Welcome Spring Equinox!
I don’t know about you but winter always seems like it will never end in the U.S. northeast! We had a few warm teaser days with temperatures in the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s only for it to drop back down to frigid teens and 20’s with snowstorms and Nor’easters looming.
March 20, 2017 at 6:29 a.m. marked the beginning of Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Equinox means the days and nights are approximately equal in relation to the amount of sunlight we receive.
According to the Chinese, the Spring Equinox has many connotations. With the transition from winter to spring many things happen to the body physically, spiritually and emotionally that one should be aware.
Spring is associated with the element of wood and the organs are the liver and gall bladder. Wood represents new growth, rebirth, and new beginnings such as you have with perennial plants that start to peek through the ground or buds showing on the trees. Their growth slowly emerges as the climate continues to warm. Birds start chirping and animals and insects that hibernated for the winter months awaken. Individuals should think of this as a time to reawaken the spirit with invigorating exercises and lighter meals. An individual’s emotions should cultivate flexibility and kindness and tone down anger and frustration.
The liver (Yin organ) is responsible for cleansing the blood circulating throughout the body. Spiritually it has the important job of directing Chi throughout the body and restoring peace and balance. So, it is important to take good care of your liver and eat foods that compliment its actions. The gall bladder (Yang organ) assists in the digestion of fats through the production of bile.
Mindful eating: Detoxify your liver by adding lemon to water and drinks, in salad dressings or it add directly onto foods. Concentrate on eating antioxidant rich foods such leafy greens – kale, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach as well as all varieties of lettuce. Foods in the spring should be sautéed, stir fried or grilled instead of baking or slow cooking like it is done in the winter months.
Spiritual practice: Practice qigong exercises that target the liver. Spring emphasizes the Tai Chi postures “split” or Lieh of the eight energies for the gall bladder or “retreat” of the Five Steps.
As we come out of the Yin winter months and into spring we should get out and enjoy nature and the surroundings. Focus your practice outdoors and absorb the many wonders of nature.