By Vasant Lad, Yoga+
What to Eat and Drink
Thousands of years ago, the Vedic sages understood that the great rhythms and forces of nature- the alternation of day and night, the rhythmic cycle of seasons- all affect us, as do the seasons and cycles of human life. Being in tune with nature, they knew, also means being in tune with your individual constitution, or prakruti, which is comprised of three subtle energies: vata, the energy of movement; pitta, the energy of digestion or metabolism; and kapha, the energy of lubrication and structure.
How to Adapt
While you can’t control the weather, you can control certain factors (the food you eat, the type and amount of exercise you do, the herbs you ingest, and so on), which either build your health, vitality, and resistance to disease, or wear you down. Here is ayurveda’s view on winter- and what you can do to stay balanced this season.
In winter, the sky is often cloudy and gray, the weather is cold, damp, and heavy, and life, even in the cities, moves more slowly. Welcome to the season of kapha. When balanced, kapha supplies strength, vigor, and stability to both body and mind. This subtle energy is responsible for lubricating the joints, moisturizing the skin, and maintaining immunity. But in excess, it can lead to sluggishness, mucus-related illnesses, excess weight, and negative emotions such as attachment, envy, and greed.
In general, we should follow a kapha-pacifying regimen in the winter. But dry, cold, windy weather can provoke vata, too, and can lead to arthritis, indigestion, and other problems. To calm both vata and kapha when temperatures plummet, read on.