As we move into the Vata season of late fall and early winter. I thought that it would be a great time to share some tips to help us keep balanced . I have shared some of these practices before, but its always good to have a reminder. And of course there are many other practices that enable well being during the winter season. These are just a few of my favourites:)
Dry Brushing (Garshana)
A wonderful way to reduce Kapha and ama. This is a wonderful home practice to do in the morning, before your self oil massage and/or shower. I am also now offering it in tandem with an Ayurvedic Abyhanga Massage.
It has so many benefits:
- It stimulates the lymph system which boosts the immune system
- It increases circulation to the skin (our largest organ)
- It removes dead skin cells which helps to eliminate toxins and open the pores
- It reduces cellulite and fat.
Natural raw silk gloves (available at Ananda Ayurveda) are a beautiful natural way to exfoliate. A dry bristle brush can also work, but be gentle, we are not trying to scrape the skin. To do this, softly massage the body while wearing the glove, make sure you include the face, and allow the strokes to move towards the heart. Feel free to do some big circles on your belly and your lower back. Take time, and enjoy.
Daily Self Massage
An important practice at any time of year. This self massage is deeply grounding, very nurturing, and balances all of the dhatu’s (tissues) that make up our body. This regular practice helps relieve stress, insomnia, and creates flow in our emotional body as well. Always use an organic base oil- coconut is too solid for this time of year- so I would recommend a sunflower or raw sesame oil, or an Ayurvedic Oil for your dosha.
Warm the oil gently in a container that is set in hot water, and liberally apply it to your body. From head to toe. Take time over your chakra centres, connect with your being. Let it sit on for 10 minutes minimum, and then rinse it off in a nice warm shower. You will feel fresh and energized, yet extremely grounded.
Meditation is always helpful, always balancing, and always connecting us to the source and the light that we are:) 20 minutes twice a day will have a profound effect on our sleep, our stress, our joy, and our lives. If you are new to meditating, feel free to contact me to learn more about it- I am happy to share and teach some techniques, and ways to embrace the bliss of this practice.
Eating Regular Meals At Regular Times
Something so simple to do, yet in our culture we often find it a very difficult to put into practice. I invite you to notice your eating habits. Do you sit and eat comfortably, giving attention to your food? Do you take the time to eat when you are hungry, even if it means consciously taking a break from your busy schedule? Our biggest meals should be eaten in the middle of the day when our digestion is at its highest. Warm, hearty and filling meals at this time of day are extremely balancing to our nervous system and aid in our digestion. Take a day or two and pay attention to your eating habits. Sometimes we aren’t aware of how out of balance they may be. Then try an experiment for a week of eating at the same times every day, being with the food as you take it in. You may be surprised at the difference it makes in your day and in your body.
Taking Time To Rest
A relatively easy thing to do, and very important to honour during this colder and darker season. Often we will push through our tiredness, trying to get things done, even when our body resists. Notice the natural cycle of the seasons, and pay attention to how that mirrors your own energy. At this time of year, we want to honour that inward focus. We need to replenish our nervous system with more sleep, and relaxation. If you feel tired, listen, and take the time to sit down, to meditate, to read a book, and to rest. With darkness falling earlier it’s easier to go to bed before 10, which will encourage a deeper night’s sleep.
Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
This is important at any time of year. But when the air is cold and dry, when the natural warmth of the sun is waning its an even better time to give yourself a little bit of sweetness. What is it that you desire? What is it that your body, or soul needs? Listen and give your self the gift of that energy. It’s a great time to get a nurturing body treatment, or to take an afternoon off work, to do something that you really enjoy. Whats going to bring some warmth to your being? Give yourself the gift of whatever that may be- You deserve it:)