10 steps for vital immunity and energy though gentle detoxification and rejuvination.
Some Symptoms of Excess Toxins in the Body
The cold and wet of winter are thawing and melting and the earth is waking up! Just as the earth is thawing an melting from her accumulations of snow and cold, so are we. Spring heps us to melt any excess accumulations like mucus and excess weight. Spring is the most important season for detoxifying because nature is already trying to clear out the toxins. We can work with our bodies and assist in the release of accumulation which will help to prevent spring time colds and flu as well as prevent lethargy, wieght gain, respritory allergies and cloudy thinking.
Sharp headaches, dizziness, mild tremors in the limbs, and unexplained muscle aches, especially in the calf, can also be symptoms. Your tongue may be coated, and your throat may be sore.
The skin can be less radiant, heavier, more oily. You may also find that you break out more often, are more prone to sunburn, and have dry patches on your skin.
10 Steps to Detoxification and Rejuvination this Spring
1. Wake up Early
Wake up between 5am and 7amand utilise the new-found seasonal vitality and reduce aggravations of fatigue, lethargy, mucus and fuzzy headaches. That first light of the morning can be the most beautiful and beneficial. Rising with the sun will help you to turn each day into a ritual. You are free to rise slowly, eat a nutritious breakfast, meditate, exercise or take a walk in the crisp morning air. As opposed to jumping out of bed late, jamming food down your throat and rushing out the door.You will feel better, have more energy and be in a better mood for the rest of the day!
Take a cup of hot ginger and lemon water to stimulate digestion and cut through any mucus that has accumulated overnight.
During pranayama practice emphasise frontal brain cleansing (kapalabhati) as it encourages exhalation with a spontaneous inhalation. It greatly encourages the clearing of mucus and lethargy.
Practising skin rubbing can be very valuable at this time of year for stimulating lymphatic circulation. Tradition suggests starting massage at the feet and legs, then progressing to the arms and back and then to the chest and abdomen. This brings lymphatic fluid back to the heart for elimination via the blood where toxins and wastes are cleared by the liver and kidneys. You can do your massage with sesamie oil or dry, you can even try using a dry brush.
Tis' the season of New Year Resolutions for a reason. If you were planning to take up jogging, running, swimming, hiking, or any other highly cardiovascular form of exercise, this is the best time to get to it. Our excersize should be vigorous and warming.
Yoga Practice should be done with an increased emphasis on breathing. Perform vigorous sun salutation (suryanamaskara)-up to twelve rounds-until warm and breathing is deep. Also include strong backwards and forward bends that open the chest, such as the fish (matsyasana), the wheel (cakrasana), the camel (ustrasana), and the tiger (vyagrasana) to stimulate the kidneys and lungs. Also include the locust (salabhasana), spinal twists such as rotated triangle (trikonasana) andmatsyendrasana.
6. Small, Big, Small
Eat your largest meal at midday when the sun is highest in the sky and you have been active the whole morning your digestion is at its strongest. Eating a large meal before you go to bed at night, however, is filling yourself with food at a time when your digestion is at its weakest. Springtime can make many people feel physically exhausted. Properly planning your meal sizes and timing can help with these drops in energy throughout the day.
7. Eat for Spring
Nature produces certain foods at certain seasons for a reason. In the summer we are blessed with fresh, cooling fruits and vegetables; in the fall we have apples - a fantastic detoxifying food that is great for preparing the digestion for the winter; in the winter we have nuts, grains and oils - it is the best time for any desired indulgence in foods that are heavy, high in protein or fat. And in the spring, in order to detoxify the body after the long winter, nature produces bitter greens and astringent foods such as: dandelion leaves, bok choy, grapefruits, cherries, seeds and beans. When you are doing your shopping opt for the seasonal fruits and vegetables and you will already be doing yourself a great service. Remember Spring foods are light and dry. Avoid things that are sweet or excessively saltythat are heavy and cause water stagnation in the body. Your meals should be warm, light and very easy to digest. .
8. Careful with the Dairy Products
The Ayurveda diet has a large focus on dairy as a nutritious and often medicinal food. However, in spring most dairy products are best avoided especially in the morning and evening. This is especially important if you are the type of person who is prone to allergies or colds. Don't worry though as soon as the hot months hit you can start dishing out the ice cream again.
9. Cook Fresh
I feel this must be mentioned as more and more people are turning to pre-prepared, take out and restaurant foods. Cooking all of your own meals, from scratch as it were, is an easy way to improve your health and lifestyle. Fill your shelves with wonderful digestion aiding and subtly nutritious spices: turmeric, cumin, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon . . . Try cooking a fresh vegitable and ginger soup for the day! It is especially important in the spring to eat light, freshly prepared meals.
Assist elimination from the lungs by using mild expectorants such as organic long pepper (Piper longum) every day. Long pepper or Pipali is a great rejuvenative to the lungs. A pinch of this can be mixed with honey and taken twice a day to help strengthen the lungs.
Keepin' it Real
Avoid ice, refrigerated foods eaten cold, eating too much, eating between meals and sleeping in the day, as these will offset the other good work that you are doing.
Happy Spring Everyone!