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Tis the season for Ayurvedic winter tips

The transition from Autumn, a time of dry, light and cold weather (vata) into Winter means we are entering the kapha season.  The sky is often cloudy, the weather cold, damp and heavy, everything seems to move more slowly.  Generally, a kapha pacifying regime should be adopted, particularly by those with a kapha dosha.


An excellent source of information includes Annie Jones’ blog.  As you browse through her blog, perhaps you would like to incorporate Dinacharya into your daily routine.  Whilst it initially seems a lot to incorporate, once you build it into your daily routine, it doesn’t take long at all.  You could try combining some of the practices.  For example, you may start your day with yoga and / or meditation, so perhaps follow this with a body massage and warm shower – a wonderful, nurturing way to start your day and support your wellbeing through the winter.  The following is taken from Annie’s blog:

The traditional Dinacharya health sequence.  Have a go and discover the power that you can access from within. Gain greater mental clarity and improved memory and joy.

  • Start your day by booking your bathroom for 15 mins

  • Warm water: start your day with a warm drink of water.

  • Oil pulling: start by using 2 tables spoons of warm sesame oil and swilling it around your mouth for 2 minutes, then spit it out into the sink. This helps remove toxins that may have built up during the night.

  • Gargling: then take another tablespoon of sesame oil and gargle to help clear your throat.

  • Brush teeth: to help move the oil from your mouth and as a mouth freshener.

  • Body massage: now take a few minutes to massage your body with a warm oil (sesame oil is a good all rounder).

  • Warm shower: enjoy a warm shower that will allow the oil to enter deeper into the skin.

  • Neti: this is a pot of warm (salty) water that will clear your head and sinuses when gently poured through one nostril to the other.

  • Nasya: is where you place a small amount of ghee in the opening of the nostrils to help lubricate and clear the head (you can also lubricate the ears with some ghee to help the nervous system).

 
Dinacharya for the rest of the day!
These are tried and tested techniques that will increase your health and youthfulness and give you an abundance of energy

  • Take a walk daily as this balances all the doshas

  • Yoga and relaxation – this can be further developed by practising according to your dosha

  • Epsom salt bath

  • Sauna

  • Meditation

  • Water

 

In his book ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’, Vasant Lad suggests boiling ½ tsp of dry ginger, ½ tsp cinnamon and a pinch of clove in a cup of water for 5 minutes and drinking this about an hour after breakfast.  Recommended by him to increase heat and pitta, improving circulation and eliminating mucus from the system (please note, this is not suitable if you have an ulcer).  For a kapha pacifying lunch, he suggests whole wheat bread, steamed vegetables, and hot mushy soup with ghee and some crunchy croutons.  At the end of the day, rub a small amount of sesame oil on your scalp and soles of your feet.


Yoga postures and sequences for winter include Surya Namaskara, the Fish, Locust, Boat, Bow, Lion and Camel.  These will all help to open the chest, stretch the throat and relieve congestion of the chest. 
Lots of lovely, warming suggestions to support a kapha pacifying lifestyle during the winter months. 

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