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Ayurvedic Routine For Springtime

Apr/07/2024 / by Sweta Vikram

What you can do to minimize allergies, lethargy, and congestion

South Asian woman doing yoga pose on a mat indoors
Photo via Shutterstock

Most of us look forward to spring after battling the dreary winter. But spring comes with its own challenges. Spring is closely linked to the Kapha Season in Ayurveda whose gunas or qualities (when in imbalance) might make us feel sluggish, puffy, lethargic, congested, unmotivated, and stagnated. This is the time people struggle with weight gain, allergies, lack of motivation, and mucus in the respiratory tract. 

As the snow and ice melt, kapha season offers dampness. Kapha individuals are most aggravated in cold and damp environments. There is also excess moisture because of the “wet quality” of kapha dosha. The air feels heavy and sluggish because of the stagnation. There is a dullness in the environment. Let’s not forget the past few weeks when the temperatures were low. 

Spring is the season of new beginnings. It’s time to “lighten up” and make space for growth, clean out your insides and outsides. But Ayurveda tells us that like increases like. So, if you are predominantly kapha prakruti or constitution, the qualities of kapha (slow, steady, moist, smooth, oily, cool, heavy) will be expressed in your mind and body. 

Ayurveda offers empowering routines for the springtime that can shake off the kapha heaviness and dullness, and create a feeling of optimism and lightness in your mind and body.

Rise With The Sun

The peace, the reflections, and the quietude are priceless at the start of the day. Get in some mindful movements and soak in the sun rays. If it’s cold where you live, layer up and get outside. Spend a few minutes walking outdoors and inhaling fresh air, thoughts, and perspectives. This can be very helpful to fight the stagnation and feeling of being stuck, especially in kapha season.

Scrape Your Tongue

Growing up in an Indian home, tongue scraping was ingrained into our daily routine. This is a habit I recommend to all my clients, no matter where they live. Use a copper tongue scraper to gently graze your tongue from back to front to remove all the dead cells, bacteria, and debris.

Tongue scraping, or jihva prakshalan, is a traditional part of Ayurvedic self-care practice that reduces stagnation, removes debris, eliminates ama, and cleans out the surface of the tongue. Tongue scraping also supports healthy digestion and gently stimulates your internal organs. 

Start Your Day With Warm Water

Instead of getting a cup of tea or coffee first thing in the morning, have a mug of warm water instead. Eventually, sip on warm water throughout the day. This kindles digestion and helps eliminate ama, or undigested materials that become toxins. Drinking warm water in the morning helps to flush toxins from the body, assists with bowel movements, and cleanses your intestines.

Embrace Movement And Breathwork

I love physical activities, but kapha season throws me off. I find myself asking, “Do I really have to move today?” One of the ways to lower kapha imbalance and mitigate the season’s stickiness, lethargy and dullness is to melt away that sense of heaviness through movement.

You want to practice “heating” yoga asanas to keep things moving. Sun salutations can help remove sluggishness. Malasana (deep squat pose) is also great for complete evacuation during bowel movement. The damp and heavy qualities of spring can make the agni sluggish. So do kapalbhati to stimulate agni and clear out sinuses. Surya bhedana, or right nostril breathing, is another pranayama which can warm up the body.

Try Gentle Dry Brushing

Dry brushing or garshana is one of the best daily practices for kapha types and during kapha Season. It’s known for cleansing the lymphatic system and supporting the natural process of body detoxification. It increases circulation, promotes weight management, eliminates excess mucus, and removes dead skin. Garshana also unclogs pores and removes stagnation.

Avoid Heavy Foods

Kapha’s qualities include heavy, cool, and oily. To maintain balance during spring, choose foods that counterbalance these qualities. This means transitioning from winter or vata season’s dense, heavy winter meals to light, dry, astringent preparations.

While you might be tempted to drink that milkshake or enjoy scoops of ice cream snuggled on the couch, this is the season to avoid heavy foods as they overburden the agni. Dairy products fall in that category. Try introducing more warming spices and herbs like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, tulsi, mustard seeds, and chili. Consume leafy greens like arugula, chard, spinach, and others.

Do a Khichdi Cleanse

Depending on who you work with, they might recommend a different duration. But try doing a three-day Ayurvedic khichdi cleanse and watch the bloating disappear. Khichdi gently cleanses ama out of our system and purifies the srotas or channels so that qi or prana or energy can flow unobstructed. This allows the body to heal. 

“Because we cannot scrub our inner body we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs, and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda.” ~ Sebastian Pole

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