Ayurveda & Spring

What happens in our bodies & minds when the Spring is taking it over from the Winter...?      Where do we need to pay special attention in this time of transition, to be able to adjust to the changes wisely and smoothly...?
According to Ayurveda, the best way to create the sense of well-being is to live in harmony with the seasons. And in the time of changing of the seasons we need some extra support to maintain our (inner) balance. That's why it is good to give some special attention to our eating & lifestyle habits while we are leaving the Winter behind and welcoming the Spring.

According to Ayurveda, there are three principles (called Kapha, Pitta and Vata) which operate in the whole Nature and thus also in our bodies and minds. If these three principles (called doshas in Sanskrit) are all balanced, we feel happy and healthy. As everything in life, the interplay of the doshas is constantly changing. There are many factors influencing thieir balance, most importantly our daily routine, our diet as well as the seasons.

Winter is the time when the Kapha principle is most active. Early spring is the time when the Pitta principle is getting more active (reaching its highest level in the summer). Too much Kapha in the body in the springtime can increase or trigger different symptoms. That is why we often experience colds, coughs, sinus problems etc in this time of the year. It can also influence our digestive fire (Agni) and metabolism which can get less powerful. As a result we can suffer from spring fatigue, feel slow and tired or even depressed.

Thus, in this time of the year it is reasonable to take food that is not increasing Kapha and is helping to strengthen the digestive power. The main (warm) meal should be preferably eaten at the lunch time, because the digestive power is then the greatest. Besides that it's important to spend time outdoors and to get enough exercise, to keep the body moving and the mind refreshed.

A good way to activate digestion and metabolism is Kapha tea (see recipe below). Avoid cold drinks and take food which is not too heavy, rich or oily. Use less milk and cheese products (increases Kapha in the body and is hard to digest). Eat light and warm(ing) foods, as fresh as possible. Prefer more bitter, pungent and astringent tastes and less sweet, salty and sour tastes. Leafy green vegetables (spinach, collards etc) are perfect for this time of the year. Amazing how what we need the most in a specific season is often what the Nature provides, we just need to stay tuned in:)

Kapha tea  (hot ginger water with lemon and honey): 

Take 2-3 slices fresh ginger (or half a teaspoon of ground ginger), cook in half a liter of water, let it soak for about 10 minutes and take out the ginger. Add some fresh lemon juice and a little honey. (Important: add the honey only after the tea has cooled to below 40 °C).         You can also keep the water in a thermos and drink throughout the day. Enjoy! 

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