If you’re at all involved in the yoga world, chances are you’ve heard of Ayurveda. That's because yoga and Ayurveda are meant to go hand in hand. Yoga in the traditional sense is meant to lead to mental clarity and wellbeing. Ayurveda serves to bring wellbeing to the entire body, mind, and sprit.
It is all about balance, and giving yourself what you need based on your specific body type, the time of year, the time of day, and whatever other factors are affecting your wellbeing. With that, there is no set prescription from Ayurveda that will improve your life, because what you need can change from day to day.
For example, the shift from winter to spring can drum up changes in our bodies, our energy, and our dietary needs.
Springtime and Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, spring has the qualities of heaviness, dullness, coolness, and oiliness—all of which are considered to be an imbalance of the Kapha Dosha or body type.
While this seems to be in contradiction to the brighter, warmer days, and blooming plants around us, our bodies are essentially going through a process of shedding the weight of winter—both physically and mentally. All of this work leaves us feeling generally slow and stagnant.
But fear not, the following Ayurvedic tips can help make this transition a smooth one and leave you feeling a bit more energized and ready to embrace the beautiful rebirth and vibrance that nature is putting on display for us.
1. Go to a Vinyasa Yoga Class
Vinyasa classes are ideal for people who are Kapha dominant, or anyone who is experiencing a Kapha imbalance. These warm, energetic classes provide the perfect balance to feelings of sluggishness that you might be experiencing. While you may feel like you’re lacking the motivation or energy for this active form of yoga, it is this movement you need to get the stagnant energy moving.
2. Eat Light Foods
There may be a lot of days during the springtime when you don’t feel hungry at all. This is due in part to the work your body is doing to metabolize that excess weight it held on to during the darkness of winter.
Try and be responsive to this process by not continuing to overload your body with heavy foods. Aim for light foods like juices, vegetables, and beans. Limit red meat, nuts, and wheat. Think about taking in foods that increase energy and vitality.
3. Boost the Digestive Fire
The Agni, or digestive fire is the key to overall health, according to Ayurveda. In addition to eating light foods, there are a number of Ayurvedic practices you can try to stimulate digestion in spring.
Try starting the day with a cup of warm water with lemon, drink ginger tea following your meals, incorporate probiotics with fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha, practice twisting yoga poses, and make an effort to move more with walks, jogs, and whatever movement makes you feel alive. All of this will serve to support your digestion and rid yourself of anything making you feel stuck.
4. Practice an Energizing Breath
When you’re feeling fatigued, one of the easiest ways to revitalize yourself is through the breath. Try practicing Breath of Fire. Essentially, to do this breath, you take quick inhales and exhales through the nose while also contracting and releasing the stomach. This powerful breath has the potential to heat up the body and create vital energy.
5. Fill Your Home with Light
According to Ayurveda, it is not just the food we digest that affects us—the environment we live in also factors into our health. If we are feeling heavy and dull, a home that reflects this will only serve to increase those feelings.
So, in the spring time, aim instead to bring a sense of lightness and vibrance to your home. Open the blinds, bring in flowers, diffuse essential oils like eucalyptus and juniper, and choose artwork in hues of yellow and orange. Find ways to make your environment promote the way you want to feel.
The best analogy I’ve heard about Ayurveda is that just as you would put on an extra layer when you feel cold, we should give our bodies, minds, and spirits just what they need to feel comfortable. When spring leaves us feeling heavy, dull, and cold, we should aim to provide ourselves with light, vibrance, and heat.
With these tips, I hope you find the inspiration to energetically embrace spring and all the new beginnings it promises.
Image credit: Brittany Danielle