Winter Routine ~ Hermanta Dinacharya

The cold, dark, wet nature of winter makes it the easiest time of year for me to drop deeper into my personal sadhana. My winter practice includes more silence, longer meditations, focused home practice and change in my diet to include warming spicy foods which stimulate Agni, digestive fire. Since we are part of Nature and the Pancha Maha Bhutas (five great elements), we all have the opportunity to be graceful and allow the seasons flow without clinging or grasping. It’s natural to have preferences for certain seasons, times of year that resonate with your core elements and make us feel more like ourselves. Developing equanimity and contentment with all seasons—regardless of your dosha, or where you live—is essential to well-being. With days grow shorter and darker, potential is awakening within for inner-light to become especially bright during this season. We need simply to nurture and tend to the flame within.

Hermanta Dinacharya ~ Winter Routine

  • Wake up at 6:00-7:00am  greet the day with gratitude for another opportunity to celebrate life.
  • Wash your face, brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, oil pulling, neti pot and lubricate your nostrils with oil or ghee.
  • Drink hot lemon water with a little sea salt in the morning to stimulate elimination.
  • Meditate 5-30 minutes, using Primordial Sound Mantra or images could be, candle flame in the space of the heart centre, or the sun.
  • Do your active, warming asanas, Sun Salutations, inversions, and balance poses to promote circulation and lymphatic flow.
  • Sit in front of a light box if you struggle with seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.).
  • Exfoliate your skin and improve circulation with a gentle dry brush rub before showering.
  • Perform abhyanga, a full-body self-massage, which calms the nervous system and hydrates the skin. In the winter, you can apply sesame oil (leave the oil on for 10-30 minutes) then take a hot shower, which will open your pores and allow the oil to be absorbed into your skin.
  • Enjoy a warm breakfast, porridge with cinnamon, berries, nuts and seeds, in a quiet space.
  • To decrease Kapha, minimise the tastes sweet, sour and salty foods and increase foods that are pungent, bitter and astringent to ensure a good Agni, digestive fire.
  • Reduce your commitments, this practice will allow you build healthy boundaries with yourself and often leaving time for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Eat your largest meal at lunch time (include Ginger Elixir*)
  • Light dinner, soups are perfect.
  • The correct amount of sleep is different for everyone. If your Kapha elements are out of balance, you may need to sleep less until your Vata elements are activated, which help to shift the heavy earth and water elements. Once the internal fog or heaviness has lifted, you feel light and clear-minded.
  • Practice Perfect Health Ayurvedic Lifestyle Programme

*Ginger Elixir

1 3-to-4 inch piece of unpeeled fresh ginger root
4 to 6 lemons
1 cup purified water
¾ cup raw organic honey
¼ tsp black pepper

Cut the ginger into ½-inch pieces. Using a powerful juicer, push the ginger through the juicer and juice enough to make 1 cup. In a citrus juicer, juice the lemons to make 1 cup of juice. Combine the juices in a large bowl. With a wire whisk, mix the water, honey and black pepper into the ginger and lemon juice. Whisk until blended. Store in a pitcher or glass jar in the refrigerator.

One ounce is recommended per serving

Word to the wise: It definitely has a kick.

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