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March tends to be that time of year that is like a line from the movie Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.” It can come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, or serve up any number of weather combinations in between.
Because the weather can be so unpredictable at this time of year, things are not black and white in terms of our Ayurvedic daily routine. We need to go with the flow and be comfortable in the grey areas, too. Some days may find us walking around in hats, scarves, and gloves, deep in thought, and other days may find us driving around with the sunroof open, jamming to our favourite songs on the radio without a care in the world.
Flexing Your Ayurvedic Muscles
If you’ve been practicing Ayurveda for a while, March provides you with the perfect opportunity to ‘flex your Ayurvedic muscles’, and see how you fare with attempting to go with the flow. When you observe how you are feeling and do a little bit of calibrating, you can take the ‘March Madness’ weather in stride, and remain in balance.
If Ayurveda is new to you, this can be a tricky time of year to navigate. Perhaps you have just gotten used to your winter routine, and now Mother Nature is throwing you all sorts of curve balls from one day to the next. Never fear, Ayurveda is here! Here are some tips to support you during this transitional time of year.
Ayurveda in March
If you’ve been using sesame oil for your winter oil massage (abhyanga), and it seems a bit heavy right now, you may want to explore siwtching to an oil like apricot kernel that still pacifies winter qualities (vata), but also has the ability to appease the spring qualities (kapha). Apricot kernel oil is smooth, light, and supports healthy functioning of the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Its redolence is lovely, too! You can also stick with your current oil, but alternate oiling one day and dry brushing the next.
If you live in an area where you are receiving more rain, or a good deal of snow is melting, you may want to get cooking with a variety of grains that are slightly heating and naturally diuretic, such as barley and millet. The warming and astringent quality of these grains will support your body’s ability to let go of any excess water or dampness that it might otherwise retain at this time of year.
On a personal note, I always get outside all year round for a walk or run, but this year I found myself not getting out as much as usual. I noticed that I felt disconnected and sad sometimes, without any particular reason. As soon as I got back outside, I felt re-energized, reconnected, and it really elevated my sense of happiness. Getting out in nature is a simple act, but has profound results. Try to notice whether you got outside enough this winter, and how it may have affected your overall mood and energy level.
Practicing Ayurvedic principles doesn’t have to be all or nothing – a few simple steps can make a big difference in our health and happiness. We don’t call it Ayurve-duh for nothing!