5 Health Tips For Winter Season - Balancing Vata Dosha


5 Health Tips For Winter Season 
Winter is the season when the earth's energy withdrawls back into herself as nature slows down with cold, damp, and heavy qualities. Because of these cold qualities - many people experience signs and symptoms of vata aggravation [anxiety, insomnia, etc] especially during the early part of winter season. Here are some simple ways to remain cozy and healthy during winter season while balancing vata dosha.

Vata Dosha - Flow & Motion 
Vata dosha governs flow and motion in the mind and body — the movement of thoughts across our minds; memory; food moving through our digestive tract; elimination of wastes; the flow of our blood; and our breath. For the movement of all three doshas — Vata makes it happen; it’s the leader! Since the other doshas, Pitta and Kapha, cannot move without it, it is important to keep Vata in balance. When in balance, the qualities of our leader, Vata, are vivacious energy; ability to learn easily with a clear and alert mind; balanced digestion and elimination; good circulation and even body temperature; and the ability to fall asleep easily at bedtime. Vata-predominant people seem to always be busy. Need a task completed? Ask a multi-tasking Vata person to complete it — no problem! They will enthusiastically get your task done — along with the handful of other things they have in the fire as well.

A thin body build, an inability to gain weight easily, and the ability to learn very quickly come with Vata — coupled with the tendency to also forget quickly. We would think that with all of this movement, Vata would tend to be too warm. However, quite the opposite is common. Vatas can easily become cold — cold hands, cold feet, cold when everyone else in the room is not! And because of this, Vata typically loves heat. A warm sunny day, a warm shower, or just lots of layers of clothing do the trick to thaw the cold Vata. When imbalance starts, it is usually led by Vata dosha. When Vata goes out of balance, the other doshas may follow. Some signs of Vata out of balance: feeling cold at room or outside temperature; being forgetful or “spaced out;” lack of focus; occasional constipation; difficulty falling asleep; and occasional feelings of anxiousness or worry. Consider the consequences of pushing a Vata-imbalanced person to complete a task for you! They may forget details or lack the focus to complete the task, or they may be able to complete it but become stressed and fatigued in the process, impeding the overall success of the task. If you recognize Vata imbalance in another person, realize that pressuring them is likely to have an effect opposite of what you want.

Does this sound familiar to you?
Keep reading to learn a few great ways to keep Vata balanced.


1. Keep Calm
First and foremost, keep calm and regular in your routine. Vata thrives, and tends toward balance, when supported by a regular daily routine. So when possible, make a plan — start your ayurvedic routine the night before and wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on anything that comes your way. At night, drink a cup of boiled milk and Organic Calming Vata Tea an hour before sleep. Diffuse Vata Aroma Oil, or one of our other essential oils (choose the one that smells best at the time of preparation) in your room at night, or in the office for a calm, consistent aroma to help you slow down. Be worry free with a combination of herbs that helps us step up to the challenges of modern life without stress or worry: Worry Free simultaneously calms the nervous system (soothing to Vata dosha) while supporting mental acuity. Try taking one an hour before bedtime.


2. Balance Digestion
The key to balancing Vata digestion is regularity — especially regular, daily elimination. Due to the sometimes-erratic movement of Vata, when digestion is imbalanced it can manifest as intestinal cramps, occasional diarrhea or constipation, or gas. The answer? Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus), the nightly detox for regulating digestion and elimination.

Eat Cooked Meals Regularly
Keeping in line with the routine that Vata craves, try eating meals at regular mealtimes each day. Always on the go? If we can avoid the tendency to eat a light lunch on the go, even on our busiest days, we can calm the flighty nature of Vata. Warm, nourishing, cooked foods (less raw foods) help us stay grounded. Try seasoning cooked veggies with Organic Vata Churna. Favor warm, oily, heavy foods and sweet, sour, and salty tastes. And reduce light, dry, cold foods and pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. Eat larger quantities of food, especially at lunch, but not more than can be digested easily.


3. Oil
Dry, rough skin can often accompany those leaning towards Vata tendencies. Daily abhyanga (yes, daily), ayurvedic massage with Organic Sesame Oil or Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil, will work wonders to soothe dry skin and tame excess movement. Try abhyanga in the morning to start the day right! On those busy days, when there isn’t time for a full-body self massage, try “karnapura” — ear oleation abhyanga that calms Vata. Use a dab of Organic Sesame Oil on your little finger to gently lubricate your ear canals; reapply as needed throughout the day. If you live in a dry climate, Nasya can be very soothing for your nasal passages. Apply oil to your little finger and dab inside your nostrils, or use Organic Clear & Soothe Nasal Spray. Massage the inner nostrils and sniff a few times, then wipe away the excess oil. You will be surprised at the beneficial effect this has.


