Hey are you ready for spring?
By now most folks are MORE than ready. In fact by now they’ve started making plans, maybe doing a little early spring shopping, planning for those holidays and garden parties.
And even though wellness might be the low man on the totem pole (a few pegs below frolicking in daffodils), it makes sense to think about how you’ll tackle all that fresh and flowering fun this spring, free of colds, flus, allergy symptoms and all the usual suspects that tend to rain on our parades this time of year.
Keepin it simple… and real
It hasn’t taken me long as a wellness pro to work out that one of the biggest reasons we struggle with maintaining our wellness is that…getting there often feels pretty complicated.
Figuring out what to eat… and what not to eat, how and when to exercise, as well as all the other things that go into making life healthy is often more than most people are willing to battle with. So how bout we make it simple.
Why? Because Ayurveda knows how to do simple! Five elements, three doshas, etc., etc. it’s all a way of simplifying our experience of the world around us so that we can feel empowered to take preventative steps rather than getting bogged down, confused or seduced by wellness industry claims and caveats.
So with that in mind, consider this…
Feeling good through spring comes down to this simple three word mantra…
Dry, Light, Stimulating
Yep, just those three. Sound too good to be true? Let me explain.
Spring, which is known as the King of Seasons in Ayurvedic circles by the way, is typically a time of year that can be characterised as cool, damp and a little heavy, something you probably already know because of the way it shows up as congestion, heaviness and bloating in the body and maybe even a little dullness or sluggishness in the mind.
So early on, it makes sense to counterbalance the heavy, slow, and damp qualities with their opposites… light, dry and stimulating!
We’ll start here cause it’s one that can be the most confusing.
How can you infuse a little more dryness into your life?
Did I mention the other thing I love about Ayurveda is that it challenges us to broaden the way we see and think about things?
Why not start by choosing foods that are a little less “sloppy” (sorry only word that really gets to the point) and more crisp and fresh. Fruits and veggies with an astringency to them, apples, cranberries, pears, pomegranates, dried fruits, green leafy anything, cauliflower and broccoli… beans and legumes. Also things like crackers (the lighter types made with things like flax and chia), popcorn and foods that are roasted or baked (less stewed stuff) will fit the bill.
You might also throw a little dry wit or humor into the mix (I’m not even kidding). Check out English comedies like… Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, The Office, or if you’re brave enough… League of Gentleman.
Ditch the comfort foods and lighten up a little. Salads, bitter greens (bitter anything), light soups, lighter grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet), go vegetarian if you’re not already or even vegan for a few days or weeks (dairy and meat are the heaviest foods).
Choose light colors, and where appropriate lighter fabrics. Take advantage of the sunlight hours by spending time out in the fresh air every day!
And of course spring wouldn’t be spring without a good spring clean out. Lighten up your load by getting rid of the things that you don’t need. Take your lead from wonderful books such as The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and keep only what makes you feel joyful.
Approach the task and every choice with an intention of creating lightness and space in your mind, body and life.
This one’s my favorite in part because you’ll be able to feel the effects pretty much immediately.
From a food standpoint stimulating would apply to things that are spicy and warm, so the liberal use of spices like chili, pepper, and ginger are definitely called for during the spring. It’s a great time for light, spicy, brothy soups and chili roasted veggies.
You’ll also want to seek out stimulating activities and exercises. Now is the time to push outside of your comfort zone. Opt for more dynamic style yoga classes, and things like jogging, biking or dancing and breathing exercises like Kapalabhati and ujjayi breath.
And why not make the choice to engage in stimulating conversation, listen to upbeat music, create projects that stimulate and challenge your thinking or maybe even hang out most with the people in your life that truly make you feel alive!
So, right now, even before the first sign of a sniffle or cough, devote this little mantra to your mind-body memory and consider how, in a ridiculously simple way, you can take a few powerful steps towards a drier, lighter and more stimulating and balanced spring.
And if you’re ready to get started leave a comment below with your thoughts(and plans) for staying happy and healthy during this king of seasons!