Less sunlight, short days and cold weather, winter is here. With the shift in season, it is important to nurture your body inside out. These drastic changes in the weather, make our immune system weak and make us vulnerable to ill health and thus it is to follow up with the changes of nature by incorporating some winter Ayurvedic practices into your daily routine.
Ayurveda can be broken into two parts ‘Ayur’ – translates to life and ‘veda’ means science, the Sanskrit word literally translates to “the science of life”. According to Ayurveda everything is made up of five earthen elements: water, earth, air, ether and fire. These elements are present through three major metabolic types- Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
During winters there needs to be a balance between Kapha and Vata dosha. A balance of Kapha dosha is good for boosting immunity, lubricating joints whereas an excess of this dosha leads to weight gain, dullness and negative emotions. An excess of Vata dosha leads to problems like indigestion, joint pain and other issues.
With changes in the outside world, our bodies change too. With a change in season our bodies require a change in lifestyle and diet to maintain a balance. But with the correct Ayurveda philosophy you can make adjustments to your habits, lifestyle, and diet and make your winter season pleasant. Ayurveda philosophy pacifies both Kapha and Vata in winters.
Lifestyle Adjustments: In order to keep both Kapha and Vata dosha satisfied during winters, there are a few lifestyle adjustments that will help you experience a warm winter:
- Stay Active: Different Doshas in our body require different types of physical work to maintain our bodies and temperaments. It is essential to focus on staying active and follow a fitness routine in winters. The kind of exercise could range from yoga to strength training or cardio, the agenda is to stay active. Walking is a simple and important Tri – doshic exercise.
- Seek Vitamin D: Sun is rare during the winter season, but our bodies need Vitamin D. So it is advisable to sit under the sun when possible to fulfill our Vitamin D needs. Our Vitamin D levels can also be maintained by eating foods rich in Vitamin D (soy milk, orange juice, cereals)
- Stay Warm: Ayurveda sees cold as Kapha or Vata disorder, so in order to protect the body from cold it is important to wear warm clothes, socks, cover ear and neck. Drink warm fluids to keep your body warm on the inside as well.
- Massage: The imbalance of Vata dries out the skin so maintain its balance it is important to moisturize skin with lotion or oils. It is essential to massage with warm oils like warm olive oil or sesame oil followed by a warm shower to prevent aching joints.
- Stick to a Routine: To maintain the balance of Vata, it is important to stick to a daily routine. It is essential to wake up and sleep at the same time. To keep Vata in balance it is important to have regular patterns for exercise, work and to eat meals at the same time of the day.
Diet Adjustments: During winters ‘Agni’ (the digestive fire) is strong. In this cold weather it is important to keep your body warm on the inside.
- Hot over Cold: Digestion takes a toll during winters, our digestive systems are weaker in winters as compared to summers. Our body needs to work hard to digest cold food, which often results in indigestion. So in order to stay healthy and have a good digestive system it is suggested to eat warm.
- More Vitamin E and C: Keep in check of your Vitamin E and Vitamin C levels. Eat vegetables and fruits that are rich in Vitamin E (spinach, almonds, butter, peanuts, avocado, sunflower seeds) and Vitamin C (broccoli, citrus fruits, cabbage, kiwi) to keep yourself warm.
- Add Herbs and Spices to your Meal: Herbs and spices like black pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander. Cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, help in keeping the body warm from the inside and also aid digestion.
A good winter diet aims at maintaining the right balance between Kapha and Vata. Our body requires more fuel to function properly in winters as compared to any other season. Each food item plays a different role. To know more (Link)
Make a plan according to your Dosha
Everyone is unique in their own way and so is their body. The above adjustments in your daily life might be useful but may not address your specific needs. With the change in season it is important to completely understand your needs and consult online Ayurvedic Doctors. We at Total Ayurveda Care create a customized winter plan that specifically fulfills your winter needs and helps you stay warm in this chilly winter season. It is advisable to consult our experts before making any lifestyle or diet adjustments for better results.
Know more about keeping yourself warm this winter season. Talk to our experts.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is presented for the sole purpose of education on Ayurveda and neither the details in this blog nor the products are intended to diagnose, cure, prevent. Treat, or mitigate any condition. If you have a medical condition, please consult a doctoror health professional. Total Ayurveda Care strongly recommends that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet through which your health will be benefited.