The sun is coming back to the northern hemisphere; Ayurveda calls this period: Adaana Kaala. It includes 3 seasons: Shishira (late winter), Vasanta (spring) and Grishma (summer). It is known as the period that takes away the strength, as the sun becomes stronger and slowly drains energy from the body.
Dr. Be from the Santé Health Clinic in Auroville gives some tips on how to stay balanced and healthy this season.
In Vasanta, the sunrays are becoming hotter by the day, but the nights are still chilly. The change of season, from winter to spring, makes the body a bit more sensitive when Kapha (water and earth elements) wakes up and starts moving, exhilarated, giving cheerfulness and a burst of energy. A healthy Kapha shows in the body with lots of strength and stamina, a strong immune system, and a steady and stable mind with a sense of duty, warm-hearted, goodwill, generous and receptive. Kapha also begins to melt so that most of the semi-solid wastes accumulated during the previous cold season liquefy and want to ooze out of the body.
If Kapha becomes imbalanced, it gives to the body a feeling of lethargy and fatigue, loss of appetite, colds, cough with mucus, tonsillitis, sore throat, lung congestion, allergies, hay fever, cold body, dull headaches, sinusitis, cravings for sweet… And on the mind a feeling of sadness, confusion, dullness, mental laziness, feelings of not being loved/cared for/heard, putting oneself as a victim, greediness…
If any of these occur, it is time to expel this Kapha toxin with elimination therapies and rejuvenating practices.
With the food:
- Fasting a day a week is most beneficial (only drinking warm water)
- Eat warm, cooked, easy to digest, spicy.
- Balance Kapha with bitter, astringent and pungent tastes
- Proteins: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, mung dhal, dhals, dried peas, dried beans, pinto beans, red beans (rajma), soya beans (green gram), tempeh, cooked tofu, horse gram, white meat, eggs, small fishes, pumpkin seeds, goat milk
- Vegetables: Bitter vegetables: fenugreek (mehti), green leafy vegetables (cabbage, green salads, lettuce, rucola, spinach), artichokes, ash gourd, avocado (moderately), beetroots, bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd (loki, dudhi), broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chow-chow, drumstick (moringa: leaves of drumstick tree), eggplant, green beans, leeks, peas, peppers, pumpkin, radish, cooked tomato, zucchini.
- Good sweet = Cereals: old grains (amaranth, barley, buckwheat, red rice, millets, dry oats)
- Fruits: pomegranate, apple, dry apricots, chiku, papaya, grape, pear, raisins, strawberries
- Spices: ajwain, asafetida, basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, clove, cumin, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, fennel, fenugreek, mustard seeds, nutmeg, onion, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, chili (fresh or powder in small amount)
- Ghee or sesame/olive/sunflower oils
- Beverages: herbal teas (chamomile, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, peppermint, tulsi, karpooravali, yerba mate, rooibos), warm water, with honey, cranberry juice, barley grain coffee, grape juice, pomegranate juice, soya milk warm and spiced, black tea, masala tea (without milk), green tea.
- Ayurvedic plants and preparations: Shunti (ginger powder), Neem, Tulsi, Amla, Triphala, Panchakola (ayurvedic digestion booster), Trikatu (ginger, black pepper, pippali), Sitopaladi churna (for cold, coughs), Talispatradi Vayam (for chest congestions, coughs with mucus), Mix powders of ginger, turmeric, black pepper, all above can be mixed with honey
Food to avoid:
- Sweet, Sour, Salty tastes
- Snacking between meals (salty n sweet snacks), overeating
- Food that is heavy and difficult to digest (fried food, pasta…)
- Coffee with milk, hot chocolate, ice cream at the end of a meal
- Sodas, anything coming straight from the fridge
Routine to favour:
- Great principle: keep the stamina strong
- In early morning, clean the nasal cavity and sinuses with Nasya (2-3 oil drops in each nostril followed by steaming) using Anu Tailam (herbal medicated oil)
- Wash with warm water (shower or bath)
- Keep the body warm: neck and feet especially
- Physical exercise or sport: minimum of 30 minutes per day
- Udvartana (firm pressure massage with upward strokes) with sesame oil or Triphala + Horsegram powder
- Yoga (Sun Salutation, Warrior I, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior, forward bends, chest openers, and backward bends as well as poses that stretch, compress, stimulate, and cleanse the solar plexus like Cobra, Bow, Side Plank, spinal rolls, leg lifts, and twists)
- Pranayama (Kapalabhati, Bhastrika)
- Qi-Gong (balancing the body by stretching the muscles, loosening the joints and vertebrae and releasing physical tensions while stimulating the circulation, activating the endocrine system and opening up the energy channels)
- Fumigation: eucalyptus, neem, sage
- Kapha purification therapies: Vamana, Nasya
Avoid to do:
- Siestas and day naps
- Being lazy or no physical exercise
- Cold air, wind, fan