Posted in Ayurveda

Ayurveda for the Winters

Yesterday I took a break to track down the local Ramdev shop here in Jorhat.  I stocked up on my usual goods such as aloe vera and amla juice along with honey.  A new product I found was Patanjali’s Tejus Tailam.  I’ve been meaning to start my daily Abhiyanga routine for this season, but hadn’t really gotten around to it.  Abhiyanga or abhiyangam is an Ayurvedic routine to keep your body healthy during the winters.  This is something that is widely practiced here.  It basically involves massaging your body from head to toe using an Ayurvedic or organic oil and letting the skin absorb this oil for about 10-15 minutes.  It’s great to let a masseuse work on you every once in a while, but a home practice of abhiyanga is something that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine and really reap the benefits.

How To:

  1. Make sure the oil is warm.  You can heat it or just immerse the bottle in some hot water.  Here too, like everywhere else, use your instinct.  Get the oil warm enough to get your skin feeling good.
  2. Next, take some oil in the palm of your hand and work the oil into your soles using your finger tips or your knuckles.  You want to get the circulation going, so be firm instead of gentle.
  3. Work your way up your legs using long straight strokes on limbs and circular strokes on the joints such as knees, elbows etc.  For your stomach, work up from the right side, across, then down the left.
  4. Use circular movements on your face.
  5. You can incorporate a head massage in your daily abhiyanga as well, although for people with long hair, this can be somewhat cumbersome.
  6. Make sure to use lots of oil, your body should get really greasy and slippery.
  7. Let your body soak the oil in for about 15 minutes and then bathe/shower.

Why do this daily?  Benefits?

  1. Great to flush out the toxins that tend to accumulate during the winter season.
  2. Keeps your joints healthy.
  3. Keeps your skin healthy and supple.
  4. By massaging your muscles every day, you decrease the risk of injury during the winter season.  Also, if you have sore muscles due to a workout or injury, abhiyanga massage speeds up the process of recovery.
  5. Because it is so relaxing, it promotes deeper and more restful sleep.  You wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.

Along with this Ayurveda also recommends sleeping at least 8 hours during the winters.  Attune your body to the sun, sleep as soon as you can post sunset and wake up with the sun.

Drink a lot of warm fluids throughout the day, even warming up your water.

For the winter months, avoid raw foods and veggies.  Steam your salads.

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