Image of Winter Wellness

Ayurvedic Winter Wellness

A huge thanks to our ambassador Emma Newlyn for another interesting blog all about Winter Wellness and how Ayurveda can be adopted to truly feel well in Winter time: Ayurvedic wisdom guides us towards living life in alignment with nature. In harmony with the seasons and with respect for the body’s individual needs. Each season, Ayurveda recommends changing up our daily routines, diet, exercise, yoga practice. As well as a general lifestyle to help the body and mind maintain balance and well-being. Depending upon your primary dosha type, you may feel entirely different during Summer and Winter to the way your partner or friends feel. But there are many practices and small lifestyle changes that can help us all stay well this Winter.

Embrace The Outdoors:

The first place to start when it comes to aligning with the seasons, is to make sure the body and mind know which season it is. Many of us live in an artificial environment with central heating, warm cars, air conditioned gyms and studios, and offices with ambient temperatures. We may be able to see Winter outside. But if our bodies can’t feel it, we aren’t able to adapt and thrive from season to season. Cold temperatures might not feel the most comfortable. But they have an abundance of benefits including: boosting brainpower and clearing a ‘foggy’ mind, increasing metabolism. This triggers the transformation of white fat cells to healthier brown fat, lowering inflammation, fighting infections. This boosts the immune system and helping you sleep better. If you live in a country that experiences seasonal changes, let your body and mind experience them too. That way, you’ll benefit even more from seasonal well-being advice and be winter wellness ready.

Use This Sinus Solution:

If moving from outdoors to indoors tends to trigger sinus issues and a build up of phlegm, help is at hand with an ancient yet effective way of clearing those nasal passages. One of the traditional Ayurvedic self care and detox methods, Jala Neti is the practice of using a mixture of warm purified water and good quality salt to clear the nasal passages. A very effective way to help clear and prevent a head cold, and really easy to do! Simply fill the neti pot, place the spout into the right nostril and tip your head to pour the water into your nose – it’ll filter through and come out of the left nostril, leaving the sinuses clearer. Repeat with the other nostril and breathe easy.

Change Up Your Diet:

Ayurveda advises staying away from foods with a ‘cold’ quality during cold months, which when we think about it, kind of makes sense. Warming the body from the inside during Winter can help keep agni (the digestive fire) strong, maintaining optimal absorption, digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Choose foods like warm porridge, root vegetables, soups and stews, and steam salads instead of having them raw. Spices are vital for adding warmth and digestion-boosting benefits at this time of year. Opt for ginger, cinnamon, clove oil, cumin, cayenne, mustard, turmeric, black pepper, paprika and nutmeg.

Practice Abhyanga:

Self-massage (known as abhyanga in the Ayurvedic system) is beneficial throughout the year. And a wonderful way to show yourself some love, but during Winter its especially important for keeping the skin nourished and joints strong. Choose a warming and calming oil like sesame. With perhaps a few drops of ginger or frankincense (or a specially formulated Vata body oil!) to keep the body warm and the immune system strong. Warm the oil and massage the whole body. Paying special attention to the joints and any areas that ache.

Adapt Your Yoga:

Cold, dark Winter months and the busy festive period can leave us feeling depleted and tired. And in need of some serious relaxation. For a circulation-boost, practice a few rounds of surya namaskar (sun salutations) each morning. And choose a gentle restorative yoga practice to wind down at night. Simple pranayama techniques like alternate nostril breathing or just taking slow, deep breaths can do wonders for calming the nervous system and promoting balanced winter wellness.