Ayurvedic Tips for This Winter Season

ayurveda, nutrition, healing, wellness, health retreat, health spa, destination spa

A little note from our Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Carla Levy, on how to stay healthy and vibrant during the winter months!

Dear Friends,

Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is the original holistic healing system that has been practiced  for 5000 years.  It focuses on healing at all levels including body, mind, and spirit.  This occurs by achieving personal balance utilizing the 5 elements air, water, fire, earth, and ether (space).  These elements are divided into 3 doshas  that combine together within the body: they are vata, pitta, and kapha.  Vata consists of air and ether, pitta of fire and a small amount of water, and kapha of earth and water.  Each dosha can be found in varying amounts in each of us and can also be seen within the seasons of the year.  Our goal in Ayurveda is to have balance within ourselves and nature around us which includes the season we are in.

Winter is the kapha time of year because it is cold, heavy, and moist like earth and water.  It is important during this season to consume foods that are warming and easily digestible.  Stews, oatmeal, and root vegetables  are good examples of foods to eat in the winter.  Warm drinks are very beneficial including, ginger tea, cinnamon tea, clove tea, and warm milk with ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.  It is a great time of year to slow down a bit, go to bed early, and participate in quiet cozy activities.  If you  practice yoga, make sure to incorporate back bends into your practice in order to open up your chest because congestion is a common symptom of this season.  This time of year tends to breed depression so make sure you break out bright and vibrant colors to help uplift and enliven your spirit.  It is a good time to avoid mucus forming foods such as ice cream and cheese, as well as cold drinks.  In Ayurveda, the medicated jam called chavanprash will help during this time of year because it is high in vitamin c , full of warming spices and it increases the immune system.  Sitopaladi, an herbal mixture, is  very effective for breaking up mucus. I hope that you have a happy and balanced winter season.

Stay warm,

Carla

Healing with Water, Herbs and Flowers

Rancho La Puerta

I love learning about the healing properties of herbs, flowers and all things from nature.  I was really excited to go to Luna Rose’s talk on spiritual bathing and healing baths to see which herbs are good for which ailments.  You could tell that Luna is absolutely passionate about the subject.

She started off by saying that plants, trees and flowers have spirits and auras just like animals and humans.  Each plant gives off different energies that can be used for healing different problems.  Using nature to heal is my passion as well, but I had never thought of a plant having a spirit.  It makes sense though, if you think of a spirit as energy, then absolutely yes, plants are full of energy that feed and heal us.

Spiritual bathing can be used for a number of different things.  For example, if you’ve ended a relationship, you can take a herbal bath to remove the residual engery from that relationship if it’s bringing you down.  Spiritual baths have been used in all different cultures and religions for thousands of years.  They can also be used to just uplift your emotions or lighten your mood.

It was a fascinating talk.  She gave us a long list of flowers and herbs and what they are used for.  Here are a couple of examples:

Roses

  • Calming to the mind.
  • Strengthening to the heart.
  • Helps to open up to love.

Angelica

  • Powerfully protective.
  • Dispels negativity.
  • Brings angelic energy.

Luna is a practicing herbalist and also lectures at a number of places including Mira Costa College, Palomar College, The International Herb Symposium, The San Diego Natural History Museum and The Golden Door.  I truly enjoyed her talk and hope to go to more in the future.