With spring on it’s way many of you are probably getting going with new workouts, new wellness practices, and new routines. In many holistic and integrative health disciplines, spring is seen as time of growth, easy-spiritedness, setting intentions and decisions. It’s a time of renewal and cleansing that sets the rest of the year into motion. Below are some great wellness practices from Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to get more “spring” your step (pun very much intended).
Avoid Heavy Foods.
Spring is a great time to go easy on your Liver. In Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), your liver is responsible for smooth flow of qi (your energy) both physically and mentally. Spring is also a time where allergies and inflammation tend to flare up. Avoid all that by eliminating low quality fats and sugars. Clean out your system by replacing all of that delicious fat and sweet sugar with green and sour foods. Dandelion greens, rhubarb, lemons, and vinegar are all great liver-tonifying foods. Adding turmeric to your food is also a great remedy that’s suggested to use if you tend toward inflammation and autoimmune flare-ups. Maybe it’s time to cut back on all those wonderfully delicious Ample Hills Creamery pints or Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie slices.
Any sort of side stretching, spinal twists are also fantastic way to detoxify your system. Generally, tonifying gentle exercises like qi gong or yoga. Gardening or relaxing at home. Anything to open up, relax and get moving. It can be as simple as a short walk in Prospect Park after a meal or choosing to ride your bike instead of taking the subway.
Sun Salutation series are an amazing practice from yoga for reducing stagnation, increasing our vital energy, and boosting our mood and motivation each day. Start with 3-5 rounds in the morning, and gradually increase until you reach 10.
Ayurvedic Springtime Tea Blend
This is my favorite thing to make in the springtime along with Lemon and Lavender Shortbread Cookies (I know! That’s not really a “light” food, but a girl can pretend). Source herbs from local legitimate apothecaries. The Integral Yoga Afpothecary on Greenwich Street is my favorite. Make a tea blend of your own with 1 oz licorice root, 1 oz fennel seed, 1 oz fenugreek, 2oz flaxseed (whole). You can put this in a tea strainer and brew as you would any other tea.
Get a Massage
Get a massage by a licensed massage therapist that specializes in pain-relief. Massage has benefits to any new training regimen. It can help release tight muscles and also aid in recovery time. It’s also an excellent way to keep track of muscle tone, promote relaxation, and increase range of motion.
Release What Doesn’t Serve You
Closet Purge! De-clutter! Bad Relationships! Negative Thought Patterns! KonMari your apartment or brownstone! You name it! Just get rid of it if it’s not giving you joy or has a purpose. Bye Felicia!
Cleanse Your Mind
This one ties back into number five. By physically releasing what’s not working for you, energetically make space for what you need to come in. Meditate or take up some other mindfulness practice. Work on changing thought patterns that no longer serve you. Reach out to loved ones or difficult people in your life to clear the air. Strive to release attachments to seed your potential for the rest of the year to come!