Nature is our guide in Ayurveda. We look at the changes in the season, the weather patterns, and the qualities of our environment and rhythms of our lives to see how we can best support ourselves physically and mentally/ emotionally to stay in good health.
Ayurveda believes our disconnect with nature causes diseases and imbalances in ourselves.
Our lives and environments are ever-changing and to keep yourself in balance it helps to look at the seasonal changes to know how to adapt.
Read all about the month of December to stay in good health!
P.S. This blog is based on Ontario, Canada weather.
December brings the transition from fall to winter. Officially on the 21st of December, it is winter solstice. But already we find ourselves in winter type of weather currently. The temperatures are dropping significantly, even below zero. And snow is already on the ground as well.
The holiday season is upon us with both Canadian and American Thanksgiving behind us. This means Christmas markets are starting, and we're making plans for Christmas and New Year's Eve. For some people this is the best time of year, for some, it is a time to get through in one piece. Either way, it is important to adapt your diet and lifestyle to the weather changes to stay as balanced as possible physically and emotionally.
Let's look at what this type of weather brings.
"It is important to adapt your diet and lifestyle to the weather changes to stay as balanced as possible physically and emotionally."
Winter is around the corner and that means temperatures fall below zero, snowfall, less sunshine or light during the day, and longer nights. Winter in Canada can be intense and long. Therefore it is a good idea to make sure you have your things in place to make it as comfortable for yourself as possible.
The cold and darkness of winter might be the biggest challenges for us humans. This brings a situation of staying indoors mostly to stay warm. This means we move a lot less which has an effect on our moods as well, together with the little sunlight we might be getting. This could be a challenge.
Winter weather is mostly calm though, the winds die down, and there could be blue skies with beautiful snow. This can change from day to day and if a beautiful day presents itself, make use of it! Spend as much time outside as you possibly can to stay active and get sunlight. Both of these are essential to staying healthy and balanced throughout winter.
Although winter is a time of rest and rejuvenation after a summer and fall of hard work (in the old days). We don't really follow seasons like this anymore, but it might be good to keep this in mind while planning your holiday schedule. Make sure there is enough time to kick back, relax, and recharge.
Kapha is entering in winter season due to its stable, slow, calm qualities. This means that winter can be a challenging season for kaphas since they already possess these qualities. Especially for the kapha dosha it is key to get as much sunlight as possible, buy a wake-up light perhaps to make it easier in the morning to get out of bed, and keep moving even if you don't feel like it.
The indulgence mentality of the holiday season is another challenge for kaphas. Overindulging together with lack of movement and sunlight can be a recipe for feeling lethargic or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Fresh outside air, walks, and playing in the snow are great ways for kapha to stay balanced.
Be aware of drastic temperatures changes between the outdoors and indoors, this can cause you to catch a cold. Layering your clothes is key to working with these different temperatures.
"The indulgence mentality of the holiday season is another challenge for kaphas."
The Three Doshas in December
Vatas do not like the cold. They have a hard time keeping their hands and feet warm and might always be looking to turn up the heat or walking around with fluffy socks! Both vata and kapha have the quality of cold which makes winter challenging for them.
Staying warm is the biggest challenge for vata in winter. Layering up, hats, beanies, gloves, big coats, boots, vatas make sure you are stocked up in your closet with these essentials.
Cold air is dryer and makes you pee, so it remains a challenge for vata to stay hydrated in winter.
The best way to hydrate is with warm teas, soups, and broths. Hot liquids go deep into the cells and hydrate the body on a deeper level. Adding spices to your teas (cinnamon, ginger) and meals helps with warming up your body from the core. This will also help with cold hands and feet and reduce constipation.