‘Tis the Vata season. As we get deeper into the cold, dark, windy weather of winter, you may notice your skin drying out, sinuses tightening, and immunity challenged. Fortunately, I have a few tricks from Ayurveda that will help keep you comfortable and feeling nourished, even when the wind is strong enough to chill you to the bone.
Root vegetables are especially good for their grounding nature–that’s where they grow, after all. Choose brightly colored carrots and beets, or turnips, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. Make a delicious soup! Enjoying seasonal citrus can give your immunity the extra boost it needs to ward off the onslaught of germs and cold viruses. That’s great, but what if you hate grapefruit? Try it drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. If you still get a chill, try baking a seasoned grapefruit half in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Abhyanga, or self-massage, is a soothing practice that calms Vata through the natural absorption ability of the skin. Apply warmed sesame, castor, or olive oil all over the body from the crown of the head to the bottoms of the feet and relax with a hot cup of ginger tea. Place a drop of oil into each ear and each nostril for extra protection from dryness (and germs). You know, there are plenty of options to replenish the skin so why would you ever choose oil over a fancy boutique moisturizer? As you lather that lotion on your skin, ask yourself: would I eat this stuff? If the answer is no, you don’t want it on your skin! Your skin “drinks in” whatever you put on it, so make sure that everything you’re ingesting is safe to consume, whether you’re wearing or eating it.
Choose spices with warming energetics–not coincidentally, they are the spices you want to have when it’s cold outside. You can cook with them, add them to your warm breakfast cereal, or enjoy them in a steamy cup of hot chai. Mmmmm. Can you think of more delicious ways to enjoy spices?
Curious how Ayurvedic wisdom can make your life more comfortable? Have a specific issue that I didn’t cover? Leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!