Contributor: Sandra Fang
Yin Yang Japan Ambassador
Yoga Teacher based in Kansai (Yoga Alliance E-RYT200)
Main Teacher of Yogis English Workshop
I spend a lot of time on my bike in Kyoto everyday and in the past two weeks, I can gradually feel the shift of season in the blooming flowers and the warmer air. Spring Equinox is coming soon on March 20th, when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of the day and night is nearly equal. It also marks the first day of spring!
According to ayurveda, spring is the perfect season for detox. Here are a few things I often practice myself to detoxify the body and mind. I hope you find them helpful as well.
Step 1: Drink a glass of warm water the first thing after waking up
This has been my habit for too long already that I can’t even remember when I started it. It’s an ayurvedic and also a Chinese medicine practice. I love how it warms up my digestive system after a long night’s sleep.
Step 2: Scrape your tongue
According to ayurveda, the body processes everything that was ingested that day overnight, toxins begin to form, and are visible as a coating on the tongue. I simply use a tongue scraper to cleanse off the coating.
Step 3: Cleanse your nasal cavity
Spring is many people’s favourite season. However, many don’t like it as they suffer from pollen allergies. I use Neti pot in the morning to cleanse the nasal passages and to clear out mucus, dust, bacteria, pollen from the nose. I then use Nasya oil to lubricate the nasal tissues and prevent dryness.
Step 4: Cleanse your diet
To bring balance in spring we need to eat light, warm and cleansing foods. The tastes to focus on in the spring are bitter, pungent, and astringent. There are many vegetables and fruits harvested during this season that are good for the body, including green-leave vegetables, carrots, daikon, eggplants, bell peppers, peppermint, rosemary, apples, etc. Try to lighten up your body and mood now through healthy diets!
Step 5: Move your body
In Spring, it’s time to get out of our shells and move our body. Get our blood flowing, thaw out from the heaviness of winter, and generate a light sweat to detoxify the body. If you would like to practice yoga with me, please check out my schedule on my website.
Step 6: Cleanse your home
In the Japanese culture, cleaning the house is often done before the new year. But in the western culture, cleaning the house in spring is a tradition to freshen up our living space to get ready for the more active lifestyle in spring and summer. I like to cleanse the house in spring too. Keep the windows wide open to let the fresh and warmer air in, and I get rid of the material things that I no longer use and only surround myself with the things I love.
Step 7: Cleanse your mind
Over the years I’ve developed the habit of scrolling on my phone in bed. It is the last thing I do before falling asleep and the first thing I do after waking up. This has affected my sleep quality negatively and eaten my valuable time. I’ve decided to drop this habit. Now I try to turn my phone to airplane mode 30 minutes before going to sleep, and only turn it back on after my cleansing routine in the morning. I feel much more well rested during the night and more focused, energized, and productive in the day.
Here are my 7 tips for spring cleansing. I hope you find some of them useful and start incorporating them into your lifestyle!