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 March to stay in good health!
P.S. This blog is based on Ontario, Canada weather.
Spring is creeping upon us, you can just feel it! The sun is rising earlier and setting later. The days are getting longer. The cold temperatures are rising and we see more days above zero. March is unpredictable and one day we might find ourselves on the slopes for a ski while the next day we are basking in the sun and all the ice is melting.
In March, the earth is slowly starting to clear itself of the ice and snow it's been buried under for months. Everything starts to melt and the water is washing clear our earth. This happens in our bodies as well. You might find yourself sniffling, mucusy, congested, and stuffed up. Your eyes and face can be puffy and you might feel water logged.
Key is for us to also clear out and remove the melted snow from our bodies. In this case water weight, fat tissue, and toxins. Your body naturally is processing all the excess of winter it has been holding on to and this is a great time to start supporting your body to make it easier on the organs. Lighter and fresher foods are returning slowly on the menu. Add some pungent spices to help melt the snow away.
Mentally we feel this as well. Water represents emotions and kaphas emotions are sadness, grief, and deep heart emotions that can surface from under that layer of ice it has been buried. Taking time to process can be very helpful at this time of year.
"In March, the earth is slowly starting to clear itself of the ice and snow it's been buried under for months. This happens in our bodies as well."
Again, we want to be mindful when it comes to March weather. It is unpredictable. We can however start to benefit from the warming sun on our faces and feel that summer feeling in our bodies.
March is a transition month and one day it can snow and freeze, while the next day it can feel like the first real spring day! The 21st of March officially marks the transition to spring.
This is a time of year when we don't want to ignore our health imbalances. If we do not address them now, we might struggle all through spring and into summer.
"The sun is rising earlier and setting later. More sunshine betters our mood and we naturally want to start moving more."
The Three Doshas in March
Vata is happy with all this water! Finally, the dryness of the early winter is behind us and vata can regenerate with the moisture in the air. Vatas are also happy with the extra sunlight and can benefit from the sunshine on their somewhat grey-looking skin. Soak up that early sun and start to replenish.
Vatas still benefit from winter foods but can add more fresh vegetables to their meals like leafy greens. Citrus season is also upon us and vata needs that sourness and moisture to hydrate their digestive system and awaken those enzymes.
People with a vata constitution can benefit from a mild cleanse at the start of spring. It is a good time to evaluate their diet and lifestyle habits and make changes where needed. Read more about cleansing here.
March can be hard on pittas. The liver is under pressure and is working hard to digest and process toxins that might have built up over the winter season. This can show up as irritated skin, your eczema might flare up or your seasonal allergies start to come up as well. Pitta is the dosha that struggles mostly with allergies; food allergies or seasonal allergies.
Pittas can absolutely benefit from a cleanse at the start of spring. This is a great time for them to take a simple diet for a week or so to support their liver in processing toxins and give ease to their digestion. This will bring benefits to their irritated skin and ease allergies as well.
Pittas also have the water element in them and can feel emotions rising high. Give yourself time and space to process emotions that come up rather unexpectantly. Taking time off here and there can keep a balance for pittas and ease them into the spring season.
Now that the colder months are over pitta needs to prepare for the hotter months. It is key for them to adjust their diet and lifestyle with the weather patterns and to reduce stress where possible to stay balanced.
"Pittas also have the water element in them and can feel emotions rising high."
Spring is full-on kapha season. Earth and water are visible everywhere. Kaphas body has these elements in excess and this can show up as feeling waterlogged, carrying excess weight, feeling congested, and mucusy.
It is essential for kapha to adjust their diet and lifestyle at this time of year. Kapha qualities are increased right now and in the coming weeks. Doing a cleanse should be on kaphas calendar at this time. It will support them in releasing extra water weight, fat tissue, and toxins build up over the winter.
Kapha will be influenced by the watery emotions of sadness, grief, and might feel extra lethargic and unmotivated at this time.
Let the sunshine and the coming spring be a motivation to get outside and get moving. The best way for kapha to get out of the stagnation is to move their bodies. Have a crazy dance, a fierce walk outside, hop on your Peloton bike, do anything you like and that gets your blood going.
Routine and lifestyle
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.
Get out of bed earlier kapha! The sun rises at 7 am, welcome that beauty from your balcony and do something active first thing in the morning. Kaphas can benefit from a new project that gets them excited and out of their rut.
In Ayurveda, we always recommend getting up with the sun to keep your body in sync with nature's rhythms. We do however advise you to go to bed around 10 pm year-round. This gives you ample time to rest and recover at night.
Rest and space are still important at this emotional time of year. A great time to get back on your yoga mat, meditation cushion, or join a support group.
Ayurvedic Diet for March
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.
At this time of year, we want to support our body in its natural cleansing process. This means lighter foods, fewer sweets and sugary foods, fresh foods, and focusing on the bitter, pungent, and astringent taste. 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.
Foods that support cleansing the liver are anything green. 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.
Adding green herbs is still beneficial like parsley, dill, basil, and wintery herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Beets are still recommended to support cleansing your blood. Make a soup with beets (borsjtj) or roast them in the oven with spices and herbs.
It's great for kapha to add pungent foods to their diet like hot red peppers, ginger, black pepper, and a serving of kimchi! Garlic is great for kapha as well because of its medicinal cleansing properties and stimulating qualities.
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.
Exciting is that outdoor markets are slowly starting up again and the season of fresh vegetables and fruits is slowly nearing us.
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 next spring cleanse! This 7-day program 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. The cleanse is from March 27 to April 2. Read more here.
*Always consult your physician before making adaptations to your lifestyle and diet.