Seeing the signs...

By Roxanne Peacock, Roxipixie Yoga and Ayurveda, 19 March 2021, Spring Equinox

 

As the first signs of spring start to appear, just like the night turns into day, we ourselves can begin to emerge from our cosy winter hideaways and begin to turn our inward facing awareness outward once again. 

Spring is a time of year that signifies new beginnings. Traditionally, we celebrate New Year as a time to signify a fresh start – when it’s bitter, cold and dark and all we naturally want to do is hide away… so for me, a time to celebrate a fresh start is spring!

The days become longer, flowers begin to bloom, life begins to buzz in the animal kingdom, and you too could harness the power of this time of year by taking your time to reflect on the magic that is unfolding all around you!

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I teach and follow an Ayurveda lifestyle, which connects us to nature and restores balance to the body, mind and emotions.

These ancient teachings remind us that this life we live, is an intricate web of cause and effect, and what happens in nature is mirrored and connected to us.

The great news is that I’m not here to sell you something – Mother Nature gifts us a reset every morning, so you have the ability to use nature’s power to reboot your body and mind every day. 

Photo Credit: @natethomasyoga

 

 

 

As human beings, we can be very unkind to ourselves, not only in how we treat our bodies and suppress our emotions, but also how we ridicule ourselves for not doing or being something we think we ‘should’ be. Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy teaches us to accept and respect ourselves with kindness and compassion, but all too often we aren’t kind. We aren’t honest. We aren’t brave. We might as well just continue as we are or even more, we might as well give up. But if we apply the teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga, we apply an instruction to be soft and kind to whatever we see, and so, that embarrassing or unfriendly reflection becomes our friend and our motivation to search for ways to find true and lasting pleasure in health and wellbeing. And you might be thinking “this all sounds very serious”, however, it’s not all doom and gloom. There is room for a good measure of humour and softness, and we are encouraged to live life completely and experience all its wonders.

SO HOW CAN YOU TAP INTO YOUR NATURAL GUIDANCE SYSTEM THIS SPRING? 

Here are three of my favourite spring-time tips to help you to find balance and motivation:

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RISE AND SET WITH THE SUN

 

There is no power source greater than the sun,

At this time of year when the sun starts making more of an appearance, you can use it to help restore your natural equilibrium, which is fundamentally happy and healthy.

By rising with the sun, avoiding bright lights at night, minimising any screen-time after 6pm and going to sleep by 11pm, you can reboot your natural rhythm.

There are many benefits to connecting to your circadian rhythm, however, some of my stand outs are:

  • Balancing your metabolism which regulates your appetite and improves your digestion. 

  • Enhancing your mood by increasing levels of serotonin, the hormone that is involved in many bodily processes, but is most known to regulate your mood.

  • Balancing your production of melatonin (your sleep hormone), improving your quality of sleep, which positively affects your ability to rest and recover, naturally detoxifying your body too. 

  • Taking time to reflect, journal or meditate and avoiding screen-time at night, also helps you process your day’s events as well as your emotions, which in turn helps you balance your mental wellbeing and improves mental clarity. 

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EATING WITH THE SEASONS 

 

It is important to understand that your body works in cycles.

During the day, it’s main job is to digest food to fuel your body and during the night, when you sleep, your body’s main job is to rest, recover and detoxify.

Your body is amazing, highly intelligent and in tune with it’s environment and constantly seeks balance for optimum performance. This intuition is our greatest strength; however, we are taught from a very young age to supress our natural urges, which results in a detachment from our body and from the earth. 

We spend most of our lives living in our heads, eating processed internationally grown food, in artificially lit rooms and convince ourselves that our natural urges like crying, laughing, passing wind, expressing emotion, eating and passing waste are only acceptable at certain times and must be controlled to ensure we fit into societal norms. By simply being more aware of what you are consuming, you will not only become more aware of what your body needs to be healthy, but you will also aid yourself in preventing disease, liberating yourself and your body. 

Easy ways to eat with the seasons;

  • Get to know your local greengrocer and farms or do your research online. What’s in season? What’s locally grown? By eating as local as possible, you are consuming what nature has intended for you to eat. The minerals, vitamins, fats and nutrients from the food you eat will be exactly what your body needs at that time of year. This way of eating can help you get excited about what you’re consuming and will ensure that your diet is varied throughout the year, which helps you stay healthy. 

  • If you choose to consume animal products, choose the best you can afford. Go grass-fed, organic and free-range where at all possible (most animals are fed on soy and grain, which is not the food they are meant to consume, which means the animal products you’re consuming will cause inflammation in your body). Getting to know who your local farmers is a great way to support local too!

  • Give yourself enough time to digest your last meal before bed to ensure your body has time to rest, recover and detoxify.

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GET OUTSIDE AND MOVE YOUR BODY

 Simply spending ten minutes outside at sunrise and sunset can help you kickstart your natural rhythm and improve your digestion and sleep quality. 

  • A walk alone or with a friend can lift your spirit and help wash away the winter cobwebs.  

  • Wiggle, stretch, move – the body needs movement to keep healthy. This doesn’t need to be anything strenuous. By simply making a mind body connection, consciously moving and breathing, practicing selflove, moving your joints and stretching your muscles; you will walk better, sit better, think more clearly, sleep better, eat better and feel better. This doesn’t need to involve fancy equipment, or lengthy periods of time. Just 10mins in the morning before you start your day is all you need. Routine over length. 

  • If you do have the opportunity to get outside, take off your shoes and feel the cool earth beneath your feet… maybe even the mud between your toes! Feel the wind and the sun kiss your skin. Connect to your environment through your senses. See the beauty of nature around you. Smell the flowers, listen to the birds and bask in the ore of springtime!

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