Living in Seattle, I find even the slightest glimmer of Spring brings such excitement and joy to my morning walks with our two pups, Sonny and Leta. First the hint of little leaves reveal themselves. Then the crocus buds, daffodils, and cherry blossoms emerge. Finally, the blue sky and sun start to make an occasional cameo to show off the beauty of the Northwest in Mother Nature’s magical unfolding of Spring.
Not only in the Northwest, but all around the world, Spring-time inspires us to come out of our Winter hibernation, shake off any stagnation, get outside more, and balance the over-eating we’ve done through the holidays.
All of nature, including humans, is composed of the five elements ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Our Ayurvedic personalities, or doshas, are made up of two of these five elements. Air and ether combine to form the Vata dosha. Fire and water combine to form the Pitta dosha. Water combines with earth to form the Kapha dosha.
Although every individual has a primary and secondary dosha, we are all tri-doshic, and in order to stay healthy we need to keep all three doshas in balance. Believe it or not, what is great for one person, may not be for the next! From my own experience, once you turn over the first few stones of knowledge in Ayurveda, just like Yoga, it can seem overwhelmingly vast and tough to know where to begin. Looking to an Ayurvedic doctor to determine your primary and secondary dosha is a great place to start. If seeing an Ayurvedic doctor isn’t a possibility due to proximity or costs, a less precise but good option is to have someone that knows you very well and sees you as you really are (your husband/wife/partner/mother) fill-out an Ayurvedic questionnaire for you. One I really like is on http://www.ayurveda.com from the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM, which is recognized as a leading Ayurvedic school and Ayurveda health spa outside of India. See http://www.ayurveda.com/pdf/constitution.pdf
Within Yoga and her sister science of Ayurveda, the Kapha dosha is at its peak in Spring. This is an ideal time to detox. Try adding more heating, side-bending and twisting mini vinyasas to your daily yoga practice. Spring is an ideal time to stretch your body, mind and spirit by learning new things, creating new habits and finding more joy in your day-to-day life. Start by doing a spring-cleaning of your body. Then focus on eating locally grown, organic foods, spices and herbs that are warming, cleansing and encourage good digestion. Then look at your environment and see what you can do to clear out, rearrange and get organized.
Finally, remember “a body in motion, stays in motion” so staying focused and enthusiastic about your new eating and yoga practices in Spring will help greatly.