Spring is upon us and as the seasons change so should our diet and activities. Whilst the winter months ask for more settling and hibernation, Spring is the time to cleanse ourselves of that, making ourselves feel lighter in energy before summer hits.
Ayurveda is all about bringing ourselves in to balance, balancing out the effect of the seasons as well as internal and external influences.
Here are some great tips to help you get started:
1) Add more bitter vegetables, herbs and spices to your diet. In spring we start to strengthen and clean out the liver and Bitter foods are said to help a struggling liver. “Bitter herbs cause a reflexive secretion of gastric juices and tone the muscles of the digestive tract. They also support detoxification by helping the liver process incoming nutrients and filter impurities from circulation.” Nadya Andreeva
Examples of bitter foods are: Turmeric, Bitter Gould, Spinach, Kale, Chard, Broccolli and Watercress
2) Flush Your System with Liquids In Winter our bodies tend to retain liquids – making us feel heavier, and a bit lazier, so in Spring we want to flush that out. Starting your day with plenty of warm water will help that. Try drinking 750ml of water with the juice of half a lemon or lime each morning before you consume anything else. Your body builds up toxins throughout the night so in the morning, before we add to them we want to cleanse them from the body.
How: Warm water with lemon each morning, and a glass of water one hour before each meal. Sip on Ginger tea to stimulate movement of energy and digestion.
3) Add spice to your Meals Add some spice to meals to help stimulate energy within the body. Spices detoxify your lymph, blood, kidneys and bowels.
Examples are chilli powder, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds etc.
4) Get Moving As toxins are stored in the body, within our muscles, in our fat cells, in our joints we want to exercise all of these things to allow the toxins to be eliminated. The key is to get moving every single day. If all you do is sit – even for just one day, it gives the toxins a chance to manifest and settle within the body.
Allow the energy to move through your body - Come to yoga! If you can’t make it then do 10 rounds of sun salutes at home.
Go for a walk outside at lunchtime and breath in the fresh air. Walk to work instead of taking the train. There are so many ways to incorporate movement in to your life.
If you don’t think you can do it then join the One Month Transformation happening at Yoga Village in September. You will receive recipes, cooking tips and yoga practice tips to help you stay on track and keep motivation high. For more details click here.
5) Body Brush & Oil Massage Before your shower each day use a natural body brush in circles over your skin to stimulate detoxification within the skin cells. Before bed give yourselves an oil massage using coconut oil or almond oil, again using large circular movements all over the body.
6) Introduce a little more raw food to your diet. Whilst winter is a time for warm food (stews soups etc) in Spring we need to combine those cooked foods with something raw. With each meal add either a small raw salad, or a piece of juicy sweet fruit to create that balance between winter and summer.
7) Get outside and breath! Whilst we don’t want to expose ourselves to too much sun we do need vitamin D to help the energy levels. Try to get 10 minutes of sun each day to help build up after a season of being inside. Breath the fresh air deeply in to your lungs!