4. Yoga Asanas and Meditation
Yoga asanas, practiced properly, massage and loosen our joints and muscles, releasing nervous tension. This makes yoga asanas the ideal non-strenuous exercise for Vata. According to ayurveda, lightly putting our attention on the area of sensation while practicing each posture has a balancing effect, as the area of stretch is actually a marma point. Properly done, gentle asanas stimulate the marma points in our body, bringing balance. Our bodies and minds will find peace by favoring a gentle asana practice which balances both sides of the body. Just slow it down. Favor yoga asanas and yoga styles that encourage slow, methodical movement. If you lean towards Vata imbalance, consider letting go of the fast-paced, overly-stimulating asana practices, such as repetitive Sun Salutations, or any postures that place excessive strain on your body! Seated meditation — the ultimate yoga asana — calms our mind and brings our body back into balance, creating our sense of feeling grounded! Practicing Transcendental Meditation® twenty minutes twice a day offers a direct means to transcend and restore balance to both mind and body. If you have not learned Transcendental Meditation, then practice your technique of choice.


5. Stay Warm & Rest Well

Back to those cold hands and feet…

When the temperature outside drops or we are just having a day where we cannot seem to warm up — a soothing cup of sweet Organic Calming Vata Tea will settle a whirling mind and warm our bodies from the inside out. Enjoy warm temperatures when possible. And of course, pile on the layers to stay warm, if needed. All of that routine calls for rest, rest, and good rest. Do you ever lie down at night and find that the day’s to-do list or an overactive stream of thoughts just won’t let you fall asleep? To promote quality rest, start preparing a few hours before bedtime. Dim the lights around the house and then enjoy calming leisure activities such as reading, listening to relaxing music, or enjoying light-hearted conversation with your loved ones. Try Blissful Sleep, a natural sleep aid for falling asleep faster and enjoying blissful, refreshing sleep! Taking Worry Free one hour before bed can also help Vata-predominant individuals. Eating our dinner at least three hours before bed will make a big difference in calming our mind and allowing us to sleep soundly. Why? Our sleep can be disturbed by our body digesting a meal that we eat too late, or too much of, in the evening.

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By following these simple ayurvedic guidelines, we can keep Vata regulated, regardless of the season or circumstance, and in turn keep all of the doshas moving properly. The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

Ayurveda - Healthy Skin Care

Skin is a remarkable organ. In fact, skin is the human body’s largest organ, which regenerates itself by shedding off dead skin and regenerating a new layer approximately every 28 days. More importantly, skin can reveal information about our overall state of health. For example, rash, hives, and itching may reveal an allergic response, a bacterial or viral skin infection, or even an underlying autoimmune condition. Likewise, a mole may be a sign of skin cancer. In essence, the skin reveals what’s happening within.

In general, ayurveda recommends healthy, whole foods, consisting mainly of a vegetarian diet for all types of constitutions. Foods which are fatty, fried, refined, and processed are more likely to cause skin conditions - therefore avoid them when you can.

High-Fiber Foods
- Fiber helps to reduce bad bacteria and increase good bacteria (probiotics) in the gut
- The best sources of fiber are:
a. Sprouted Nuts and Seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds)
b. Vegetables

High-Quality Protein
- Protein helps to balance blood sugar levels to rid acne.
- The best sources of high-quality protein are:
a. Organic Chicken and Turkey
b. Grass-Fed Beef
c. Wild-Caught Fish
d. Organic Eggs
e. Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

Healthy Fats
- Coconut oil is the best oil to get rid of acne.
- Coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties to kill off bad bacteria and fight off acne.

Click Here - 10 Golden Rules Of Food Intake
Click Here - Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Sleep & Exercise
Exercise promotes sweating which helps rid the body of toxins while improving circulation, alleviating stress and calming the mind. “Sleep and exercise stimulate growth hormone, which promotes fibroblast health and allows more production of collagen and elastin to keep your skin taut. They also accelerate the production of epidermis.” - Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Healthy Diet Creates Healthy Skin - How To Get Rid Of Acne - Dr. Josh Axe 

Remove: sugar, gluten, hydrogenated oils
Include: high fiber, high quality protein, healthy fats
Supplements: probiotics, zinc, antioxidants

- Probiotics kill off bad bacteria in the gut and help boost the immune system.
- 80% of the immune system is located in the gut.
- Consume probiotic-rich foods, such as:
a. Cultured Vegetables
b. Kefir
c. Yogurt
d. Amasai
[Look for 50 billion IU’s daily in a probiotic supplement]

- Zinc helps to repair the gut lining and naturally boost the immune system.
- Taking 50 mg of zinc per day is very effective in fighting acne.

