Nature is our guide in Ayurveda. We look at how nature changes with the daily and seasonal weather patterns, daylight, and nighttime to see how we can best support ourselves physically and mentally/ emotionally to stay in good health.
Ayurveda believes our disconnect from nature causes diseases and imbalances in ourselves.
Our lives and environments are ever-changing and to keep yourself in balance it helps to look at the seasonal changes to know how to adapt.
Read all about the month of April to stay in good health!
P.S. This blog is based on Ontario, Canada weather.
It's spring! But wait, it was still snowing yesterday. Maybe in the rest of the world, the buds are springing up, but here in Ontario, the weather is still variable throughout April and even into May.
That said, feeling the warmer sun on good days gives us hope and renewed energy for the time ahead. The warm sun feels so comforting and inspires thoughts of fun and active past summers. We are ready for it, bring it on!
Spring represents new beginnings, the earth comes back to life. You see young buds sprouting up, new leaves on trees, and the birds singing. It is a wonderful time of the year after a long, cold, and dark winter.
Make use of the new energy and start a new project, clean your house thoroughly, and do an Ayurvedic cleanse yourself to move into the warmer months in good health.
"In Ontario, the weather is still variable throughout April and even into May."
The melting ice and snow and the rain in April bring more moisture in the air and this makes vata happy, but kapha might feel puffy and waterlogged. The heavy and unctuous winter meals can make our blood thicker and richer, and this has an effect on your liver. Your liver might need a bit of extra care at this time of year, especially for pittas and kaphas. Taking a few days to do a cleanse is a great idea. Ayurvedic cleanses are gentle in nature, but have great benefits for the body. Read more here.
The weather is still unpredictable in April. We are dying to get out and feel the sunshine, but there will still be snow and rain ahead of us. This can be a tough time of year just waiting for spring to come.
Don't be discouraged, dress for the weather, and get out and get moving!
"We are dying to get out and feel the sunshine, but there will still be snow and rain ahead of us."
The Three Doshas in April
Vata benefits from the moisture in the air and is feeling relief from the dry and cold winter. The fluctuating weather is still a bit hard on vatas though and they still benefit from eating a heavier diet, but adding greens and fresher foods will make them feel good.
They should focus on hydrating and moisturizing their skin to rejuvenate from the harsh winter months. The sun will change their grey winter complexion and bring more blush to their cheeks!
Vatas can benefit from a mild cleanse that focuses on hydration and oleation. Warm foods are still the way to go for vata, adding in warming spices and a good tablespoon of ghee.
Vatas might feel the energy of new beginnings and they are excited! This is the time for vata to start planning vacations, fun new projects, and get into life again. They thrive on the energy of new beginnings! Always be aware of keeping yourself grounded and balance to not burn ou
Read more about cleansing here.
Our liver is working hard at this time of year to remove any toxins from our bodies. The heavier foods and sedentary lifestyle of winter make our blood thicker and richer and now it is time for a clean-up!
Pittas might start to notice itchy skin, rashes, eczema flaring up. A gentle cleanse that supports the liver is very beneficial for pitta at this time of year. It can really help them improve their skin and digestion as well.
Allergies can also flare up for pitta at this time of year. They are the sensitive dosha and can notice changes in the air quickly. Working on improving your digestion is your best bet. Again, a mild cleanse will help with that. Eating easy-to-digest foods, drinking plenty of water, and adding bitter green vegetables to your diet will benefit you tremendously. Think broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuces, and green herbs like cilantro and parsley are great for pitta right now. Cooling foods like coconut milk, cucumber, and any green vegetable helps pittas liver to cool and calm down.
This is also the time of year when pittas water element is prevalent and this means emotions that might have been stuck and dormant in the winter are now rising high! You might experience bursts of anger, frustration, or judgmental thoughts. Take time to process these and stay cool, calm, and collected throughout the day to minimize this. Journaling, taking breaks, and enjoying the still cool weather outside are great to balance pitta.
Have you booked your summer vacation yet, pitta?
"Have you booked your summer vacation yet, pitta?"
