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Ayurveda, an ancient wellness system, holds the key to healthy living and longevity. Having a healthy holiday is what we all have in mind. Here are some Ayurvedic tips to help you do just that!
Ayurveda has a long tradition in Indian history and has been used to deal with health issues for thousands of years. When translated, “Ayurveda” is the “science of life,” and it harbors many secrets for living a healthy, balanced life that is rich and fulfilling at the same time.
Holidays bring joy and happiness with quality time with family and friends and also loads of festive delicacies. This season's exercise becomes difficult due to changes in diet location and availability of resources. While all of these things can be fun, we can’t deny they lead to stress from getting ready, decorating your home, making travel arrangements, and so on. Also, you might not like some of your relatives, which contributes to this stress. All of it gets you into a physical and emotional rut.
Ancient Ayurvedic lifestyle suggestions, coupled with treatment, will help you live harmoniously with your environment, attuned to your specific needs. It will enable you to deal with the effects of your external environment and harmonize your internal environment.
It is essential to talk about two key concepts—Agni and Doshas—to help you understand how Ayurveda works. Let’s look at some Ayurvedic tips for healthy holidays and how Ayurveda recommends we work with Agni and Dosha.
The ancient Ayurvedic practices advocate that our wellness and health have everything to do with digestion. Agni is the core fundamental digestive energy for micro and macro metabolism in the body. We need to maintain the diet as per the capacity of Agni. Every individual needs to understand this concept to adapt to Agni as per the seasonal variation, especially in the winter season.
Most of the festivals/family gatherings are on holidays, and eating is an integral part of the celebration. If one knows his/her Agni, automatically, the first modification in food is taken care of. This helps in avoiding sudden weight gain post-holidays.
Digestion is not only physical food digestion but also your ability to assimilate everything you receive from the world. It includes emotions, words, impressions, and every other experience you feel through your five senses.
Doshas apply not only to individuals but also to seasons and particular times of the day. The winter season is governed by the Kapha and Vata doshas.
Vata concerns itself with activity and movement but is also strongly related to anxiety. Kapha is tied to groundedness and stillness, as well as inertia. We will talk about how to regulate these for your overall well-being in the winter in the latter part of this article.
If you have some rudimentary knowledge of Ayurveda, you must know that exercise, herbs, sleeping patterns, diet, mantras, and yogic practices can all be used to balance and stay in harmony with your surroundings.
Understanding your Dosha is the key to good health: To read more on this, check out - Ayurvedic Body Types.
Here are six practical and helpful Ayurvedic tips for healthy holidays to help you get through this winter holiday with the best of your body and mind.
It is essential to get some restoration and rest during the holiday season. The length of darkness at night in winter indicates that you need to get more sleep and rest.
Movements, exercise, and relaxation are essential to feeling refreshed. It can be walking, cycling, yogic asanas, swimming, dancing, or whatever you fancy.
You should also spend considerable time on self-nourishment, self-care, and stillness. You should wear warm socks to conserve heat and take a warm bath daily.
Restoration and rest also apply to the mind.
The end of holidays also brings work-related stress, deadlines, anxiety, and loneliness. Activities like yoga, aerobic movements, and meditation can help you relax.
Ayurveda stresses using herbs to heal the self, and winter is the best time to add some “spice” to your life. The digestive fire, or Agni, is the strongest at this time of the year, which is why you eat more in the winter than in the summer. And in winter, the cold weather intensifies Vata imbalance.
There are some specific herbs that you can consume to maintain body warmth and stroke your Agni. In various winter recipes, you can use cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, and nutmeg.
Among these, ginger is the best for winter. Its qualities and heating prowess make it perfect for treating imbalances in Vata. Ginger will also help to regulate and lower Kapha dosha by intensifying your Agni and removing feelings of dullness.
Daily massage and oiling are vital components of Ayurveda, especially during this season. Massaging yourself with sesame oil is excellent for keeping your joints perfect, toning your muscles, and regulating your body temperature. You can always add some fragrance to the sesame oil, like rose or orange, to make the massage even more satisfying.
Ensure you massage your whole body in the morning with close attention to your scalp. It will help to get circulation going and boost your Agni.
Gentle circular massage around the belly helps in the elimination of distension of the stomach. Warm oil massage on the lower abdomen, shoulders, knees and gluteal muscles will help improve peripheral circulation of the body. All these help digestion to kick in.
During the holiday season, you may experience toxicity and negativity from food, people, or situations, which in Ayurveda is known as “Ama.” Ama combines coldness and dullness, foulness and heaviness, which are diametrically opposite to Agni’s qualities.
You can fall ill if ama is not eliminated from your body and mind. The Ayurvedic solution to this is simple. You must avoid negative and toxic people and cut out emotionally draining situations to the best extent possible.
Get rest, and know that just like not eating when not hungry is the key for stomach detox...solace is better than being in bad company. Solace also helps in understanding and introspecting our physiological system better.
Ayurveda stresses the importance of eating “intelligent” food so that our physiology stays at its best. These foods are organic, fresh, non-processed, colorful, and full of ‘Prana’. Do not eat foods that are processed and have sugar or preservatives.
Avoid or minimize eating leftovers, as it is not recommended in Ayurveda. Ideally, you should only consume freshly cooked food, and that too, within a short time. Some examples of high-pranic foods are mung bean soup, tomato soup, chicken or vegetables stir-fried, khichdi, and sauteed sprouts or veggies.
Ayurveda has been around for years and has played a vital role in traditional Indian healthcare. If you follow Ayurveda, its advice is timeless. Adopting the above suggestions for the upcoming holidays and afterward will allow you to have a great time while maintaining your health and vibrancy.
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