5 Ayurvedic tips to have more energy in winter
From an Ayurvedic viewpoint when we are battling winter sluggishness we are really battling the elements of earth and water. Elements that when mixed together create mud! Mud is heavy, cold and slow and we can easily get stuck, feel held down and unable to move.
Ayurveda works on the principle that ‘like increases like’ and that the best way to decrease something is to obviously reduce it but also to increase its opposite. So when we are feeling sluggish and can’t get out of bed or off the couch and are really just lacking motivation then we need to do something!
The two most important things to do is increase heat and moment in your body and life!
So here are a few simple things you can do to fight that sluggish feeling.
1. Move your body!
I know it’s probably the last thing you want to do but you just have to!
If you have a regular exercise program that has slipped recently and the thought of doing the type of workout you usually do is all too daunting then go back to it at a reduced rate if that’s what it takes to get you there. Tell yourself your only going to do 30 minutes or something that sounds fairly achievable and love yourself for doing whatever you do.
Praise ourself for what you have done.
Don’t put yourself down for doing ‘less than’ because actually it wasn’t less than it required tremendous strength and disciple to get there in the first place. Look at it as an achievement because sometimes getting off the couch and into your training gear takes more effort than anything you could actually do once your there!
If you don’t have a regular exercise practice then choose something that you would enjoy. Go for a brisk walk, a jog, a swim, join a yoga class or learn to dance. There are plenty of things you can do just fond something that appeals and creates movement of some kind. And do it!
There are also loads of great apps and online options that can be done in your home if the weather is bad so there are no excuses!
If you have a yoga practice and are just not motivated to get on your mat then throw away the routine, the need to do things in a specific way and do whatever you want.
Use your breath to get your energy moving. Make it fun, put on some uplifting music and do whatever comes to you.
It doesn’t matter, no one is watching, there are no rules except move and enjoy!
Find creative ways to add more movement into your day. As you are preparing your breakfast or dinner move your body, make it a performance, make it fun. The energy and enjoyment will transfer into the food! Even cleaning the house can be fun with the right attitude. It uses a lot of energy and the once you have finished not only will you will be energized but the stale energy in your house will be lifted.
2. Have a massage
Yes a massage! It might seem counter productive after I have just told you to move but that is exactly why I am saying it! Massages can be very stimulating and create energy in your body. Ask the massage therapist to use heating oils and strong movements to get your prana (Chi) moving.
If you are lucky and have a massage therapist who is also trained in energy work (like me) ask then to remove lethargy and any energies that are creating your sluggishness and to fill you up with lots of clean vibrational energy.
3. Eat light warming food
Heavy stodgy foods can be quite appealing in winter especially when we ourselves are feeling heavy and stogy but they are only going to increase these qualities within us. What you need to do is lighten up and warm up. Think spices and lots of them!
Stay away from sweet, cold and oily foods as these are full of earth and water. Replace them with foods that are pungent, astringent and bitter as they heat and stimulate.
Some easy ways to include spices -
Cooking with lots of ginger, garlic, chili, mustard seeds and onions.
Stewed fruit with spices for breakfast or dessert
Quinoa with spiced roasted vegetables for lunch or dinner
Stir fries, soups and stews
Fresh lemon and ginger in hot water
Stay away from or reduce -
Heavy foods such as pasta, bread, dairy and meat
Cold foods like ice cream, juices and smoothies
If you do want pasta then try rice or spelt pasta or have rice or quinoa instead.
If you want bread have spelt or mountain bread
if you need your meat eat chicken or fish as they are lighter and use lots of pepper and spices when you cook them
4. Practice Pranayama
Pranayama is a great way to increase energy and it has the added benefit (among many others) of being cleaning and purifying so it's perfect to get you up and going.
So there you have it, 4 simple ways to add energy and warmth to you body so you can get off the couch and enjoy the glories of winter.
If you have any other ways that you beat the winter slug I'd love to hear from you.