Springtime: An Ayurvedic PerspectiveApr 27, 2022 06:54PM ● By Nicole Zornitzer
Ayurvedic Medicine teaches life in accordance with seasonal change and alignment of our bodies with the dynamic rhythms of the natural world. These environmental shifts create subtle and not so subtle fluctuations of the mind, body and spirit. It is important to be aware of how such change impacts our daily lives and therefore knowledge of our constitution (dosha) is important to best balance the body during change.
Springtime aligns with the kapha dosha, which in Sanskrit translates to “that which flourishes in water” as the season of spring brings rain and increased water in the environment. Depending upon one’s primary dosha, spring can either revitalize the body or create havoc in someone who is a kapha dosha by nature. For the individual, awareness of their primary dosha allows them to continue to balance the physical, emotional and mental bodies through proper mindful behaviors. Abiding by a seasonal diet creates an awareness of what measures should be taken during the transition into the beautiful season. To add lightness, sharpness, dryness and heat into our lives will support spring renewal and revitalization. One may notice an increase in the desire to eat lighter food which may include seasonal vegetables, fruits, and salads. The human body is naturally craving a cleanse of the system to better support balance.
To help eliminate the production of mucus and regulate moisture levels while improving the channels of elimination, an Ayurvedic counselor may suggest:
n Begin the day with a light breakfast that includes fresh fruit that is in season
n Lunch and dinner should be light, incorporating cooked grains, steamed vegetables, and legumes
n Drink room temperature water
n Consuming bitter greens, broccoli, and cauliflower
n Avoid heavy, watery vegetables such as avocado, olives, squash
n Do not overeat and avoid snacking between meals
n Minimize dairy consumption as this increases bodily mucus
Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga; therefore, we encourage a yoga asana practice that will emphasize a cleansing of the lungs and opening of the heart/chest. Examples of yoga asana that may be incorporated are:
n Side Arm Plank
n Spinal Rolls
n Supported Savasana on a bolster
n Pranayama (breathwork) that supports creating internal fire (i.e., Kapalabhati)
So, while it is exciting for many to leave the cold winter months, it is very important for our community to take appropriate self-care measures to maintain balance and wellness in the body. A personal sadhana practice that fluctuates with the seasons is essential in creating a healthy mind-body connection. Ayurveda, much as life, is a balancing act that requires the knowledge, the tools, and the acceptance of all these subtle shifts in the mind and body during seasonal change. It is essential to educate others on the importance of this information and encourage a peaceful transition through all phases of life.
Nicole Zornitzer, ERYT 1000, yoga therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Shala, located in Randolph, New Jersey; Upper Lake Mohawk in Sparta, New Jersey; Roseland, New Jersey; and Delray Beach in Florida. NiyamaYogaShala.com.