What is Ayurveda?
An ancient science deriving from India and over 10,000 years old. Created from the Vedic sages, the philosophy behind this holistic way of healing is strongly based around the earth, moon and sun rhythms and cycles. They base this science around cycles of the seasons and of human life. Ayurveda believes that being in nature, and working with the elements is very important for our overall health and wellbeing. Balance is important in Ayurveda and so we have some wonderful ways for you to stay balanced in your day to day lives. Feel nourished and connected to soul purpose when the days are cold and the nights are longer.
- Drink warm water: Start the day with a glass of warm water. It will help get the bowel moving and keep you feeling nice and calm first thing. Continue this throughout the day as it will help to remove more toxins from the body, and keep you feeling less irritable.
- Rest: Rest, rest, rest, maybe you can lower your social engagements, or keep your evenings mostly free; giving yourself time to wind down from the day with no rush. Try and do at least one thing that will deeply nourish your soul, whether that be meditation, Hatha yoga, walking the dog, cooking a heartwarming meal, taking a bath or reading a book. You will feel more fulfilled and happier with how the day went. Also, try and get to bed before 10 pm, and limit your screen time up to one hour before you hit the pillow. This will help you sleep better and wake up easier.
- Follow your heart: (love this one) Prescribed to those who feel unfulfilled in their life. Begin with centring in, putting your hands over your heart and asking yourself what do I need. Listen for your answer. Then take action: Become consciously aware of what you need, and find ways to bring that into your life.
- Exercise: It is not uncommon that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be quite a common occurrence during winter. Exercise is just one very important thing to continue to maintain. It doesn’t have to be crazy intense, or super long. Just 30 mins a day will make you feel amazing, getting the endorphins flowing, increasing your circulation and also keeping you fit, healthy and strong. You will feel better, sleep better and be a generally happier human.
- Eat big at lunch: Ayurvedic practitioners believe that in winter it is best to eat your biggest meal at lunchtime when the sun is highest in the sky. This is when our digestive fire (Agni) is super duper strong and can easily break down our foods more efficiently. Try and stick to warming meals in the cooler months such as slow-cooked veggies, curries and soups.
- Avoid overeating: This can be one of the hardest things to do in winter, because we all get a little hungrier in the cold. But try and see if you can be mindful about when you are genuinely hungry. If you're not hungry, don’t just indulge for the sake of it. Try and take time away from all distractions when you're eating too. Take time to be with your food, enjoy every bite, not just shove it down your gob. P.s I am so guilty of this, and it is something I am trying to implement myself. If you begin to just be with your meals and only eat, not while watching telly, texting and scrolling FB all at once, you will notice and become more aware of when you are fuller and when it is time to stop. Ayurveda traditionally says that we should eat until we are 75% full (which is a lot easier said than done, but a fantastic thing to practise).
Personally, I love the holistic approach to Ayurveda and how it can bring us back into our natural rhythms with the combination of nature, the sun and the moon. After all, we are nature ourselves. It is a beautiful thing to be in tune with your body and know that you may be overstimulated at one time, and how you can bring that overstimulation down to balancing the mind, body and soul to be in harmony with one another.
I hope you enjoyed the read.
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For more tips on how to make the most of your chilly winter days, in particular, the cold mornings, click here.