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Health Recommendations For Spring

Mindfully going through life's transitions is one of the best tools we have as spiritual seekers. A transition is seen as an opportunity where one can pause, assess where they are at and consciously decide how and where they are heading next. Physically, transitions induced by nature are also important to consider carefully, as our bodies are required to adapt to new routines; new light, new temperatures, new responsibilities and energies.

When preparing for a new transition, I like to look at what Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and the Vedic tradition say about them. In this article, I am sharing some of the things I have learnt and that I personally practice which I find helpful.

First of all, let's look at what Spring represents. In Ayurveda, late Winter-early Spring have Kapha-agravating qualities which means we are more susceptible to feeling allergies, to mucus forming in the respiratory tract and joint discomfort caused by dampness and coldness. These can heighten feelings of lethargy and lack of motivation. Late Spring-early Summer have Pitta-agravating qualities which means that we are more prone to inflammation such as rashes and headaches and heightened feelings of frustration and impatience. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring is associated with the liver. The liver is responsible for the metabolism of fat, detoxification of drugs, breaking down carbohydrates and producing heat for the body.

Ayurvedic expert Vasant Lad refers to Spring as the ‘King of the seasons’, and in the Yogic text the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna reveals himself with various attributes:

“I am the Soul in the body, the Mind in the senses, the Eagle among birds, the Lion among animals. Among all the trees I am the sacred Bodhi tree, and of the seasons, I am Spring”. 

Support Your Liver

  • The liver is the organ relating to emotion in Chinese Medicine theory. Releasing negative emotions (such as anger, frustration and impatience) from this organ helps us to feel reinvigorated and ready for new beginnings. Try something new or refocus your energy on a goal that you may have let slip.

  • The liver opens into the eyes. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time and do eye exercises.

  • The liver controls the tendons, so get moving!

Get Moving

  • Gentle, low-impact exercise is best for this season. Regularity in your exercise is what will have the biggest impact, think: daily walks outside, dancing, hiking, Yoga. Socialising while exercising by going to group classes will also help to increase motivation and lightheartedness.

  • April's online Yoga series, called Spring Rejuvenation, will be all about relevant exercises to help us transition from Winter into Spring with a focus on detoxification, renewal of our energy, rejuvenation and hydration of our tissues.

Eat Light, Fresh Foods

  • As Winter is all about root vegetables, stews, soups; Spring brings about the fresh foods that are starting to emerge out of the ground. Prioritise seasonal, local, organic food. Go to your local farmers market and be curious and creative with the foods you find there!

  • Liver energy is green, just like spring. Activate and nourish your liver Qi (what we would call Prana in Yoga) by adding fresh green and sour foods, such as green leafy foods, to your diet.

Add Herbs & Spices to Strengthen Your Digestion

  • Ginger, pippali, cumin, coriander, and fennel are useful, and can also be made into a tea. A particularly effective tea for relieving heaviness and bloating after meal times consists of cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger.

Prioritise Routine & Proper Sleep

  • This is a constant recommendation for every season! Staying grounded in your routine is important during transitions. As the elements around us change, being well anchored in our routines will help us get through the transition more smoothly.

  • You may wish to (or have to) review your routine slightly, as this a new season with new considerations. So plan ahead, take time reflecting and implementing these new habits you wish to add to your routine. Journaling or creating vision boards are helpful.

  • Every year, we are forced to go through two time changes, which is highly disrupting. To our bodies, it has the same effect as being jetlagged from travels and it takes just as long to adapt. There are studies showing that every Spring, heart attacks increase by approx. 20% on the day after the time change due to taking an hour out of their sleep, and are reduced by approx. 20% (on the day after the time change) every Fall when we gain an hour of sleep!

  • Good sleep hygiene is the. most. important. thing. for your health (if you are interested in improving your sleep, my Yoga Nidra: Divine Sleep series will help and can be found in my membership portal, as well as this article)

Rise With The Sun

  • How you sleep depends on how you wake up! Start your day with the sun. As spiritual seekers it is even recommended to wake up one hour before sunrise to do your sadhana (daily practice) so that towards the end of your practice you can be illuminated by the gentle sunrise light. Within the first hour after sunrise, go outside for a short walk, get that gentle sunlight into your eyes - which will regulate your circadian rhythm.

The Potential of Spring - Journaling Prompts:

  • Spring is Detoxing - What do I wish to let go of that was serving me during Winter but no longer needed? What are 3 things I can stop or quit that are not feeding my soul?

  • Spring is Rejuvenation - What are 3 things I can implement into my routine that will support my highest Self? What have I learnt from the past few months that will help me keep building my higher vision?

If you wish to go deeper with me as your guide, in an online group setting, you can join April's online Yoga series: Spring Rejuvenation 🌞 🌱

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