An Ayurvedic approach to winter
Transition from fall to winter with these Ayurvedic principles in mind.
According to Ayurvedic teachings, the entire universe is an interplay of the energies of the five elements: ether, earth, water, air, and fire. Ayurveda groups these five energy types into three Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person is made up of a unique combination of the three, and all three are essential to our existence. A core principle of Ayurveda is balance, and when our Doshas become imbalanced, that is when disease occurs. During seasonal changes, our Dosha’s can become imbalanced, but there are things we can do to combat this change, seek balance and maintain health and longevity within our body, mind, and spirit.
6 seasons according to Ayurveda
A year is divided into two Kaals (time periods). Each Kaal comprises of three seasons. This gives us a total of six seasons in a year. Each season lasts for two months.
- Adaan Kaal/ Northern Solstice/ Uttaryana (14 January to 14 July)
- Shishir Ritu (Winter) Mid- January to Mid- March
- Vasant Ritu (Spring) Mid- March to Mid-May
- Grishma Ritu (Summer) Mid- May to Mid- July
- Visarga Kaal/ Southern Solstice/ Dakshinayana (14 July to 14 January)
We are currently in the Hemant Ritu season (late autumn/pre-winter) which is generally characterized by cold and dry spells, which bears signs of the Vata dosha.
It is important to keep the Vata dosha balanced during this time by eating nourishing foods, moving our bodies, and strengthening our minds. Below we have listed our top 5 tips to stay balanced this season.
1. Eat for the season
Favor a warm, nourishing diet to pacify the Vata and soothe Kapha. Think oven-roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and brussel sprouts. Soups and hearty stews with plenty of Vata-balancing spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and fenugreek for flavoring teas and foods.
2. Ground yourself daily
One of the best ways to balance out Vata in our bodies is through grounding. Grounding is one of the simplest things we can do each day to feel more connected to our bodies and the earth. The best surfaces for grounding are sand, soil, moist grass, bricks, concrete, leather, metal, water. When we get in touch with nature we are actually neutralizing our electric potential, creating balance in our bodies while reducing oxidative stress.
3. Move your body
Slow moving exercise is important in keeping Kapha in balance during the winter. Yoga and power walking are great options, but whatever you choose, try to dedicate at least 20-30 minutes a day to help counter lethargic tendencies of the season.
Ayurveda considers rest to be one of the “Three Pillars of life” which means that proper sleep is essential for optimal health. Without sleep, the body and the mind will suffer. Getting enough rest, especially during the winter months, is crucial for recovery and keeping your body healthy and mind sharp.
5. Wake up earlier
This may seem counterintuitive to getting more rest, but waking up earlier can set the energy and tone for the rest of your day. Since morning time is the transition from Vata to Kapha, it is important to harness the Vata energy before 6am. Waking up during Vata time (before sunrise) gives us a daily boost because we rise in the energy of movement.
HANAH ONE and Ayurveda
At HANAH, we believe in preserving ancient traditions and adapting them for antidotes for modern life. Our flagship product, HANAH ONE, was created with an Ayurvedic approach. It is a unique small batch blend of 30 herbs (including ashwagandha and turmeric), adaptogens and nootropics combined in honey, ghee and sesame oil, designed to give you a slow, burning energy that lasts all day long. Try incorporating HANAH ONE into your daily routine this winter for sustained energy, a strengthened immune system, mental clarity, focus and improved digestion.
Looking for the perfect winter drink? Try the boosted HANAH hot cacao.
- 1½ cups almond, coconut or regular milk
- 1/2 tablespoon honey, coconut or maple sugar or to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon HANAH ONE
- 3 teaspoons raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon HANAH Coffee Boost
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat.
- Mix in the sweetener of choice and cacao powder until blended.
- Remove from heat, whisk in HANAH ONE and HANAH Coffee Boost then whisk until fully mixed.
- Serve hot and top with marshmallows if desired.
Makes 1 steaming cup.
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