Ayurveda Tips for The Holidays
Ayurveda is the science of life. As such, life is always changing, shifting, and transforming around and through us. As we employ Ayurveda as a means to further discover ourselves, we can utilize its innate intelligence to guide and nurture us in navigating the temperature of our individual and communal worlds.
This is the time of year, as holidays roll around, that we can find ourselves out of balance. It’s a motley crew of reasons, including the weather, the food we eat, the schedules, the anxiety, the enthusiasm and even the conversations. Yes, Ayurveda includes all of these things and therefore can adjust for them as well.
Enjoy this quick guide to Ayurveda for Holidays - How to show up as your most balanced self all season long:
Stay warm and hydrated - Fall and early winter are vata seasons and these properties of air and and wind can influence our ability to stay grounded. The qualities of air and wind are very quick and light, found energetically at parties, meals and even in some conversations. Think about that energy of being pulled in a million directions or a loud and fast paced conversation that perhaps you weren’t quite ready for. It’s important during this time of high social and energetic enthusiasm to remain committed to this simple act of self care. Staying warm physically through clothing, food and drink gives us a leg up when the vata appears in ways we didn’t prepare for, and helps to support a grounded and open and genuinely engaged presence even in the most stressful of situations
Limit Spicy Foods / Alcohol - Nothing stokes a Pitta like going home for the holidays. The brain and the belly are inextricably linked. When the mind is active and in overdrive producing thoughts laced with anxiety and overwhelm, the belly immediately gears up, often producing acidic enzymes creating a hot and spicy internal environment to say the least. An unfortunate bi product of this very common occurance is a sharp tongue and short reaction times. By limiting spicy foods and moderating alcohol intake, and including warm, sweet and savory tastes instead, we can support a calmer mind / body with which to respond to anything and anyone that comes our way.
Watch portion sizes and meal times - You will be amazed at how holiday depression can be combatted with simple portion control and regular eating habits. The Kapha / earth element, can be felt strongly during this time of year in the form of lethargy, fatigue and laziness. Interestingly enough, a simple vata and pitta infusion of rhythm and consistency can help. Even if a whole meal isnt possible, stoking the metabolism on a regular basis with light snacks supports hormone balance and mental stability - empowering us with powerful ammo for those epic holiday meal times.
Engage in a Spiritual Practice - At the end of the day, we are all spiritual beings, seeking to connect, love, and experience the depth of our human capabilities. The holidays are an amazing time to practice these aspirations with others and grow ourselves in ways unavailable to us the rest of the year. The opportunity for practice lives in each and every holiday party, family and community dinner, and uncomfortable conversation with a family member or co-worker. Our commitment to our personal practice ensures we nurture the connection to ourselves and our intentions, freeing the energy up to engage, participate and share with the deep knowing that we are safe and loved.
Alana is an RD with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from NYU in addition to being certified as a specialist in Ayurveda. She offers one on one consultations at her studio Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg, BK or via Skype