Winter Blues and Ayurveda

Winter is a typical Vata and Kapha Season. Vata qualities are those of dryness and coldness. Kapha qualities are those of wetness and coldness. The aim is to reduce Vata and Kapha. This is best done through bringing in some warmth and heat via foods, herbs, massages, yoga and everyday life style.

Foods:

  • Concentrate on warm foods which are well spiced. These can be plenty of soups and stews and nourishing foods.
  • Make a stimulating tea by boiling equal amounts of black pepper, cumin seeds, ginger and lemon juice. Filter the tea and consume it 2-3 times a day. This will help to bring back that enthusiasm and energy.
  • detox re-energiseConsume plenty of Detox Tea or Re- Energise Tea during the day.
  • Avoid cold foods and drinks first thing in the morning.  Replace this with a ginger and lemon tea. Ginger has fire like qualities so will help remove the lethargy and tiredness and lemon has cleansing qualities.

Herbs:

  • One of the best herbs during this season is Pippali. Also called as long pepper, this helps to stimulate the immune system and improves circulation.
  • Tulsi or holy basil is another herb really suited for the winter blues. It helps not only to lift up moods but also helps to strengthen the respiratory system therefore preventing colds, coughs and flus.
  • chyawanprash copyOne of the best food supplements during winter is Chyawanprash. Made of approximately 47 herbs this vegetarian supplement is the best companion for winter. One teaspoon taken in hot water as a hot herbal drink will give that much needed boost to your energy and make the body feel lighter and energetic. Added advantages are that it is one of the best Ayurvedic choices to strengthen the immune system

Massages:

  • smo_0112_1Regular self massage at home with warm sesame seed oil will help to nourish the skin and the body.
  • Alternatively a whole body Abhyanga massage with your local massage therapist will help to remove those winter blues and add a spring in your step.
  • One of the best treatments during winter is Udvartana , Ayurvedic herbal scrub massage. Massaging the body with finely ground herbs and oils will not only stimulate dermal circulation, but will also ensure to prevent cellulite and improve metabolism by helping to remove the feeling of lethargy.

Yoga:

  • Stimulating yoga practices like the sun salutation is very helpful.
  • Follow this by warming breathing exercises like the Kapalabhati (cleansing breath exercise) or Bhastrika (breath of fire)

Lifestyle:

  • It may be cold out there but don’t let this stop you from going out. Include short walks in your daily routine. This will help to remove the heaviness and lethargy from the body.
  • One of the best activities during winter to keep those winter blues away is to go dancing or group activities like Zumba, Yoga, Pilates. It is essential that you spend more time around people than being alone.
  • If possible take up gentle fasting one day every two weeks. Consume plenty of warm liquids, soups and warm smoothies on this day.

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