Spring is well upon us. There is a great deal of back and forth as nature tries to establish the new season; the effects of spring are under way and influencing all aspects of our being. Traditionally, spring equinox is a time of turmoil and sudden changes as the dormant energies of winter awaken and come up to the surface; a process during which a lot can get dredged up. In a nutshell, spring can be a challenging time for general health.
Emotions that have been buried over fall and winter can come up. The colder months are about preservation and survival. The mind, body, spirit triad does its best not to burden the system with too many mental or emotional preoccupations, other than what is necessary to get through day by day. Consequently, some of our thoughts, emotions and existential challenges are pushed down as we try to survive winter. While surviving winter in today’s world is generally much easier than in the old days, we are still susceptible to the currents of nature and there is no escaping the effects, other than being aware of the challenges and having the necessary tools to ride the waves of change.
Officially, the transitional time starts two weeks before the spring equinox (March 21st) and goes on for two weeks after. In reality the process can last much longer.
Health and Nutrition Tips for Spring
The following are some quick tips on how to handle this transition:
- To allow the deep energies of our bodies, in sync with those of nature, to rise more smoothly, keep things light during this time.
- From a heavy, rich diet of winter, start to gradually switch to a lighter diet of spring. While most people now eat the same diet all year round, it is crucial to be as seasonal as possible in order to limit the challenges of the natural shifts as well as preventing a long term state of dis-ease in the body.
- Instead of stews, eat lighter stir-fries and soups with veggies. Eat less greasy and meaty foods. Cut down on saturated fats and animal protein in general. While these help us keep warm, grounded and yin, in spring we need to be light, agile, springy and yang.
- De-clutter as much as you can. See what has been hiding under your bed, in your drawers, storage rooms, fridge, kitchen cabinets or anywhere else. What you have not used or needed for a long time weighs you down energetically. Recycle or give away to lighten things up.
- Meditate! While this is great to do all the time, it is more crucial at this time of the year. The back and forth change in nature creates “wind” both externally (in the environment) and internally (in our bodies). Wind, although a natural weather phenomenon, wrecks havoc in the body. Outbursts of anger (or internalizing it), mental agitation, gas, belching, high blood pressure, muscle spasms and seasonal allergies (itching and sneezing) are just a few examples of wind that need to be subdued and quelled in the body.
- Ensure that you cover your head, neck and upper back to protect from external wind which can internalize itself through these more susceptible areas of the body.
- Meditation, yoga, taichi, qigong all help us get more grounded during this time of transition while at the same time, allowing our systems to remain light and agile for the rising of yang energy to happen.
Armin Madani-Nejad R.Ac