Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words, “Ayu” which means Life, and “Veda” translating to knowledge.
Ayurveda collectively means, “The Knowledge Of Life”. It revolves around wellness from a minute spiritual level. It is the science that strives to know, and live the word “health”.
The primary aim of Ayurveda is ‘ Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam’ which means to keep the health of a healthy individual intact.
It clearly in its own way says, that health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a state of total physical, mental and social well-being. This also happens to be the world-famous definition of health, given by WHO. And to serve this purpose, the science recommends rituals of Dinacharya (the daily routine) and Ritucharya (seasonal regimen).
Our body is easily influenced by many external factors. The change in climate, weather, the temperature is one of the biggest external factors which affect our body’s constitution. This is where Ritucharya comes into action. Ritucharya is a dedicated seasonal guide given by Ayurveda which helps us to adapt to the changing seasons. It helps our body cope up with the transforming temperatures and climate by recommending simple diet and lifestyle alterations.
Spring is the season of growth. It is when the flowering begins, there’s sun, colors, and joy. It is the season wherein the cold, dry weather of winter is welcomed by the heat of the sun. It is the season of warmth and moisture. A new start, a new beginning is what some traditions call the season.
But it also comes along with various spring allergies, Kapha imbalances, tiredness, lethargy, and inevitable heaviness. And that’s where this Ayurvedic Seasonal Guide comes into action, this article explores some simple Ayurvedic spring recommendations and lifestyle alterations so we can enjoy this season of warmth in full health.
Spring and the Doshas
Spring comes heavy with moisture. It is when the accumulated Kapha Dosha in the winter season begins to melt due to the heat of the sun. It is natural for one to experience Kapha imbalances during this season. To avoid that we must thoroughly follow the seasonal regimen with full dedication.
Status of Agni and Physical strength
As the moisture and unctuousness in our body increase the power of our Agni starts to decline. Our appetite subsequently decreases and we naturally feel heavy. Our body craves for more lighter, pungent and fresh foods. Our metabolism is also comparatively slower and we may observe our tendency to skip meals is relatively higher in spring as the body aims to feel light. This is a perfect signal to opt for a seasonal cleanse. A panchakarma therapy by an Ayurvedic doctor is usually recommended, but alternatively, you can also try out a home detox.
Eat according to the season
Spring Season and Kapha dosha go hand in hand. It is absolutely necessary to switch to a Kapha maintaining diet and include Agni supporting ingredients. As our metabolism becomes slow and sluggish during the season, it is recommended to avoid heavy, oily, fried, junk, and sweet foods.
Create a Spring supportive diet by, avoiding cold, frozen meals and instead opt for warm. moist, fresh meals. Avoid excess intake of curd, yogurt, and cold drinks. Include more foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent qualities that support Kapha Dosha. Switch to warm gut supporting herbal teas instead of iced teas.
One of the best ways to boost your Agni is to have a nice warm cup of ginger tea. It not only boosts up your metabolism but also helps to cleanse and purify the entire body. Best suited for Kapha and Vata Dominants.
To make one cup of ginger tea add one tbsp of chopped ginger to 1 cup of hot water. Cover the cup and let it sit for about 2 mins, strain, and serve. Add honey once the tea gets lukewarm if you want it sweeter.
Here are some food recommendations to support health during the Spring season.
- Fruits and vegetables: peppers, Brussel sprouts, red leaf lettuce, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, cucumber, broccoli, carrots, celery, eggplant, mushroom, ginger roots, apples, pears, cranberries, pomegranate, apricot, raspberries, dried fruits, etc.
- Dairy and fats/oils: ghee, sesame oil, olive oil, (all in moderation), etc.
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, black beans, lentils, blacked-eyed peas, etc.
- Grains: corn, rye, millet, jower, etc.
- Sweeteners: Raw honey, rice syrup (in moderation), etc.
- Beverages: coffee (in moderation), dry wines, spicy chai tea, ginger tea, black tea, cinnamon tea, etc.
- Spices: All types of spice are generally favored during the spring season. You can add gut-supporting and healing spices like turmeric, ginger, tulsi, cardamom, cinnamon, etc to your meals.
Create a Spring supportive lifestyle
To enjoy the spring season in full health we must actively create and adapt to a spring supportive lifestyle. The following tips will help you adapt to this warm season.
A daily routine
Dinacharya, The daily routine allows us to bring stability to our daily life. It fixes our circadian rhythm and helps to regain balance. Practices specifically recommended in the season are,
- Udvartana (Dry Powder Massage)
- Gandush (Oil Pulling),
- Tongue Scraping
Start your day early along with the sun, follow the daily routine, and retire to bed early to get the right amount of undisturbed sleep. Adjusting to a routine helps the body slowly adapt to the changing extremities.
Spring is the season of Kapha. Our body becomes naturally heavy during this season. Lethargy seeps in and tiredness soon follows. The absolute best way to fight this off is by working out. Now, this doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, it could be anything from a yoga flow, a dance sesh, a jog, Suryanamaskara, or a good workout sesh in the gym. Make it interesting and lively. Working out balances Kapha dosha fights unhealthy fats, keeps you active throughout the day, and also releases happy hormones like dopamine.
An additional tip is to work out in the Kapha hours of the day, that is early in the morning and evenings.
Sleep is a pillar of health. It is absolutely necessary to get six to seven hours of undisturbed sleep. Avoid oversleeping and sleeping during the day as it further triggers Kapha Dosha and also makes you feel heavy and lethargic. Create a routine and stick to it.
Spring is the season of new beginnings. It is when the seeds are germinating and there’s hope for a harvest. Spring comes with happiness, joy, and shades of glory. It is a perfect time to sit with ourselves and welcome change. Try the beautiful practice of mindfulness and learn how to meditate here.
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