An Ayurvedic Approach to Winter

Written by Sarah Schiff

Featured Photo by Ori Ramon

Do you remember the stories we read as children about winter? Where the world becomes quiet, people stay in their homes next to the fireplace sipping warm tea, animals fill up on food, get fat and hibernate for the season.

Winter comes as a chance for the world to be still, quiet, to renew itself. It looks bare & dead, but really the world is in its own womb, resting in order to bring energy & life back after a few seasons. Nature doesn’t make mistakes. Humans sometimes do.

When winter comes, we ask ourselves “Why am I not motivated? Where is my energy? I don’t want to leave my house, what’s wrong with me?” By doing this, we’re questioning our own nature, fighting our instinct to go in, to rest, to be still. Our cultures have taught us to go, full speed, no matter what the cost.

What would it look like if the world didn’t rest in the winter? Would it have the energy to bring in new life in the spring? What would it look like if we woke up to winter by resting, by going inside? What do you think we could find?

Animals in nature are praised for sleeping through winter, but we, as humans, are judged as unproductive & diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) if we dare to take rest.

The good news, those who truly feel horrible in the winter are validated through the lens of Ayurveda. 

According to Ayurveda, it’s important to flow with the seasons, not fight them. After all, we are from nature.  That means foods & actions like that are warming & slow. 

In winter eat foods that have been cooked slowly, like meat stews and soups. Drink teas made of spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. 

Yoga practices that encourage your body to warm up and ground—sun salutations followed by a lot of yin poses on the ground. 

Most importantly, don’t feel bad for slowing down, your body and mind are intuitive & find the cold & darkness the perfect time to settle, and relax, to renew itself to be full of energy for spring.

You can read more about Sarah and get in touch with her directly, HERE.

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