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Shed Your Winter Body with Ayurveda

Springtime is uplifting, magical and sexy. As we watch Mother Nature move out of the dark, chilly winter and into bright, blooming spring, we also have the opportunity to shed our extra layers and stretch our legs in the sunshine. Nature seems to transition effortlessly, but, for us humans, it's not always so seamless.

It can be, however, if we follow the principles of yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. Ayurveda, or the ancient science of life, proposes that we can find personal balance by syncing up with the environment around us. In Ayurveda, there are three doshas, or constitutions—Vata, Kapha, and Pitta— and when they are in balance, we feel our best. 

Instead of feeling heavy and sluggish, Ayurveda allows us to revel in the spring breeze without the fatigue, fogginess, congestion, or drippy noses that so often accompany the season!

To begin, we must first understand the Kapha dosha and bring it into balance. Each dosha is associated with a different set of elements, and Kapha is characterized by earth and water. Kapha provides lubrication for joints and  mucus to protect the delicate tissues of the sinuses, lungs, and stomach. In springtime, when Kapha tends to fall out of balance, we may experience excess phlegm in the lungs or sinuses, nausea, unhealthy weight gain, water retention, fogginess in the mind, or heaviness in the body. Kapha accumulates during the winter months to keep us warm and grounded, but, when spring arrives, we must shed this excess Kapha or risk becoming vulnerable to seasonal allergies, colds, excess inflammation, and illness. 

To balance the excess Kapha, choose light, easy-to-digest foods during spring. Try reducing or eliminating foods that increase Kapha, such as iced or cold food or drinks, and fried or oily food. Additionally, dairy and gluten are also two inflammation triggers that create mucus and allergic responses. Swap heavy foods for light, fresh fruits and vegetables that are local (if possible) and in season. See the  Local Foods Wheel to help you identify what foods are grown in your region and what is in season at various times of the year. 

Availability will vary, but here's a list of foods that make springtime their most beautiful season.

Spring Vegetables & Fruits

Artichokes

Asparagus

Apricots

Avocados

Carrots

Celeriac

Collards

Dandelion Green

Fennel 

Morels

Mustard Greens 

Rhubarb 

Romaine

Spinach

Strawberries

Swiss Chard

Spring Herbs

Chives 

Cilantro 

Dill 

Mint 

Oregano 

Parsley 

Sage

Rosemary 

Watercress 

An added benefit of eating seasonally is that it supports local farmers markets, which, in turn, promote sustainability of the entire economy. Seasonal eating helps the environment by significantly reducing the number of miles our food has to travel before it reaches our tables. The more local we eat, the less risk there is of consuming food that has been flown in from half way across the world.

Visit a local farmer's market to find spring’s tastiest, most nutritious staples and most vibrant seasonings. To find one near you, visit  Local Harvest and see where spring’s bounty is being served up. 

There is great wisdom in eating seasonally because our bodies require different nutrients at different times of the year.  When we tap into this and become aware of this connection, we can prevent inflammation and digestive distress in our bodies. Our bodies are designed very intricately and purposefully. By tapping into this awareness, we can live the most vibrant lives possible.

Follow the principles of seasonal eating presented by Ayurveda, and you'll not only feel healthier and lighter but also ready to revel in the glory of spring—as your sexy, glowing self!

Already on-board with seasonal eating? Great! Post a comment below about your spring eating habits and the seasonal recipes you create—we’re always looking for inspiration!

Photo Credit: Sarah Lee,  Darya Pinohuber.edith