Surviving the winter months with Ayurveda

IMG_1954The winter months in the cold weather can truly take a toll …. we’re cooped up, inundated with more than a few heavy dark days and its our nature to retreat.  Kapha season brings with it the qualities of kapha which are heavy, moist, cold, wet and dense.  If you think about the weather and what happens this time of the year (in the Northeast at least) it makes perfect sense.  The snow, the cold, the darker days of winter bring these qualities into our everyday life so its important to balance accordingly.

All too often if we’re susceptible to it this is the time of year many see excess weight gain, a tendency to hibernate and hunker down indoors foregoing their normal activities, cravings for heavy comfort foods and more sad days and depressive tendencies.    To best counter the heaviness of the season I shared a few tips at a local workshop recently and wanted to pass the information on to you as well.

Favor warm cooked spiced foods and lighter non oily foods.                                                                      This is not the time of year to overindulge in a ton of raw vegetables, smoothies or salads.  Our digestion slows down naturally and by cooking and spicing foods well we aid our bodies in digesting properly.

Sip warm water or tea throughout the day while avoiding cold iced drinks.                                                    Warm water and liquids stoke our digestion while cold drinks dampen our digestive fire.  If you don’t always want something warm think about drinking water that is room temperature as opposed to ice-cold.

Add heating invigorating spices to your food and drinks.                                                                               Cayenne, cumin, ginger, black pepper, turmeric and garlic are all good ones to choose.  Kapha needs energizing and warming, keep your body humming with some of these warming spices.

Wake each day between 6-7 am.                                                                                                               This is usually the least popular of all my recommendations.  And if you’re someone who has an abundance of kapha in your makeup you need this even more and will likely fight it the most.  Kapha time of day is 6-10:00 am/pm so when we sleep too late into that time we invite more of the elements into our bodies and mind.  It’s why you hear people complain that they feel more tired, sluggish or down when they sleep a lot later than they usually do.

I hope these tips help guide you through this season more comfortably.  Perhaps adopting one or two could help alleviate some of the heavy darkness of the season and you can enjoy it more.

 

stay warm !

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