Spring is a time of renewal and change. Shake up your daily rituals, embrace the additional daylight and utilise the extra energy to realise some of those goals you haven’t had the time or energy for. It’s finally time to start that new project, try a class you have always wanted to try, plant a garden (or let’s be realistic, start with a herb plant for the kitchen), and of course, travel, while the energy is there for the taking.
Our ‘prakrti’, or constitution can undergo seasonal changes, mirroring what is going on in nature. Our bodies start to shed stored fats which are no longer needed (and along with them, toxins). The fats and toxins enter the blood stream, causing the liver and gallbladder to work harder to process and eliminate them. Toxins, known in ayurveda as ama, negatively affect all aspects of our body. The build up of ama can lead to seasonal imbalance causing excess Kapha – in ayurveda known as the earth element, linked, not suprisingly to phlegm. Signs of excess kapha include allergies, mucus build up, a thickly coated tongue, lethargy, stiff muscles and hay fever.
A healthy diet, with the addition of these simple Ayurvedic tips can help you get that spring back in your step, with the added bonus of regular digestion, bright eyes and glowing skin:
In spring, bitter is better
Enjoy and embrace bitter tastes in spring. Add a dash of bitter to your diet to stimulate the release of bile, to help move those toxins out of the body. Drink hot lemon water each morning to help promote cleansing. To stimulate sluggish digestion, add a little cayenne pepper. Milk thistle tea, dandelions and bitter greens like arugula aid the liver and promote elimination of toxins. Add tumeric to your toolbox. It cleanses the blood, improves circulation, aids in liver cleansing, reduces inflammation, and helps ignite sluggish metabolism.
Skip the sticky and sweet
Gluten, dairy and sugars will hinder the cleansing process, helping toxins literally ‘stick’ around. Opt for grapefruit or ginger tea as a snack or to help curb cravings, Follow a Kapha pacifying diet. Limit intake of sugar, dairy, cheese, butter, eggs, fatty meats, lard, and salt during this season.
Exercise at least 30 minutes
To balance the heaviness of kapha and encourage elimination of toxins through our skin, we have to work up a little sweat. This is the perfect time of year to run, enjoy a nice sweaty yoga session, dance, or take a lovely hot bath with a little essential oil. Physical workouts coupled with steam saunas and hot baths flush out the stored toxins. Glowing skin and eyes are not far behind. Sleeping in late also aggravates kapha, so try to get up early to match the seasonal rhythm.
Complement your cleansed, light body with a de-clutter of your home.
Give away things you don’t need to help promote that sense of lightness. Feel the corners of your mouth lift knowing your used items will most likely make someone who needs them very happy. Try and replace cleaning products with natural alternatives. Get a spray bottle of water, add a few drops of tea tree and lemon essential oil to disinfect your home and leave you feeling happy, light and toxin free.
Drink this Detox Tea daily, throughout Kapha season:
Detox Tea (Cumin Coriander Fennel -CCF)
Bring water to a boil. Add add a mixture of the below seeds in equal quantity to the water, bring to a simmer, let simmer on low for 10 minutes with the lid on the pot.
Whole cumin seeds Whole coriander seeds Whole fennel seeds
Strain out the seeds and pour the liquid into a thermos.
Proportion: use 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mix per every 12 oz of water. It is best to make 3-4 cups of the tea in the morning, take the tea in a thermos with you and drink throughout the day to flush toxins out of the body. Add a licorice tea bag to a cup of the hot tea mixture to add sweetness. Alternatively, add raw honey.
Because this tea detoxifies the entire system, it also can help with digestion, acne, weight loss, immunity and generally unclogs channels in the body. If you drink this tea regularly for at least 3 months, you will notice many benefits in your overall health.
Breathe it out
Sitting all day restricts our bodies ability to breathe deeply, and fully. This prevents us from getting rid of all the air from the lungs, which means we are missing an opportunity to give the lungs a good old cleanse.
We need to consciously work to exhale to cleanse the lungs from the stale gases. Count to 5 as you inhale, take a short pause, then count to 5 as you exhale, pausing again. If you are at work and feeling a little overwhelmed or stressed, lengthen the exhale to 8 counts to release anxiety and encourage that cleansing and space.