. Our bodies are primed to cleanse ourselves of any accumulated imbalances, and rejuvenate our deep tissues.
Ancient ayurvedic principles teach us to align ourselves with seasonal changes. Following a seasonal routine and regimens, you can keep up your optimal health in Spring.
To understand the Spring season, first, we need to understand the kapha dosha and how to bring it into balance. Out of three biological humors (vata, pitta, and kapha), kapha is made up of the water and earth elements. Kapha lubricates joints, builds up immunity, provides mucus to protect sinuses, lungs and stomach . The shape, size, strength and suppleness of muscle and body depends upon Kapha dosha.
To feel strong and stable. Your Kapha dosha needs to be in balance. When the Kapha goes out of balance, you start to experience excess phlegm/mucus, retaining water in the tissues and feel heavier. Other symptoms of Kapha imbalance also include lethargy, heaviness, sleepiness, and depression.
Kapha balancing is very important in the Spring Season. Naturally Kapha accumulates during the winter season and starts to melt as the temperature rises with the beginning of Spring. If we are not aware about this phenomenon, it is easy to get out of balance in Spring. Some of the common symptoms of kapha aggravation during spring includes respiratory problems like coughs, colds, sneezing, rhinitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, digestive issues like indigestion, nausea, and excess salivation.
Diet plan for spring
- Enjoy easily digestible and light foods.
- Increase the bitter (tikta), pungent (katu), and astringent (kashaya) tastes in your food.
- Reduce heavy, oily, sweet and sour foods.
- Honey is like nectar for spring season! Include it in your food.
- Spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel stimulate the digestion, pacify aggravated kapha and detoxify the body.
- Eat a light breakfast and make lunch the main meal of the day (around noon when the sun is high and the digestive fire is strongest).
- Reduce milk products, high-gluten foods and red meats.
- Fast, with either soup or juice, at least once a week (under the supervision of a specialist).
- Drink a warm drink first thing in the morning. To a cup of warm water add I tablespoon of freshly grated ginger, 3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice, ½ teaspoon of black salt and 1 teaspoon of honey (make sure the water is not too hot so it does not heat the honey).
- Increase the duration of outdoor exercise to clear the increased kapha. Include warming yoga asanas and breathing exercises.
- Avoid day time sleep, especially after lunch. Enjoy a good night’s sleep of 6-8 hours.
- Cultivate calm through mindfulness and meditation.
- Eliminate smoking and alcohol.
- Bath in warm water (not too hot or cold).
- Practise self-massage daily. It is good to do it every morning using warmed sesame oil. Dry brushing before oiling is very beneficial.
- In addition to the oil massage, you can benefit from herbal powder massage using triphala powder, turmeric powder, mustard powder, and sandalwood powder. Ayurvedic detox massage powder is available from our clinics.
- Continue ayurvedic rituals like oil pulling and nasya (medicated oil such as anu tailam is introduced into the nostrils).
This article is written for the general awareness only. Every individual may need a personalized approach and advise to deal with the specific spring problems and health conditions. It is recommended to visit a local Ayurvedic doctor for the detail consultation and get a personalized program that works for you best. An Ayurveda specialist may also recommend to undergo a spring detox program / Panchakarma because Spring is the best season for detoxification and cleanse.