Warming up with Ayurveda
Warming Up with Ayurveda

The winters can be really chilly and our mechanism accommodates to this cold weather. Lets provide it a helping hand by planning our meals ayurvedically.

The Winter Season:
Hemanta and Shishira Ritu

Winter Months according to the Hindu Calender – Magha-Phagun-Chaitra-Vaishakha

Winter Months according to Modern Calender – November-December-January-February

These winters, follow the principles of Ayurveda
and
Enjoy the season of 
abundant vegetables,
Hot beverages
& Traditional Sweets

Ayurveda, the science of life, suggests an ideal winter platter that have been found to give our systems the required boost. Knowledge from ancient and modern researches of Ayurveda are presented here.

Ayurvedic way to Winters

A. Body Massage & Steam Bath

Beginning the day with a regular light body massage with oil, succeeded with a steam bath (swedana) gives a calming sense to the morning chills.

Sitting or walking in winter sun is very relaxing after the bath.

B. Staying Physically Active

Doing mild exercises (Yoga) and some breath-work (Pranayama) helps keep the insides warm. This brings in freshness and liveliness to be active throughout the day.

c. Staying in OR Staying Covered

One should not be exposed to the cold environment directly. Keeping the body covered prevents from the ailments of winter season.

D. Local Application

Paste of Aguru (Aquilaria agallocha) and Kesar (Crocus stavis) in sesame oil can be used for bringing heating effects, and fighting the cold – sheeta prashamana.

The ignited digestive fire, Jatharagni suggests we can consume heavy meals during these months. As a result, the appetite increases and we are hungry repeatedly. Heavy meals, guru aahar (kaphaja ahaar) should be consumed, otherwise the strong Jatharagni begins to digest the body tissues, leading to weakness and emaciation.

This metabolism should be kept in balance by doing regular exercise and avoiding excess of ‘bad’ kapha promoting diets, otherwise we are just one step away from going fab to all flab.

“Accumulation of mucus in our system, in throat or passage of mucus with stools is a sign of taking too much of Kapha-promoting Diet.”

Ayurvedic Diet

  1. Non-Vegetarian Diet:

Properly cooked bird or animal flesh, or Soup of meat of birds or animals for the warmth.

  1. Vegetarian Diet:
    1. Though, all 6 six tastes should be taken in balance, 3 tastes for consumption during this season are predominantly advised –
    2. Sweet
    3. Sour
    4. Salty

“For Maintaining Balance of All 6 Tastes:

Cumin, Coriander, Ginger, Hing (Asafoetida), Ajwan, Turmeric, Fenugreek, Garam Masala, Cinnamon, Clove And Cardamom.”

Dry Fruits/Seeds/Nuts

Breakfast rich in Dry-Fruits, Nuts and Seeds maintain warmth throughout the day:

  • Dates – Khajur 
  • Figs – Anjeer
  • Sesame Seeds – Til
  • Walnuts – Akhrot
  • Almonds – Badaam
  • Pistachio – Pista
  • Forty-Nut – Chilgoza
  • Black Currant – Kali Kishmish
  • Currant – Munakka
  • Raisin– Kishmish
  • Peanuts – Mungphali

dairy Products

  • Milk
  • Ghee, butter
  • Cottage Cheese

Vegetable Soups & Stews

  • Moong Dal Soup
  • Broccoli Soup
  • Mushroom Soup
  • Sweet Corn Soup
  • Mix Vegetable Soup
  • Tomato-Carrot-Beetroot Soup

Other Winter Delicacies

  • Sweets & Kheer
  • Milk-Rice Kheer; Urad Dal Kheer
  • Tea spiced with Black Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cinnamon
  • Pinni- Winter special Dry Fruit Ladoo (with a bit of Ashwagandha added in it)
  • Chyawanprash
  • Milk boiled with kesar or Turmeric or chhuara(dates)- to be consumed at night

try to avoid

A lot of cakes, pies, sweets and puddings during the winters may cause you to have congestion in chest, as this causes in accumulation of bad kapha. This bad kapha tends to melt in the upcoming spring season and may cause disease. Therefore staying in moderation is highly recommended.

Note for Kids:

Avoid giving them brandy or any alcohol to keep them warm.
Instead give them 1-2 drops of Shilajeet (available in Ayurvedic stores) with ½ cup of milk.

Lifestyle Additions

  • Warm up, Pranayama and Exercises : 10 – 20 minutes warm up before pranayama & exercises. Warm up before Pranayama prevents catching cold.

  • Agnisaar kriya

  • Udavartan – Dry Scrubbing
    • Benefits of O3 Scrubbing at home.
    • Balances Kapha – Anti-Cellulite

  • Avoid sleeping during day time– Promotes Kapha

  • Avoid super oily foods

When we look towards our Mother Nature, we understand that winters are meant to take care of what is inside. The life on the planet during winters is dormant on the outside, but the flora and fauna conserve their energy to focus on the life within. Similarly with us, human beings, we need to prepare ourselves for the year ahead, and winters is the best time to do so.

Takeaway Note:

  • This season is good for those who want to gain weight, as well as those who want to lose weight.
  • Best season to increase immunity, and maintain a reservoir for health.
  • Staying in moderation, while eating is highly recommended.

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