The undeniably most popular season of the year is here and everything is sprouting, opening up, starting to shine trough and the birds, bees, flowers, trees and human hearts are all nourished by more and more sunlight. We may dive into that sunlight, but often we find ourselves still sluggish from winter, with too much on our plates and seasonal allergies to boot.
In Ayurveda, spring is ruled by the elements fire and water, which combine to make pitta dosha or bodily constitution. In spring we work to shed the excess of winter and balance the amount of fire AND water in our systems. Too much water combined with excess earth leaves us feeling heavy, muddy and full of toxins (ama). Too much fire and we’re angry, over heated, over doing, full of allergies and without enough time.
Spring is also about new beginnings, setting roots that sustain us in summer and fall. This spring, let’s commit to sustaining and thriving- through balance, deep breaths, clean closets and cleansed bodies.
Here are a few great things you can try to balance and elevate your spirits:
1. Clear out your closet – Clean your house
It might sound very basic to you, but de-cluttering your space will help you de-clutter your mind. The body is the temple of the mind, and it’s much easier to clean the temple of the body and mind when the literal temple of the home is a little clearer. Maybe invest in some new plants and increase the amount of fresh green things in your living space?
2. Clean out your body
Spring is the perfect time for a mild Ayurvedic cleanse to reduce toxins (ama) from winter. Since spring is ruled by the organs liver and gallbladder, it the perfect time to give those organs a break. It’s like an oil change for your body.
Try cutting out sugar, alcohol, dairy, caffeine, cooked oils and red meat for 2 weeks just to give your body a break. The first 3 days are the hardest – it gets easier after that. Increase your intake of water, yoga, rest and alkaline foods (green veggies, fruits, whole grains, raw olive oil, avocados). If you have allergies, increase your intake of bitters, sours and astringent.
3. Simplify and breath
The simple things are often the hardest. When we simplify our days, our desks, our dreams, we have more space just to be. To breathe, to rest, to delight in the moment. Find 10 minutes in your day to do pranayama (breathing practices) and then just sit (or put your legs up the wall if you feet feel tired, hot or swollen).
The simplest pranayama practice is samma vrtti – count to 5 as you inhale and 5 as you exhale. Take a short pause after the inhale and after the exhale, as a reminder to pause and take space. If you feel especially hot, stressed or need to relax, lengthen the exhale (5 in, 8 out). 12 rounds of breath is perfect. Then sit or put your legs up for the remains of the 10 minutes.
Live yoga. Its possible. You are the doer. Noone else.