This morning I noticed that there were little leaves beginning to sprout from one of my indoor house plants.
It made me grateful to see this clear sign that spring is here.
Each year as spring approaches, my houseplants shed their leaves. Sometimes I help them along and pluck the leaves that are dry or discolored. Other times, I remove leaves that are still green because I know that doing so will allow the plant to flourish. I always hesitate a little before removing leaves for fear that I am causing a premature end to their existence. Each time I do however, I can almost hear the plant letting out a big sigh of relief as the weight of the old leaves no longer drains it of precious nutrients. This shedding of old leaves prepares the plant for the new growth that always comes in springtime.
Just like plants and animals, we are affected by the seasons. Our bodies mirror what is happening in nature. The cold and snowy days cause us to eat more, sleep more, and spend more time inside which can show up in our bodies as excess weight. The excess weight we carry doesn't only show up on a scale. We can also feel a heaviness in our energy that can show up as fatigue, lethargy or even depression. According to Ayurveda, this heaviness is caused by a build up of kapha. This damp and heavy energy is a result of the cold and wet days of winter. An excess of kapha is the cause of the congestion, allergies, and weight gain that are so common in the springtime. Ayurveda suggests that we consciously rid ourselves of this heaviness when the spring comes to keep ourselves healthy and strong as we enter into a new season.
The focus of your self care in spring should be to clear out and lighten up. Following these simple guidelines can keep you strong and healthy.
* Get outside and breathe the fresh air.
* Exercise vigorously everyday, focusing on building strength and endurance.
* Go to sleep by 10PM and wake up by 6AM to be rested and clear in your mind.
* Clear out clutter in your home, car, and workspace to avoid feeling burdened by your stuff.
* Reduce or eliminate dairy products since they cause mucus, congestion, and sluggishness.
* Reduce or eliminate sugar which causes weight gain, brain fog, and inflammation.
* Cut down on red meat which can be heavy and slow down digestion.
* Drink ginger tea as a digestive aid.
All living things are impacted by the changing seasons. We can learn to move with grace and ease into the spring by emulating the intelligence and perfection in nature. Make a commitment to shed the excesses of winter and like my plant, you will be ready and open to the new growth that always comes in spring.
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