By: Tara Hoxha
As we learn to harness the magical energies of nature and live by and with each season, we experience a more balanced body, mind and spirit. Before we became industrialized as a culture, people have been looking to the seasons and living this way since the beginning of time! While winter is more about resting, self-reflection and going inward, spring acts as a sort of rebirth and renewal, full of abundance. It is the perfect time to DEtox and Declutter in order to release stored, stagnant energies from the winter, making space for things that serve us better. Always remember, our inside world is a direct reflection of our outside world, so it’s important to keep our body, mind AND our environment clean, clear and organized. It’s also an ideal time to take inspired action steps towards the things that we desire. Energized by longer days of sunlight and greener earth around us, spring is when we come out of our shells – figuratively and literally!
In Ayurveda (the science of life), there are 3 different Doshas that are made up of the 5 elements (earth, air, water, fire, ether). They are Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Doshas are disturbances that arise when the prana is out of balance within these elements. End of winter and most of spring are both Kapha-based in Ayurveda (water+earth elements), where everything seems wet and heavy in our internal and external world: snow, rain, runny noses, congestion, lethargy. One side effect or imbalance of cold weather is that acidity builds up in the body, weakening our immune systems and causing aches and pains. We can balance this by incorporating more alkalizing and detoxifying foods, such as broccoli, cucumber, kale, parsley, spinach and avocado. Spring relates to the liver and gallbladder, the organs that are essential in detoxifying the body. When thriving in combination, they are known to bring us increased life force energy (prana). Lemon also helps remove toxins and is an excellent tonic for the liver and gallbladder. Now is the time to start drinking more green juices and even simply having lemon in your water throughout the day!
Once we start to balance and energize Kapha, we will find great strength and endurance to ‘spring ahead’. Start [or revisit] a daily mindfulness practice such as reading sacred scriptures, pranayama, asana and/or meditation. Kapalabhati breath is cleansing and wonderful for balancing all of the doshas. It is especially powerful for excess Kapha because it is energizing and helps to clear the lungs, nasal passages and nadis. Most asana are balancing to all of the doshas as well. Practice simple sun salutations to invite heat, grounding and increased circulation. Twisting poses to help release stagnation in our organs. Warrior II is perfect for heat building and burning excess kapha, as are wide heart opening poses that bring space to the front of the body, where kapha lives.
Spring is a time for new beginnings, so why not pursue something creative? Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never made the time for! Or think of ways to serve your community: you can volunteer somewhere; become a mentor, or help clean up a park. Think of service as an energetic cleanse for your soul. Everything mentioned will raise your vibration and increase positive life force energy. The more we do these things day in and day out, we become that much closer to the divine, to our purpose and to achieving our hearts desires.