By Vasant Lad, Yoga+
Spring is the king of seasons — a time of sunshine and cheer, love and creativity. Mother Earth wakes up and causes sprouting; energy moves up; everything is blooming, full of color. We begin to feel more energetic and spend more time outdoors, where children are playing and the birds are singing. Spring is the season of celebration.
But it is also a time when many of us get spring colds. In addition, as flowers shed their pollen and emit sweet fragrances, many people get hay fever and allergies.
The qualities of spring are warm, moist, gentle, and unctuous. Due to the warmth, the accumulated snow and ice of winter begin to melt. Similarly, accumulated kapha (the mind-body force responsible for lubrication and sustained energy) in the body starts liquefying and running.
If you have a runny nose, asthma, congestion, or allergies; if you are feeling lazy, greedy, or attached, you probably have excess kapha. The best way to avoid these symptoms is to follow a kapha-reducing regimen. Try these seven time-tested tips and you’ll enjoy the best of spring.
Add Energizing Herbs to Your Diet
Good kapha-reducing herbs for spring include ginger, black pepper, trikatu, kutki, punarnava. Look for them online or at your local Indian or health food store.
Try a weekly juice fast with fresh fruits and veggies such as carrots, beets, broccoli, parsley, apples, pomegranates, or berries, and take one teaspoon of triphala (an ayurvedic herbal compound) with a cup of hot water at night to keep the colon clean. You can also sign up for a 3- to 10-day panchakarma treatment at a well-reputed ayurveda clinic. Panchakarma, a cleansing and rejuvenation regimen, detoxifies the system, purifies the bodily tissues, and strengthens the immune system. Then, under the guidance of a qualified practitioner, follow instructions for a personalized rasayana (ayurvedic rejuvenation therapy) that will leave you feeling light and vivacious.
Sleeping after sunrise imbalances the kapha dosha. Instead, wake up early and go for a morning walk. Then practice invigorating sun salutations and asanas like fish, boat, bow, locust, lion, camel, headstand, and shoulderstand. Follow your hatha routine with energizing pranayama practices like bhastrika (the breath of fire), kapalabhati (the glowing skull breath), and brahmari (the bumble-bee breath.)