Ayurveda is all about balance. One of the ways to help our body to stay in balance through seasonal shifts is to use opposite qualities! You may be wondering but, what even are these opposite qualities?! Trust me it’s much simpler than you think.
The qualities of deep winter according to Ayurveda are categorized as “kapha” qualities which are cold, moist, heavy, dull, static, smooth, dense, oily and soft. It always helps me to remember the qualities by looking at nature and thinking, how would I describe what is going on out there?
Have you noticed that lately you have been lazier than normal and/or craving heavy, oily food? Well, you are not alone because that is part of the energetic shift towards these qualities, but no worries you can remedy this shift with these helpful lifestyle tweaks:
Drink Warm Beverages - There are many reasons why now is a good time to enjoy warm beverages. First if we look at the qualities above it helps to balance the cold quality. I recommend sipping warm water when you wake up in the morning and throughout the day. This simple trick can also help improve your digestion and elimination as well.
Other warm beverages to try out are golden milk or these spiced milk recipes from Hale Pule: (https://www.halepule.com/blog/simple-ayurvedic-recipe-spiced-milk). Both plant based milk or organic dairy milk can be used in any of these recipes. Don’t forget about eating warm foods as well!
It's All About Movement - The energetic for this season is dull, dense and static, making us maybe a little bit lazier than we normally are. We can think of this season according to nature as the “hibernation” season. Now this isn’t an excuse to go crazy with exercise, it can be as easy as adding some core work or strength training to your yoga asana practice or bundling up and going out for a short walk to split up your work day. I know I never regret going out and spending time in nature! Stay tuned for some season specific yoga poses for your daily practice.
Heating Spices - This is the time of year when adding heating spices to your food is appropriate. Some examples are chili powder, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and ginger (Fresh ginger is less heating for those who already have excess heat or don’t tolerate heat well).
Meditation - when I first heard this one being called a pacifying activity for this season, I was a little confused to be honest. To me sitting in meditation seemed like a static activity, but I was reminded that even though the physical body is still, energy is moving and not letting that get stagnant is so important during this season and not to be underestimated! Meditation can be something that we struggle to find time for in our busy days. I would suggest if you don’t have a routine daily practice to start small and try for about 2 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning.
Pacifying Warm, Light & Dry Foods - To an extent everything in Ayurveda “depends” because we are all unique individuals with different body and mind constitutions. This means that you should always be eating many different foods and these are just some that you can incorporate into your diet to help you feel lighter and more energetic during this season of hibernation; but definitely not the only foods you should be eating!
* Ayurveda always recommends eating what is organic, seasonal & local to your area
Grains - Barley, Quinoa, Basmati and Jasmine Rice
Veggies - artichoke, asparagus, brussels sprouts, kale, radish, seaweed, spinach, mustard greens, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, watercress, arugula
Beans - all types of beans! Mung beans, split peas and lentils and even cooked tempeh and tofu are great choices
Light Meats/ Light Fish - Chicken, Turkey
Even though the beginning of this energetic season can seem dark and heavy remember that it leads to a time for renewal and rebirth as spring starts! Ayurvedic wellness is personalized and recommendations are given in accordance to how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and energetically. Make sure you are listening to the feedback your body gives you when making lifestyle changes, it will help you find the appropriate balance for you!
Are you ready to continue learning more about Ayurveda? Next Tuesday 1/30/24 at 6:00pm I will be teaching a workshop on Ayurvedic Winter Wellness- only 2 spots left! https://www.vagaro.com/solefulbeginnings/classes
If you are looking for more individualized approach: Click here : (https://www.solefulbeginnings.com/ayurveda) to learn more about Ayurveda Lifestyle Coaching options.
References: Banyan Botanicals, Katie Silcox & Shakti School, Hale Pule Ayurveda & Yoga