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7 Ayurvedic Wellness Tips for Transitioning into Winter

Hi everybody! Today's post is brought to you by our lovely Drishti employee Michelle Rousseau- Santa Barbara based yoga therapist, yoga ninja, and Ayurvedic experimentalist.

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.46.12 PM Michelle modeling for us at the boutique. :)

As fall ends, the days get longer, darker and colder. Our natural response to this changing of the seasons is to go into hibernation along with the rest of the animal kingdom.  Staying balanced and healthy is important during this time in order to gain the full benefits of this restful time and protect oneself from imbalance.  For some this might seem difficult to do, but thankfully, the teachings of Ayurveda provide us with guidance on how everyone can maintain vibrant health.

Although we normally think of the seasons as winter, spring, summer and fall, Ayurveda divides the seasons based on doshas: elements that compose each person's constitution and influence the natural world. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the kapha dosha, as it is most associated with winter-time.

The kapha dosha is made up of the earth and water elements, so the qualities of this dosha tend to be wet, cold, heavy, stable, solid, and slow. (Think of what happens when you mix earth and water - you get mud!)  Ayurveda teaches that like increases like, so during winter these qualities tend to be increased and often become aggravated within our own bodies and minds. Kapha imbalance can manifest as excess mucus (think cold and flu season), slow metabolism, weight gain, lack of motivation, and excessive desire to sleep; winter is the time for hibernation and thus our bodies and minds prepare accordingly. Though these qualities are likely to occur all of us during winter at least to some extent, it is possible to avoid excessive imbalance through dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Everyone is different, but here are a few easy ways to adjust your routine to stay balanced during Kapha season that should work for most:

  1. Wake up with the sun to maximize time spent in the daylight

  2. Drink hot ginger tea upon rising to stimulate digestion and warm the body from the inside out and boost immunity

  3. Consider licorice tea for respiratory health

  4. Practice self-massage (abhyanga) - before or after showering, massage your body with warming oils like sesame oil to improve circulation and invigorate the skin

  5. Add warming spices to cooked foods, and avoid cold / damp foods (just say no to anything straight out of the refridgerator!)

  6. For an immune system boost, add garlic and ginger to your food

  7. Include regular exercise, vigorous if possible, in your daily routine

Screen shot 2015-11-16 at 12.47.54 PM Santa Barbara winterscape.

We hope these tips are helpful for increasing your overall wellness and self-care! Thanks for reading, and stay cozy.

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