Finally, after the recent intense cold weather and heavy snow, it feels like Spring is on its way.
The birds seem to be singing louder and I’ve spotted the odd one choosing useful twigs to start nesting, the daffodils are starting to flower and there’s more light. I feel like I’m getting more energy too. Can you feel it? Nature is reawakening after Winter and I feel like I am too.
This year, Spring Equinox fell on Tuesday 20 March, marking the day the sun passes over the equator and day and night both last for around 12 hours – a day of equal light and dark.
Spring represents rebirth, renewal and growth, and it’s an ideal time for new beginnings as we make positive changes in our lives. We are at a juxtaposition surrounded by exact opposites that are in balance at the Spring Equinox – light and dark, cold and warm, stillness and activity, lethargy and energy. If we can unite these opposites within us, we can find balance and take actions that really come from our hearts, and perhaps start to move forwards with the intentions we set in January.
In Ayurveda, the seasons are characterised by cycles of Pitta, Vata and Kapha. Similar to Winter, Spring is a Kapha season which is characterised by being warm (or at least less cold), wet, soft, gentle and nurturing, although this year the start of the Spring season has not been all that warm as yet here in the UK.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, in Ayurvedic philosophy, like increases like and opposites balance. Kapha is a Sanskrit word that means ‘that which flourishes in water’ so as Spring attracts moisture, we should balance this with seasonal changes to our lifestyles that promote lightness, sharpness, dryness and heat so we can support our body during the natural process of springtime renewal and revitalisation.
So, what can we do?
For many of us, our Winter comforting diet leaves us feeling sluggish so a detox can do wonders for boosting our body’s digestive fire.
Cutting down on heavy, oily foods and dairy products and increasing our intake of warm drinks such a herbal teas, perhaps also adding a daily juice of apple, pomegranate or berries. Grains such as quinoa or couscous and leafy greens including kale will also help your body detox itself naturally.
Turmeric is an essential herb for Spring. Wake up your digestive system each morning with a tea made with a quarter of a teaspoon of both turmeric and ginger. As turmeric has drying and anti-inflammatory properties, add half a teaspoon of turmeric to the same amount of raw honey and take three times a day to help get rid of phlegm and sniffles. I also make a mix of garlic, honey and lemon to help with this too.
To relieve colds and sinus issues, try rinsing your sinuses with a neti pot. This is a little ‘teapot’ that you can use to pour a saline solution through your sinuses and nasal cavities. Standing over the sink, simply place the spout of the neti pot in one nostril and then tip your head back and slightly to the side until the solution starts to drain out your other nostril, and then repeat on the other side.
The cold, dry winds of Winter often compel us to use heavier creams and lotions on our skin to retain moisture and prevent it drying out, but this can result in a dull complexion and clogged pores.
Revitalise your skin with a gentle exfoliation two or three times a week, perhaps using honey with ground nuts or raw sugar and lemon juice. Or you could try a papaya mask – simply mash the papaya, apply to your face and relax for 15 minutes before gently washing off with warm water. Bliss!
If you suffer from blemished skin, turmeric and aloe vera added to an oatmeal and yogurt mask can help and a few drops of tea tree, clove or neem oil may be beneficial in reducing skin bacteria without drying the skin too much.
As the mornings get lighter, try to get up earlier and perhaps go for a brisk walk. Lying in can be restorative in Winter but the Kapha element of Spring calls for less sleep and more activity – use the stairs rather than the lift, walk to work, get off the bus a stop early…
Add a few rounds of Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) to your Yoga practice and you may want to incorporate Boat (Naukasana), Bow (Dhanurasana), Locust (Salabhasana), Lion (Simhasana) or Camel (Ustrasana), which are Kapha reducing poses that are ideal for springtime.
You can find some springtime Yoga sequence ideas on my YouTube channel too.
During your relaxation or while holding a pose you may wish to contemplate one of these meditation questions:
Especially self-love and self-knowledge…
As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, Winter is a time for self-reflection, a time to go inside ourselves, but in the same way as the flowers start to re-emerge at this time of the year, Spring encourages us to open up again too; understanding, forgiving, reconnecting and making peace with both ourselves and others to lift the heaviness of Winter and embrace the joyfulness of Spring.
If you’d like to reconnect with yourself, discover your identity, who you are, what you want and need and where you’re going in life this Spring, my Journey into You – Ultimate Wellbeing Programme is an ideal place to start.
Make sure you look after yourself this Spring but if you feel you need further support with your wellbeing, please get in touch.
I specialise in working with women one to one and enjoy being part of their journey of reconnection and self-discovery. I support women to find more balance and harmony in their lives by deepening their inner connection to their own body’s needs, helping them cope pre-conception, with fertility issues, prenatally, postnatally or during times of transition, grief or loss and helping alleviate the symptoms of menstruation, perimenopause or menopause.
I use the incredible healing, calming, strengthening and restorative power of yoga to help you find the balance you need, no matter what stage of life you’re at. I couple this with Mizan massage, belly binding, birth preparation and doula services to support you as needed.
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