Ayurvedic practises to add a spring to your step
One of my favourite lessons in Ayurveda is that our internal landscape reflects mother nature’s shifts in season, so it’s important to adopt a seasonal routine to align ourselves with the external weather pattern that our physiology is attuned to.
In Ayurveda there are three, not four seasons. At present, we in Australia are transitioning from Vata (winter) to Kapha (spring). Vata is characterised by the body scrambling to protect itself from dropping temperatures by way of slowing the metabolic rate and storing fat. When winter eventually fades away and spring becomes present in the world around us and the world inside of us, the pattern shifts – the body begins to melt the stored fat and toxins from tissues, releasing them into the blood stream, just as snow would melt from a mountain top and pour into a river.
During spring, our physiology senses a natural opportunity for a fresh, clean start; our bodies are primed to lighten things up, cleanse ourselves of any accumulated imbalances of excess kapha dosha, and rejuvenate our deepest tissues.
Wake up early
Winter allows us that extra juicy time spent in bed in the mornings, because that’s what the body asks of us – but Spring means there is a lot of kapha to release from the body, and the best way to do this is to start that early rising. Helloooooooo beautiful sunrises!
Get out and about
Once you’re up early, head outside and go for a walk. Creating a little internal heat in the body will help to move kapha, and other vigorous exercise like jogging and light body weight training can also be introduced to burn kapha.
While this was included in the winter routine, tongue scraping should be practiced all year ‘round. It’s also worth mentioning, while on the topic of oral hygiene, to head to your local health food store and swap your regular plastic tooth brush for a recycled bamboo and natural bristle brush and parabeen, chemical free toothpaste. Your mouth, bank balance, and the environment will thank you for it!
Kapha soothing yoga asanas
After a hot shower, while the body is still warm, a few light sun salutations will stretch out the body while some light back bending will speed up the release of kapha. Try bridge, boat, camel, fish, cobra, lion, and cat poses, as well as spinal twists to massage the organs.
Avoid: Naps, air conditioning, large heavy meals, too much dairy, and morning swims.