Our spring retreat is just a little more than a month away, get a jump start on your own spring cleaning with these tips, and a recipe perfect for a springtime tea at the bottom. Visit YogaWithBritt.com for more!
Although the heavy spring rains aren’t convincing me that is, indeed, spring, I know it is. Generally speaking, the weather is getting kinder, and the evenings lighter… There is a lovely columnist, who writes for Yoga-Abode.com named Joanna Johnston. The following entry is written by her. Enjoy the spring, shed your winter coat, and any left over insulation if you are part bear :) … Even though it is 47degrees (yes, 47, as I write this in Vernonia). It IS Spring somewhere amidst this bristling wind. I just know it.
And, now, how to Spring into Spring... from Joanna Johnston and Yoga-Abode.com....
Spring is a time of increased warmth and wetness. Winter is predominantly a cold, damp season which causes kapha dosha to accumulate (earth and water elements). Now is the ideal time to reduce this build up of kapha (such as excess weight gain) to prevent feelings of sluggishness, as well as other kapha-related problems such as spring colds and hay fever.
TIPS TO STAY WELL THIS SPRING:
* Set your alarm for 7am at the latest; preferably earlier as sleeping later will further aggravate kapha. Massage your body with warm sesame or sunflower oil, followed by a warm shower. Dry skin brushing is excellent for stimulating lymph and reducing cellulite. Use firm sweeping strokes towards the heart to aid the elimination of fluid. Saunas can be a useful for drying up excess secretions.
* Practice vigorous exercise to get the lymph moving in the body, preventing congestive problems. It is also one of the best ways to stimulate a sluggish digestion and aid detoxification. Make your yoga practice dynamic and stimulating. Sun salutations are ideal as they build up heat, working all the major muscles. Kappalabhati pranayama is also good for generating internal heat and burning toxins.
* A spring ayurvedic diet recommends more bitter tastes (eg: herbs such as dandelion), as well as spicy (eg: fresh ginger herbal tea) and astringent (eg: all pulses). These tastes open the channels of elimination, clearing excess mucus and moisture from the body. Reduce kapha-aggravating sweet, sour and salty foods which could cause water retention at this time. In common with the winter diet, minimise raw and cold foods, favoring warm, lightly cooked meals. Lighter grains such as quinoa, millet and barley are all Kapha reducing, but minimise wheat dominant foods.
* Use a neti pot to give the nose a daily rinse with warm, salt water over a sink. This not only helps ward off colds and hay fever, but will also improve your pranayama. Read David Frawley's ‘Neti: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda' which includes information on adding herbs to your neti to aid detoxification.
* For a spring cold, help clear mucous by eating light, warm, simple foods as you rest. Soup is ideal. Avoid dairy products, sweets, fried foods and yeasted bread, as it increase congestion. Fresh ginger tea is excellent, especially with raw honey added once the tea has cooled down. Raw honey clears mucous and kapha due to its heating, drying and channel clearing effect. It is the best sweetener for kapha types and is good for all in spring.
Kapha-Clearing Tea, perfect for the spring...
1/4 teaspoon dry ginger
1/4 teaspoon dill seed
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1 cup boiling water
Mix the dry ingredients together, Add the boiling water, Steep for 5 minutes, Strain and serve. Add raw honey (make sure it is raw) to sweeten if you desire.
Enjoy… and now is the perfect time for spring cleaning!