This guest post comes from our contributor FP Naomi.
Winter is Vata season when the world becomes cold and dry. It’s important to warm and hydrate both from the inside out and from the outside in to stay in balance. It’s not so much a season to change it up, but rather a time to calm the Vata, and follow a routine. I’ve been keeping certain things in mind and incorporating little changes that you can do, too. It’s not so much about trying to make new habits, but more about letting yourself indulge in what naturally feels good. Here’s a little rundown of what I’m doing. Give it a read, and hopefully you will find something that you can apply, too.
Set a Routine: Vata is quick and changeable, so to balance that out, we want to find a routine that works for us. I’ll be the first to admit that doing so is tough. You have a birthday one night and errands to run the next. But what things can you stick to each and every day? For me, it’s a bit of stretching, if not a full yoga class, in the morning. Maybe you can stick to one breakfast for the duration of the winter, or always write in your journal before bed. Whatever it is, try to make life melodic and smooth in these winter months.
Moisturize Hair & Skin from the Outside In: We all know that winter dries our bodies out. For me, I experience this especially with my hair and skin. To combat the drying, I add oily Kapha elements from the outside in. There are so many natural moisturizing agents out there (coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil, etc.), but what’s important is that you use something. I sometimes find myself going on a run in the evening, so I’ll rub coconut oil into the bottoms of my hair before I do. When I get home I take a shower to wash it out. Not only does the coconut oil block the damage of the wind while I’m running, but it also helps to moisturize like a hair mask. There are a lot of other great ideas for homemade hair masks and dry skin treatments right on this here blog.
Stick to Warm Foods: So your hair & skin dry out in winter, but guess what — your insides do, too. The Vata energy tends to make organs cold and dry, so to counteract this, you should stick to Kapha (warm & oily) foods. Instead of raw, eat cooked vegetables, add ghee or olive oil to a dish, avoid crisp apples, and start the morning off with a warming tea. Just remember, we’re trying to maintain a balance, don’t over-do it with the oils and don’t feel bad if you eat something raw! Only add in a small amount of warm oily foods to coat and protect your organs. It’s still important to eat raw food for the high nutrition value.
Choose Warming Scents: A lot of people forget how impactful scent is on our overall energy and mood. While in the summer we tend to gravitate towards scents like mint and tea tree for personal care items, think about picking a warmer scent in winter. Recently, I picked up an herbal shampoo & conditioner with a spicier cinnamon smell to it. I’ve been loving the scent for winter, as it makes me feel warm and cozy after hopping out of the shower. The same applies for candles and perfumes – stick to something with warm notes to it.
Visit Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot.
More Ayurveda posts from the BLDG 25 Blog.