The end of the year marks the time when many families celebrate their most important holiday. It’s also the time when stress is at its highest level and we tend to neglect our healthy daily routines. The combined stress, along with heavier holiday meals and the cold, wet kapha season, sets the stage for kapha to become imbalanced, which reduces our energy and immunity.
Around the holidays, the kapha season is just getting started, and with that comes natural stillness, self-reflection and rest. However, when we overindulge during the holidays, this helps to create excess kapha, and we can experience weight gain, fluid retention, colds, coughs, allergies, fatigue, sugar cravings and depression. If self-care is not taken to lighten your foods and exercise the symptoms of kapha will increase even more.
The challenge for all of us during the winter months is to calm vata without aggravating kapha into excess. Luckily there are many wonderful Ayurvedic practices and remedies to keep you balanced and motivated, even if it’s snowy and cold outside!
Sleep and routine
Food and Drink
- Wake up by 6 or 7 a.m. to balance kapha and go to sleep by 10pm to balance vata and pitta.
- Do not sleep during the day unless you become ill, as it will aggravate kapha. Establish a daily routine with time for exercise and fun.
- Sleep, eat and exercise at the same times each day.
- The ideal characteristics of an Ayurvedic winter meal are warm, cooked foods like oatmeal, barley and rice or a spicy kichari. It is natural to crave heavier foods like thick soups and stews that are spicy and slightly oily.
- Drink warm herbal teas to hydrate.
- Favor warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, cayenne, and cumin.
Meditation and pranayama
- Reading books or practicing yoga by a fireplace warms both vata and kapha.
- Do self-abhyanga or oil massage before bathing at least three times a week to balance vata.
- During fair weather, take a walk or hike in nature to balance vata and kapha.
Winter herbal support
- Meditate daily for 15 to 30 minutes as it balances all three dosas.
- Pranayam breathing exercises helps balance vata.
- Any style of meditation is beneficial including a silent walk in nature.
Chyawanaprash will boost your immunity and energy and help to balance all three dosas.
Abhaya Arishtam balances both kapha and vata and relieves constipation because it increases the secretion of bile from the liver. Bile induces peristalsis, (which stimulates the bowels).
Dhanwantaram Oil balances both vata and kapha and relieves inflammation and pain from arthritis and neuromuscular, skeletal and joint disorders.
Balajirakadi Kwatham Tablets balances vata and kapha and supports respiratory conditions, bronchial asthma, coughs, and colds.
By following an Ayurvedic lifestyle from season to season, you will not only maintain your best health, you will also gift yourself a mindful way of life.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.
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