According to Ayurveda, first we must understand the qualities of what is presented. In winter everything slows down and presents us with the qualities of cold, heavy, damp and cloudy conditions. These are Kapha and Vata (Earth and Air) qualities, therefore there is an increase in these elements within all aspects of our lives. Our thoughts are heavy and slow and our bodies become hard to move.
Those with Kapha and Vata constitution are particularly advised to follow strict seasonal routine as they are more susceptible to congestion, cough, colds, flu and other respiratory conditions.
Recommended Morning Routine
Here are some simple things you can do to keep the nasty's away
Waking up when the sun rises is a good system to follow, hence waking up a little later is acceptable.
Tongue scraping is an Ayurvedic self care routine. When we are asleep the digestive system is busy removing toxins from our body and deposits them onto the surface of the tongue. If we don't scrape these away, they get reabsorbed by the body and can increase the chance of colds, flu's and respiratory conditions. (Copper tongue scrapers are available at our centre).
Mouth gargle is another Ayurvedic self care routine. Using a tablespoon of cold pressed sesame oil, swish it in the mouth for about 5-10 minutes and discard. The oil will change to a cloudy watery texture. It helps to pull bacteria from the teeth, mouth, gums and throat. It is also said to help your taste buds... YAH! Follow this with a warm glass of water and bowel movements if possible.
Self Massage is almost a must and you will start feeling like a king or a queen before you've dressed for the day. Using warm sesame oil, rub this all over the body including the openings: ears, nose, lips, nipples and genitals. Then jump into a hot shower. Soap only needed for pit's and bits, for the rest of the body, just use your hand vigorously over the body. Pat dry and you are ready for the day. This routine is great for all body types (kapha, pitta and vata).
Morning exercise is recommended to move the kapha (heaviness and congestion) and increase heat in the body. Sun salutations and poses that open the chest throat and sinuses are recommended, fish, boat, camel, lion, bow, shoulder stand and headstands. Finish off your routine with heating breath such as bhastrika and some gentle pranayama to get centred for the day.
For those with various gastric, heart, sinus and other conditions, please do seek our advise on the above recommendations. We may have to alter these to support you during this winter.
Stay warm, stay well.