Taming Vata with Ayurveda

winter-290903_640As the temperature cools, many people find themselves bothered by vata disorders such as anxiety, tension, insomnia, constipation and aching joints. Vata dosha gets aggravated during cold, dry, windy weather because the nature of vata itself is dry, cold, light and active. To avoid the winter chills and to keep vata in check, try these recommendations:

1. Drink plenty of hot water. Sipping hot water frequently throughout the day will help you accomplish two things: pacify vata and dissolve ama, the sticky waste-product of improper digestion that can clog the channels of your body.

2. Favor hot drinks and meals. Opt for warm, heavy foods. Cold drinks and cold, light foods increase vata. Be sure to avoid ice-cold beverages and foods. Ice cream season is over.

sleep-13. Get more rest than usual. Because the nature of vata is active and restless, one the best ways to balance vata is to get extra sleep. With the sun rising later and setting earlier in the day, there are fewer hours of daylight. This is a signal from Nature to spend more time resting.

Remember that according to Ayurveda you gain a better quality of rest if you fall asleep before 10:00 p.m. and rise before 6:00 a.m. If you need more than eight hours of sleep, try going to bed earlier rather than sleeping in. Sleeping late in the morning can lead to blockages of the shrotas, the channels of the body through which the natural intelligence of the body flows. This can aggravate both vata and kapha and can throw off the biological rhythms of your body.

4. Exercise daily. Exercise increases circulation, improves your appetite and raises your body temperature. If it is too cold to go outside, go to the gym, use indoor equipment or exercise DVDs—or just dance around your house. Be careful not to overdo it, though. You should adjust the amount and intensity of exercise to fit your individual needs. If your level of exercise is such that you can not breath comfortably through your nose, you may be taxing your physiology and actually increasing vata.

5. Keep your head and ears covered when outside. Ears are one of the main seats of vata. Protecting your ears and head from the wind and cold will make being outside in winter a more healthful experience.

6. Do daily abhyanga (Ayurvedic oil massage). Abhyanga is especially soothing for vata dosha because your skin is a primary seat of vata.

7. Start increasing your portions of foods that are sweet, sour and salty, as these pacify vata dosha. Spicy, astringent and bitter foods increase vata.

8. Enjoy Panchakarma (Ayurvedic massage and detoxification therapies). Winter is a good time to schedule a week of treatment at The Raj. While the cold wind blows outside, you can stay warm and cozy, enjoying soothing, warm herbalized oil and relaxing massages. Also, undergoing Panchakarma before the holiday seasons can put in you the right frame of mind to enjoy the holidays without binge eating or straying from a healthful diet and routine.

For more information on Panchakarma, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa site:

www.theraj.com

 

 

( Picture of Dry plant. Source: Google Advance Image Search.
Creative Commons. The image is used under the terms of Googles Creative Commons rules:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en. This photograph and credit do not constitute an endorsement of this blog or products mentioned.)

 

( Picture of a woman sleeping. Source: Google Advance Image Search.
Creative Commons. The image is used under the terms of Googles Creative Commons rules:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en. This photograph and credit do not constitute an endorsement of this blog or products mentioned.)

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