As winter melts away, our days are nourished by more sunlight and, along with the birds and bees, a sense of joy and possibility. Yet, although the sun warms our windows and inspires new growth, many of us carry the sluggish accumulated over through winter into the new season.
Markedly different to winter’s cold, dryness, spring is a season characterized by warmth (or at least less cold), moisture and a palpable softness. It embodies the heaviness of increased moisture, and it tends to feel slower than, summer or fall. Accordingly, it is ruled by the elements of water and earth—the qualities of Kapha dosha, which is the energy of stillness and stability. As with each of the doshas, too much of this heavy, dense energy and we find ourselves feeling stuck, congested and lethargic. Thankfully, the wisdom of Ayurveda can help us transition between these seasons and while promoting optimal health so that we can truly celebrate the gifts this season has to offer.
3 Tips to Transition from Winter to Spring:
1. Clear out your closet – Clean your house.
It sounds basic but de-cluttering your space will help you de-clutter your mind. They say the body is the temple of the mind, and it’s much easier to clean the temple of the body and mind when the literal temple of the home is clear. Get new plants and increase the amount of fresh green things in your living space.
2. Clean out your body.
Spring is the perfect time for a mild Ayurvedic cleanse to reduce toxins (ama) from winter. Since spring is ruled by the organs liver and gallbladder, it the perfect time to give those organs a break. It’s like an oil change for your body.
Try cutting out sugar, alcohol, excess dairy, caffeine, cooked oils and red meat for a week to give your body a break. The first three days are the hardest as your body adjusts to less stimulation. Increasing your intake of water, yoga, rest and alkaline foods (green veggies, fruits, whole grains, raw olive oil, avocados) can support this internal calibration—and getting a friend or partner to join helps, too! Winter is about sweet, heavy comfort foods. Now is the time to cleanse those out of the system to bring lightness and energy into the body.
3. Simply breathe!
The simplest is often the hardest. When we simplify our days, our desks, our dreams, we have more space just to be. To breathe, to rest, to delight in the moment. Find 10 minutes in your day to do pranayama (breathing practices) or just sit and do nothing. If you notice your feel feel tired, hot or swollen, put your legs up the wall and enjoy the natural rebalancing taking place within.