For many, this has been a long winter. With each changing season we are given an opportunity to evaluate ourselves and our patterns of thoughts and actions. During the slow slumber of winter we can take the time to make adjustments to ourselves in order to stay warm and vibrant!
Aligning with Ayurvedic philosophy, each season is ruled by a particular dosha and various qualities (gunas). These qualities affect how your mind and body feel. During the winter months many people feel a sort of depression due to the lethargic and dark qualities of the season. We are in charge of our bodies and can recalibrate the gunas and balance the doshas by regulated routine, diet and exercise.
The cold autumn season swept in the elements of air and space. This is evident in an imbalance of the vata dosha. One physical result is excessive dry skin. The kapha dosha plays a dominant role in the winter months. With the coming of spring the water element increases in our environments. This can be seen in the increase of respiratory and congestive disorders.
So how do we rebalance our doshas to stay warm this winter? A focus on increasing circulation in the body is important. By doing so we open up the channels and allow nutrients to be distributed and flush out any toxin build-up in the body. Circulation also relates to our digestion and keeping the digestive fire (jathara agni) alive will aid in proper metabolic function and increased circulation of life energy (prana).
Our natural inclinations in winter are to eat warm, filling and wholesome foods. This along with a steady daily routine (bedtime and mealtimes) will aid in keeping you in balance this winter.
Try incorporating freshly prepared, warm meals into your diet along with practicing yoga daily. Pay attention to how you are feeling after each meal to help determine which foods are balancing and which are irritative. Keep hydrated and stick to a steady schedule for waking up and going to sleep. Hopefully this will assist you in balancing your doshas until spring!