Spring, with its warmer temperatures, verdant green landscapes and bluebird skies is in direct contrast to the fridged weather, sparse terrains and steely skies experienced throughout winter. Currently, you may feel waves of gratitude welling up within you as sunshine pours in through your windows and spring showers begin to melt away the last of the winter snow. As the earth begins to become saturated with water from the gentle, spring rains, life is starting to cycle into the season of rebirth and renewal.
At this time of year, you may notice a natural connection with the elements, earth and water. Ayurveda, India’s 5,000 year old medicine, explains that the inherent relationship we feel with these elements is due to the fact that they are most predominant within the natural world. Furthermore, Ayurveda teaches that together earth and water create kapha dosha, hence the reason why Ayurveda refers to springtime as kapha season. Like kapha dosha, kapha season has a soft, smooth and moist quality to it and embodies the spirit of growth and new beginnings.
Although you may be riding high on the revitalizing, uplifting energy of a new and vibrant season, your body, mind and even your home may need a little spring cleaning to slough off any heavy, stagnant, or unsupportive energy still hanging around from your long winter hibernation. Thankfully, Ayurveda has an abundant source of information for you to learn how to gently and effectively detoxify the systems of your physical, mental and emotional body as well as your workspace or home. Below we share with you a handful of ways that you can easily implement the principles of Ayurvedic spring cleaning into your life so that you can clear out the old, make way for the new and happily welcome in kapha season!
Detoxifying Body Therapies for Spring
Garshana is the Ayurvedic practice of dry brushing with raw silk gloves. Although you may have seen or heard of people dry brushing with bristle brushes, Ayurveda prefers to use raw silk because it is gentler on the skin. Another great benefit to garshana gloves, is that you are using your hands to massage your skin, rather than an external tool. This physical touch from your own two hands allows time for you to connect with the beauty of your body and its every contour and groove. Garshana is an especially excellent Ayurvedic self-care ritual to incorporate in the spring because it naturally exfoliates the skin, detoxifies the body and reveals your gorgeous innerglow! To learn more about the many benefits of garshana and how to perform this ancient ritual, please visit our blog, Garshana: Ayurvedic Dry Brushing for Detoxification + Glowing Skin.
Once you have exfoliated your skin with your garshana gloves, you can perform a self-abhyanga to help cleanse the lymphatic system, increase circulation and nourish every inch of your skin. Self-abhyanga is the act of massaging oneself with warm, herbal-infused, plant based, organic oil. We highly recommend our Kapha Body Oil as a seasonal oil for spring detoxification. It is the perfect abhyanga oil if you are looking for something to warm the body, decrease stagnation and replenish dull, lackluster skin. To learn more about the art of abhyanga, click here.
Expel ama, or toxic residue, from the tissues of your body with an all-natural, herbal Ginger Salt Bath! Ginger is considered to be a warming diaphoretic in herbalism, meaning that it will make you sweat and release any toxic residue from your body as well as your skin. The end result? Glowing skin and clarity in the body and mind. Get the Ginger Salt Bath recipe here!
Supportive Spices & Ayurvedic Kitchari for Spring
Spice Your Food
An Ayurvedic meal is not complete without a healthy dose of doshically appropriate culinary herbs and spices. If you currently have sluggish digestion, lethargy, excess mucus, congestion, brain fog and/or are feeling melancholy, you may be experiencing a kapha imbalance. In order to stimulate agni, or digestion, decongest and restore focus to the mind, you can try the following kapha balancing spices in your meals:
- black pepper
- hing or asafoetida
- cayenne pepper
- white pepper
- mustard seeds
The transition into fall (vata season) and spring (kapha season) are considered the best times to undergo an Ayurvedic cleanse. The Ayurvedic approach to cleansing is gentle, supportive and accessible. All you would need to do is commit to a mono-diet of kitchari for at least 3 days in order to give the digestive system time to rest and reset. You want these cleansing days to be stress-free and all about giving yourself space to replenish and engage in Ayurvedic self-care, known as dinacharya. On the other hand, if you do not want to fully commit to an Ayurvedic cleanse, you can still integrate Ayurvedic kitchari into your spring meals! Click here to get our Tridoshic Kitchari Recipe and learn more about a 3 day Ayurvedic kitchari cleanse.
