A little note from our guest Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Carla Levy, on how to stay healthy and vibrant during the winter months!
Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is the original holistic healing system that has been practiced for 5000 years. It focuses on healing at all levels including body, mind, and spirit. This occurs by achieving personal balance utilizing the 5 elements air, water, fire, earth, and ether (space). These elements are divided into 3 doshas that combine together within the body: they are vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata consists of air and ether, pitta of fire and a small amount of water, and kapha of earth and water. Each dosha can be found in varying amounts in each of us and can also be seen within the seasons of the year. Our goal in Ayurveda is to have balance within ourselves and nature around us which includes the season we are in.
Winter is the kapha time of year because it is cold, heavy, and moist like earth and water. It is important during this season to consume foods that are warming and easily digestible. Stews, oatmeal, and root vegetables are good examples of foods to eat in the winter. Warm drinks are very beneficial including, ginger tea, cinnamon tea, clove tea, and warm milk with ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. It is a great time of year to slow down a bit, go to bed early, and participate in quiet cozy activities. If you practice yoga, make sure to incorporate back bends into your practice in order to open up your chest because congestion is a common symptom of this season. This time of year tends to breed depression so make sure you break out bright and vibrant colors to help uplift and enliven your spirit. It is a good time to avoid mucus forming foods such as ice cream and cheese, as well as cold drinks. In Ayurveda, the medicated jam called chavanprash will help during this time of year because it is high in vitamin c , full of warming spices and it increases the immune system. Sitopaladi, an herbal mixture, is very effective for breaking up mucus. I hope that you have a happy and balanced winter season.