Welcome to the March blog ,all about getting ready for the shift in energy that is just around the corner ...Spring !
According to the ayurvedic calendar ( Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga dedicated to nurturing the body and helping it remain healthy) we are in the middle of rithusandi (the joints between seasons) , this is the special time 8 days before and 8 days after the new season begins
If you are new to Ayurveda it may be worth mentioning the 3 doshas ( constitutions). We all have specific elemental constitutions made up of the 5 elements ( earth, water, fire, air and ether). We all naturally lean towards one specific constitution or a mix of them and so does the environment around us so we need to adjust our habits to balance these changes out, especially during the transition periods in between seasons.
As you can see on the image above ( courtesy of https://www.heymonicab.com) we are just about to enter Kapha season . This dosha or constitution is dominated by the elements of earth and water.
These elements have the following characteristics : wet, cold, heavy, oily, static. Ever felt the "change of the seasons" ? This is what it's down to, a shift in the energy of the elements around us, moving from the Vata ( mainly air element , lots of wind and movement) of Winter to a more heavy and earthy state of things.
What can we do to best prepare for this change in the seasons?
The main theme is :"stay dry" and "warm up".
Here are 5 of the best practical tips to transition gracefully into Spring:
1) Choose dry food : ok we are not cats or dogs ! so take this with a pinch of salt. Ayurveda suggests to eat "desert food" during Kapha season ( your interpretation of what desert food is , is as good as mine) .A radical suggestion is to get the barbie on ! yes ! char grill your meals! stay away from oily and heavy meals , you are looking for grilled lean meats and lots of light veggies.
Honey is also the best food for Kapha season , a little bit of it on a slice of wholemeal toast is perfect to re-balance excess kapha as honey is a drying food.
2) Get some sunshine ! : days are getting longer and the chill of Winter is gradually making space for warmer,wetter days. Try and get out there as much as you can , the sun will help drying up Kapha and maintain balance especially if you are a Kapha yourself , this is the time of year to get out there daily to catch some rays. If you are lucky enough to have time off choose to take a break to a warmer country.
3)Spring clean : de-clutter not only your house ! We already know that Spring is a time of year to clear un-wanted and un-used items , we have the term in our vocabulary! This is the perfect time of year to renew your resolutions and intentions and take a good look at what is not serving you and letting it go. De-clutter your wardrobe by donating to charity ( if you have not worn it in the last 12 months and don't plan to wear it in the next 12 months you probably don't need it!) , spring clean your kitchen ( empty the cabinets ,clear away old spices as they harbour moulds and bacteria, make a stew with any out of date cans and commit to a diet made of fresh veggies and fresh salads). If you want to go all the way , do a kitchari cleanse for 3-5 days.
Make time to de-clutter your life , take a look at some old feelings that no longer serve you but that are still lingering and commit to let them go!
Fill your days with activities and people who make you feel active and sunny !
4) Vigorous massage : I am a fan of self-massage , no-one knows your body like you do so why not take charge and spring into the new season with a regular vigorous self-massage. What you are looking for here is heat! Start from the arms and the legs and use a light massage oil
(warm sesame oil is best) vigorously massage the long bones with an upward direction and the round bones with a circular one. Do this every time before having a shower or a bath
5) Cardio all the way : this is the best time of year to get your fitness regime sorted! Choose activities like jogging, hiking, biking, vigorous forms of yoga or martial arts, or other challenging forms of exercise ( to the best of your abilities).
Your yoga practice at this time of year will switch from a calmer,grounding and slower practice to a more intense and flowy practice , mainly based on Vinyasa. This will get your heart rate up and will get you warm and sweaty ! Perfect for fighting the abundant Kapha of this time of year!
Most diseases can be cured with lifestyle changes so why not use this great time of year to improve your life and take care of yourself .
Did you enjoy reading this short article?
Cherry Yoga follows the seasons and organises seasonal workshops to give you a chance to consider these and other practices and how they can support you in your daily life.
Check the events page regularly for more information or subscribe to get updates on the upcoming events coming soon.
Happy Spring !
Love and light
This post was inspired by HeyMonicaB Ayurveda , check this wonderful resource out if you want to go deeper into this fascinating science.