Spring! Like a breath of fresh air, spring sailed in today and lightened my step.
In Ayurveda, spring is kapha season, same as winter, but while winter's kapha is informed by the cold vata of autumn, spring's kapha is influenced by the coming pitta fire of summer. Confused? Let's break it down a little more. Kapha is a blend of water and earth elements. In winter, water and earth are cold, frozen, and solid. As in nature, kapha begins to thaw in spring as the longer days bring warmth. Spring's kapha is full of movement, like melting snow and runny noses. It's time to shed excess accumulation and stagnation.
Balance is key. Ayurveda approaches disease from a standpoint of imbalance. To maintain health and wellbeing, we try and live in harmony with various cycles of nature, like the seasons. The idea is that "like increases like," so imbalance in spring looks like an accumulation of kapha from winter - excess weight and mucus, sluggishness, stagnation, water retention. Balance is found through breaking habits, making space in our minds and living spaces, seeking dry heat (like a sauna), and moving the body a lot to increase circulation and release toxins.
Your instincts to cleanse, purge, start new projects are exactly right. Think like a gardener - now is the time to plan, clean out the beds, add new soil, and plant seeds. If you rested like the earth throughout winter, you should feel a burst of energy now.
A healthy diet will be similar to winter - lots of bitter (greens, nettles), pungent (ginger, radishes, spice), and astringent (grapefruit, pears, quinoa) tastes, while taking care to decrease heavy foods and oils. Limiting sweet (breads, meat, desserts), sour (dairy), and salty (olives, cured meats) will help the body shed excess weight put on during the cold months.
Daily rituals for spring include waking up early (5-5:30am), vigorous exercise, and exfoliating skin.
Yoga poses that help the transition to spring include sun salutations, twists, and inversions.
I think many of us anticipate this season more than any other. We made it through another winter. Hello spring, you're here just in time!