Ayurvedic Wisdom for Winter Wellness

Ayurvedic Wisdom for Winter Wellness

Unlocking the Power of Ayurveda's Self-Discovery Practices to Restore Balance and Ignite Your Inner Fire in the New Year- By Laura Parr

Reading time: 3 minutes

As we navigate through the early days of the new year, it's not uncommon to feel a bit out of balance. Fortunately, Ayurveda*, yoga's intricate sister science, offers valuable tools to help restore harmony. While delving into Ayurveda's depths often requires guidance from a qualified practitioner, there are two practical techniques you can incorporate into your routine right away.

Svadhyaya, or self-study, holds significant importance in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, serving as a common ground between yoga and Ayurveda. Ayurveda goes beyond simple prescriptions based on body types; its essence lies in self-discovery, a journey worth embarking on now.

If the winter season has left you feeling low on energy, consider embracing these two accessible Ayurvedic practices.

1. Honor the Natural Rhythms of the Seasons

Amidst the excitement and expectations that come with the new year, it's crucial to recognize that mid-January still places us deep within winter's embrace. Embrace the extended nights by ensuring you get sufficient sleep. Foster a restful environment by disconnecting from electronic devices two hours before bedtime. Engage in calming practices like yoga nidra or tratak meditation (candle gazing) to prepare for a good night's sleep. Treat yourself to a warm shower or bath and indulge in abhyanga (self-massage) using a fragrant oil—an act of self-love that nourishes and moisturizes your skin.

While winter invites us to cosy up indoors, it's equally important to step outside whenever possible. Allow the winter sun to touch your skin, absorbing essential vitamin D. Regular outdoor exposure helps attune you to the changing seasons, evident in the blooming daffodils, bluebells, and the return of buzzing bumblebees.

2. Cultivate Your Inner Fire

According to Ayurveda, balancing all elements is vital for optimal health, with fire serving as the nexus where these elements converge. Nurturing your inner fire is particularly crucial during this season.

Your inner fire not only aids in digesting food but also plays a role in managing emotions. Mindful eating is a powerful way to foster a healthy inner fire. Consider the long-term effects of your food choices rather than succumbing to momentary cravings. Tapas, a niyama in the eight limbs of yoga, signifies burning or fire. Stoke this flame through activities that generate warmth, strengthening your body's core. However, moderation is key—reserve intense activities for spring. Aim for 70% effort, especially in the winter, and you'll find a balance that works.

While Ayurveda* may be a complex system requiring years of study, svadhyaya forms the foundation of self-practice. Why not start tuning into your body this new year? You might discover unexpected paths on this journey of self-discovery.

*commission earned from this link


Laura Parr

Laura Parr is a yoga teacher and therapist based in Central Portugal. She writes the Substack, Learning to Listen.