Last week we dove into the basic principles of an Ayurvedic approach to spring. We talked about how the kapha dosha is aggravated by qualities that are heavy, cold, or moist, so we encouraged you to begin inviting in lightness, warmth and dryness through the food, activities, and self-care rituals you choose to engage in.
We determined that the best prescription is to develop a rhythm. In this season, you’re looking to identify a set of routines that help you gradually lighten your body, mind, and emotions.
Today, I dive into what your yoga practice, eating habits, and sleeping patterns might look like when following an Ayurvedic approach to spring.
Your Yoga Practice
Your practice this time of year should be stimulating and invigorating. I’ve seen our Yoga Fever instructors begin to ramp up their classes, filling them with high-energy, powerful flows.
However, I highly recommend an inclusion of both yin and yang classes this time of year. Cultivating both strength and flexibility will bring balance to the kapha dosha. Move rapidly through your sequences this time of year, but linger in the moments between. Use those opportunities to slow down and move mindfully.
When practicing at home, try some of these poses:
Sun Salutations- These sequences pump prana – or breath – through your body, filling you with oxygen. Move rapidly through these sequences, linking breath to movement, to relieve stagnation in your body and mind.
Backbends- Any heart opening asana will energize your body. Bridge pose, wheel, and wild thing all expand your chest, relieving any congestion in your respiratory system.
Dynamic forward folds- Whether seated or standing, forward folds tone your kidneys and bladder, regulating your body’s water content and emotions.
Twists- Wringing your body out through a variety of twists – like triangle pose – really detoxifies your organs and strengthens your metabolic fire. Talk about a thorough spring cleaning!
In the winter months, we naturally gravitate toward sweet, sour, or salty foods to counteract the dry qualities of these bitterly cold months. Now that the temperatures are rising, eat lighter foods, focusing on pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes.
Make sure that lunch is your biggest meal of the day, so you’re not forcing your body to digest a large meal during the times of the day when your kapha dosha is sluggish. Also, aim to eat at regular intervals during the day, at least 3-4 hours between meals.
Best foods to eat this season:
Saute leafy greens – kale, collards, dandelion, spinach, or mustard greens – with ghee to cleanse your body and counterbalance congestion.
Opt for less sweet fruits, like cherries, blueberries, grapefruit, or granny smith apples.
Choose seeds instead of nuts.
Barley, quinoa, and millet should be your staple grains.
Kick up your seasoning game with spices like turmeric, ginger, cayenne, mustard, and black pepper.
Adjusting Your Sleeping Patterns
Before the sun reaches its ultimate summer equinox point, take advantage of the darkness and fight the urge to stay up late. You’ll have plenty of time to milk those hours come June.
To keep your kapha dosha in balance, go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and rise before the sun. Have you ever noticed that it’s actually easier to wake up at 5:30 a.m. than 6:30 a.m.? Providing you went to bed early!
When you do wake up, use those hours before the rest of the world wakes to get outside for a brisk walk or incorporate a vigorous yoga practice. We’d love to see you at our 6:00 a.m. hot yoga classes!