Look down at your shoes in these next few weeks, and you’re likely to see more mud than usual.  The weather elements match how you probably feel – heavy, murky and muddy, right?  It takes an extra special effort to shed the blahs and “insulation” as we transition from winter to spring.

Long before health spas like Canyon Ranch, how did yogis get unstuck and feel lighter?  Here are a few ways to detox like a yogi, right away.

Flavor Your Digestive Fire
The yogis believe when your agni, or digestive fire, is active and balanced, you’ll convert food into fuel most efficiently and let go of the excess with more ease.  The National Institutes of Health acknowledges the benefits of herbs, but the yogis have long-favored many herbs and spices to help agni do good work.  Some examples or herbal assistance: turmeric to fight inflammation and bacteria, ginger to keep stomach juices flowing, cumin to break down fats, and coriander to release water from the body and freshens your mouth.   Sprinkle some of these on your light proteins or mix in with your salad dressing for detox and a decidedly spiritual taste.

Eat Fewer Animals
Speaking of proteins, lighten the load on your system by loading up on more veggies.  Try to say no to steaks and pork chops – now, and maybe forever, as the yogis do.  Spring allergies and colds are a given, so reduce phlegm-inducing dairy to spring clean your respiratory system before the first sneeze hits.

Choose Flowing, Hip Yoga
Months of cold weather spent inside on the couch, and you might feel tighter in your hips and lower back.  Detox your joint and muscle stickiness with hip-opening poses like goddess, tree, and pigeon.  To wring out internal toxins, build inner fire in eagles, chairs and warrior threes, then follow up with both seated and standing twists.  (Many types of yoga classes will offer most of these poses in class, and if not, you can always ask the teacher.)  So, don’t stroll – run – to classes that keep you moving and get you heated from the inside out – another way to have good agni.

Bend Over Backwards
Backbends counteract slumping, cold-weather shoulders and open up your breathing capacity, rejuvenating your cells with fresh oxygen.  Embrace backbends like bridge, locust, wheel and camel with attention to arching your upper spine more to free and protect your lower back.  Also, don’t think of them as bending your back: yogis believe backbends are really heart openers – to be more open to transformation, change and a higher consciousness.

As you feel the shift in the seasons, shift your old ways!  Try a few yogic traditions, detox, and start fresh for a new Spring you.  Namaste.