Spring is here and love is in the air! At least that’s how it feels, doesn’t it? When the days start getting longer, the birds are singing their sweet song, and the flowers are starting to show their beauty to us. It all makes me just want to slow down and allow my senses to sip in every bit of it! And so, these past couple of weeks, I have been doing just that - honoring Nature’s signals to slow down as She transitions from the cold, dry winter to the cool, moist Spring.
We were lucky to get snow in Virginia last week as Nature’s reminder of this beautiful, and seemingly slow, transition of seasons. As I watched the snow soften and melt last week, I was reminded of the popular metaphor in Ayurveda of Spring having the qualities of snow melting on a mountaintop. As the snow melts, the sweet water flows down the mountain nourishing the earth below and allowing for new growth of plants and lifeforms. Similarly, in the Spring, we are called to slow down and flow softly through our days. We are invited to stretch and bring easeful movement into our body and lifestyle. We begin the transition out of our winter hibernation that can often leave us feeling restless due to the Winter qualities of Vata dosha (air and ether). We enter into the Spring season, which is governed by Kapha dosha.
Kapha, composed of Earth and Water elements, brings a feeling of softness and slowing down. It brings moisture, which leads to a dampness and heaviness in the air. It is the dosha of growth and structure; interestingly, it is also the dosha that predominates in childhood, the period of time that our body undergoes the most rapid growth. No wonder then that Spring is a time of growth, fresh beginnings, and the blossoming of new ideas and experiences!
Depending on your individual dosha (your unique Ayurvedic body-mind constitution), the Spring can have varying effects on your body, mind, and emotions. As a predominantly Vata-Pitta individual, I love the Spring! The water and earth elements naturally ground my mobile and light energy. I enjoy the call to slow down and soften. On the other hand, for a Kapha-predominant individual, the season’s heavy and damp qualities can lead to imbalance of excessive sluggishness, nasal and chest congestion, and emotional attachment. Perhaps one of the most effective and fast-acting antidotes is to simply exercise. Vigorous movement such as vinyasa yoga, running, or other forms of intense exercise is generally quite balancing for excess Kapha.
As we are just beginning the transition of seasons, I invite you to observe the qualities that arise in your life. No matter how the season affects you, it is Nature’s way of reminding us to simply pay attention. Nature reminds us, if we allow ourselves to listen, that we are most in balance when we align ourselves with Her Universal rhythms.