Spring has finally sprung! The flowers are out, the rain is pouring down, and when the sun peaks through the clouds, it is warming and bright. Since spring is generally wet and damp, which, in Ayurveda (the yogic system of health) is characteristic of Kapha season, it is common for people to cough and sneeze. In fact, the English word “cough” comes for the Sanskrit word “kapha”.
Kapha season starts when the bears, and nature in general, come out of hibernation at the end of March. Starting out wet and cold, the season ends with wet and warm weather when the cows are delightedly feeding on green grasses and the air is fragrant with herbs in bloom in May or June.
The main location of Kapha dosha is in the chest, and it is aggravated by mucus accumulation leading to colds, sinus congestion, allergies and asthma. Kapha season is therefore the perfect season to fast, to burn off the extra fat that has accumulated during winter and to reduce the accumulation of wet mucus in the body.
Spring is a good time to reduce or eliminate heavy foods like meats, ice cream, yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, cheese, ice-cold foods and deep fried foods. This alone will greatly decrease the chances of being sick with colds and allergies in winter and spring.
Spring is also a great time to eat lighter meals, or even skip meals during breakfast and dinner time. The heaviest meal is best eaten at lunch when the fire of pitta dosha is at its peak and food is better digested.
Most importantly, spring is probably the most optimum time to do a longer juice fast. Here are some of the main benefits of juice fasting or intermittent fasting (eating lighter or less foods) in the spring:
- Studies done by Dr. Dean Ornish have found that juice fasting and intermittent fasting increase the so-called longevity genes in our body.
- Fasting gives us more energy and improves our mood.
- Juice fasting and intermittent fasting greatly reduces the risk of obesity and diseases linked to increased weight.
- Green juices, which are bitter in taste, increase the production of digestive bile and helps in reducing sugar cravings and hunger pangs in general. Starting the day with a green juice is therefore an excellent way to beat the sugar blues.
- Studies have shown that growth hormones are increased when we fast on a regular basis. Research presented to the American College of Cardiology showed that fasting triggered a 1,300—2,000 percent rise of human growth hormone (HGH). These hormones help in cell regeneration and reproduction.
- Medical studies in England have shown that regular fasting will help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Juice fasting reduces free radical cell damage.
- Juice fasting is better for brain health and gives us a sharper mind. A study has shown that when we fast our body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.
Regular juicing and shorter or longer periods of juice fasting is always great for body, mind and spirit. But if there is a perfect season to fast, spring is probably it. And if you find that juicing is too challenging to do on your own, then join one of our spring or summer retreats here at the Prama Wellness Center.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramesh is the Director of the Prama Wellness Center where lifestyle is considered our best medicine. Ramesh is also a writer, yogi and workshop leader. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda and is a certified yoga detox theraphist from the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He has taught workshops in many countries and is the author of four books, including Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (InnerWorld) and Tantra:The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India).