Cycling through the year and through your life, the cycle of the year represents the cycle of life. Every year we go through the same cycle and for each of us, springtime represents the chance of re-birth – the throwing off of the old body and the birth of a new body. The seasons in Australia vary with each state with the tropical and sub tropical climates being different to the less humid, drier, cooler climates (with hot dry summers) of the southern States. Adjustments will need to be made according to your local climate. However generally the seasons in Melbourne and most of the southern states are:
- August (from when the wattle flowers bloom) up to early December is the Kapha season when the slow, heavy, structuring principle of Kapha predominates, and you build up your body and your strength. (note there is also Sprinter – in August and sometimes in September, warm one day and cold the next!)
- December until March months are the Pitta season and the hot, active and organising principle that Pitta represents tends to be more dominant in the middle part of your life.
- From around mid March to end July is Vata season which begins with cool and dry weather, increasing the Vata Dosha and getting cold and wet in May and June.
In the environment, major changes occur when winter turns into spring. As the forces of nature change externally, those same forces present within your body are now ready and willing to help you both purify and renew. For many of us, spring season is associated with upper-respiratory infections leading to congestion, colds, hay fever, asthma, allergies and lethargy. In Ayurvedic terms there are two reasons for these conditions – the body’s release of accumulated Ama and the melting of Kapha.
Ama is releasing:
Because the Shrotas (body channels) tighten up during cold weather,
Ama (toxic or waste material) can accumulate, especially in the fine cellular channels of the body.
As the weather warms and your body relaxes, these fine Shrotas expand and have a chance to release this toxic material.
Kapha is melting:
Spring is characterised by increasing warmth, moisture, softness with the sweet smell of Spring flowers .
The slow, heaviness and wet qualities of Kapha are also present and this is why spring is known as the Kapha season.
Additionally, during winter some Kapha is bound to have accumulated in your body, especially with the warm nourishing heavy meals many of us consume..
In the same way as spring melts any lingering snow and ice in the alps, its warmth also liquefies any accumulated Kapha.
Kapha / Ama cocktail :
Ideally, this liquefied Kapha is automatically eliminated from the body.
But due to the uncertainty of the weather, during this change of season, Agni, or digestive fire, can sometimes be slow with sluggish digestion.
A weak or uncertain digestion and purification system can mean that this melted Kapha may get mixed with circulating Ama and create a Kapha Ama cocktail.
This mixture is also called Shleshma. The presence of Shleshma can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and foggy in the mind.
As Spring warms your body, increasing amounts of circulating Ama, and Shleshma, can overwhelm your immune system
and you can become prone to upper-respiratory infections, such as colds or flu, or exaggerated immune reaction, such as hay fever, lethargy, etc especially when the grasses flower in November.
A good diet and seasonal routine is one of your best tools to minimise the Kapha-accumulating tendencies at this time of year,
and support the elimination of excess Kapha and Ama that the warmer weather has released.
Support the natural process of springtime renewal and revitalisation by adopting a diet and lifestyle that adds lightness, sharpness, dryness, and warmth to your body,.
Spring time is a great time to drink Rajas Cup, our natural 100% caffeine Free herbal supplement.
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Springtime health tips from Ayurveda
- During spring your appetite is naturally lower, so reduce heavy, oily and fried foods.
- Reduce foods with sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
- Reduce heavy or sour fruits like bananas, figs, dates, oranges, pineapples, coconuts, and melons.
- Reduce heavy or watery vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, olives, sweet potato, zucchini and squash.
- To reduce Kapha in your body, open your channels of elimination and purify Ama, favour foods with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes.
- Increase lighter foods that are easy to digest, such as fruit and fresh vegetables.
- Eat plenty of freshly cooked vegetables and a variety of lentils and beans( eg mung beans or chick peas ). The bitter and astringent tastes of such foods indicate their purifying qualities.
- Breakfast should be light, such as fresh or cooked fruit or just a cup of tea.
- Warm (not hot) honey and lemon water (can add a little ginger) in the morning is very purifying.
- Lunches should be the main meal of the day and supper should be lighter than lunch. Cooked grains, steamed vegetables, and lentils are good choices.
- Eat plenty of bitter green vegetable, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spring greens, broccoli and endives.
- Favour pungent spices such as mustard seed, ginger, black pepper, cloves and asafoetida.
- Herbs are very suitable to add to your meals, as they generally have bitter and astringent tastes and some are also pungent.
- Spring is a perfect time for cleansing your body. Try an apple-only fast for a day or two with raw or preferably cooked apples.
- Skipping both breakfast and supper and eating only at lunchtime for a few days or more is a great detox diet that will really revive your digestive system and restore your strength of appetite.
- Support the process of opening up and detoxifying your Shrotas or body channels by drinking hot water and herbal teas.
- Eat only when you are hungry and don’t overeat – finish eating when you feel satisfied but not full.
- Avoid snacking between meals.
- Reduce the amount of oil or ghee you use while cooking.
- Reduce your intake of dairy products, especially in the morning when it is the Kapha time of day.
- Always boil milk and add spices such as ginger, cardamom, turmeric, or cinnamon to milk before drinking it. Milk is one of the most nutritious foods available, but because of its cold and heavy Gunas or qualities it can increase Kapha and cause congestion. Boiling milk and adding spices reduces those qualities and helps make this wonderful food more digestible. (an easy way is to add a little Kapha tea to the milk)
- Reduce your intake of meats, particularly meats that are heavier to digest, such as pork, beef, duck and seafood.
- Avoid all soy products and fast foods, sweets, chilled drinks and ice cream
- Take less nuts and bread.
- Greater exercise is favoured in Kapha season
- Use Kapha tea, Kapha Spice mix, Kapha aroma ( especially if congested or sluggish ), Sniffle Free tea and Rajas Cup is great in Spring and also Maharishi honey instead of sugar as a sweetener (in moderation) because its astringent and a little warming
- Indulge yourself with Maharishi Ayurveda Kapha Shower Gel or massage oil.
If you need specific advice about your state of balance or imbalance then please contact a Maharishi Ayurveda Health consultant or Doctor.