Winter (Hemanta) Regimen
Winters are described to be the best season for making health or one might say to start healthy lifestyle. It is a season characterized by cold winds, freezing temperatures and even snow fall at certain places. Winds are considerably dry but nature has got strength in it.
Winter & Digestion:
Due to cold and windy atmosphere body pores have natural tendency towards closure to decrease the transmission of heat. Thereby our hunger increases qualitatively as well quantitatively. No surprise if your portion increases!
Having good healthy food is way towards healthy life, but be cautious with liquids and all cold liquid diets. They tend to reduce digestive power and increase the cold qualities in body which is not advisable in winters.
In winters, use of non-veg food is advisable. Though today many among us do indulge in meats in other seasons as well, it is contraindicated according to Ayurveda (when you specially don’t have a good digestive power). As per Ayurveda, meats are heavy to digest and should be taken by a person only if he is able to digest it, and winter naturally provides the environment in body and nature for meat digestion specially the aquatic meat or animals flesh.
For vegetarians, it’s time for all desserts, milk products, it can be Kheers and Payasams to Gulab Jamuns in India or Puddings, Sweet Porridges in West.
The quality of food should be such which moistens us and build body strength. Warm milk with nutmeg and sugar is one of the best option for breakfasts
At the same time, dry snacks should be minimum as they do not suffice your digestive fire and energy requirement. Skipping meals when hungry should not be done.
Be Happy!! Winter is a good time for your strong dose of alcoholic beverages. But surely, it shouldn’t be a cold beer every night. Use is indicated to keep yourself warm.
Exercise is important part of daily regimen of winter. As stated earlier winters are naturally best to build in your strength. You really need a good quality of food and good quality of exercise.
You may not always go out in windy atmosphere for a run or fast walk! Sun salutations are a best option for it.
However, you can always manage your exercise routine with atmosphere outside. But exercise is mandatory. If you haven’t been exercising then it’s definitely good time to start! 😊
Abhyanga (for Skin & Hair Care):
Because of dryness in atmosphere, skin and hair get dry and tends towards wrinkling or ageing earlier. A regular application of oil is best suited for this condition. Thus, oil massage is recommended throughout winter. Almond oil, Sesame oil etc. are considered best suited for these purposes. Just before your bath, apply oil on body by yourself just a regular gentle application is enough to keep your skin moisturized, soft and healthy.
Daily small amount of oil just at the root of hair on your scalp is enough to give them strength and avoid dryness or hair fall.
Udvartana (Herbal body scrub):
Instead of using certain chemical based soaps and body washes (which wash away the oil from your skin) you can always go for herbal body scrub. It helps you to retain necessary moisture in skin and remove excessive Kapha and Meda formation by a regular use.
LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST:
To protect oneself from wind not only use of warm cloths, socks and scarfs but also use of cotton plugs for ears is advised (to avoid direct contact of wind with head region)
As per the intensity of cold, sun bathing, sudation in form of sauna is advisable (only on recommendation of your Ayurvedic Practitioner)
Enclosed stay and travel should be encouraged.
Use of aircons should be minimal and if unavoidable the direct flow of cold air should be avoided.
Always use closed footwear to protect your feet from cold.
Use warm water for all ablutions.
Due to less exposure to sunlight (the countries nearing the poles face this more often and intensely) there is natural tendency of dullness. An intentional walk in sunlight during day (maybe even after your lunch) will make you feel better.