As spring approaches you might be thinking about cleaning out closets and drawers or scrubbing paintwork. According to the ancient texts of Ayurveda, in spring we also need to clean out kapha from our bodies. During the winter months, kapha has accumulated in the form of excess slime, mucus and phlegm. We might be noticing post nasal drip, stuffy sinuses, cough, breathlessness, sluggishness, lethargy, weight gain or a tendency to fall asleep after eating. These are all symptoms of kapha buildup. As spring comes and the snows melt, kapha liquifies. This could result in spring colds or allergies. So during the spring season we need to expell excess kapha.
The time from mid March to early May is ideal for panchakarma, a special Ayurvedic cleansing program tailored to individual needs. You might have heard about panchakarma but imagine that it is an expensive process done in a resort or spa, or something you need to travel to India to experience. But while these are possible ways to go though panchakarma, you can also do PK (as we like to call panchakarma) in your own home at minimal expense, or receive some treatments from a local PK therapist, who will provide therapies as indicated by your Ayurvedic practitioner. However, you will need to get a few days off work, just one reason why it's important to plan ahead!
Before starting your week of panchakarma, you will need to prepare your body with a month of cleansing herbs. So this is the time to visit your Ayurvedic practitioner to discuss panchakarma. During your pre-PK visit, your practitioner will:
- Asses your overall health history to see if PK is appropriate for you this spring
- Give attention to any habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol (more than a glass a week), bingeing or drinking coffee. If you have an active habit, there's a danger you will slip back into it right after PK and do yorself more harm than good.
- Give suggestions for cleaning up your diet in preparation for PK
- Create a personalized cleansing formula to prepare you for PK
- Create your personal PK plan and co-ordinate with other care providers such as PK therapist
- Ensure that you have all the needed products for your cleanse, such as specialized oils etc.
Even if you're not doing PK, spring is still a good time to re-evaluate your diet and habits and take some cleansing herbs. After all, it's Lent, a tradtional time to give up bad habits! Enjoy some special recipes such as Cleansing Kitcheri, Liver Cleanse Sabji or Daikon and Mustard Greens. And check in with your practitioner for a spring tune up.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!