Stay Healthy This Spring!
Ayurveda is all about balance – how to know if you have it, how to achieve it and how to keep it. One of the most important things you can do to stay in balance is to keep in tune with the calendar. As the seasons slide by, the body’s needs also slowly change. Ayurveda has come up with a scheme to fine tune your diet and lifestyle practices to stay in harmony with the changes in nature. Ritucharya, the science of seasonal rhythms, is based on the weather outside the window and the effect that it will have on the body’s patterns of health.
Ritucharya is based on an awareness of the climate, not on calendar months or dates. If spring comes early, your program will change to the spring routine a little early too. For example, if the weather is warming up, gradually increase the amounts of cooling foods in our daily meals to compensate. On the other hand, if there is still a nip in the air and the nights are cold enough to make you think about a blanket, the routine suggested for the spring season should not be adopted just because it is March. Just as one season blends progressively into the next, merging gracefully, so should our dietary and living habits slip from one to the other without a hitch.
Spring is a time of changes – so much so that the transition from winter to spring is one of the most difficult and stressful shifts we go through all year. Winter, with its cold weather, gradually gives way to the increasing warmth of summer.
Your goal this spring will be to stabilize your health and make sure you are detoxified from the stored products of our sedentary winter metabolism. Your health strategy will be to stay warm, get moving, and lighten up your life. After all, you’ve been hibernating all winter, so this spring, concentrate on cleansing foods and teas. Spring is the time to eat a balanced diet and to begin the gradual transition to the cooler summer diet.
Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes clean out your tissues. Delicious, with a mildly bitter taste, leafy green vegetables, leeks, lettuce, okra, parsley and spinach are considered cleansing foods in Ayurveda. Artichoke flower would normally be consumed as a vegetable, but the raw globe can also be juiced. Astringent or “puckery” foods, like berries and grapes, especially green ones, can help with detoxifying, too. The warming herbs ginger, basil and coriander keep the later chill away.
Add to that some invigorating massage to get the blood circulating, and nice warm baths, saunas and warm herb rubs to revitalize and stimulate the tissues.
I wish you all a healthy Spring!
~Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa