A Mindfulness Examination: As The Weather Warms, Take The Opportunity To Renew Your Routine
Column by Kelli Anders, MS, C-IAYT, RYT 500
The fourth in a series, this article aims to provide you with an understanding of seasonal routines and alignment with nature
Spring is a time of renewal and growth. Alongside blooming blossoms, buzzing bees and litters of critters, we inherently celebrate the sense of opportunity for a fresh start, to lighten up and cleanse ourselves of winter’s accumulated excesses.
Seasonal routines are one of our best tools for supporting our physiology and aligning ourselves with nature’s rhythms.
Following are some ideas to encourage you in developing your own springtime routine:
• Expect and anticipate change. Spring is a season of transition and characteristically “wet” — the signal here is to be fluid, not rigid, with implementing changes.
• Consider a cleanse. As cravings for heavier comfort foods give way to lighter fare, your body may be inviting you to consider a cleanse or a fast. Fresh juices and mono-meals (eating one type of [whole] food at a time) can aid in pushing the reset button on our digestive system.
• Choose wisely. Outside of a structured cleanse, you can support your body’s natural desire to purify and assist channels of elimination by favoring more pungent, bitter and astringent tastes, along with warm, light foods that are easier to digest.
• Step-down program. Gradually reduce your intake of heavy, oily or fried foods and try to curtail snacking between meals.
• Embrace the warmth. Drinking room-temperature, warm or hot beverages, like spicy herbal teas or even sipping warm water with honey, throughout the day can further support the renewal process.
• Remain mindful. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, be aware that dairy products can be congesting, exacerbating symptoms.
• Chart a course. Continue to soothe the nervous system with regular routines for working, eating, sleeping and exercise; beyond that, explore ways to incorporate more playfulness, adventure, creativity and community.
• Be active. Take advantage of longer days by waking 15-20 minutes earlier, to meditate, journal, sip warm water or stretch; take 5-10 mindful breaths.
• Healing touch. Express gratitude to each part of your body with gentle self-massage to stimulate lymphatic circulation and fluid balance.
• Sense of timing. Exercise can be especially supportive in countering the heavy, wet spring season by evoking a sense of lightness and mobility. Consider swimming, biking, hiking or yoga between 6 and 10 (a.m. or p.m.).
While our specific routines will be unique, aligning our individual rhythms with those in nature can facilitate a smooth transition from one season to the next. This spring, experience a renewed sense of joy, hope and health with seasonal diet and lifestyle choices inspired by nature.
Editor’s note: Instructor Kelli Anders holds a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy. With over 1,000 hours of training, she is certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (C-IAYT), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, and a certified Standup Paddleboard (SUP) fitness and yoga instructor. For more, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.