Rest, Retreat and Recharge!
As we enter the winter season, we enter the season of rest and renewal. Just as the earth and its animals hibernate under the snow and cold weather, winter is a time for our minds and bodies to catch up on much needed R&R. According to Ayurveda, winter is ruled by the Kapha dosha. Representing the qualities of cool, heavy, smooth and stable. Winter is also governed by the elements water and earth, making it a time to slow down and nourish the mind, body and soul by inviting mindful practices into your daily routine! Below are Ayurvedic tips to help stay balanced and harness the energy of the winter season.
"That's what winter is: An exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again." - Ali Smith
Tips on How to Nourish and Revitalize!
Two guiding principles of Ayurveda are like increases like, and opposites create balance. In winter you want to limit Kapha foods/habits and increase Vata and Pitta characteristics by inviting warmth, nourishment and gentle movement into your diet and lifestyle. Here are ways you can practice this:
Spice Up Your Life:
In the winter months it is important to keep your body temperature up to help combat colds and keep healthy digestion. To help maintain strong digestive fire, you add can spicy herbs to your diet that can help warm the body and increase metabolism.
Herbs to add:
Self Massage with Warming Oil:
Daily oily is an important aspect of Ayurveda. Self-massage can help keep the joints supple, muscles toned and body temperature regulated.
You can use warm oils like sesame seed, or scented fragrances like sweet orange or rose to massage the whole body in the morning and evening. Try giving your scalp a little extra love and attention to help calm and relax the mind as well.
Shake off the Slumber:
To help stay alert and energized during winter, it is good to start your morning with a little exercise or yoga! The predominant Kapha dosha can make us feel sluggish or tired, so in order to help maintain energy and focus for the day, explore carving out time in the morning to get on the mat and move the body for 20-30min.
Invigorating Yoga Poses:
Warrior I & II
Poses for Metabolism:
Go Within and Get Introspective:
The cold and dark winter months are a perfect opportunity to go within and reflect on the past year. It can be difficult to slow down to tune in, but carving time out in your daily routine to meditate, journal or finding some solo time can help us to re-kindle our inner light and guide us to renewal and rebirth.
Try starting your morning and ending your day with 5-10minutes of meditation, breathing, or journaling and see how your day/sleep changes!
Boost Your Ojas:
Ojas can be translated as "vital essence". To replenish your vigour and keep levels of ojas high during this season, add these foods to your diet on a regular basis:
Sesame oil and other healthy oils such as coconut, olive and almond
Almonds (soaked and peeled if possible)
Sesame seeds and Tahini
Warm, lightly cooked vegetables
Organic, easily digestible grains
Living in sync with nature reminds us that the only thing permanent in change! When we can flow with the changes in the seasons we can harness the new energy and learn to live in balance with the elements therefore finding holistic balance in our minds and bodies as well.
Love & Light,