Season's Greetings: Ayurvedic Winter + December Special
Snow is upon us, the days are shortened, animals are in hibernation. Soon it will be winter solstice, the pique of slumber season. This is a time of slow-down, reflection, meditation, stillness, and longer rest. Scientifically and vibrationally speaking, the cold weather encourages this shift: stilling us, as rain stills into a snowflake.
There are disadvantages to the season resulting in stagnation and a feeling of being weighed down; the infamous seasonal depression.
How we approach this season can have an affect on how we experience it. Practice channeling the energy of this season to your advantage!
But bear in mind that seasonal depression isn’t just an “attitude” or energetic approach, it can be dramatically different based on a person’s nature, either pacifying or aggravating one’s constitution. This is where the more you know, the more you can find balance. Simple adjustments by adapting your diet and lifestyle can make a major difference in your constitution when it’s being naturally aggravated by the season.
How to find balance this winter:
Winter is a Kapha season with Vata undertones.
It is is cold, heavy, and (generally) full of moisture be it snow or rain. All elements of Kapha. Here in Central Oregon, however, we experience substantial dryness, making our winter experience particularly high in Vata.
Cold weather outside means stronger fire brewing inside. Our bodies are producing more heat, particularly in our digestion, to keep us warm and functioning. Support your body by fueling its digestion with simple dietary adjustments. This is particularly helpful to follow for those with Kapha or Vata constitutions to lessen the aggravation of the season.
Focus on eating warm, cooked foods with a little oil and a lot of spices.
Drink room temperature to hot beverages.
Incorporate these spices and seeds: ginger, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, black pepper, fenugreek, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and fennel seeds.
Hardy vegetables and thick stews.
Cooked + well-spiced legumes.
Golden milk as a nightcap.
Excessively sweet foods.
This season, by cultivating a warm heart and strong sense of purpose we can combat melancholy and loneliness. Stimulate this into our mind, body, spirit, and relationships, creating opportunities for laughter and warmth. There’s something to be said about how timely the Holidays are on the calendar. Parties, community involvement, and celebration with family is a wonderful antidote for this otherwise isolating season. Lean into the festivity!
That being said, keep in mind that overdoing it can result in major crashes and a weakening of the immune system. Be mindful of the natural need for more rest — due to the holidays, this month in particular. Remember that it’s okay to cancel plans today to feel so much better tomorrow.
For the winter season: condense your energy!
Work a little harder during the day, and sleep longer during the night.
Create a predictable routine, and stick to it. (Think: what time you wake, eat, work, sleep.)
Catch an extra hour of sleep this season, but when you wake up be sure to have an invigorating morning routine to stimulate your body and energy. Such as: massage Sesame Seed Oil to the whole body before your hot shower and drink warm water to awaken the digestive system.
Skip naps, just head to sleep earlier.
Incorporate invigorating yoga.
Push yourself a little harder during your workout routine; just be sure to rest a little longer too.
Engage in joyful activities.
Remember to not overpack your schedule; it's a season of cultivating joy AND rest.
What’s my Ayurvedic dosha?
Take the quiz on Banyan’s website to find out:
Some information on Ayurveda taken from Banyan Botanicals. We feature many of their Ayurvedic products and oils at Heal Grow Thrive. Dive into their website for more information on Ayurveda or chat with Ileana at your next acupuncture session to find out more about your personal needs for your dosha.
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