With this article I wanted to support and encourage you to take advantage of the wonderful season of spring and all its benefits.
How to get (and keep) the spring in your step
Spring into Action
At last the pull of winter slowly diminishes; the Sun is showing her radiance and you are beginning to thaw. In both mind and body you can feel something shifting, there is a sense of wonderment as summer beckons. However, before springing into action, it is important that you consider spring as a valuable window of opportunity and get the most from it.
Spring is a delicate season and requires a gentle approach. This helps for a smooth transition between the cold of winter and the heat of summer. When young buds and shoots have the right, temperature, water and nutrients they flourish, showcasing their wonderment right through summer.
In order for you to maintain strength during the warmer months, spring is the time to capitalize. The increased moisture during this season brings with it associated Kapha symptoms which can be either celebrated or ignored. As the mountain tops melt, so to the body naturally wants to release any unwanted congestion. Spring allergies and mucous are signs of kapha clearing and this can be reassuring or, unless managed, lead to a host of health challenges. The good news is by harmonising your diet and lifestyle with nature you can keep the spring in your step.
Diet Simply Spring
With no need for insulation the body requires less protein and fats during spring and summer, so oily heavy foods are no longer necessary. Spring foods provide the right balance of microbes which help to support immunity, digestion, mood and energy. This helps to reset blood sugar levels and balance fat stores.
You may note a decline in appetite at this time of year which is your body’s way of telling you it needs to reset and cleanse. Green smoothes and juices are your allies as they open the channels of elimination which helps to balance mucous production and maintain internal moisture levels for cellular harmony.
Meal choices may include a light breakfast of fresh fruit and herbal tea and for lunch cooked grains, astringent vegetables and legumes will provide nutritional substance. Snacking between meals is best avoided and reducing sweet, sour, and salty tastes is a wise approach. Sour fruits such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, figs, dates and coconuts, are also best reduced. Better you enhance your meals with the pungent flavours of onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, chilis, peppers and an abundance of herbs and spices. Bitter roots and astringent flavours are also more suited during this time of year.
Hints and tips at home
Tune into your hunger by listening to your bodily sensations and avoid overeating.
Spring is associated with Kapha qualities which are heavy, cold and oily. So, eat foods that will counter balance these such as bitter, astringent and pungent.
Eat lighter at breakfast and evening meals, taking the bulk of your nutrition during a slow mid day meal, resting afterwards where possible.
The next stage is to consider lightly fasting for one week, by eating only during a 6 to 8 hour period each day.
Sip herbal root teas throughout the day, like dandelion or nettle and add turmeric and ginger where possible.
Yoga & Pranayama:
Yoga asana can be practiced with a deeper intention, gently hold poses slightly longer than normal to challenge yourself. If the body allows, back bends and arching poses can be emphasised as yoga asana becomes more stimulating, practiced with greater momentum. Pranyama can be deeper, exercising greater use of the diaphragm, by applying a fuller breath, aiding the detoxification process.