I recently stumbled upon Ayurveda and never before in my life has a particular school of medicine or life science made so much sense of the constant mixed well-being messages that saturate our media.
Flourishing thousands of years before modern western medicine, Ayurveda came out of the heart of ancient India. Beyond merely treating illnesses, it aims to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.
Ayurveda taught me that our internal landscape reflects mother nature’s shifts in season. Our physiology literally senses the weather pattern that the world around us takes as we orbit the sun each year which is why it’s important to adopt a seasonal routine to align ourselves with the dynamic rhythms of the natural world.
At present, we in Australia are in the Kapha season, aka the winter chill. In this typically wet season, the metabolism slows, and we are more likely to become congested, fall ill, and slowly start packing on extra weight.
This routine is one of the best tools for thriving during Kapha as it encourages you to live in tune with nature while strengthening your digestive power – as good health is dependent on our capability to fully metabolize what we ingest.
Wake up a little later than normal
Your body knows the sun isn’t up so early so why rush it? Getting ample sleep is just as important as getting up for a morning workout, as during sleep our body literally repairs and rejuvenates itself (including working hard on properly digesting dinner).
You’ve probably overheard chit chat about tongue scraping among yogis, and with good reason. The body expels bacteria and leaves it to accumulate in the mouth over night so it’s really important to remove these first thing after rising so they aren’t recycled back into the body.
Drink warm lemon water
Sip on two cups of warm water with a mixture of ginger paste, honey, and lemon juice to gently stimulate, heat and wake up the digestive system so it’s ready for the day. Keep this up and I promise you’ll ditch your morning coffee too! Extra bonus!
Slather on sesame oil
Traditionally, sesame oil is preferred for topical application in winter as it is warming. Give yourself a massage all over as you slather on the oil to release toxins and wake up the body.
Exercise on an empty stomach
Chances are it’s cold and you don’t want to go outside, lucky there’s yoga! Build heat in the body with a number of sun salutations and asanas that open the chest and throat to remove congestion in the respiratory organs. Try fish, boat, lion and camel poses along with a shoulderstand or headstand if you can.
Eat a nutritious breakfast
It’s important to eat a decent breakfast. If you don’t feed your digestive fire in the morning, the body won’t have the momentum to properly begin digesting later in the day.
Sip on warm water
Throughout the day and about half an hour after breakfast sip on warm water with a dash of ginger, cinnamon and clove as this will increase your digestive fire – though you might want to skip this if you have any inflammation problems.
Avoid: Cold drinks, fasting, late nights, napping, and exposure to drafts and cold wind.