WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Physicians have been seeing increasing symptoms of toxicity in their patients over the last few decades. Hormone imbalances, obesity, mental fog, memory loss, fatigue, lack of vitality, metabolic syndrome, sleep disturbances are all manifestations of a toxic body. Spring is upon us, a perfect time of year for detoxification. As the seasons change, many of us are motivated to do ‘spring cleaning’ in our homes and gardens. The same need applies to our bodies. When the body is detoxified, it can function more efficiently and gain resilience.
It is important to follow the Ayurvedic Daily Routines, it is equally important to follow the Ayurvedic Seasonal Routines or Ritucharya for us to stay in good shape and health. Seasons change… and our eating habits, lifestyle, physical activity and everything else needs to change accordingly. Simply because, our body is built in such a way that it responds to every season in a unique fashion. And we need to aid our body in doing so by adapting according to the needs of the season. When we fail to do so, that is when diseases come knocking.
As we move from Winter into the Spring season, you may have noticed feelings of invigoration within you, with an urge to exercise and reconnect with nature, spending time outside in the sunshine, working in the garden. With the changing seasons, it is important to understand the natural changes which occur inside our body in response to the outside seasonal change. In Ayurveda, health is considered to be good when a balance between mind, body and the environment is maintained. To do this it is very important to adapt ourselves to the seasonal routine/regimen suitable for each season (diet and lifestyle changes). Spring is a season of energy, vitality, and celebration, but the changing environment creates changes in one's constitutional balance that should be addressed via diet and lifestyle changes. Also, the season change can affect some of us differently than others, e.g., though blooming flowers make vata and pitta individuals happy, the resulting pollen exacerbates allergies in kapha constitutions. Accordingly, kapha types should be especially mindful of integrating some of these seasonal recommendations into their routines.
CONSIDER A DETOX.
Winter, being a season of vata, tends to favour more eating at a time when the body's digestive fire actually burns lower than usual, leading to a buildup of toxins. There's no better time than energetic spring to get rid of them! Up your intake of warm fluids such as herbal teas and walk more—skip the car and walk your child to the bus or school, or skip the elevator to take that flight of stairs—whenever you can. You may even want to try a juice cleanse (apple, pomegranate, or berry juices are best), and to favor bitter, strong flavors. It's also important during this season to avoid all heavy, oily foods and to cut down on dairy intake—these foods are kapha-genic and tend to slow you down. Pick grains such as millets, quinoa, or couscous that help your body cleanse naturally, and add triphala (an ayurvedic herb available at most health food stores) with a cup of warm water at night to gently enhance your detox.
DIET AND EATING HABITS
During this period, one should consume easily digestible foods. Food items tasting bitter (Tikta), pungent (Katu), and astringent (Kashaya) are to be consumed more. Besides them, honey is to be included in the diet.
Include barley, wheat, rice, bitter vegetables, mango in your diet.
Spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel helpful stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin. These spices pacify the aggravated kapha in the body. They stimulate the digestive fire or agni and this restores optimal digestion.
Kapha is predominant during the time 6:00 am to 10:00 am so avoid excess eating during this period. Stick with a light breakfast. During this season, let lunch be the biggest meal of the day as pitta dosha is predominant around noon. It will aid in proper digestion of the food.
Drink fresh ginger tea with honey to balance kapha.
Drink warm lemon water with a little salt in the morning to stimulate elimination of kapha.
Foods to be avoided:
Foods which are hard to digest are to be avoided.
Avoid heavy, oily, sweet & sour foods and drinks. As these foods are naturally increase kapha, they will aggravate the present symptoms of kapha.
PLAN YOUR DINCHARYA (DAILY ROUTINE)
Start your day with the Glass of warm water infused with Lemon juice & honey.
Self massage with Warm raw sesame oil or get regular Ayurvedic Massages. Regular Ayurvedic massages helps to improve the energy flow throughout the body.
Exercise in the morning to boost your immunity and increase the circulation. In other words any heavy physical work or sport try to schedule it in the morning.
No computer use after your dinner as it will stimulate your doshas. Instead of watching TV read your favourite novel or simply sit and talk with your loved one!
Make sure you are getting enough Sleep during the night and optimising your sleep pattern. Optimal sleep doesn’t mean you can go to bed late and wake up late... So make sure you are in bed before 10pm and up before 6. This will maximise your natural propensity to cleanse.
SIMPLIFY YOUR SKIN CARE.
During the winter, we tend to pile on the heavy creams because of the dryness cold winter air causes. Most creams are made up of waxes, water, and synthetic fragrances with a little oil mixed in. Wax is used to create a layer over skin to help lock in moisture. Over time, however, this wax build up can lead to clogged pores, preventing active ingredients from penetrating the skin and delivering nutrients. Start your spring routine with a gentle exfoliant two to three times a week—I like powdered nuts and honey for a wonderful DIY exfoliant.
Spring is a great time to switch to an ultra-absorbent face oil that delivers nutrients deep into your epidermis but without clogging pores. Contrary to traditional thinking that oils can cause you to be oilier, natural oils are an excellent way to deliver all the benefits of antioxidants and vitamins quickly into the skin without the downsides associated with wax and synthetic fragrances.
Aloe vera and turmeric (also add these to your diet!) can be powerful inflammation fighters in a face mask while tea tree, clove, and neem help eliminate bacteria without excessively drying the skin. Also add iron and magnesium to your diet if you're acne prone as it can help prevent flare-ups