Winter is a season that affects many people; in mind, body and spirit. But, with a few minor changes to your diet and lifestyle and a decent night's sleep, winter could be a time when you have energy, look and feel good and bouncing around while everyone else is down with the flu - wouldn't that be nice!
All you have to do, according to the Ayurvedic ancient philosophy, is calm your vata energy and cleanse kapha from your body. You will recognise when you have an imbalance - common vata disorders during the winter months are anxiety, tension, insomnia, constipation and aching joints. Sound familiar?
To avoid the winter chills and to keep vata in check, try these 7 tips:
- 1. Sleep
You enjoy a better quality of sleep if you fall asleep before 10:00 p.m. and rise before 6:00 a.m. If you need more than eight hours of sleep, it’s better to go to bed earlier than sleeping in. When you go to bed on time but can't sleep because your monkey mind is too busy, try drinking a cup of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric and powered cardamom before bed. Our recipe for Turmeric Milk is also a fantastic way to boost your immunity – which we all need at this time of year!
- 2. Get plenty of exercise
Exercise increases circulation, improves your appetite and raises your body temperature. If it is too cold to go outside, go to the gym, check out YouTube for a free home workout —or just dance around your house!
Keep within your level of fitness though - if you can’t breathe comfortably through your nose, you may be taxing your physiology and actually increasing vata.
- 3. Drink water
Sip warm or hot water throughout the day, depending on what your dosha is. Vata doshas should drink the water warm while Kaphas can sip it hot. Pitta doshas need to wait until it cools down to room temperature before drinking it. You can also add herbs and spices to make it delicious with lots of flavour.
- 4. Eat delicious home cooked food
Prepare meals with sweet, sour and salty tastes to help balance your vata. Avoid heavy or cold foods, ice cream is out during this time! Have delicious soups and hearty stews simmering away on your stove all day.
- 5. Stay warm
Always keep your head and ears covered when you go outside. Ears are one of the main seats of vata. Protecting your ears and head from the wind and cold will make being outside in winter a healthy experience. It’s a great excuse to wrap up warm with a beautiful scarf and woollen hat and head out to enjoy the cool winter mornings and evenings.
- 6. Massage
Do daily abhyanga (Ayurvedic oil massage) which is especially soothing for vata dosha because your skin is a primary seat of vata. Start each morning with a gentle rub of Oliana Oil or home-made Ghee on your body, it will also make a difference to how your body moves (easier) throughout the day.
As part of your body’s ongoing maintenance programme, book in for a treatment at the Spa for a weekly, fortnightly or monthly (at the very minimum). More than just a pamper to combat stress, regular massage is a crucial part of your ongoing health regime. Always make sure to check out our promotions page for great deals!
- 7. Warm bath
Warm bath therapy is another highlight of Ayurveda. Taking a relaxing bath with Epsom salt and essential oils is the best therapy to avoid any skin dryness. Warm baths can be taken during evenings so that you can directly slide into bed and enjoy a long peaceful sleep. Preferably, use oils made of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, juniper, basil, eucalyptus, and rosemary this time of the year.
These 7 tips will go a long way towards boosting your immunity, health, and energy levels. It’s going to be a great winter!