Melting snow, budding trees, a loamy aroma in the air, earlier sunrises, and later sunsets. These are the signs of spring, the season when the Earth awakens from her hibernation and puts on display all the new life she’s been keeping safe underground during the dark, harsh winter.
In Ayurveda, the arrival of spring is one of the recommended times of year for a seasonal cleanse—a short period in which we simplify and reduce the inputs to our body and mind in order to create the conditions for an easeful transition between the dry, cold, mobile qualities of winter (vata season) and the damp, warm, dense qualities of spring (kapha season).
Transitioning from Winter to Spring
Compared to the onset of autumn, another important time for cleansing, the dramatic shift in doshas during the spring transition can be more challenging for our bodies to handle, which is partly why so many of us struggle with seasonal irritants just when we’re excited to get outside and play.
Here’s why: If we were nourishing ourselves with foods and activities to balance vata dosha during winter—think holiday treats and more Netflix marathons than walks outside—all of those heavy kapha qualities will have gradually built up in our systems.
If we don’t mindfully taper off from those routines in the juncture between winter and spring, we’ll be overloaded with kapha, and may get stuck in a cycle of imbalance for the rest of the season, if not the whole year. With proper cleansing, we can avoid all that muck and greet spring feeling light, energized, and clear. In other words, we can support a state of sattva, unburdened by the doshas of mind or body.
Especially after simplifying your diet and routines for a few days with a cleanse, you might actually be hungry for a little stimulation, eager to trade your monodiet of kitchari for a hearty, toothsome meal.
The foods you choose for rejuvenation after cleansing, however, can make or break all of the good work you did to prepare yourself for the new season. In the same way that we want to gradually ease into a new set of elements and qualities, we need to ease back into a daily routine after cleansing to ensure that sattvic feeling sticks around.
Get the recipe on Banyan Botanicals for a Red Dal that will do just that with a balance of spring-centric ingredients and all six tastes.