Spring Into Healthy Living: Detox Season with Sri Sri Ayurveda
Spring Detox & Healthy Living
Spring has sprung. from the blossom of snowdrops and crocuses to the chattering of birds, Where days are filled with more warmth and light, enjoying the energy that’s no longer needed to fight off the drowsiness of long nights.
Spring is a time of new beginnings. This is a time when nature, once again, comes to life as flowers bloom, birds sing and people generally feel more energized. Often the first signs of spring, especially after a long cold winter, are described as God himself breathing new fresh life into his creation. In fact, Lord Krishna [in the Bhagavad Gita] explains when describing himself, “I am the Soul in the body, the mind in the senses, the eagle amongst birds and the lion amongst animals. Among all the trees I am the sacred bodhi tree, and of the season, I am spring.” More simply, spring is the king of all seasons.
Similarly, Ayurveda is an ancient science of healthy living and takes into consideration the whole person. According to these teachings, every aspect of our life contributes to our overall health. By understanding that we are a miniature reflection of nature, we should live accordingly – in accordance with the natural rhythms of life; i.e. seasons.
One of science’s fundamental principles is that macrocosm (outer world) and microcosm (our individual body/ mind) are closely related. As weather changes in nature, our body as well undergoes changes from season to season. According to Ayurveda, spring is the Kapha season, and its qualities mimic those in nature: heavy, wet, cool, and thick. Kapha represents both solidity and sturdiness and the wet juiciness that lubricates the joints after the windy, dry, bone-chilling Vata months of fall and winter.
What Is Kapha?
Kapha is the manifestation of Water and Earth in the human being. When the mix is right, you get strong bricks full of empathy and kindness. A person that is grounded and of a strong build. Look for thick, slow-moving limbs and a slow voice. Kapha types take action slowly and deliberately, and process new material slowly, even when they are brilliant. But when the mix of water with the earth is wrong, you get phlegm, dampness, edema, fluids where there should not be fluids like watery eczema, athlete’s foot, excessive vaginal discharge, laziness, clogging, dealing with conflict by withdrawal, holding on to things that are no longer useful.
Why are Late Winter and Early Spring a time of Kapha Elevation?
In nature, Kapha season is the time when the snow melts and the rivers rage and flood. The ground is moist. So the principle to pacify Kapha is to keep things dry and sufficiently warm. It is still cold out, and not yet hot. During Kapha season, or any rainy season, Kapha becomes elevated, We are affected by climate but when there is an excess of Kapha in the body—the result of diet, lack of exercise, too much sleep, too much of everything throughout the long winter impact the digestive capacity of the body.
The digestive capacity ( Agni) It is best in the winter season. It decreases when the heat outside increases and Kapha inside the body increases in the spring season. When digestive capacity is balanced, we create healthy tissues, eliminates waste products efficiently which further leads to physical and emotional strength, strong immunity and key to the feeling of an optimal state of well being. On the other hand, if Agni is weakened, digestive capacity is compromised which further lead to accumulation of toxins in the form of improperly digested food waste material in the body collectively known as Ama.
Detoxification is the natural process of the body to reduce Ama. However, in addition to the impact of weather change on the body, several other factors like poor diet, allergies, stress, infections, preservatives, pollution make the natural detox process compromised. Therefore, Spring is a highly advisable season for detoxing accumulated toxins of winter and preparing the body for summer.
Here is the guide to detox and revitalize your body in the Spring:
1. Bitter the Better
• Add a little bitter to your taste. Green tea, dandelion green tea, milk thistle tea with a pinch of cayenne pepper aid in the liver to cleanse & cleanses the blood. Incorporate light cooked grains with steamed vegetables like cabbage, broccoli or kale and enhance them with onion, garlic, chill pepper, black pepper and variety of spices like fennel, cumin, coriander to improve digestion.
2. Water is your friend
• Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. In this season especially ginger water and honey water is highly recommended to improve liver functions, enhance natural immunity of the body.
How to make ginger water:
• Take 2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger. Boil 6 cups of water. Add ginger to water and remove the water from the stove. Allow the ginger to steep in for 15 minutes, filter the water and drink during the day.
