Thursday, March 20, 2014

7 Yoga and Ayurveda Tips in Spring

Happy first day of Spring!  This is the season where the winter cold starts to melt away and the blossoms begin to spring forth.  This is a natural time for cleansing and purification.  In Ayurveda this season relates to Kapha.  Kapha is the ayurveda constitution that has is strong, joyful, and stable when in balance much like nature in spring.  When a Kapha dosha is out of balance there will be an excess of phlegm, mucous, water retention, inflammation, and sometimes depression.

Due to the accumulation of Kapha in the winter months, people have a tendency to put on some extra weight (the winter coat), and even have a bit of mental dullness due to lack of sunshine or vitamin D.  In order to restore the balance of Kapha, here are some tips to add to your yoga and ayurveda practice:

  1. Cleanse - Warm water and lemon in the morning to detoxify the body and bring some more vitamin C to the cells.
  2. Purify - Neti Pot, for those allergy sufferers it is a good idea to get a neti pot and begin the practice of nasya, a natural method with flowing water to cleanse the nasal cavity.
  3. Stretch - Along with your regular yoga routine Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) be sure to add some squats (Uttkatasana, Malasana) these poses will fire up the energy in the legs to activate the lower chakras, and combine it with some back bending lunges for heart chakra opening movements.  Be sure to break a sweat in your asana, we want to get the body in a mode of cleansing, therefore, Spring is a wonderful season for Ashtanga.
  4. Breathe - Do some deep breathing, and embrace Kapalabhati (skull shinning) pranayama.  
  5. Nourish - Eat lighter meals, drink fresh juices, drink lots of water, and perhaps add some kitchari to your diet (legumes and rice).
  6. Eliminate - An additional way to eliminate toxins is to incorporate Triphala to get the bowels clean and free.
  7. Let Go - This is more important than anything.  Let go of the past, worry, judgement, the things that no longer serve you.  This is a time to clean and donate the clutter in your home, clean and forgive the clutter in your heart.  Forgiveness starts with yourself, so inhale love and exhale unforgiveness.  If you are in a toxic relationship or friendship - let it go and trust that Angels will watch over you for your days ahead.

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