Ayurvedically speaking, we come into spring bearing the burdens of the winter. Ayurvedic practitioners describe this as an accumulation of the kapha dosha – heavy, slow, cold, oily, steady, solid, soft . Spring is the season between the kapha season of winter and the pitta season of summer – hot, light, intense, penetrating, sharp, pungent, acidic – and so we find that the body wants to shed the cool heaviness of winter and move towards the warm lightness of summer. Often, this movement from the protective energy of winter to the expansive energy of summer can result in us feeling bloated, lethargic, heavy, and if we don’t change our routines, we’ll get sick – colds and allergies are typical. That is why Spring is the perfect time for a cleanse, and like all things, we can do it the easy way or the hard way – the easy way being to listen to our body and embrace wellness, and the hard way being to ignore our bodies and get sick.
I have a kapha dominant dosha anyway (click here to find out yours if you don’t know it), so I was feeling bloated, slow to start in the morning and heavy. To make matters worse, I had just come off 50+ days of a structured yoga practice focusing on the heart and throat chakra, and I was having trouble setting a new yoga routine. I would come over, sit on my yoga mat and go through my yoga magazines and my folder of yoga sequences that I keep for moments like this – not be able to decide what to do, and end up not doing yoga at all! I had also wanted to do an ayurvedic spring cleanse, which involves eating a simple kitchari (rice and dhal) for lunch and dinner. Yep, I couldn’t motivate myself to start that either :/. Talk about frustrating.
I needed a kick up the butt, and fast! Lucky for me, I found it in this amazing Strawberry-Grapefruit Smoothie at Food: A Love Story. It looks kind of innocent and easy too, so I made it, and gave everyone in the house a glass. Wow, the bitterness of the grapefruit is so perfect for this time of year, and is one of the ayurvedic tastes that is recommended to increase in your diet this time of year – astringent and spicy being the others – all of which are present in this smoothie.
Strawberry and Grapefruit Smoothie
Makes two serves
1/2 grapefruit, peeled
1/2 green apple, peeled
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
1 cup of water
honey to taste
ginger or cinnamon according to preference
Put the fruit and water in a blender and process until smooth. Add honey and spice.
Be prepared to have your butt kicked in the best of ways 🙂
I don’t know, but it all came together after that 🙂 I worked out a great yoga sequence which I’m practicing using the principles of kapha balancing:
- Move quickly, focusing on precision.
- When moving from one pose to another, be sharp.
- Challenge yourself. Kapha loves their comfort zone and can get complacent in their yoga practice. Hold the pose for one breath longer than you think you can.
- Keep an upward gaze.
Cat pose to warm up
5 rounds of sun salutations
Utkatasana – chair pose
Twisting chair pose 3 times on each side with the breath
Chandrasana – half moon pose
Trikonasana – triangle pose
Viparati Karani – legs up the wall, together then apart.
And today, I’m preparing my kitchari for a simple 3 day cleanse – check it out here if you’re interested. Bring on the Spring, baby!
How are you feeling this spring?