Never fear, Spring is almost here!
Through various yogic practices, whether asana or meditation, a result is an organic softening of the churning of the mind and the ability listen to, or observe, the body in its natural state.
As we tune into this season in particular, we might begin to crave the lighter, seasonal foods that clean out the heavier, warming, high-fat winter foods. We hold onto water just like the soil during the rainier months, and bitter roots begin to grow, which help clear our digestive system instead of carrying excess fats and fluids.
Springtime is when we burn off fats consumed to keep warm throughout winter, which is an efficient source of fuel (but is compromised when we consume loads of sugar) and provides us with the energy we need for the season. We can ensure this process is effective by eating as seasonally and locally as possible, and of course by practicing asana.
Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. John Douillard says, “Eat based on your hunger, not on your habit… This is not a deprivation plan, this is a natural process of burning fat.” Similar to yogic practices, when we eat in a relaxed and comfortable environment, our parasympathetic nervous system turns on and keeps our bodies and minds at ease.
He also suggests that we eat more spring-inspired, cooler foods on warmer days, and tune into the body on chillier days when winter foods might be more appropriate.
Dr. Douillard offers the following Ayurvedic eating and lifestyle practices for Spring:
- Eat more foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Bitter, Astringent / Light, Dry, Warm: such as flavorful steamed veggies, brothy soups, brown rice.
- Eat less foods that are Sweet, Sour, Salty / Heavy, Cold, Oily: such as fried foods, ice cream, heavy dairy.
- Self-massage with warm Lymphatic Massage Oil or raw sesame oil.
- Three or more times per day practice Bellows Breath: breathe quickly and with strength in and out through your nose for 30 seconds while expanding and contracting your diaphragm. Sit in silence for 1 minute.
- Exercise in the morning to increase circulation, mood and immunity.
At Hyde, we appreciate the balance of sukha (softness) and sthira (sturdiness), and so we enjoy incorporating a mix of vigorous flow-style classes and heart-pumping movement alongside restorative postures to open up after cuddling up during winter. Experiment with sun salutations or cardio as well as gentle yoga, light walks and stretching to discover practices that suit your body and mind to coincide with the upcoming season.
How does yoga define your [Springtime] experience?