Winter is fast-approaching on this side of the world and we know that having a strong immune system is top-of-mind for everyone. Apart from drinking your copper-infused water to boost immunity and ward off viruses and bacteria, we’ve put together a few Ayurvedic tips that can help you stay healthy this winter. If you’re searching for ways to spring clean before then, we also have a guide to keeping your home eco-friendly. Read on to see how you can incorporate Ayurveda into your day.
1. Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.
It’s important to set a routine, even if you don’t have to be up and ready for work in the mornings. Getting enough sleep is also incredibly important and affects everything from your hormones to your stress levels.
2. Try to be asleep by 10pm as it helps regulate your circadian rhythms.
Your circadian rhythm is an internal process that controls your sleeping and waking times. This determines how your body functions over a 24hr period in terms of when the best time is to focus or when you’ll find the deepest sleep.
3. Do a tongue scrape.
Tongue scraping is not only an effective way to improve oral hygiene but it’s also good for your overall health as a lot of the bacteria that accumulates on the tongue are released as toxins when we sleep. It’s important to get rid of this ‘ama’ so that it’s not absorbed back into the body.
4. Drink some warm water (add lemon/apple cider vinegar if desired).
There are so many benefits to drinking warm water in the mornings, some of which include calming your central nervous system, lowering your stress levels and improving your digestion.
5. Self-massage with seasoned sesame oil.
Our bodies have the ability to cleanse themselves of toxins through our lymph nodes. However, when your body is under stress, these natural filters become overwhelmed and need help to release the toxins built up in the body. Massage is a great way to get rid of these toxins while allowing yourself to relax.
6. Take a shower or a bath.
Apart from helping to set a daily routine, bathing or showering soothes your joints and muscles and calms your nervous system.
7. Do some gentle yoga or another exercise you prefer.
While running on a treadmill is great cardio, consider including some stretches or full yoga practice into your daily routine. Moving your body releases a lot of tension and can really improve your mood by releasing endorphins.
8. Do some breath work and/or meditation.
Taking some time to clear your mind is a very necessary process when you are under stress, especially. While a 10 minute morning and evening meditation is ideal, some daily breathwork has been proven to be equally beneficial to your immune system as well as your emotional wellbeing.
9. For breakfast, try to eat something warm to get your digestive fire (agni) going, such as warm cinnamon spiced porridge, lightly spiced vegetable soup or dahl and rice.
It’s important to aid your digestion with the right spices. According to Ayurvedic practice, the right balance of spices in your diet can improve your health and eliminate any digestive disorders you may be experiencing. Use spices and herbs to bring back balance and medicinal qualities to your food. When it starts to become cold outside and you need some grounding, eat warming foods such as soups with gentle balancing spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric.
10. Don’t eat heavy meals in the evening and don’t eat too late as this will affect your sleep.
Remember, sleeping is a time to heal, rejuvenate and detox and that can’t happen if your body is trying to digest food. This also links back to disorders that stem from the gut which can be healed through these and other practises.
Even if you just start with just one or two of these habits, it will make a difference to how you feel. If you are interested in Ayurvedic healing, incorporating these daily practices into your life will allow you to begin that journey and find what works best for your body and mind.