Spring is the season when yang energy starts to grow again. Nature becomes alive after winter. Plants and grass start to grow, trees get new leaves, birds start to sing beautifully, the sun rises earlier and sets later. Everywhere is fresh, green and new. People become more extroverted, start to be more outside in the fresh air and be with each others. Spring is a time of regeneration, new beginnings, and a renewal of spirit.
Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation for overall health and well-being. As spring is represented by the wood element and includes the Liver and its complementary organ, the Gallbladder, these two organs are usually the primary targets for springtime cleansing and health regimens. According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the Liver is responsible for the smooth flowing of Chi (energy) throughout the body. When the Liver functions run smoothly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also run smoothly.
Good things to do in Spring
– Stretching: The Liver controls the tendons. According to Chinese medicine, the Liver stores blood during periods of rest and then releases it to the tendons in times of activity, maintaining tendon health and flexibility. Incorporate a morning stretch into your routine.
– Detox your body by eating fresh, green food, fruits, and wholegrain. Avoid meat, greasy food, white flour, sugar, alcohol, tea, and coffee. Good ways to prepare your meal is to steam, cook and bake.
– Sour foods and drinks are thought to stimulate the Liver’s Chi. Put lemon slices in your drinking water, drink Green and Jasmine tea, use vinegar and olive oil for your salad.
– Herbs, like nettle, dandelion and milk thistle are good for the Liver. They, especially milk thistle, help protect liver cells from incoming toxins and encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, medications, pesticides, environmental toxins, and even heavy metals such as mercury.
– Enjoy the outdoor activities and do more exercises that make you sweat.
– Eyes: The liver opens into the eyes and is connected to proper eye function. Remember to take breaks when looking at a computer monitor for extended periods of time. Put cucumber slices on your eyes has many benefits; they will cool your eyes, help reduce puffiness and get rid of dark circles. Cucumbers have natural cooling properties that soothe tired eyes. The flesh of cucumbers is also packed with vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin around your eyes. The extracts from cucumbers have astringent properties and can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Yin yoga asanas for Spring:
Resting Half Moon
Benefits: The side body, the outer side of the thigh, frees diaphragm, benefits respiration and creates a squeeze and soak for internal organs.
Pay attention to: The spine, especially lower spine
Getting into the pose: Place your bolster on your left side and sit on your left hip. Place the blocks above the bolster ( if needed ). Slowly come down to lie on your side so that the left hand is straight and your head is resting on it (or a block). Slide your right hand out and along straight above your head. Straighten your legs or if it feels too strong for your lower back you can keep the knees bent in front of you.
Coming out of the pose: Place your right hand on the top of the bolster, bring your legs together. Using the strength of your arms, slowly press up to a seated position. Change sides.
Meridians and Organs stimulated: The Gallbladder, heart, Lung, Small Intestine and Liver Meridian.
Straddle/ Resting Dragonfly
Benefits: Opens the groins, hips, lower back, adductors and hamstrings, increases circulation in the pelvic floor, stimulates the ovaries.
Pay attention to: Can aggravate the sciatica. If you have sciatica: Elevate the hips by sitting on a cushion so that the knees are below the hips. / Avoid this pose! The hips should be rotated to forward. Lower back disorders: Keep the spine straight. Knee issues/traumas: Bring legs closer/tighten the quadriceps
Getting into the pose: From a sitting position, open your legs wide, straighten your back and inhale, exhale and slowly start to fold forward allowing your back to round.
Coming out of the pose: Keeping your head heavy and relaxed, use your arms strength to slowly push yourself up into an upright position. Lean back on your hands to release the hips.
Meridians and organs stimulated: The Urinary Bladder, Liver, Kidney, Spleen Meridians
Acupuncture points for Spring:
Li3: Between the big and second toe, strengthens the liver, regulates the flowing of Chi and relieves dampness.
GB43: Clears heat from the entire channel. Effects opposite end of the channel – headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, eye a/or ear pain. Damp Heat stagnations in the channel – swelling in axillary region, lateral costal pain, breast abscesses, knee pain.