Although home will always be Africa, I am blessed to live in the ‘Hundred Acre Wood’ of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ acclaim in Sussex, UK. With the current lockdown I have time to indulge in a daily 90min walk to check on my 30 year old Irish Cob, ‘Orion’. This takes me through the ancient wood to witness the subtle and profound changes nature is making during this renewal. The purple hue of the winter birch has transformed with lime green leaves emerging against silver white trunks. The green carpet foliage under the trees has burst into thousands of bluebells, intoxicating the air. The beech trees are swollen with buds all waiting in the wings for their timely entrance with other trees in the wood. The birdsong is profound. With the absence of traffic and aircraft hum, the variety of song offers a celebratory cacophony to the air, woodpeckers are busy, insects abound and I even spied the Easter Bunny this morning…
Spring offers the opportunity to shift, a seasonal transition from the introverted winter, to the extroverted summer. Traditionally Ayurveda recommends an equinox cleanse to clear accumulated waste (ama) from the winter months. In the wood this is evident as the new bracken fronds uncurl leaving behind the dead leaves which in turn compost the soil. However in these unprecedented times, we are discouraging detox this spring as the inevitable slight dip in immunity at the end of a cleanse, can leave the body vulnerable to opportunistic pathogens. Without the rigour of a structured cleanse there are many ways of shedding the winter load by simply managing your daily routine to improve metabolic function and immunity.
“Change your schedule…
...Change your life”
This strange time is aggravating Vata dosha. Symptoms of imbalance include anxiety, fear, restlessness, fatigue, irregular appetite, indigestion, constipation and insomnia. Also struggling with our daily routines can further throw us out of balance. Imbalance inevitably offers more space for disturbing thoughts and distractions…and so the spiral continues….
Ayurveda, an ancient traditional holistic health care system, promotes lifestyle and dietary adjustments as powerful interventions, to prevent and treat dis-ease, to regain and support health. These interventions are easily accessible and can be individually adapted to hugely impact personal wellbeing.
Ayurvedic lifestyle intervention uses timing to regain balance by simply following nature’s rhythms. If you have time on your hands experiment with adjusting your rhythm. Start by aligning to nature’s circadian rhythm using:
'12 hours for fuel and tasks and..
...12 hours to rest and restore’.
This can have a profound effect on the nervous system by balancing the sympathetic (fight and flight) response with the parasympathetic (rest and restore) response. Initially implement this rhythm three days a week and progressively build up to five days a week. By resisting habitual override and consciously realigning with your body’s natural rhythms, will develop awareness of a positive shift. Progressively this will develop into habits that support wellbeing.
Ayurveda attributes this to the science of dinacharya.
‘dina’ translates as ‘day’ and ‘archarya’ as ‘teacher, leader, mentor, learned in conduct’