I stand staring into my closet for what seems like hours. At my feet, there is a pile of clothes I’ve tried on and pulled off. I just feel too bleak in my winter-black-chic, and my body feels burdened by dense fabrics and layers.
The sun stirs outside of my window, reminding me that Spring is here. I am ready to cast off my winter cloak.
The Promise of Spring
Spring is historically known as the time of renewal that has long been instilled in ritual and folklore.
In nature, we witness the earth burst into life, the landscape awash with colour. In ourselves, we feel an uplift in our energy and may notice we feel eager to cast off the cobwebs that have accumulated over the colder months.
In Ayurveda, Spring is recognised as the time when we shift through the heavy, watery dampness of Kapha (the pairing of Earth and Water) to vibrant Pitta (the pairing of Fire and Water). It is the natural time of growth and transformation.
Now is the time to declutter and detox our lives, as well as our bodies, so we can release the old and make space for something new.
Because bodies are intuitively in tune with nature, it can be helpful to sync our activity with the seasons in order to get the most out of life. The intentions we set now will sustain us through the rest of the cyclical year. Here are some suggestions to make the most of spring season.
1. Channel your energy into making your dreams come true.
Make time to review your ambitions and dreams. Spring is the perfect time to turn your full attention to what you want more of in the future. Winter will have given you plenty of time for reflection; now it’s time to take action.
Think about what you want from the rest of this year, set some positive intentions, and consider what steps you can begin taking to realise your hopes and dreams.
Spring is the time of plans and projects. ~Leo Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina”
2. Introduce discipline and routine into your everyday.
Lighter mornings and longer days means that your energy will start to pick up. You may find that you want to move more and spend time outdoors. Take advantage of this by introducing some discipline into your exercise programme, yoga practice, or by taking up a new sport.
Whatever it is, commit to doing it regularly.
3. Adapt your yoga practice to match Springtime energy.
Adapt your yoga practice to boost the circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems.
Pick up the pace a little to ensure it’s invigorating. Then, as a basic guide, add in postures that work the legs to boost circulation, twists and lateral movement for detoxification as well as improved digestion, and inversions for lymphatic drainage.
4. Eat in sync with the season.
With the onset of spring, you’ll find you adapt far more easily to a fresher diet. Comfort food is no longer required. Balance Kapha by ditching the dairy and opting for lighter flavours instead, as well as keeping Pitta under control with calming, cooling foods such as cucumber, aloe, and yoghurt.
Because the body will naturally want to clean out its own closet, support detoxification with plenty of leafy, bitter greens such as kale, dandelion greens, and chard.
5. Cast off anything that could be holding you back through meditation.
Ask yourself if there is anything you need to let go of in order to move forward with your life. Host a little ritual to release whatever it is: an old boyfriend, a broken dream, a limiting belief, a job. Try this meditation:
- Sit comfortably and take some time to calm yourself and feel centered.
- Identify in your own words what you would like to shed.
- Consider what would happen if you don’t free yourself from what is holding you back.
- Next, imagine how you will feel and what impact it would have on your life if you were able to let go. Feel the lightness and spaciousness that letting go would bring.
- Take a deep breath in and hold, feel your body rooting down to the earth, and as you exhale, let whatever binds you pour back into the earth, back to the source from which it came.
- If it’s helpful, give yourself encouragement with a positive affirmation.
- Allow yourself to become empty. When you’re ready, allow that spaciousness to shine.
- Finally, invite abundance into your life.
- Close your meditation with one “Om” or a gesture that has meaning to you.
6. Wear brighter colours.
Forget the blacks and greys. Go for brighter, more cheerful colours in lighter fabrics. You will find that it helps to lift your mood and bring more resonance between you and your outside environment.
7. Get sexy.
We will naturally feel more frisky at this time of year. Your sexual charge is closely connected to your creativity, so do whatever makes you feel sexy and get inspired.
8. Rise and shine.
Staying in bed late encourages Kapha stagnation, so get up with the rising sun and watch your energy levels soar. Use the extra time to take an invigorating run or do your morning yoga practice. Your body will thank you for it.
Ernest Hemingway once said, “When spring came, there were no problems except where to be happiest.” If we make the effort now to release what is no longer serving us and work in harmony with the season, we will reap the rewards for many months to come.