• Take one tablespoon of honey and put into lukewarm water and drink empty stomach.
3. Spring Exercise Yoga & Meditation
Exercise can be supportive in countering the heaviness of the season. Any sort of physical activity will increase the heat of the body, improve circulation and make you sweat, giving you a lightness in the body which will help to balance Kapha. Regular exercise and avoid sleeping in the daytime can help to prevent Kapha accumulation. Exercise appears to have the advantage of being able to jump-start the immune system, and that can help reduce the number of colds one gets. With exercise, the number and aggressiveness of certain immune cells, such as the ones called natural killer cells, increase by as much as 50% to 300. This is a good time of year to push yourself into physical activities. Just be mindful of your body’s strength and constitution at all times. You can consider jogging, cycling, swimming or hiking. Try to do your physical activities in the morning between the hours of 6 and 10am. Or if your schedule doesn’t allow that, you can do so in the evening from 5 to 7pm. Yoga in spring is more or less the same as is recommended in the winter season because of the predominance of Kapha. In spring focus should be more on cleansing the lungs, heating up the body, stretching the muscles and holding the poses according to your strength.
Include the following poses in your routine. Sun Salutation Warrior Pose I, II + Reverse Forward Bends + Backward Bends Cobra Pose Dancer pose Cow Pose Bhastrika + Kapalbhati Pranayama At the end of your yoga session do savasana (corpse pose) to relax your mind and body.
A simple meditation technique after yoga poses is helpful to clear emotional toxins and enhance the body ’s own healing capacities by unwinding the mind from deep-rooted stress.
Take 10 minutes of abdominal breaths followed by 10 minutes of meditation is an effective way to bring harmony to body and mind.
4. Some ME time
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils. Formulated to balance specific skin and dosha types, Herbal massage oils not only lubricate but also purify the skin. They have a balancing effect on the mind and body. They promote the appearance of smooth, youthful skin; and they support vitality and healthy circulation.
This season revive your body with self-massage techniques using mustard oil or castor oil or almond oil. Let it be absorbed for 30-45 minutes and then take a dip in a warm Epsom salt bath.
This is an ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation of the body. Panchakarma treatments like Vamana (induced emesis), Nasya (nasal insufflation) and other therapies clear the body channels of excess Kapha dosha and ama (undigested food) which gets accumulated during winter. This then rekindles the Agni (digestive fire) and helps the body to prevent allergies, hay fever, colds and sinus congestion. contact or visit srisriayurveda.de to learn/know which panchakarma procedure would be best for you.
It sounds basic but decluttering your space will help you declutter your mind. It is said that the body is the temple of the mind, and it’s much easier to clean the temple of the body and mind when the literal temple of the home is clear. Get new air-purifying plants like basil, Friedenslilie and increase the amount of fresh green things in your living space.
7.Fast from Unhealthy Habits
It’s no surprise to Ayurveda that lent is such a widely practised ritual during the spring season. To create feelings of lightness, break free from daily habits or lifestyle activities that are holding you back from becoming the best, most balanced and vibrant version of yourself. Try giving up just one thing that will serve you while being like swearing e.g staying up late, or your caffeine addiction and give a try to Curcuma latte. Not sure what to give up? It’s usually that which you’re most resistant to giving up that will bring the sweetest rewards.
Things To Avoid Or Minimize In Spring
1. Heavy vegetables like sweet potato, squash, avocado and cucumber.
2. Avoid overeating or snacking in between meals.
3. Heavy, deep-fried, reheated food, canned food, frozen food.
4. Have less intake of sweet, sour and salty tastes.
5. Avoid heavy fruits like oranges, bananas, pineapple, dates, melons and mangoes.
6. Eat less red meat, especially beef and pork. Also, eat less seafood which increases Kapha.
7. Avoid cold and hard to digest food like ice cream, refrigerated foods and chilled drinks.
With the change of season, the body tends to develop endurance to it. Spring is the recommended time as per Ayurveda to know your predominance of doshas, to plan detox, and lifestyle as per the requirement and suitability of the body composition in order to have good physical mental emotional and spiritual health.
We at Sri Sri Ayurveda are committed to delivering authentic Ayurveda and holistic care. Enjoy Spring 🙂