Yoga Asana for Spring
Generally speaking, springtime is the season when you can begin to invite more fluid movement and heart-opening asanas into your yoga practice. For example, in order to revitalize the mind, body and senses, you can move briskly through sun salutations, incorporate backbends like Salabhasana (locust) and Matsyasana (fish pose) and clear stagnation with warming standing postures like Chandrasana (high lunge). For a complete kapha balancing yoga class, practice with us here.
Herbal Allies for Spring
The ultimate digestive tonic, Triphala is the most widely consumed traditional Ayurvedic formulation in the world and we totally understand why. From drawing ama (toxins) from the tissues of the body, aiding in healthy elimination, boosting immunity, replenishing the lungs, promoting strong teeth, hair and nails to healing the skin, Triphala is truly a superb herbal ally. You can take Triphala in the AM and/or PM to help get your body on track and cleansed this spring. Learn more about Triphala here.
Our Rooibos Chai Blend is formulated to gently stimulate the mind, improve circulation, encourage enthusiasm and enhance digestion. You can enjoy this tea throughout the day and savor these kapha balancing, supportive herbs:
Cleanse Your Surroundings
Clean Out Your Closet & Home
No spring cleaning list would be complete without one or two tips from renowned organization consultant, Marie Kondo! Now is the perfect time to go through your home, starting with your closet, and let go of items that do not “spark joy”. Sometimes pieces of clothing or items in our homes spark joy because of the story behind them. Maybe your mom or your favorite aunt gave you a jacket that’s been hanging in your closet, unworn, for the past decade. It stays in your wardrobe less because you want to wear it and more because of the emotional connection that piece of clothing symbolizes. If you have one or two or even a few items in your closet that you hold onto for sentimental reasons, that is a beautiful thing; however, you want to take a good look around and ask yourself if your physical space is cluttered by items you simply do not use. If the answer is yes, you may be experiencing emotional attachment to these objects and this, according to Ayurveda, is a manifestation of excess kapha dosha.
Our suggestion is to assess your physical space, starting with your closet and begin to declutter your home of things you do not use or have not used in the past 1-2 years. If there are pieces of clothing or a few sentimental items and you simply have to hold onto , perhaps store them in a storage space or bin so you can always return to them, but do not have them hanging in your closet or taking up space in your room. If you are ready to release these items, sit with them and commune with the stories they hold. Then take a deep breath in and exhale out, releasing these items into the universe. As Marie Kondo says, you can donate these items and they will continue to spark joy in other people’s lives.
Bid Adieu to Single-Use Plastic Cleaning Products
Last year we started to research if there were companies offering non-toxic, earth-friendly pods that you could place into a reusable container for household cleaning products and, low and behold, we found Blueland. We would like to mention, we are in no way, shape or form plugging this company for self-serving purposes. We just really dig their mission of eliminating single-use plastics and revolutionizing the way we clean our homes. How Blueland works is simple, you buy the cleaning bottles once and then refill them with product using the concentrated pods, allowing you to reuse the bottles for life. In this way, you are eliminating single-use plastics and ensuring that your home is cleaned with toxic-free ingredients.
Aromatherapy is a simple and fun way to infuse your daily spaces with fresh, vibrant energy! Try dusting off your aromatherapy diffuser or investing in one if you don’t already have one. Using a diffuser helps to purify the air and permeate your space with your favorite scents. You can also place a few drops of essential oil into your bath, mist your pillow or room with an aromatherapy spritzer, like our Kapha Spritzer, or clear energy with sustainable smudge sticks made of garden sage, pine or rosemary. Here are some of our favorite essential oils to balance kapha and cultivate revitalizing spring energy:
We hope that this list of Ayurvedic tips helps you to reflect on the idea that, when it comes to spring cleaning, it is not just our physical surroundings that need to be decluttered, detoxified and renewed. In fact, our bodies and minds also need support in order to transition gracefully from one season to the next. May you feel harmoniously light, blissful and restored as you step into kapha season!
For more Ayurvedic tips and insights, please explore our blog, The Ayurvedic Lifestyle.