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Ayurveda is the sister science to Yoga. Though it may seem foreign to us, in the US, it is a heavy part of Indian Healthcare and is an extensive system for healthy living that has been in existence for thousands of years. As we step into Spring this year it’s pretty important to make changes within ourselves and our habits to embrace this supportive aspect of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda can be a little overwhelming at first, because of the many different elements that always seem to be changing. In this system, we change how we eat in with the seasons and then adjust and treat any imbalances we may be experiencing, in accordance to what Dosha is predominant. (More on that in a subsequent post) It can seem like a lot of manage. If you ever have doubt about what aspect of Ayurveda to focus on, just remember to eat right for the season, and address any issues that may come up from there.
In most places in the US, spring is the Kapha time of year when the earth is moist and pregnant with life. Plants are on their way and the spring melt-off supports the ground with life-giving nutrients. Here in the San Luis Valley, CO though, we have the continuing Vatta element of winter because of the spring winds….so things are never black and white.
Spring is the quintessential time of change. Energetically, we step out of the darkness of winter and into the warmth and activity of summer. It’s kind of the best time of year. Most of us are emerging from our yearly hibernation and are ready to stretch our legs in the sunshine. Hours of daylight lengthen and the weather warms as we’ start to spend more time outside. We can FEEL how it’s the time to shed what no longer serves us and step towards activities and ideas that are fresh.
Change is always easy, right? Yeah, not so much. When we shed the old layers of winter, we may be a little nervous about what is the next step. Though exciting, changes take us out of our comfort zone and we’re unsure of what’s coming in our lives.
My suggestion? Listen to your heart and start to explore the things that are calling you. Is there an activity that is sparking your interest? Leave the fear behind and go check it out. Change requires growth and we strengthen when we accept new ideas and lifestyle choices.
Ayurvedic Spring-time Eating
We leave behind the dark, deep roots of winter and eat lighter. We prepare lots of vegetables and legumes. Not raw, (Ayurveda does not promote raw foods) but lightly cooked. Continue with drinking warm warmer or tea and be mindful about staying well hydrated. Reduce heavy and oily foods. Reach for fewer meats and sugary sweets, and instead grab fruits and light nuts for a snack.
Banyan Botanicals has a beautiful Spring Guide that lists all the food to favor during this time of year. Check it out!
Spring-time Ayurvedic Habits.
My favorite part about spring is the fresh air! If we can be honest, there tends to be a lot of toxins inside our homes and businesses. Take your activities outside in the sunshine and be thankful for the life-giving love from the sun.
Spring is the perfect time to reconnect with your pranayama practice. Prana is our lifeforce and our breath is the direct connection to regulating this lifeforce. For more information, click below to explore the practice and benefit of Pranayama. There is no greater activity to calm the body and mind!
Those of you that know me, are aware that I’m obsessed with Banyan Botanicals Nasya Oil. I know it sounds a little bit nuts to put drops of oil up your nose. But let me tell you…this stuff is Uh-mazing.
Living at 8,000 ft altitude has been tough for this sea level east-coast girl. I was having daily, 1-2 nosebleeds a day, because of the altitude and dry air. But since starting Nasya Oil, I only have about 1 nosebleed a month. That’s effective! And added bonus, while I was at the eye doctor last month, she commented on how my eyes weren’t as irritated and dry. Nasya Oil is the only thing I’ve added to my daily routine this year. I think it’s helping my eyes too. Try this practice and let me know how it goes.
Abhyagna is the practice of self-massage with oil. This is a habit that should be practiced all year long. Depending on the time of year or which dosha is predominant, the type of oil may change, but the routine should not.
To practice self-massage, shower or bath as normal and dry off with a towel. Then lovingly massage the oil into your skin. Be sure to massage your muscles while rubbing the oil onto your whole body. Then, step back into the shower and allow the water to rinse off the excess oil, but be sure not to use soap! You’ll notice that depending on the oil you use, it can set your day perfectly!
Spring is the time to shake things up a little bit. Can you feel it? I know once the weather starts warming up, we throw open our window and doors and let the fresh air into our home. The stagnation of winter is blown away in the breeze and we all breath a little bit better. So open your windows! Maybe to a little spring cleaning to clear out the old and make space for the new.
During the winter to settle into out habits and schedules…which can be really soothing. But now is the time to shake things up a little bit! Keep your schedule light and allow the space for spontaneity. Say yes to a walking date or happy hour! Allow yourself the fluidity to release your schedule and go with the flow!
And lighten up a bit. We spend a LOT of time with introspection over the winter. Spend a LOT of time in play and don’t take yourself too seriously! (It’s not like any of us are getting out of here alive!)
Spring is by far of the most exciting times of the year. You can literally feel how the earth supports growth and changes! However, sometimes Spring can become a little TOO chaotic. We may get a little too far off schedule or can become a little ungrounded. Try these Springtime Ayurvedic ideas to support your growth, and keep your feet on the ground!