Ayurveda classifies the whole winter season in to Hemanta Ritu ( Early winter) and Shishira Ritu (Extreme winter).

Nov-Dec and Dec-Jan constitutes early winter.

Jan-Feb and Feb- March constitutes late winter

In winter the duration of night is long,one feels hungry in the early morning itself.since the digestive fire is so strong the preferred rasas are - Madhura (sweet), Amla(sour) and Lavana(Salt)

Winter Diet

• Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrating.

• Use organic, healthy cooked vegetables using healthy oils like olive oil.

• Intake of GHEE is very much indicated, ghee reduces pitta and vata. Use plain ghee for cooking as well.

• As already mentioned since we have longer nights and the digestive fire will be more in the mornings, have breakfast like a king.

• Include vata pacifying foods in diet like Avocados, Pumpkins, carrots, beets, ananas, lemons, Mangoes, peaches, Quinoa, Basmati rice, wheat, almonds, seasame seeds, boiled milk and GHEE.

• Avoid raw food like salads and raw vegetables.


Skincare in winter

As odd it may seem, winter is the best time to nourish the skin, because of rooksha (dry) property of Vata, skin is more receptive during this season. Common issues of winter include dryness, cracking, dullness and roughness. Vata imbalance on skin becomes even stronger if the person is
1. Vata prakriti
2. Above 60 years of age
3. Has a vata aggravating diet and regimen


Go for Ayurvedic facewash-
1 tspn. oats + 1 tspn curd + turmeric powder (oats should be soaken in curd for at least 2 hours before applying) Gentle washing can be done over face with this paste. It can do wonders.

Pamper your skin in winter- Avoid long hot showers and bath. Totally avoid head bath in hot water, for it is detrimental to eyes and hair. Ayurveda stresses on massaging body with oil for winter.

Seasame oil is ideal for body massage. Do massage on daily basis at least 15 minutes before bath.

Mixing of olive oil in little water and rubbing it all over body after bath gives the effect of a natural moisturiser.

Sleep

Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep during winter. Keeping awake at late hours again increases vata.


Winter time blues

This condition precipitates symptoms like increase in appetite, craving for sweets, chocolates or startch foods, weight gain, mild depression, irritability and short temper.

Excercise or practice of yoga alters all this problems. Practice SOORYANAMASKARA daily in winter.

Shirodhara can also be administered in this condition.

Practice of Nasya

Nasya is instillation of nasal drops in to both nostrils. This will help in purification of head and prevent you from common cold and sinusitis during winter.
Once a person follows these things, definitely a healthy and happy winter will follow.

This article has been written by Dr Arya Krishna BAMS, Fellowship in orthopedic Rehabilitation