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A Spring Guide to Maintaining Balance with Ayurveda

Rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul with Ayurvedic self-care practices to stay healthy and vibrant this spring. This guide will take you through the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle practices that will best support you to optimize your health and well-being, keep you balanced and fresh, and awaken your senses this spring.

As signs of spring start to sprout around you, a renewed sense of joy and inspiration fills the air. It’s time to plant the seeds of your intention for this new season and see what grows.

Winter is particularly a difficult season to transition out of. The cold, wet, stagnant, and inward qualities can make it challenging to pull ourselves out of hibernation. Ayurveda can help you smoothly transition and adjust to the changes from winter to spring. Specifically, a spring diet and lifestyle routine can shake up the stagnant winter energy and ignite the lively spring energy.

My goal with this guide is to share with you an overview of Ayurvedic principles that are easy to adapt to your life, so you can feel your best this spring. It can be overwhelming when learning about all the helpful routines because there are a lot! By adopting 1-3 of them at a time and slowly adding on as you feel ready, you can start to create a routine that supports you to live in harmo y with nature.

This guide will cover:

If you are new to Ayurveda or want a refresher check out my blog "Introduction to Ayurveda".

I hope you enjoy learning these amazing guidelines Ayurveda has to offer!

Living in the Spring Season According to Ayurveda

Spring is a time for renewal, warmth, and expansion. Ayurveda supports your connection to nature and guides you to live in rhythm with nature. When we are mindful and in harmony with nature our body, mind, and soul feel united and joyful. Feel inspired by the renewal and transformation that is all around. Use this opportunity as a rebirth – be creative, connect with yourself, and observe all that is blossoming around you.

The spring season is mainly governed by the kapha dosha, which means the diet and lifestyle recommendations are very similar. The main difference between staying balanced in spring versus winter is that you really want to focus on moving your energy and enlivening your senses to melt away the stagnant, sticky, wet, and heavy qualities that the winter kapha qualities bring. It's really an important time of year to focus on balancing any kapha accumulation because it can lead to the disease process causing seasonal allergies, head colds, and lung congestion (common kapha illnesses).

In winter we tend to sleep, eat, and stay inside more, and because of the wet and cold kapha qualities that come along with winter there is a tendency to gain or retain more weight, our “winter coat” so to speak. Since in winter we slow down and hibernate, this can cause lethargy and emotional dullness. As spring approaches it’s time to shake things up and shed these physical and emotional layers by building some heat in our bodies through movement and doing inspiring, creative, and active projects.

Likes increase likes and opposite balance.

This key principle in Ayurveda of likes increase likes and opposites balance is how to always approach your diet and lifestyle routine no matter the season. If you are cold and moist, eat and do activities that warm and dry you.

  • Primary Spring Dosha: Kapha (balance with pitta and some vata qualities)

  • Spring Months: March, April, May, and beginning of June

  • Spring Elements: Water, earth

  • Spring Gunas (qualities): Heavy, moist, cold, oily, slow, smooth, dense, static, cloudy

  • Gunas to balance spring qualities: Light, dry, warm, sharp, rough, mobile, liquid, clear

So what about the other doshas (vata and pitta) in spring? In general, the kapha qualities in spring helps to keep pitta and vata balanced as they actually enjoy this time of year, especially vata (warmer weather = happy vata).

However, there are still things to consider to keep everything balanced. Pitta has to be more cautious about the warmth and moisture that comes with spring. The weather tends to fluctuates as winter shifts to spring as warmer conditions take over. This can can aggravate both kapha (reluctant to change) and vata (love change, but needs to stay grounded).

As the season shifts towards the end of spring and it starts to get warmer, pitta might need some support to keep it cool in order to not overheat in the summer months. Therefore it’s important to adopt your routine on a day-to-day basis, just like the spring weather shifts on a day-to-day basis – a beautiful way to connect with nature!

