Spring is not only officially here from a calendar perspective, but many areas around the country are starting to have warmer temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s like we had here in Kansas City this past weekend.
With this external seasonal shift, you’ve probably been feeling some cues to make a few internal shifts as well. Likely you’re shedding your heavy sweaters for a lighter jacket or beginning to integrate a few more salads in place of warmer soups and stews.
These internal cues from your inner intelligence are part of what guides you stay in sync with nature’s rhythms. And you can use Ayurvedic medicine to help you pinpoint even more specifically what changes will be optimal for you and your unique needs during this season.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, spring brings in more of the Kapha life force with its elements of water and earth.
It is a time when we naturally want to start cleansing and clearing from our winter hibernation. And a week or two of a full cleanse can be a nice part of a spring shift – if it is a balanced cleanse and you have the mental and physical space set aside to support it.
If you are interested in a guided cleanse, feel free to use the Complimentary 30 minute Wellbeing Session to explore options with me that would best fit your needs.
And, if a full cleanse isn’t in your cards, try out the tips below to add some lightness to help counter the heaviness of the season.
10 Ways To Lighten Up Your Spring
One of Kapha’s core qualities is the heavy characteristic. Heavy shows up in foods, excess sleep, lack of activity, emotions and clutter and too many things in your space around you.
The following are different ways to counter the heavy nature to lighten your body, mind and spirit.
- Build in a some meatless meals: animal proteins are heavier than vegetable proteins and foods. Consciously cutting back on animal protein and emphasizing more whole plant-based foods is a simple way to lighten the load on the digestive system. Find the amount that fits you and your family – whether it’s once a day or once a week.
- Have a lighter evening meal as early as you comfortably can. Unless you work a nighttime shift, you likely have most of your energy needs during the day and, as such, do not need a large evening meal to fuel your bodymind needs. Another simple way to lighten up through food is to have your bigger meal at the noonish hour and have a lighter, early evening meal. Having it early will allow for a longer natural fast between your dinner and breakfast.
- Swap out some of your heavier nuts for seeds. Both nuts and seeds are healthy sources of fat, but seeds offer a lighter version. I favor buying them raw and then toasting them myself in a cast-iron skillet or toaster oven. My favorite crunch toppers are pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) or sunflower seeds.
- Try a vegetable based sauce instead of an oil based dressing. I have three go to sauces that I use on salads, vegetables, dals or legume dishes, and as dips: Cilantro Chutney, Avocado Dressing, and Zucchini Herb Sauce. I find that swapping out sauces gives a nice flavor zing to the food and supports feeding all 6 of the tastes to help you be more satisfied.
- Take advantage of the sun shift to get up earlier. Kapha governs the morning hours from about 6-10 am, depending on the time of the year. If you sleep too far into this Kapha time, you will tend to feel groggier and mentally heavier throughout the day. Getting up slightly before or with the sun counters this and will give you a nice energy boost – provided you’ve gone to bed early enough!
- Honor the urge for a bit of spring cleaning. Whether it’s re-organizing a closet, taking the car into the car wash, or doing a deep dive on your kitchen – clearing out the debris is another way to take a layer of Kapha energy off. The key here is to chunk the projects down to avoid creating any overwhelm. Start with what’s easy or that you’re drawn to. Then set a timer for a time amount that allows you to complete or make good progress on a project without depleting you, such as an hour.
- Clear the paper clutter. Many communities offer a big recycling event this time of year following taxes where you can take old papers to shred for free or a reduced cost. If you haven’t made the conversion to storing your documents electronically yet, this is a great time to clear out the papers you can now dump.
- Use the mantra Om Namah Shivaya to let go and create way for the new growth. Om Namah Shivaya is a prayer addressed to Lord Shiva, the Hindu version of God or your Divine Self in the form of transformative power. Since the process of creation is really a series of stages that includes gestation, birth, maturation and destruction – chanting this mantra taps into the energy of change along with the element of letting go to the Divine. This mantra can help to clear up energetic energy in terms of karma and emotional debris, and make way for the new to attract more positive relationships and conditions to your life.
- Let go of the worries of the day before bed to clear your mental clutter. If you don’t make space to process your day, it can carry over into the subconscious and disrupt your sleep. Taking 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to write out or journal things that are still cycling in your mind helps to process the experiences and clear the mental clutter so you can rest and restore more deeply during your nighttime slumbers.
- Move. Kapha is increased by being sedentary. If you have a desk job, ideally get up and move for 5 minutes every hour. On top of that, get 30-40 minutes of some form of exercise or movement that fits your body type and feels fun and enlivening 4-5 times a week.
Lastly, check in with your own inner wisdom and see what you are called to do this time of year.
What inspires you to be and feel your best this season?!
Copyright © 2011 to present Jamie Durner, Holistic Wellbeing Coach @ abundantyoucoaching.com. All rights reserved.
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