With winters in its full swing, the nature’s cycle has changed. Just like our body, Ayurveda has a dosha or a constitution for every season too. Winter season falls under the purview of Vata Dosha. The constitution of Vata season reflects the characteristics of dryness, cold, light, irregularity, roughness and full of movement (cold wind in this case). As we know that our bodies aresignificantly affected by the natural cycles, we also reflects the characteristics of Vatadosha during winters. With that being said, people having Vatadosha as their basic constitution needs to be extra careful and vigilant during this season. Our constitution can go off balance and create ailments and diseases if we don’t look into it.
Some of the diseases that can be manifested by imbalance in the Vatadosha are insomnia, gastric troubles, joint ache, back ache, indigestion, dehydration, dry skin, cold, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, stress etc. Some people might exhibit the qualities of Kaphadosha in winters, with excess mucus, weight gain, sluggishness etc. We at RishikulYogshala would like to share some tips to be taken care of during winter seasons to harmonize the constitution inside as well as outside.
The oil cure
As we all experience extreme dryness and roughness of the skin, body, nose and ears due to cold &chilly air, we recommend that you do weekly oiling of the entire body. The warmth and moisture of the oil penetrates our body softly, lubricating the skin, joints, bones and muscles. Also, special emphasis on the openings like nostrils, ears etc. should be laid by putting a few drops of almond oil everyday before going to the bed. This way you will shield yourself from the chill in the air. Massaging oil on your hair can keep your manes healthy and shiny during the winter season as well.
The herbal cure
Using herbs and plants like ginger in your food, tea or just adding ginger to hot water with some honey can safe guard you from the cold. Ginger has unique properties and is hot in tendency. It helps removing congestion, cold and cough in the system. One another great way to use ginger to banish cold is by boiling ginger in a hot pan and then switch off the stove. Take a towel over your head and inhale the fumes of ginger coming from hot water. You can also add cinnamon to your tea, as it is too hot in nature and can enhance your overall well being.
The food cure
During winters we tend to feel less thirsty due to lack of sweating but the dryness in the body needs to be cured by drinking hot water or other warm liquids every now and then. This will keep the dryness and dehydration both at bay. Also, avoid dairy products like curd and cheese etc. as they are cold in nature and can add to the imbalance. Food that is warm and well cooked should be consumed like lentils, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, carrots, beets, ghee or clarified butter etc.
Also, we find our appetite very high during winter season if that is the case, don’t fret as it is normal. Because our body is producing excess heat and a lot of heat is transferred to the stomach to keep it warm, enhancing the fire in the abdomen & making you more hungry.
The movement cure
We recommend regular practice of yoga and meditation to allow an extra edge to the body. When we are working out in the winters, we are creating heat, keeping the sluggishness at bay and also burning the excess fat from all that extra eating. Some of the asanas that can be incorporated in your yoga routine are: Surya namaskars, Mountain pose, bow pose, child’s pose, warrior pose series, seated forward bend, Easy pose and thunder bolt pose.
Apart from this you can start practicing meditation on a daily basis even if it is for 5 minutes. These five minutes are dedicated only to meditation and tell yourself you don’t have anywhere to be in these five minutes and gradually increase your time. Lack of concentration, insomnia and over exertion all can be dealt with meditative practices.
Some other tips
Take ample amount of rest, as Vata can increase a feeling of stress, anxiety and tension. The excess movement due to Vata can leave you over exerted and therefore, it is important to rest and rejuvenate. Apart from this, wearing warm clothes to not allow your body to be exposed to chilling cold is a good way to keep away the cold. Maintain a healthy routine of going to bed and waking up in time, and following a routine. As Vata has a tendency to make things irregular, do not let that happen.
Following these simple steps can help you enjoy the chill in the weather without really effecting your overall well being. These Ayurvedic tips are spun around he idea of keeping the human and nature in sync. And with a balanced mind and body as well inside & outside constitution we can expect to live a healthy life.