"In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." Mark Twain
According to the science of yoga and Ayurveda respecting seasonal changes is an essential component to our overall health. For example, each season has its own dosha (constitution) which combines with our individual dosha and impacts our well-being. If we are in harmony with our dosha and with nature itself, all is good. But, if we are out of balance, and if we don't acknowledge seasonal changes we feel the effect of the changing seasons in various ways.
Cool and Windy
Winter and Spring are impacted, in different ways, by Kapha dosha, which brings accumulation and moisture. For some, this energy creates the positive feeling of stability, but for others, it fuels inertia. In addition, Spring is uncertain and constantly fluctuating (vata dosha); It's not uncommon to be wearing shorts one day and a scarf and gloves the next. Again, for some this erratic behavior is not a problem, but for others it creates or enhances imbalances.
Common Spring Imbalances
In fact, if you are of the constitution who is negatively impacted by this seasonal change and you don't adopt the appropriate lifestyle practices you will most likely feel, to varying degrees, heavy, lethargic, bloated, stiff, congested and possibly suffer from allergies, constipation and/or insomnia. And, if you are of the body type (kapha) who does not need the extra pounds, you may gain weight during this seasonal transition.
Although approaching seasonal changes is dependent on our individual constitution and the imbalances vary, there are general guidelines to benefit from the gifts and beauty of Spring so that we can feel energized, inspired, grounded, focused and vibrant. They include:
Eat and Be Nourished
Eating light meals of steamed vegetables, pre-soaked and cooked grains and legumes and fruits is optimal. Onion, garlic, black pepper, cayenne and ginger are especially good at this time of year. Bitter greens and vegetables in the cabbage family can be of great service as well as eliminating heavy oils and sweets.
Move to the Rhythm of Your Body
If, when out of balance you tend towards accumulation and lethargy, get out there and move your body. Sign up for a class, call a friend and go for a walk or...Whatever it is, commit, and DO NOT let inertia settle in. If, when out of balance you tend towards reduction and dryness as well as excess and erratic movement, do keep up with your exercise, but take some time to rest and don't overdo it.
The Power and Magic of Yoga Asanas
Again, this depends on your dosha but in short, if you often choose gentle practices/classes with little movement and your average day is sedentary, reflect whether you would benefit from more physical practices/classes and vise-versa. There are some very good seasonal sequences and if time allows, I may share a couple. Do stay connected.
Spend some time in/with nature; Look, listen and feel the world around you. Remember that we're surrounded by an abundance of prana(energy) that is always available and consciously breathe it in.
Create Space for the New
Clean out a drawer, a closet, your car, files, garage and/or basement; whatever you have time for, but let go of the old and make space for the new.
Keep a regular schedule when it comes to meals, sleep and exercise. And, connect with the earth by gardening, hiking and hugging a tree.
From Boring Routine to Blissful Rituals
Choose to experience the extraordinary in the ordinary by integrating rituals in your daily routine. My most recent Sweat Equity Magazine article provides tips on how to do this.
Although beneficial, these guidelines are general. I am much more specific and useful one-on-one. If you are negatively impacted by our beloved moody Spring, and if you want to reduce the imbalance she brings, contact me. Let's get you are on the right path to feel energized, healthy and vibrant.