Ayurvedic Practitioners often describe the transition from Winter to Spring as the most important transition of the year. Here is a little description of why… While Winter was a time of year when our environment became colder, damper, heavier and our days shorter, Spring is a time of new beginnings, beautiful renewal and growth. In nature, this equates to warmer, longer days and Spring rains (‘Winter melt’). In our bodies, the accumulation of this ‘Winter melt’ can mean allergies, spring colds or hayfever.
Because the transition from Winter to Spring often includes lots of change in our environment, we can feel a little ‘off-centre’ too. Taking good care of ourselves during this important transition and throughout Spring can have massive benefits for our physical and mental health. Here are the 6 things I’ve learnt from Ayurveda that are my go to’s for trying to stay balanced and healthy for maximum joy during Spring.
1. Natural Detox Time
The change of season from Winter to Spring is known as the best time for detoxing in Ayurveda. Winter can bring a natural increase in toxins and mucous in the body (and mind); we eat heavier foods to keep warm and spend more time on the couch. Ayurvedic Practitioner Dr Douillard says that as we move from Winter to Spring, the Winter microbes that are geared for keeping the body warm and digesting heavier foods transition to microbes that will facilitate fat burning, natural weight loss, stable mood and renewed energy. Yes!! The incredible wisdom of our bodies is working for us.
So, a gentle Spring Cleanse is the perfect way to assist the body’s natural process of removing any accumulated toxins from Winter.
2. What to eat during Spring?
Our liver is most active in Spring and we want to support it as much as we can. We naturally start to crave food that is lighter and easy to digest, that will cleanse and also promote strong digestion.
Typical detox foods in Ayurveda include: split yellow mung daal, a little basmati rice, green veggies and mild spices to assist with digestion. Make sure you include plenty of bitter, pungent and astringent foods (such as ginger and dark leafy greens) as they help to clear excess mucous and moisture.
3. What to drink during Spring?
Herbal teas that contain root vegies, like ginger and turmeric are great as they boost immunity and help rid the body of accumulated mucous and toxins. ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi teas both support your immune system, and also contain powerful adaptogens, promoting healthy stress resilience. My two favourite ORGANIC INDIA teas for Spring are:
- Tulsi Ginger Turmeric: A great blend to support immunity and the liver, deliciously blended with ginger and cinnamon.
- Tulsi Cleanse: This is an amazing blend that includes Tulsi, Turmeric, Ginger and some very(!) bitter detox herbs: perfect to support the body’s healthy detoxification process by optimizing liver and kidney functions.
P.S. Another added benefit from sipping hot water/herbal infusions throughout the day is the wonderful effect it has on your elimination 🙂
4. Protect against sinus issues
As mentioned, the ‘melting’ of Winter congestion or accumulations can mean that we end up with colds, hayfever and allergies. Hayfever has been my nemesis all my life! Here are the things that have really helped reduce the symptoms:
- Protect and soothe the mucous membranes by applying warm Cold Pressed Black Sesame Oil, or Nasya Oil (called Anu Oil) inside the nostrils.
- Keep immunity strong by including plenty of Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Vitamin C and Vitamin D: Read more immunity-boosting tips here.
- Reduce your exposure to known causes e.g. dust mites, pollen
- Strengthen digestion: The aforementioned cleanse will help reduce the severity of any sinus-related symptoms, reducing toxins and strengthening digestion.
5. Spring Yoga
To help us shake off the remaining Winter heaviness, get the circulation moving to sweat out accumulated toxins. A great Spring yoga practice can include an emphasis on poses that generate warmth and deep breathing (e.g. a series of Sun Salutations), backbends and forward bends that open the chest (e.g. Fish Pose, Wheel Pose and Camel Pose) to stimulate the kidneys and lungs.
6. Spring Routine
Because Spring (and especially the transition into Spring) is a time of change it can throw us off balance and make us feel a little anxious, scattered or irritable. Establish a routine that includes habits you know will keep you sane, grounded and healthy, and prioritise it!
My Spring routine will definitely include:
- Regular self massage with really warm Cold-Pressed Black Sesame Oil
- Feeling the gentle Spring sun on my face as I walk and breathe deeply.
What a gorgeous time of year!
Douillard, J. (2017). 10 Tips to Transition to a Spring Diet.
Marshall, N. (2013). Spring Detoxing, Ayurveda Style!
Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic Medicine: The Principles of Traditional Practice.