Winter solstice marks an auspicious shift in daylight, causing an imbalance of melanin in our body. The long dark nights of winter can lead to physical slowing down, dryness and fatigue. This is a perfect time to rest, reflect, hold space, and hibernate. Every season has the potential to either bolster or encumber your sense of well-being. Each season ushers in a unique set of qualities that can either pacify or aggravate the inner workings of your being. Regardless of who you are, your local climate is a key player in your overall state of balance and well-being. Winter calls for taking extra care for ourselves and this is why a seasonal routine is essential and helpful.
Before talking about the routine to be followed during winters, we must understand how our Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha get affected in every season.
Vata Dosha accumulates during the heat of the summer. It further gets aggravated during the rainy season due to hot, humid and wet conditions. An aggravated Vata may result in weakened digestion.
Pitta Dosha accumulates during the rainy season due to the hot, wet and humid conditions. It gets aggravated during the autumn season or after the cooling spell of the rainy season, as the heat returns.
Kapha Dosha gets accumulated during the winter season due to the damp and cold conditions. It gets aggravated during spring as the weather turns warm, which in turn liquefies Kapha.
Now let’s understand and try what Ayurveda recommends for every season. Let’s talk about the current season that falls in the Visarga Kaal.
Early winter or Hemanta Ritu
Early winter is when temperatures begin to drop and the chill in the air increases. The weather starts getting pleasant and we start feeling cold. Early winter is part of the Visarga Kaal when the Sun is giving out energy to the Earth.
The digestive capacity of the body is pretty good during the early winter season, so Ayurveda recommends taking heavy food. One should prefer sweet, sour and salty tastes. These tastes and heavy food can help keep Vata in control.
- Dairy products, slightly oily foods, sweets, wheat products etc are recommended.
- Eat more iron-rich foods like lentils and green leafy vegetables
- Consume warming oats with nuts or seeds or seasonal fruits like apples, dates etc.
- Add foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits to your meals.
- Include spinach and legumes they are good source of zinc and they keep your immune system functions normally during winter.
- The beta-carotene in carrots is an excellent source of vitamin A and a powerful anti-oxidant
- Whole grains cereal and pulses are high in energy and protein foods and they provide the required fuel to combat the cold.
- Papaya and pineapple provide warmth during winters.
- Dates are warm in nature and are highly recommended in the winter months.
- Mustard, asafetida, black pepper, fenugreek, ajwain and dill seeds are all warm spices t obe used freely during winters.
- Basil is an herb that protects against cold and fever and helps strengthen immunirty.
- Try and keep yourself warm by wearing warm clothes.
- Massage your body regularly with warm oils.
- Cover your head and ears when walking out during early winter.
- Get adequate exposure to Sunlight.
- Sip Tulsi tea as they enhance your immune system to fight the viruses.
- Apply coconut oil on your skin to keep it moisturized, prevent dry scaly skin and strengthen the connective tissue under the skin.
- Include organic ghee to your diet is one of the best ways to keep your body warm and deals with the dryness of the skin during winter.
- Drink warm water to keep your self-hydrated.
- Include oil-rich foods like wallnuts, blanched almonds, ground flaxseeds, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, olive oil and ghee.