by Karen Mandell E-500 RYT
Spring signals the renewal of the Earth as the temperature warms and the rain falls and plants begin to bloom again and animals come out of hibernation after the long cold dry winter months. Spring is celebrated in many cultures as a rebirth, it’s our fertile season, a season of growth, of possibility. We experience this change in our physical bodies, and our nervous system as a rather dramatic shift from the heaviness of winter. “Spring Fever” is in the air, we begin to have more energy, the desire to get out and experience this rebirth… some of us are feeling things more intensely. We are literally “waking up” coming out of hibernation ourselves in many ways.
If we do not cleanse as spring arrives, the body may naturally begin cleansing itself from excess oils, fats, salt and animal proteins, which can show up in the form of a cold, the flu, aches, etc. We can help our bodies eliminate these toxins, which in return will leave us feeling great!
No need for a crazy cleanse that involves not eating and just juicing. With some simple diet and lifestyle tips you can help your body go through this transition as easily as possible:
Cleanse your diet:
We just went through the hardest seasonal transition, from dreary winter into splendid spring. It’s time to do a little cleansing for the body that involves some simple dietary changes. Your spring diet should emphasize greens, light veggies and other foods that will lighten the load on your digestive track. This is the best time to decrease the amount of animal product based foods you are eating, or even try giving this up all together.
Increase greens, especially dark leafy greens!
-Leafy Greens: Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Collard greens, bok choy
Lighten up the load:
Cut back heavy meats and root veggies, instead stick to greens & light fish dishes. Avoid heavy sauces, instead go for light, easy and fresh.
Decrease heavy carb intake. Instead opt for bread products made from sprouted grains. My favorite kind is Ezekial’s 7 Sprouted Grains ( available in the freezer section of Whole Foods and most health food stores) Or, simply add more whole grains, quinoa, millet, brown rice, etc.
Add more raw food, these foods are less dense, plus the enzyme and mineral content in raw produce will give our body a boost.
-Raw fruits, veggies, salads, nuts
-Squeeze raw lemon in your drinks, teas, juices, on salads. Lemons are a great cleanser.
Add fresh vegetables and fruit juices & smoothies. The warmer weather makes it’s a perfect time to start your mornings with a delicious green juice, or super-food packed smoothie. Juices and smoothies are a great way to pack in the nutrients. These drinks are very alkalizing to the body, which is especially needed after the long winter months.
Cleanse your lifestyle:
Spring is here, the weather is getting nicer and the sun is out. Time to stop hibernating on the couch with the TV, get out of your cave!. If you are indoors, use this time for yourself. Pick up some self-care activities that nourish your body and mind, and leave you feeling beautiful inside and out.
Get outside. Walk more, no need to jump in a cab or the car when the sun is shining and its beautiful out. Pick up some outdoor activities—hiking, biking, jogging or walking with a friend. Sit in a park; enjoy nature, and fresh air. Really feel the springtime!
Incorporate some self-care routines. Start every morning with a warm cup of water with lemon. This simple act stimulates your digestive system, flushes your kidneys and liver of waste and toxins, and cleanses your lymphatic system. This one is easy, no excuses!
Dry brushing is a great way to slough off excess, dry skin from the winter months. Brush your skin in long strokes before the shower. This also improves circulation and can remove stretch marks and cellulite!
Use the neti-pot! This great ayurdvedic tool is perfect to help rid springtime allergies, and keep your nasal passages clean.
Massage! Schedule a real appointment, or self-massage. Massage gets the blood circulating, and aids in the detoxification process.
Yoga poses for detoxing:
Twisting poses energize the spine and stimulate the organs and digestion, detoxifying the body. Examples:
-Ardha Matseyandrasana (half seated spinal twist)
-Supta Matseyandrasana (supine spinal twist)
-Parvritta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair pose)
-Janu Srisasana, Marichyasana C and any other twists you like to incorporate into your practice.
-Vipariti Karani aka Legs up the wall. This pose calms the mind and pumps the lymphatic system. Fluid drains from the feet and legs, this helps calm your mind and allows the lymph system to renew and clean your immune system
Cleanse your home:
A clean and organized home is essential for a clean life. Clearing the clutter from your home is the first step towards clearing the clutter from the mind and the junk from the body! You are way more likely to feel great, and start eating great if you are living in a clean space, clear from negative energies.
Clear the junk out of your cabinets & fridge. The less ‘not so healthy’ food there is in the home, the less likely you are to eat it. Start from scratch this season. Feel like you are being wasteful? Give stuff to the poor, or those who need.
Clear the clutter around the home. Recycle all old newspapers, magazines, papers lying around that are no longer needed If there are things you need, find a place to store them. Get organized.
Clean out your closet. Hoarding stuff is being possessive. We want to let go of all attachment. If pieces of clothing are not serving you, let them serve others. Donate any clothing you don’t wear to a charity Now picking out an outfit won’t be so tough! With a cleaner, more organized closet you’ll be able to easily choose the perfect outfit for every day. This means you looking and feeling great.
I know this may seem like information overload. It’s not, these really are simple little things you can do to aid your body in spring cleansing. You do not need to all of these, pick and choose which are resonating with you and start incorporating them into your new spring lifestyle now.
I promise you these will leave you feeling happier, healthier and more vibrant, exactly how we all should for spring!