spring tips (and a facial massage)


Along with its spectacular blossoms, sweet fragrance and idealistic temperatures, spring can bring allergies, changes in digestion and emotional/energetic agitation.

Every season has its challenges. I’m almost always looking for ways to slow down, nourish, and strike that balance between activity and rest. But spring asks for added attention to cleansing and clearing out.

Here are three tips to keep your body in good stead this spring:

  • Start the day with warm lemon water. A classic Ayurvedic practice, drinking this before anything else helps flush the digestive system and alkalize the body, creating the best conditions for health.

    BONUS: Throw a pinch of sea salt in there for an electrolyte boost (if it tastes salty, it was too much salt – dilute and use less next time).

  • Just like in the winter care protocol, Nasya, the oiling of the nostrils, is a great practice for spring. It helps soothe any dryness or irritation.

  • Skip the dairy. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it might be worth it to ditch dairy (which can put a strain on the immune system) for two weeks and see if it makes a difference.

    Also try eating more fruit and nuts every day, which have anti-inflammatory antioxidants and omega 3s respectively.

  • And try facial massage! Our lymph is part of our immune system, helping remove unwanted bacteria and proteins from the tissues and transport the good antibodies and white blood cells.

    In Ayurveda, lymph is the first system treated when there’s a problem. Getting things moving first thing will help you feel (and look) healthy and fresh.

    Below is a very informal video of the massage I do every morning. I have very sensitive skin and this has helped neutralize it and reduce flare ups, especially related to allergies.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes! (And feel free to share with your friends!)

Meanwhile, enjoy this gorgeous spring week,


winter care

lichen and moss - winter careIf you think about winter in elemental or weather terms, our climate here has been cold and wet.

There’s a system of health and healing out of the Indian/Tibetan lineage and related to Yoga called Ayurveda. Ayurveda in Sanskrit translates to “Science of Longevity” or “Knowledge of Life.”

Ayurveda philosophy is based on the recognition that the elements – ether, air, fire, water and earth – exist within the human body as they do in the environment around us. 

From this awareness, it’s all about relationship, harmony and cause and effect. 

A basic principle of Ayurveda is: 

Like increases like, and opposites balance.

So what does that mean in this winter season? How can we best support our bodies?

Well, we can help balance the qualities of cold and wet with warm, light and grounding. Having cold and wet foods (like ice cream) only increases the cold and wet of winter in our bodies. So we seek to counterbalance.

Here are a few Ayurveda-inspired ideas for basic winter care:

  • Eat whole, healthy food and fresh vegetables (as basic as it is essential)

  • Enjoy warm and warming foods and drinks — ginger, chai, warm lemon water, and foods cooked in warming spices such as…

  • Chili, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and cumin

  • Decrease heavy, dense, oily, and cold foods and drinks (such as creamy pastas, pizza, baked goods, frozen desserts)

  • Minimize processed foods, fried foods, and refined sugars

  • Keep a light heart and sense of purpose 

  • Find ways and reasons to laugh and hug every day

  • Balance rest with aerobic movement — get your body warm and heart-rate up every day

  • Try Nasya — a little bit of oil in the nostrils morning and night. It might sound weird, but a dab of oil (almond, sunflower or even olive) on the ring fingers, swiped inside each nostril, can help alleviate the irritation of heaters, allergens and colds. Try it!

I also have a general rule, especially in cold/flu season, of Never Touching My Face. Even if I wash my hands frequently, there’s still all kinds of goo that gets on me throughout the day. 

Along with the basics of hydration (always warm or room-temperature water), whole food and vegetables, and getting enough rest and downtime, these tips have kept me healthy and cruising through these crisp, sunny days.

If you have ways you winterize, I’d love to hear!

In health,