The season of spring has been underway for a several weeks now. Spring is definitely in the air! As the temperature warms up, and nature is in full bloom, we need to make different choices in order to be in balance with the new environment around us.
The science of Ayurveda (a sister science to yoga, defined as "the science of longevity") can shed some light on how to bring our mind and body to a state of balance with the world around us, taking into account the time of day, the stage of life we are in, our diet, our yoga practice and the changing of the seasons, to name a few.
According to Ayurveda, prana (life force) manifests as three different energies (referred to as doshas), which are vata, pitta and kapha. We are each made up of a unique blend of these three forces. To give you a sense of these doshas, vata is made up of space and air and is responsible for movement. Pitta from fire and water (but think fire) and is the metabolizer. Kapha is comprised of water and earth and gives the body its structure and form.
As the weather around us has shifted from the airy, windy and dry of winter to the dense, heavy and moist qualities of spring, from an Ayurvedic standpoint, we have moved from vata into kapha season. Kapha is said to be made of water and earth, which combine like mud. Kapha energy is sluggish as well as cool and kapha dosha dominates during the hours of 6-10. Remembering that to be in balance we need to bring opposite qualities into our lives, spring is the ideal time for a cleanse. Eating light, warmed foods are helpful for balancing kapha. Minimize your use of dairy products, fats and oils. Dark leafy greens can help cleanse and purify our system.
Our yoga practice should be active, stimulating and heating. A great way to begin your practice is with several rounds of warming sun salutations, keeping your transitions fluid and quick, holding your poses less frequently. Backbends like ustrasana (camel) or setu bandha (bridge) can be wonderful asanas for balancing kapha as well.
Create a more sattvic (peaceful, calm, balanced) lifestyle by incorporating some of these ideas into your life.