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Dispelling winter from the inside out

 

I wrote this article to help dispel the darkness of winter and make men shine from the inside. Winter brings both wet and cold, which often breeds viruses and bugs and as the nights lag so can our energy. This means our immunity gets stretched, and we could all do with that little bit of extra support.

Ayurveda says, Kapha dosha dominates, which is governed by the elements earth and water, this, of course makes mud! With low levels of vitamin D both our mind and body have the tendency to take on such heavy, and sluggish characteristic. Without the correct approach, we can soon become as dull as nature outdoors and this plays havoc with our relationships.

Vata is also heightened during winter, which is governed by air, there is a tendency for the respiratory tract, digestion and the bodies largest organ for detoxification, the skin, to take on a dry nature. This can lead to a chain reaction of challenges for our stability.

Initially, we may notice a dryness to our skin as it loses its luster, but on the inside such lack of moisture can cause a host of digestive related issues which compromises optimum health.

When the intestinal skin becomes dry, the villi which assist in the absorption of nutrients, cannot perform their task as efficiently. The result is partly undigested food, which is a feeding ground for pathogenic bacteria. The villi and mucosa of your small intestine are the basis of life, so we must nurture them at all costs.

 
Embrace the Stillness

Ayurveda teaches us to embrace opposites, and we must work hard at times to notice them.

There can be a quality about the stillness of winter, when we awaken to it as a hibernation period. Despite not being able to draw energy from the sun, the pull of winter can indeed nurture us. The drawing in of the senses, which yoga often calls upon, seems to be easier during this time. Warm unctuous food and nights in by the fireside can help to balance the dampness of winter once we embrace this notion. This is a time for reflection, a time of planning and preparation. The harvest of spring and the long summer nights, which seem hard to imagine, will soon be upon us.

 
Winter Fuel

It is said, summer bodies are built in winter and agni, the digestive fire functions at its best now. It is the time we better process fats and proteins, so, for those that take meat and eggs, perhaps now is the season to do so. Broths and soups are good, providing the body with the essential building blocks to maintain a strong stature and combat cold. Hearty grains and root vegetables are also beneficial to maintain a healthy ratio of vitamins and minerals and provide much needed soluble fibre.

The cold can be also be combated with warm oily foods. However, this does not come at the expense of overwhelming the digestion, an occasional half day fast or green smoothie will ensure that things ‘keep moving’. We must also consider that the body produces more mucous in winter and reducing dairy products which, by nature is mucous forming could be a wise step – especially if you have a cold.

Of course, when heat is required its always custom to spice things up both in the bedroom and the kitchen. Whether it’s herbal teas or used when cooking: ginger, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel will all help to keep the fire burning in your belly and the cold outside.

 
Spice up your life

In the bedroom, the notion of dry skin always prompts an excuse to use more massage oil. Regular massage can not only lubricate the outer skin but also works to move the lymph and if you’re lucky jazz up your sex life at the same time – what better way to while away the hours.

 
Power up your Herbs

Ayurveda classifies certain herbs as rasayana or rejuvenating because they promote vitality, increase resilience, improve complexion and help keep body and mind feeling young.

 
Ashwagandha is an immune-supporting herb with a powerful, propensity to reboot your stress levels. Excellent for reducing excess Vata, particularly when associated with joint or nerve pain. Debility and anxiety always pose a threat to sexual performance and so combating them can boost your mood on all levels. Used as an anti-inflammatory this wonder herb can also alleviate the inflammatory response of intensity training.

 
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Shilajit is known as the destroyer of weakness. This anti-anxiety, anti-stress supplement, is a famous RASAYAN DRAVYA (rejuvenation remedy) and also an aphrodisiac agent.

Caution must be taken to find a true source as there are many fakes on the market. Himalayan Shilajit is a fulvic acid-rich mineral that contains 85 micro-minerals and trace elements. Ayurveda uses this mindfully and its potency must not be underestimated and should be used under guidance due to its powerful detoxifying effects.

 
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Guduchi also supports immunity through its rejuvenating and detoxifying properties. Particularly suitable where low resistance is associated with excess mucous and congestion of the respiratory tract. This combination helps to clean the blood and has a natural antibiotic quality. It is particularly beneficial for clearing chronic flu, coughs and colds.
Moringa when the diet includes more fats and protein, mixed with carbohydrates, there is oxidative stress. Moringa contains a high ratio of antioxidants, which protect our cells from such overwhelm. This is a very important factor when it comes to the aging processes.

 
Moringa when the diet includes more fats and protein, mixed with carbohydrates, there is oxidative stress. Moringa contains a high ratio of antioxidants, which protect our cells from such overwhelm. This is a very important factor when it comes to the aging processes.

 
To Conclude

By embracing the winter season and adapting dietary and lifestyle choices, to meet the damp and cold, you can maintain balance with yourself and those close to you. This is the season where we can utilise our time and prepare ourselves for the fun of summer.