One day it's 70 degrees and the next it's 40 degrees. One day is cold and wet. The next day warm and dry. The next day cold. The weather patterns aren't aligned with the season this time of year which means that there is an increased risk for imbalances in our bodies to develop into symptoms and diseases. Because of this Ayurveda recommends a few practices to implement in order to support health and steer clear of coming down with something.
1- SLEEP: Ensure that the sleep cycle isn't disrupted. Or, at least make sure that more often than not you are getting accurate amounts of sleep consisting of 7-8 hours and at least 4-5 nights a week, between 11ish and 6 (ish.) Sleep is essential for our health on various levels and regularity of it is just as important. Night time sleep is the highest quality of sleep than day time.
2- HAND WASHING: Wash your hands often, especially before using the bathroom and after. This minimizes contamination. Imagine, that if someone has a cold, they wipe their nose with their hand and then touch the handle on the bathroom door. Imagine over 30 people in a day doing this. Can you see why washing hands is important?
3- MEALS: Eat 2-3 meals daily and around their corresponding times. Breakfast between 7 and 8:30. Lunch around noon to 2. Dinner between 6 and 8. Breakfast is a light meal. Lunch is the MAIN meal. Dinner is a lighter meal than lunch. If you have digestive issues, then that's when you can skip meals but NEVER lunch.
4- DIGESTION: If digestion feels heavy, then eat light foods this time of year such as soups/broths/stews. If it feels light, then eat grounding foods with more protein, carbs and root veggies. Spices are essential in Ayurveda. All spices serve digestion but some spices with more pungency support digestive functioning, such as ginger, black pepper, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, corriander, mustard and fennel seeds.
5- REGULARITY: The body needs regularity and consistency for health. We have some flexibility but our circadian rhythm depends a lot upon maintaining regular patterns for things such as sleep, exercise, bathing and eating.
6- HOT WATER: Drinking hot water throughout the day supports health by cleansing and flushing out the lymphatic system. It also helps with metabolism. (Cold water does the opposite.)
7- HERBS: Herbs that are adaptogenic and regulate our bodies include Amalaki, Guduchi, Brahmi, Turmeric, Tulsi and especially Ashwagandha. There's one formula I particularly like and it's called Immune Support (from Banyan.) These are Ayurvedic herbs and they can be found through various suppliers such as Banyan Botanicals, Mountain Rose Herbs, Life Spa, Ayuredic Institute, Maharishi Institute and Vadik Herbs. These links are accessible on my website under SHOP and under HERBS AND SUPPLIES. Take as recommended or ask a professional.
8- VITAMINS: Vitamins like Vitamin D3 with K2 (around 5,000 IU daily), Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C (which is found in a high concentration in Amalaki, then Rose Hips) are useful for regulating immunity. Levels of Vitamin D should be around 50 and above in order to be immune stabilizing.
9- EXERCISE: Exercise is important on various levels. Yoga especially helps to maintain health because of the various stretching, poses and uplifting effects it has as a dynamic approach to the body, surpassing all other yoga regimens; and if you combine yoga with other fitness activities you have an (almost) rounded practice to healthcare. Hitting the gym and anything associated with stimulating cardiovascular health is helpful. At least raising the heart rate 4-5x week for 15-20 minutes can aid in immunity and other functions of the body. Oxygenation to the heart and stimulating blood flow keeps everything moving and properly lubricated. Even walking daily or regular hiking in local woods for a good half hour can be amazing!
10- MASSAGE: Massage, in my experience, completes the tri-pod of "physical activities." Combining massage with yoga and gym activities (since I don't consider yoga practiced in the gym to be the same yoga practiced in traditional schools) creates a synergistic alchemy to health. I can't emphasize the passive power of receiving a massage to work out the kinks while clients receive and allow themselves to go deeper. I say Passive because being on a table and having someone work you thoroughly has a very amazing affect and magnifies everything else such as yoga and fitness.
This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.