The vernal equinox signals the beginning of spring once the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. After the spring equinox we will start enjoying earlier sunrises, later sunsets and beautiful blooms. This change in season also triggers a change in the doshas (Ayurvedic biological forces) within our bodies. The ancient science of Ayurveda understands that during the cold and damp winter months, Kapha may accumulate in the body. As the Spring weather warms up and we become more active, the accumulated Kapha becomes mobilized often manifesting symptoms of lethargy, heaviness, mental fogginess, nasal allergic symptoms and head/neck/chest mucous congestion. The science of Ayurvedic medicine recognizes the need to adjust our nutrition and lifestyle in response to the seasonal changes. Here are some simple Ayurvedic tips to shift into Spring with more grace.
- Eat lighter, warmer and fresher foods such as fruits in season, green vegetables and astringent bitter greens in bloom such as arugala and dandelion greens. Click HERE for a fast easy kapha reducing arugala salad recipe.
- Reduce the amount of heavy, rich foods in your diet during this time such as dairy, meat, bread and sweets. Here is a short video with a more complete list of foods to avoid to curb kapha.
- Warm teas with heating and purifying spices such ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and clove help mobilize stale energies and facilitate an easier Spring transition.
- Cooking with warming spices such as pungent black pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, garlic and ginger to helps warm the body, open the srotas (channels) and create Spring homeostasis. However, be cautious with consuming these in excess or they can create excess heat or even bleeding. If you are not sure, consult an Ayurvedic specialist.
- Participating in more exercise such as hiking, bicycling or Surya Namaskar yoga series daily can prevent post winter kapha stagnancy.
- Many people benefit from purify the respiratory system and clarifying mind channels by performing a breath technique called kapalbhati pranayama. This video demonstrates the technique.
- During this season shift it is often recommended to do a gentle detoxification by taking Triphala. Here’s a separate article I wrote about the benefits of the ancient Ayurvedic formulation Triphala.
Don’t get bogged down by excess kapha this Spring and learn the Ayurvedic knowledge of flowing with the seasons changes to stay your healthiest. Note that each person has unique differences and should consult an Ayurvedic specialist to find out what is individually best. Be sure to ask your family health provider as well, since any herbs and spices can interfere with other supplements and prescriptions. For instance turmeric can change the effects of the blood thinner Coumadin. So remember to be safe in your choices too.
Learn more about Ayurveda, yogic sciences, health and fitness at HealthierVibrations.com. Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician. Stay tuned for more education and follow Dr. Christie Smirl by connecting with her below, just click the connection icons.