The Ayurveda Guide For Winter Season
Winter is a time when nature’s energy withdraws back unto herself as nature’s many expressions begin to slow down. According to Ayurveda, a person is a miniature reflection of nature and winter represents a time for much needed restoration. Every season has certain attributes which may cause aggravation and imbalances of doshas. For example, winter is generally considered a “kapha season”. Therefore, colds and other kapha conditions [i.e. congestion] are more common as the heavy, cold, and cohesive qualities of kapha are predominant. However, a balanced lifestyle in accordance to seasonal changes helps to create the needed elements in order to maintain health and well-being for the body and mind.
Winter Tips – How To Stay Balanced & Healthy During The Winter Season
The Winter Routine
Generally, Ayurveda recommends waking up early before sunrise when pure [“Sattvic”] qualities of nature bring about a sense of peace and freshness to the mind. However, sleeping in later [i.e. 7am] during winter is also considered acceptable.
Paraphrasing a famous Ayurvedic Physician [Dr. Vasant Lad], “there is nothing more healthy than waking up to the call of duty”. Although it is common to sit on the toilet while having a bowel movement, it is more ideal to squat. If you are unable to evacuate your bowels you may want to consider sipping a glass of warm water as this helps to stimulate mass peristalsis and also helps to flush the kidneys.
A real ayurveda classic. Fill the cup with water in the evening, leave it to stand overnight and drink the water the next morning. In ayurveda this water is particularly highly regarded because it is said to have a purifying as well as a balancing influence on Pitta dosha. From a scientific point of view, the water has absorbed pure copper, which in this form is an essential mineral for the body.
Scrape Your Tongue
By gently scraping the tongue, from back to front, this helps to remove dead bacteria from the tongue, stimulate the visceral organs, and further helps to aid digestion. This is especially helpful if there was improper digestion of the previous night’s meal.
Silver Tongue Cleaner
A traditional Sterling Silver Tongue Cleaner will help whisk away bacteria and impurities found on your tongue in the morning. Rinse, and your mouth and tongue will feel fresh and clean.
Brush Your Teeth
Using a soft toothbrush, brush your teeth using toothpaste made from heating herbs such as cinnamon or cloves. These heating herbs help to protect the teeth from sensitivity to cold.
For healthy teeth and gums. Natural, holistic Ayurdent Toothpaste cleanses deeply to rid your teeth and mouth of toxins. Supports and nourishes teeth and gums. Does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
Swishing Oil In The Mouth
Next, consider holding some warm sesame oil in the mouth for two or three minutes. This helps to strengthen your teeth and gums, and also thought to be beneficial for improving the clarity of the voice. After holding the oil in the mouth, swish the oil around the mouth and finally before spitting out the oil, gently massage your gums with the oil using your index finger. Also, make sure not to swallow any of this oil.
Oil Massage – Abhyanga
Massage yourself with warm organic sesame oil. Sesame is warming and is generally considered beneficial to every body type for this time of year. Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep.
Organic Sesame Oil
Enhance immunity and experience a sense of well-being. Our pure golden Sesame Oil is organic, extra-light, chemical-free and cold-pressed, allowing its chemical composition to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
“Give yourself a full-body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing; pacifies the doshas; relieves fatigue; provides stamina, pleasure and perfect sleep; enhances the complexion and the luster of skin; promotes longevity; and nourishes all parts of the body.”
– Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda
Have a nice warm shower and rub off the oil from your skin. Showering will naturally brings about freshness to the body, clarity to the mind, and holiness to your life.
Citronella Herbal Soap – Kapha Balancing Soap
This light and fresh bar cleanses deeply while balancing soft and smooth Kapha skin. The special blend of ayurvedic herbs — flame-of-the-forest, mesua, turmeric and lemony citronella — will refresh your skin. For normal to oily skin.
Dressing & Perfumes
Wearing clean clothes after bathing brings about beauty and virtue. Likewise, using natural scents or perfumes [i.e. essential oils] helps to enhance the refreshing sense of joy and charm to life.
Stimulating Kapha Aroma Oil
Therapeutic aroma oils are precise blends of 100% pure essential oils — diffuse them through lockets or diffusers, combine 5-10 drops per 2 oz. of your base massage oil, or add a few drops to your bathwater for a fragrant healing experience you’ll cherish long after you’ve left the bath.
Yoga & Pranayama
Yoga or other forms of light exercise will help to invigorate the body with life-energy [i.e. “prana”] and help to clear excess mucous, lethargy, and sluggishness common to both kapha conditions and winter season.
Classical yogic texts describe prana as the energy of the universe and because it permeates everything in the universe it is considered the breath of life. Therefore, pranayama is ‘yogic breathing’ and consists of breathing exercises specifically designed to meet the needs of our body and to keep our body in perfect health.
After completing pranayama, it is of benefit to apply nasya oil in the nose. The herbs in nasya can help to dissolve excess kapha [i.e. mucous] from the chest and head, especially beneficial during winter season.
Organic Clear & Soothe Nasal Spray
Natural Nasal Spray — soothes dry, irritated sinuses; shields nasal passages from airborne irritants and germs
Traditional ayurvedic herbal oil
- balances & lubricates dry or irritated sinuses
- protects against environmental pollutants & other airborne irritants
- vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)
Winter Foods To Consider
Generally, the food we eat during winter season should be warming, nourishing, and mildly spicy. Likewise, we should avoid cold food and flavors which are excessively sweet, sour, or salty as these are all considered “kapha provoking” and will therefore further increase congestion.
Warm and nourishing breakfast many consist of a small bowl of porridge, oatmeal, cornmeal, barley soup, or kitchari.
Amrit Kalash Ambrosia
Amrit Kalash in the morning is great to help keep your energy and immunity intact and is especially beneficial during winter season. Amrit Kalash is a traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E
Full-spectrum antioxidant: targets mind & nervous system
- 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
- powerful food for the brain
- significantly boosts immunity & vitality
- best taken with Amrit Nectar
- vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)
About an hour after breakfast, consider sipping on kapha tea which contains ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, saffron, and black pepper – all help to improve digestion and help to eliminate mucus from the body.
Organic Stimulating Tea
The perfect answer when you’re feeling sluggish or heavy — spicy tea
Lunch is to be eaten around noon as hunger will naturally occur. Lunch should be nourishing and wholesome such as steamed vegetables, warm soups, bread and delicious ghee. It’s best to avoid meals which are cold as this will impair the digestive fire “agni”. To improve digestion, we can add certain spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.
Stimulating Spice Mix
Our ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Stimulating Kapha Churna includes ginger, coriander and turmeric.
It’s best to avoid having dinner too late and 5-7pm is often ideal. Again, dinner should be warm and nourishing while avoiding excessive sweet, sour or salty tastes; as these flavors increase kapha dosha.
Ayurveda suggest that it may be beneficial to occasionally have a glass of dry and warming wine during the winter season as this will encourage circulation and help to stimulate digestion.
As the winter nights get darker earlier, it’s wise to go to bed earlier. Before heading off to bed you may want to consider a delicious cup of hot spicy milk. Spices such as nutmeg are calming and help to promote sound sleep.
Natural sleep aid for falling asleep faster and enjoying deeper, more refreshing sleep; balances, and nourishes.
To support sleeping through the night; helps in falling asleep more easily, and in returning to sleep when awakened.
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.