Ayurveda= System of healing with roots in ancient India
Ayur (life) // Veda (wisdom or study)
In Spring we see the qualities (Gunas) of it’s associated dosha, Kapha dosha: liquid, heavy, moist, dense, and cool. The meaning of Ka (water) Pha (to flourish) is that which is flourished by water. We see this wet heaviness in the rain or snowmelt soaked earth as well as physically manifested in the form of seasonal colds and allergies. Spring is also the auspicious time of rebirth and renewal: the buds emerge and it is time for us to peel away our winter layers and thaw out!
Enjoy this simple outline of vital seasonal rituals to balance the qualities of Spring as it manifests in our physical, emotional, and mental bodies:
Daily Groove (Dinacharya) into Evening Rituals (Ratricharya)
- Get up and get moving! Rise with the Sun
- Clean the tongue with a tongue scraper (stainless steel or copper to remove toxins and bacteria, hold (kavala) or swish (gandush) oil in the mouth (sesame or coconut) for 5-20 minutes then brush.
- Begin sipping a glass of WARM or room temperature water
- Splash the face with cold water and enjoy your morning facial cleansing routine
- Enjoy your morning circulation: yoga, walking, running, etc, then meditation.
- Breakfast, then lunch as the largest meal of the day
- Light supper
- Slow down and prepare for bed: shut down email and stop TV. Oil the feet (sesame oil) and put on socks to protect your sheets. Enjoy relaxing meditation either in bed or just before.
Spring Rtucharya (Seasonal Rituals)
- Be active! Enjoy heating activity and physical stimulation
- Eat lighter and dryer foods that exhibit bitter, astringent qualities like arugula/endive/spinach/dandelion greens. Eat lighter fruits like apples, pears, pomegranates and avoid heavy foods like avocado, banana, melons, and potatoes.
- Drink a simple seed tea made by steeping cumin, coriander, and fennel
- Use a neti pot to clear sinuses and follow with Nasya oil in the nose.
- Enjoy sauna and steam bath when possible
- Spend more time outdoors taking in fresh Prana
- Yoga practice is stimulating and includes pranayama (breath extension practice) like kappalabhati and surya bedhana. If you are on gentle spring cleanse balance this with nourishing more lunar yoga/meditation.
These rhythms are natural. Often we engage in them without realizing as we begin to live more in sync with nature. Be flexible (i.e. don’t fret if you miss a step one day!) and even choose just a few to integrate into your routine as a start.
My sources and teachers:
Maria Garre (www.mariagarre.com): M.Ed, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Ayurvedic Health Practitioner | Prana Flow® Yoga | Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist
Tending the Heart Fire: Living in Flow with the Pulse of Life by Shiva Rea
Textbook of Ayurveda by Vasant Lad
Banyan Botanicals (great resource + supplies!) www.banyanbotanicals.com