In today's video, I talk about the season of Spring and how it relates to stickiness and stagnation in the body. Did you know this is the best time of year to get the heaviness of winter moving again? Watch the video to learn more.
Right now in the northern hemisphere its spring. New green leaves are popping up around us and everywhere there’s new growth. Spring is a time when we move from the internal focus of winter to the expansiveness of summer. During the spring there is a gradual moving up and out.
Kapha, the Wood Element, and the Liver and Gallbladder
In the Chinese medicine system, this is the time of the wood element - it's a time to find clarity about our direction and vision. A time when we can invite more creativity into our lives, and a time we can release stuck emotional patterns.
In the Ayurvedic system, this is Kapha time which is a combination of water and earth. We’ve been moving slower over the winter and maybe eating heavier foods. Now with the arrival of longer or warmer days, we have the opportunity to shed the layers of winter and invite more movement and lightness.
This time of year is related to the Liver and Gallbladder. These organs are responsible for the smooth flow of Qi. When the Qi is not moving we feel stuck. Liver energy can become easily stagnated with stress and too much rich or denatured food. When these organs are energetically stagnant we may experience problems with our emotional life, menstrual cycles, eyes, and tendons.
Spring is definitely a great time to do some sort of cleanse. This time of year, what we call Ama or damp accumulates in the body as a form of stagnation. It often shows up as excess mucus, candida yeast symptoms, fatigue, digestive difficulty, or seasonal allergies.
So to clear excess heaviness this time of year there’s a whole range of cleansing options available to you. You can focus on eliminating heavier more congesting foods like bread products, dairy, and sugar and instead focus on adding bitter greens like beet greens, romaine, and kale, more sprouts, and pungent flavored foods like radishes.
You could also do a short green juice fast. Feel free to check out this post for more juicing resources.
The herb I’d like to highlight today is dandelion. We’re all familiar with this readily available weed that starts to pop up everywhere this time of year. It's actually the perfect herb for spring. Dandelion root has a strong effect on the liver. In particular dandelion increases the livers natural waste clearing effects. It increases bile production and excretion, therefore, helping us to detox. Go slow when adding dandelion root to your day as it may cause symptoms to get worse temporarily (like headaches or fatigue). This should pass within 1-2 days as your body eliminates toxins through your colon. You can use the dried root as a tea or take a tincture. You can also find dandelion in grocery stores this time of year. Those leaves labeled dandelion are usually actually chicory but no worries they have a similar effect.
If you’re harvesting dandelion yourself be sure to properly identify the plant as there are other plants that look similar. Dandelion leaves vs roots are more diuretic, so they have a stronger effect on the Kidneys and I’ll save discussion of that for another time! If you have specific diseases of the liver or blockages in the bile duct or bowels be sure to check with your doctor before using this remedy.
On a lifestyle level, this is a great time of year to evaluate what you want to shed from the winter and how to move towards your goals. It's also a great time of year to get active and move your body. I personally love doing a twisting yoga practice to move stagnation and get things circulating.
7 Days of Spring
I also created a little course called 7 Days of Spring which is only available this season which you can access over on site so be sure to check that out for 7 days of seasonal meditation and yoga practices.
I hope these suggestions help you harmonize with the season! Let me know in the comments below what self-care practices you do in the springtime!