When spring rolls around, it’s a relief to shed winter hats, boots and coats. But for most of us, it’s not so easy to shed the extra pounds that we may have put on over the winter.
Yet spring is the perfect time to detox and lighten up. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, the wet, cool weather of spring is called Kapha Season, associated with the cool, heavy, slow Kapha dosha.
If you stay sedentary and continue eating the heavier foods of winter, you could be headed for the kinds of Kapha disorders prevalent in spring—cough, cold, allergies, sluggishness, dullness of mind and weight gain.
Time to form new habits. Try this invigorating daily routine to help shed pounds and toxins in spring.
Kapha Season: 5 Ways to Lighten Up in Spring:
1. Get Moving
One of the best ways to counter the slow, sluggish feeling of Kapha imbalance is to get moving, and then get moving faster. Research shows that aerobic activity such as swimming, running, and hiking is good for the brain as well as the body.
According to Maharishi Ayurveda, it’s better to exercise for half an hour every day rather than an hour three times a week. When you exercise every day, your digestion stays on and the pounds stay off.
2. Get to Bed Early
If you climb into bed well before 10:00 p.m., during the Kapha time of night, your sleep will be deep and restful. New research shows that people who get more sleep have more control over their weight.
3. Wake Up with the Birds
Have you ever slept late in the morning, only to wake up feeling duller and more exhausted than before? Sleeping during the Kapha time of the morning (6am – 10am) can result in all kinds of Kapha disorders, including colds, flu and weight gain. If you rise before 6:00, when the air is light and the more active Vata dosha predominates, you’ll carry these energetic qualities with you all day long.
4. Eat Three Warm Meals Day
You may think that if you skip breakfast you’ll lose weight—but eating a light, warm breakfast will actually improve your digestion and help you lose weight. Try cooked apples with cardamom for a light, satisfying first meal.
Eat your main meal at noon, when digestion is strongest. In spring, choose warm, soupy foods and freshly cooked vegetables, whole grains, and pulses (lentils or dahl) or light dairy products for protein. End the day with a light dinner early enough in the evening so you can digest it before you go to bed.
Spice up your daily routine a little too. Try a new activity, meet new people to stimulate your brain and your spirits. And because one of the qualities of Kapha is stability—the healthy habits you form this spring can stick with you all year ’round.
(Cover photograph By Risa Edelstein, Flickr Creative Commons)
(Tulip photo By Risa Edelstein, Flickr Creative Commons)