In this ancient sister science of yoga there are three Dosha's or elements; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Dosha is often translated as your physical constitution or body type and is represented by the elements earth, water, fire, air and spaciousness. In Sanskrit (ancient language of India), dosha is defined as "that which contaminates" or disease causing agents in the body. In other words an imbalance of vata, pitta, or kappa dosha will cause disease in your body and when there is balance between these three dosha's health exists. As well as the dosha's in relationship to your body there are dosha's in the seasons. Autumn is Vata Dosha and is represented by air and space. Perhaps you've notices lately how spacious the views are now that the leaves have blown off of the trees. Pitta Dosha season is summer and is represented by fire and water, often referred to as transformational qualities. The Kapha Dosha which represents the earth and water is the densest of the three elements and shows up in winter and early spring. With Vata season upon us the weather is turning cooler and dryer and this can upset your Vata Dosha regardless of your constitution. So here are some simple Ayurvedic tips for staying grounded and healthy as we move into winter:
- Eat foods that are warm and earthy. Eating cooked fall vegetables that grow close to the ground will help to keep you grounded and warm your digestion. Foods that combine before they hit your belly are less work for you to digest. Don't skip meals and drink plenty of room temp water including warm beverages like ginger tea.
- Enjoy aromas that are sweet, heavy, and warm like basil, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper, mustard seed and vanilla.
- Massage oil into your skin before your morning shower. Turn in your coconut oil or lotion for a heavier warming oil like sesame oil. My favorite oil Mahanarayan Oil for muscles and joints from Banyan Botanicals just arrived at the studio this week.
- Stay warm! Bundle up in layers and think about adding some of those rich fall reds and yellows to your wardrobe. Also, throw an extra blanket on your bed. Not only will it keep you warm but also the extra weight will help you to feel cozy and comforted.
- If you like essential oils use scents that are warm and sweet. Sacred Mountain, Christmas Spirit, and Frankincense are three of my favorite Young Living oils.
- Get plenty of sleep by going to bed earlier. If this doesn't seem natural - train yourself, you will build more energy and a stronger immune system.
- Deepen your connection to yourself and start a practice. As the days shorten now can be the perfect time to start a meditation practice and connect to the light inside.
- Need some help starting that inward journey? Check out our Reiki Restore Workshop this month.
- And of course you could plan a retreat! Join us in March for our Waves of Freedom Yoga Retreat in Treasure Beach Jamaica. We still have space available...