Spring is kapha season, and this brings challenges for kaphas. This is THE time of year for kaphas to get moving! They might feel sluggish and depressed, but it is time to get off the couch. Going outside for a walk early in the morning, taking a power yoga class, or hopping on that spin bike is great for kaphas blood to get moving. This will start the process of removing any toxins, water weight, and excess fat tissue from the body. Kaphas need to be nudged and encouraged to get outside and get moving.
Kaphas are prone to isolate and keep their feelings inside. They deal with things on their own, which can build up emotions like sadness and grief. It is healthy for kapha to start connecting again with friends and family or find a support group to work with these feelings and to open up.
The moisture in the air and their thick blood can create mucus in the body, and they might suffer from nasal congestion, mucus in the lungs, or plugged-up ears. Eating a lighter, fresher diet full of leafy greens will do them much good. Reducing their meat intake and choosing beans as a source of protein is great for kapha. Adding spices like fresh red peppers, green chilies of cayenne helps to get kapha sweating and their blood moving.
Kaphas want to remove water from their body, so they benefit from drinking less water and adding diuretic teas to their day. Like the classic cumin, coriander, fennel tea!
Routine and lifestyle
Kaphas will benefit from rising earlier, at least with the sun or preferably a bit earlier. Sleeping in will keep them stuck in their rut. Daytime napping is a big no-no at this time of year, it is better to get more energy from some breath work or a walk outside, especially if you have a sedentary job.
Routine is essential when it comes to steady physical and mental health, but kaphas can get too comfortable in their routines and this is a great time to reassess and push yourself to switch it up a bit.
This is the time to start the day with exercise, even 15 minutes of yoga, walking, or a fitness class will get you going.
This is the time of year to get back on your yoga mat, start a new exercise routine, or start a fun sport.
Kaphas can also benefit from Ayurvedic practices like neti pot or dry brushing. Neti pot helps to remove mucus from the nasal passages and dry brushing improves blood and lymph circulation.
Ayurvedic Diet for April
What is available is always depends on where you are in the world. Your best bet is to check your weekly farmers' market or subscribe to a newsletter of your local farm to stay updated.
April can still be meager in Ontario when it comes to new, fresh produce. Farmers have just been starting to plant new vegetables and this can still take some time to come to harvest. This is specifically in Ontario, you might be living in California and see abundance already at your local farmers market. Always use this as your guideline for what to eat!
April is a great time for a mild cleanse. Lighter foods should be replacing heavy and meaty winter foods. Replacing meat for legumes, and root vegetables for lighter green vegetables.
We might want to refrain from eating sugar for a few weeks to give our bodies a break. Bitter, pungency, and astringency are the tastes of April. Especially if you have lots of kapha and pitta in your body and mind right now.
Vata can still enjoy the heavier foods of winter.
We want to take care of our liver, so anything green and easy-to-digest will benefit us greatly. Think leafy greens like kale, collard greens, mustard greens, arugula, they are bitter in taste and help the liver detox. Also, rougher vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts are good to support cleansing.
Spices like turmeric and cinnamon are great for this time of year. They have blood-thinning properties and help thin out your thicker winter blood. Also, more pungent spices like cayenne, ginger, and black pepper are great to add to your dishes. Think (homemade) spicy Thai or Indian curries or soups. Yum!
Adding green herbs is great to cool down the liver. Cilantro and parsley are great choices.
Beets are still recommended to support cleansing your blood. Make a soup with beets (borsjtj).
Spring also marks the time to start to reduce your meat and dairy intake. Kapha will only get more congested from dairy, you could substitute with homemade almond milk or coconut yogurt. Kapha and pitta can both benefit from adding more legumes and beans as a replacement for heavier meat. Chickpeas, split pea, and white beans are a great addition to the menu.
Kaphas really want to minimize heavy foods like pizza and hamburgers and sweets like pies and treats. This will further congest them, keep the weight on, and make them feel heavy and lethargic.
*A diet is unique to each person. Book an Ayurveda Assessment to find out more about your doshas and what an ideal diet would be for you. Click here to book your 20-min FREE consult.
*Sign up for the Ayurveda Cleanse this spring! This is a 7-day on-demand program that will help you reset your diet and lifestyle for better health. Perfect if you want to lose weight, improve your digestion, get better sleep, heal skin issues, and overall learn more about an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle. You can start this cleanse at any time of the year that is convenient to you. Read more here.
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.