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Welcome Spring!

By Mary Donovan

WED MAY 18, 2022

Like many people, I love spring! My sister, mother, great-aunt and I were all born in the spring - maybe that has something to do with it. Regardless, I love the warmer temperatures and how the colors of nature are so vivid. The grass and new leaves on the trees are bright green, flowers of every color begin to emerge, and when we're lucky the sky is a brilliant blue. What's not to love?

Oh, well maybe the unexpected return of winter-like weather or extreme weather changes (hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornados) and the aftermath of muddy yards and trails, power outages, and the like. Oh, and did I mention pollen and bugs?

So, as with the other three seasons, we take the good with the bad.

In Ayurveda (sister science to yoga) each season is comprised of different earth elements:

  • Summer = fire and water
  • Autumn = air and ether
  • Winter = air and ether
  • Spring = earth and water

During spring the earth becomes saturated with water via melting snow and ice and plentiful rainfall. The ground becomes heavy and dense as the water is absorbed. Seeds beneath the ground take in this water, then swell up, burst, and emerge from the ground as new life.

Ayurveda teaches that like attracts like so it's not surprising that our bodies can also feel heavy and dense in spring. We're coming out of fall and winter (both light, dry seasons) into an abundance of moisture and density. Fortunately, Ayurveda also offers suggestions for how to counter the excess kapha (from Sanskrit meaning "that which flouishes in water") in our bodies.

The "Spring Guide" (Banyan Botanicals) offers many ideas to support your body’s natural desire to purify and renew. It suggests favoring pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes and eating warm, light foods that are relatively easy to digest.

  • Consume lots of bitter greens (kale, mustard greens, dandelion greens, etc.), cabbage family vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), and spicy foods like green chilies to help rid your body of excess water and mucus.
  • Minimize consumption of dairy (which can be congestive) and red meat, pork, seafood, and duck.
  • In addition to being dense and moist, spring is also a cool season. Adding cold or chilled foods, such as ice cream and cold drinks, may cause an imbalance of kapha and a sense of lethargy. Instead, look for warmer foods like cooked grains, steamed vegetables and legumes.
  • Don't neglect exercise, which improves circulation, increases heat in the body and gives an overall feeling of lightness.
  • Many exercises, while beneficial, incorporate the same movements over and over (running, walking, swimming, elliptical trainer, etc.). While there are definite benefits to these types of exercise, movement practices such as Yoga asana (physical poses) and Pilates move your body in a variety of ways - forward folds, back bends, twists, side bends, and combinations. So mix it up!

Need help getting started? A group class or private one-on-one session may be just what you need! LEARN MORE