Simple Ayurvedic Strategies for the Winter Season
Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old healing system from India, is the practice of balancing one’s constitution by using diet, lifestyle and herbal preparations. It is based on the concept that health and wellness depend upon a balance between mind, body and spirit. It relies heavily on living in accordance with the season.
Here is what Cheryl McSherry, a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, has to say about staying balanced during the winter season:
In Ayurvedic medicine, winter is known as Vata season. Often times, Vata imbalances present themselves as gas, bloating, constipation, fear, anxiety, worry and an inability to concentrate or be still.
Vata is governed by the elements of air and ether. These elements embody the qualities of cold, dry, light and mobile (think wind). The cold, dry and windy conditions of winter provide the perfect opportunity for Vata to become out of balance. One of the most important Ayurvedic principles is “like increases like and opposites reduce”.
For example, When it’s cold and blustery outside, we want to eat foods and do activities that have the opposite qualities of the season in order to stay in balance. This would entail eating warm, moist, heavy foods and incorporating stable activities such as restorative yoga.
Here are some simple Ayurvedic strategies to help keep you balanced during these cold winter months:
Gravitate toward warm, cooked meals like soups and stews, and have fewer cold smoothies and salads as main meals.
Drink warm teas, or sip on hot water throughout the day. Avoid drinking iced or caffeinated beverages.
Do not skimp on good quality fats from nuts, seeds and ghee (clarified butter).
Perform self-massage (See the benefits of Ayurvedic self-massage, Abhyanga) a few days a week and follow it with a soak in a warm bath.
By using these time-tested principles of Ayurveda and living in accordance with the rhythms of nature, we can keep our Vata energies healthy and balanced this winter.
Cheryl McSherry is a NAMA certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (who owns Pure Principles Skincare (pureprinciples.com) and sees a consistent stream of clients in her private Ayurvedic practice. You can find Cheryl at lovinghandsayurveda.com.