Ayurveda, “the wisdom of life,” is a 5,000-year-old system of traditional medicine from India that focuses on creating a balance for the physical body, senses, psyche, and spirit.
It teaches how to align with nature’s wisdom and our body’s intelligence, offering life guidance for health and inner happiness. The foundational lifestyle recommendations focus on diet, daily and seasonal lifestyle routines, meditation, yoga, herbs, and bodywork.
According to Ayurveda, the winter season expresses the qualities of cold, heavy, increased moisture (Kapha dosha), and in certain areas, an undertone of dry (Vata dosha). During winter, the focus is on nourishing and replenishing the body, removing excess toxins, stress and supporting a healthy immune system. Nature becomes still and ready for deep rest. It is a time to slow down, get cozy and relax, allowing this season to offer a perfect balance to the natural cycles of life.
As we enter the spring season, it brings a balance between the light and the dark in the sky. There is a release of the heavy, cold, dark days and a return of warmth and light, exposing that which has been resting deep in the earth, now open to being seen and experienced in the light.
The transition from winter to spring offers a fresh start and new growth. As the slow, cold heaviness of the snow melts, the waters flow and bring new life and movement. It is important to cleanse the accumulated imbalances from the winter season and get ready for this potent time of renewal.
Ayurveda teaches us that like increases like and that opposites balance. As the sun warms the earth, helping to melt the ice and allowing the waters to flow again, our bodies need to feel and do the same. With the increase of light, nature reflects what is essential to transition from winter to spring.
These eight recommendations for diet and lifestyle are based on warming the body, bringing movement and heat to open up the pathways, and release the winter qualities in order to prepare for what is coming.
He whose doshas (energies) are in balance, whose agni (appetite) is good, whose dhatus (tissues) are functioning normally, whose malas (wastes) are in balance, and whose consciousness mind and sense remain full of bliss, is called a healthy person. ~ Sushruta Sutrashan 15.38
Ayurvedic Lifestyle Recommendations
Wake Up with the Sunrise
Waking up with the sun helps to cleanse and purify the body, mind, and spirit with each new day, aligning with the morning energy of purity and clarity. The morning is the perfect time to establish a healthy and positive inner connection before moving out into the world through daily self-care and spiritual practice.
A daily routine is essential to providing a dynamic framework for harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit. It supports the biological rhythm, healthy digestion, strong immune system, deep sleep, and inner peace. The daily rhythm focuses on when we wake up, when we eat, when we work, and when we sleep. The consistent timing of these daily routines provides stable support for all body systems.
Daily self-massage with warm oil lubricates the joints, increases circulation, stimulates the internal organs of the body, helps eliminate impurities from the body, moves the lymph, aids in detoxification, increases stamina, calms the nerves, and promotes deep sleep.
What to use: warm organic sesame oil or specific herbalized oil as recommended by an Ayurvedic Practitioner
Warming Spices and Teas
Incorporating cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, coriander, turmeric, and clove into your meals, aiding in digestion and warming the body. Warming teas, such as ginger, tulsi, cinnamon, and turmeric, can also support this time.
Avoid Cold Drinks and Dairy
Cold liquids and dairy are hard to digest and can deplete the digestive fire needed to assimilate and process the foods we eat. In order to keep the digestive fire burning bright during this time, it is best to avoid cold and heavy foods.
Eat Bitter, Astringent, and Pungent Foods
These tastes help to balance the qualities of the winter and support warmth, movement, and detox.
Breathwork helps to support the respiratory tract, moving the prana or vital energy throughout the body, helping to purify the channels and liquefy the Kapha.
Sun Salutation, make your yoga practice invigorating, cultivating inner heat to warm and purify the body, mind, and spirit.
Let’s lighten up, brighten up and celebrate the spring!