Not only does seasonal living help us heal, maintain health, reduce stress and create ease, it awakens the heart.
In a world that is eternally dynamic and infinitely cyclical, where time constantly marches on, how do we ever find balance?
Ayurveda—in its genius—realizes that stopping, or pausing, isn’t an option. What gives us the sense of pause, where rest and healing can occur, is alignment.
Aligning with the movement of the celestial bodies that govern the rhythms of nature gives peace, balance and the possibility for vibrant health. Live out of alignment with these rhythms and you are bound to suffer.
The “celestial bodies” I refer to are the sun and the moon. Awakening with sunrise and resting after dark are essential. But the sun and the moon also determine the seasons and the tides, so paying attention to these rhythms is also necessary.
Not only does seasonal living help us heal, maintain health, reduce stress and create ease, it awakens the heart—because nature’s beauty is awe-inspiring and silently weaves us back into the fabric of a loving world.
This is why it is so important to eat seasonally. When you do, you engage in an act of cosmic alignment, where you can almost feel nature loving you through her cyclical and balancing harvest.
Now, it’s springtime—a season for healing and growth, bringing life to its fullest blossom while sloughing off accumulations that weigh and slow us down. This, therefore, is the prime time for detoxification.
We want to do what nature is doing: melting the freeze of winter and preparing for the liberation of summer.
The key to healthy detoxification is Agni.
Agni is the Sanskrit word for fire. It is generally used to describe our digestive fire. Agni helps us digest and assimilate the nutrients in our food, and supports the organs of elimination, including the skin, liver and kidneys, to move the waste out of our body.
To stoke your digestive fire, sip ginger tea with your meals and add pungent warming spices that not only encourage digestion, but importantly melts Ama—that sticky, toxic goo of undigested food matter that gunks up your system.
What to Eat
Green Vegetables: Loaded with fiber, leafy greens like arugula, collards, spinach and kale are full of chlorophyll that helps release toxins from your body, while stimulating cellular intelligence and boosting your Prana.
If you are adventurous, try the edible wild greens of early spring. Known for their powers of detoxification, they include dandelion greens, mustard greens, watercress, sorrel, chickweed, chicory, garlic mustard, endive, fiddleheads, wild prickly lettuce, mache, nettles, frisée and onion grass. Sample some of these spring greens freshly picked and still moist, and you might be delighted by the power of the peppery, bitter taste.
Beans: Packed with protein, a bowl of legumes, such as split mung, dal or hummus, adds savory satisfaction to substitute for the heavier, harder-to-digest and often pesticide-laden meat, fish and eggs.
Spice it up: If you love it hot and spicy, now is your season. Pungent spices strengthen Agni, help break down foods and eliminate waste. In the spring, Ayurvedic spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, clove, cumin, coriander, cayenne, black pepper, basil, oregano, fenugreek and chilies offer flavor, aroma, digestive muscle and ama-melting purification.
What’s in Season
Artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, grapefruit, kumquats, Meyer lemons, blood oranges, tangelos, mandarins, grapefruit, carrots, chard, dates, fava beans, fennel, green garlic, kale, leeks, lettuces, mustard greens, new potatoes, nettles, peas, pea shoots, pea tendrils, radicchio, radishes, rapini, spring onions, shallot shoots, sorrel, bean sprouts, strawberries, watercress.
Springtime is not just a miracle unfolding around you, it is a miracle happening within and through. You are an essential element of nature, an integral part of the cosmic whirl. Invite your fullest blossom this season by flowing with the rhythm of life as you enjoy nature’s bounty and align with the divine.
A partner at VedaWise, offering clinical services in natural medicine for whole person wellness and trainings in the Vedic sciences, I offer Seasonal Cleanses, classes in Ayurvedic Nutrition and Cooking, consults in Ayurveda and Yoga Teacher & Yoga Therapy Trainings. For a more detailed spring detoxification regime, how about joining my Spring Clean 21 Day Challenge?
Photo: Monique Feil
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