Spring is here, and it’s time to start preparing for growth and expansion. Here are five ways to bring the light, bright days of spring into your daily regimen, your diet, workout, and your home.
- Take your workout outside. In the northern hemisphere, the days are growing longer. Soak up some extra vitamin D by getting outdoors. Parks, lakeside and riverside paths are all available for your jogging, yoga, and interval training. Spring weather is changeable, so wear layers, stay safe if you’re working out at dawn or dusk (think reflective clothing or even better, a buddy!), and don’t forget sunscreen!
- Breathe deeply. Spring is a great time for a Neti pot practice. It can help keep seasonal allergies at bay and dry up lingering nasal congestion from the winter. Important safety tips: use sea salt without iodine and filtered water, 1/4 teaspoon salt to 8 ounces of water. Water should be warm but not too warm. Neti pots are available at your local health food or drug store, and you can find complete instructions here.
- Eat your greens. Spring is a great time to reintroduce leafy green veggies into your diet. According to Ayurveda, the Indian science of wellness and preventative medicine, bitter greens like mustard and collard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, and kale can help break up the heavy, moist energy of Kapha, which tends to dominate winter and early spring. Try them lightly stir fried with a little oil, chopped garlic and a splash of orange juice for sweetness, or enjoy them in a salad. Massage the greens with coconut oil until bright green to make them easier on the digestion.
- Spring cleaning–inside and outside. Spring is a great time to kick out the cobwebs. Treat yourself to a weekend in and plan on cleaning and detoxifying your body, your space, even your digital devices. Delete the apps you don’t use, the pictures you don’t want to keep, and the emails you don’t need to read. Turn on some upbeat music and sweep out the dust and debris that’s gathered. Try a “mono-diet” of kitcheree, a nourishing and simple meal of basmati rice, mung beans, spices, and vegetables. Eating the same meal for a few days allows your digestive system to slow down a little, and prepares your body for the spring shift. Kale, white potato, carrot, and asparagus are great choices as vegetables to include. This is a close approximation of my favorite recipe, and make sure you drink lots of water, because kitcheree over the course of several days can be constipating. (You might even take some prune juice or an herbal supplement called Triphala at the end of each evening to keep things moving.) For more information on panchakarma, the Ayurvedic cleanse that includes a kitcheree monodiet, look here.
- Set new intentions. As plants around us are budding and blossoming, it’s a great time for us to consider what we seek to manifest in the coming spring and summer. Spend time in your journal reflecting on where you hope to make progress, and how you can inspire yourself to meet goals. Share them with a friend who can be an accountability buddy. Sow seeds of growth and discovery that you’ll reap over this season. You can even buy a small plant or plant a garden to tend as a reminder of your growing intentions.
There you have it, five ways to help you craft a spring full of freshness, clarity, light and joy. Try one or all of these, and let us know how it goes!
How do you manifest growth and expansion into this season?