- Elderberry is the most effective antioxidant for reversing acne.
- Try adding 1 Tbsp. elderberry syrup or extract in your superfood smoothie.

7 Layers Of Skin
Sushruta, the founding father of surgery, described seven layers of skin, each having its own distinct structure and function with each layer providing support to the layer above.

  1. Avabhasini is the outermost layer of skin, provides the source of complexion, and that which reflects the quality of rasa dhatu [nutrition aspect of blood]. When this layer of skin is affected it can produce acne, pimples, and dandruff.
  2. Lohita is the second layer and supports the outermost layer of skin. This layer also has a connection to rakta dhatu [hematocrit of blood] and when affected by impurities can manifest as increased pigmentation and moles.
  3. Shweta is the third layer of skin described as being white and helps to provide balance to the color and tone of the skin. When this layer is affected by impaired doshas it can manifest in certain conditions such as eczema and other allergic responses.
  4. Tamra is the forth layer which supports the upper layers of skin while correlating well with skin immunity and providing a barrier of resistance to pathogens of the skin.
  5. Vedini is the fifth layer of skin and connects the sense of touch [tactile perception] with the rest of the body through various signal transmissions. Imbalance in this layer can lead to certain conditions such as neuralgia or even the exacerbation of herpes for those previously exposed .
  6. Rohini is the sixth layer of skin which provides skin its regenerative ability to heal. Imbalances in this layer impairs the healing ability of the skin and can impair the process of scar formation.
  7. Mamsadhara is the innermost layer of skin which provides the greatest support to all the above layers. When healthy, this layer provides firmness and youthfulness to the skin. When this layer becomes impaired skin sags and beings to reveal the aging process.

Doshas Types & Skin

Vata Dosha is primarily made of ether and air elements and therefore easily prone to having dry skin due to dehydration. Vata types should remain well hydrated by drinking lukewarm water throughout the day. Likewise, vata types will often benefit by the addition of healthy fats in their diet [i.e. ghee, olive oil, etc.].

Pitta Dosha being mainly fire and water elements tends to have oily skin and often more vulnerable to acne, moles, and other inflammatory skin conditions [i.e. urticaria, rash, and hives]. Of all three dosha types, pitta is most sensitive to direct sunlight and should seek cooling measures. Pitta types should avoid hot and spicy food along with overly sour food as this can aggravate inflammatory skin conditions. Instead, consider cooling measures for both the body and mind.

Kapha Dosha is made primarily of water and earth elements often having more thick skin with additional subcutaneous fat. Since many toxins [ama] are fat soluable, kapha type skin often requires detoxification more routinely. External cleansing and detoxification of the skin may include gentle exfoliation with certain dry herbal formulas. Kapha types should incorporate more exercise into their daily lives, avoid oily fatty food while adding warming spices such as ginger and black pepper to improve digestion.

Oil Massage
Daily oil massage [Abhyanga] over the whole body is a very effective way of keeping the skin healthy and beautiful. According to the Charaka Samhita, abhyanga pacifies the doshas, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin, tones muscles, and acts as a natural moisturizer.

Vata Type: consider sesame oil
Pitta Type: consider sunflower oil
Kapha Type: consider corn or mustard oil

Benefits Of Abhyanga Include:
- softer, smoother skin
- increased circulation, especially to nerve endings
- toning of the muscles
- calming of the nerves
- lubrication of joints
- increased mental alertness
- improved elimination of impurities from the body
- increased levels of stamina through the day
- promote deep sleep

Want More?
Fresh Cherry Mask Moisturizer
“Apply a pulp of fresh cherries to your face at night as a mask, before going to bed. Leave it on for 15 minutes. This will relieve dry skin and give you a beautiful complexion.” - Dr. Vasant Lad, The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies

Finally - Smile!
Keeping a smile on your face helps to provide a healthy tone of your facial muscles and skin. A simple smile can act as a natural anti-aging face lift and make you feel warm and tingly all over.

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.