Ayurveda originated over 6,000 years ago in a culture very different from ours, a time when life was closely connected with nature. Life was mostly governed by the changes in seasons and the time of day or night. Being in tune with nature, our ancestors adapted themselves to these changes. Indian Sages observed individual constitutions, or prakruti and were able to classify them into three subtle energies: vata, the energy of movement; pitta, the energy of digestion or metabolism; and kapha, the energy of lubrication and structure. The seasons are also classified into vata, pitta, and kapha.

The Indian Sages believed that for our system to remain in balance all year long we need to adjust to the environmental changes through diet, exercise and routines.

Ayurveda advocates the following winter routine:

  • Wake up around 7.00am.
  • Brush your teeth, scrape your tongue
  • Drink warm water.
  • Do some yoga and deep breathing.
  • Rub warmed sesame/mustard oil all over your entire body, letting the oil soak in for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Take a hot shower and exfoliate your skin.
  • Eat nourishing meals at regular times. Eat more warm foods like stews, pasta dishes and casseroles and avoid raw foods, salads etc.
  • Avoid cold drafts, wear warm clothes, and don’t forget to wear a hat, scarf and gloves when going out.
  • Ginger is a good remedy for colds. Drink ginger tea.
  • Drink hot water several times a day to remove toxins.
  • Try to avoid dairy products, including yogurt, cheese, milk, and ice cream, if you are congested.
  • A full body oil massage is one of the most pleasant Vata balancing measures.

These are general guidelines and do not apply to people with other disorders, always check with your physician for diet/exercises/lifestyle suitable to your condition.