Ayurvedic Tips For Winter Wellness

Ayurveda - Natural Goodness


With Ayurveda it is easy to maintain and improve good health. The many factors that affect our health are summarised into three basic functional principles, or doshas, which makes the application of Ayurveda simple.

These three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, control both our mind-body system. When these three doshas are in their idividual balance, we feel good, enjoy perfect health and radiate natural beauty.

Many factors affect the balance of the doshas, for example, our daily routine, diet, and the seasons. The tips presented here are to help you maintain your inner balance.


Nutrition


Cold weather increases digestive power, or Agni, which is usually stronger in winter than in other seasons. Therefore, you can eat a little more, and slightly richer food. If you eat too lightly, your strong Agni would begin to break  down body tissue and put Vata out of balance. Similarly, wind and cold increase Vata. This is easy to understand when you know that the main characteristics of vata dosha are,"airy","dry","cold" and "irregular". Therefore, the following Vata reducing measures are particularly recommended in autumn and winter.

Whenever possible favour warm and nourishing foods, for example, stews, pasta dishes and casseroles, dairy products such as cream and milk rice, almonds and nuts, soaked dried fruits such as, dates, raisins or figs (tip: eat with cream and cinnamon).

On the other hand, reduce raw foods, salads, all kind of cabbage and dry foods like raw rolled oatflakes, crispbreads or cornflakes with cold milk.

Always use ghee (clarified butter) when cooking. Ghee is particularly highly valued in Ayurveda for its health promoting properties.

In this cold season favour "sweet", "sour" and "salty" flavours.


Vata - pacifying spices include:


Cinnamon, fennel, anise, nutmeg, cumin, cardamom, licorice, cloves, fresh ginger, parsley and basil, just to name a few.

Many of these spices are included in Maharishi Ayurveda Vata Churna, a delicious ayurvedic spice mixture.


Avoid ice cold drinks - favour warm drinks instead, such as Vata Tea, Gentle Breath Tea, Almond Drink or Raja's Cup, a full flavoured, delicious ayurvedic coffee substitute. With lunch, you may drink a glass of Lassi: Thoroughly whisk one part of yogurt with three parts of water, plus a little rock salt and a pinch of cumin. If you prefer, you can also prepare sweet lassi with sugar or Sharkara, and, for instance, cardamom, cinnamon, or vanilla. Regular sipping of hot water is highly recommended. It should simmer for about 15 minutes with the lid off. Transfer it into a thermos and drink it in small sips throughout the day. On the other hand, avoid stimulants such as coffee, black tea and cigarettes, because they quickly produce a Vata imbalance.


Ayurvedic Daily Routine


In winter, for healthy individuals, metabolism and vigour are stronger than in other seasons. Therefore, you can physically do a little more now. However, always make sure that you do not over extend yourself, but keep a healthy level of rest and activity.

Besides taking adequate sleep, regular practice of Transcendental Meditation is a key to deep inner regeneration and relaxation. This technique of consciousness comes from the same tradition as Ayurveda: from the Veda. It is easy to learn and easy to integrate into everyday life. Hundreds of scientific studies show its outstanding effect on various aspects of health, even compared to other relaxation techniques. A particularly important point in your daily routine should be regularity, because regularity is very good for balancing Vata. Make your meal times about the same every day. Similarly, go to bed at the same time every day, and not too late, and always get up around the same time. A regular daily routine without stress supports the balance of the three doshas. Ths produces a significant improvement in physical and mental well being.



The most important measures at a glance:


Healthy levels of activity, rest, sports, adequate sleep and Transcendental MeditationFortifying, nutritious and hot mealsRegular daily routine - especially regular eating habitsHeat - warm oil massage, hot food, warm clothes. Strengthening of the physiology with Ayurvedic food supplements

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