Spring offers a renewed sense of joy and inspiration, but for many there can also be a feeling of heaviness, lethargy, and seasonal irritation left over from winter and for those who don’t like change. Remember: connect to the opposite qualities you are feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally, and adapt the following diet and lifestyle guidelines to help you have a fun spring!

Ayurvedic Diet Guidelines for Spring

As spring approaches you might notice yourself naturally craving foods that are lighter and fresher, and your appetite might start to decrease slightly. The colder and wetter winter months invites us to add a few extra pounds, eat heavy, rich and warm foods, which is exactly the opposite of what we want to do in spring.

Remember! Ayurveda's key principle: likes increase likes and opposites balance. So, as you move into the spring season keep this in mind as it will guide you towards balance.

General rule for spring: Eat light and avoid snacking.

Another thing to consider when eating Ayurvedically are the six tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent, bitter – all have specific qualities that can either soothe or aggravate a specific dosha. Given that sweet, sour, and salty have the water and earth elements they tend to increase or aggravate kapha (of course in moderation they can be fine). So, the tastes to favor in the spring are pungent, astringent, and bitter with their ether, air, and fire elements.

  • Pungent: stimulates digestion and metabolism – some food examples: chili, garlic, most spices, buckwheat, onions, radish, mustard seeds & greens, turnips, raw spinach

  • Astringent: tightens tissues, absorbs water, and dries fat – some food examples: legumes, raw fruits & veggies, rye, basil, coriander, parsley, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts

  • Bitter: lightens and detoxifies the tissues – some food examples: dark leafy greens (really good in spring, especially cooked with garlic, onion, black pepper, and a little chili), sesame, cumin, turmeric, dill, eggplant, dark chocolate

Here are a few good eating habits to adopt in spring:

  • Create a routine around meals and eat at regular times

  • Avoid snacking and overeating as that increase kapha

  • Eat light and warm foods that are easy to digest

  • Eliminate/reduce intake of foods that increase kapha: fried and oily foods, iced/cold food and drinks, dairy, and anything with a heavy quality (especially in the morning and evening)

  • Leave 3-4 hours between meals to give your digestive system time to properly work

  • If you feel heavy or sluggish try to skip a meal or eat lighter

The transition from winter to spring is a great time for a cleanse. It's really important to remove the excess kapha that has most likely accumulated during the winter months. You also want to manage any vata imbalance that can take place in winter as well (since vata is usually the first to go out of balance.

Cleanses improve the digestive fire (agni) while eliminating toxins (ama). They boost the immune system and increase your overall well-being. A spring cleanse removes the accumulation of kapha in the body by clearing away the ama to release excess weight, soothe the nervous system, and reestablish balance in your body, mind, and soul.

A spring cleanse typically consists of a mono-diet eating kitchere (basmati rice cooked together with mung beans, spices, and veggies that balance the doshas you are working with) and fresh fruit as needed. By keeping your food intake simple and easy to digest your body can more readily eliminate the accumulated doshas and toxins (ama) in the body. Banyan Botanicals offers a great Spring Cleanse Guide.

The following list of ideal spring foods that have been recommended by important Ayurvedic figures (Vasant & Usha Lad and John Douillard).


Eat fresh (not necessarily raw) warm veggies that are steamed or sautéed veggies cooked with less oil and fats. Avoid heavier and watery veggies like zucchini, squash, sweet potato, avocado, and cucumber.



Bell Peppers

Beets & Beet Greens


Brussel Sprouts







Collard Greens


Dandelion Greens



Green Beans










White Potatoes

Meat & Fish

In spring you want to eat less meat because of its heavy quality. In Ayurveda, in springtime eating poached or boiled eggs is a good source of protein.


Freshwater Fish

Poultry (white meat)




Add some grains to your diet that are well cooked yet not overly moist. Try bringing the water to a boil with the lid off at the start of cooking. Once the water boils, turn it to a low-medium simmer for 5 minutes with the lid off to let extra moisture (kapha) melt away. Place lid back on and cook grains as normal.