Skin Care tips for this Winter
Winter and Ayurveda Winter and Ayurveda
Winter in many parts of New Zealand can be freezing. Very often, the days are short and dark, cold, damp, and we feel heavy. Not only animals but many of us go into hibernation, and like bears, we pile our extra layer of insulation. In Ayurvedic terms, winter is considered a Kapha season.
There are five easy steps to making winter more bearable.
- Look after the skin: the cold weather affects the skin most directly, and we see skin starts drying, and the surface becomes uneven with blemishes. The first step for skin health is to use the right face scrub powder. You can make your own with a coarse-textured scrub like oatmeals or coarse chickpea powder which you should use before shower by rubbing on face, neck area and on exposed body area as possible. Applying oil after bathing is a good idea – it helps with circulation, and the oil also acts as a barrier from cold weather. Ideally, it would help if you looked for a Kapha oil during winter. If you can’t be bothered making your skin scrub, feel free to contact me. I can make individualized scrubs, which will be ideal for your body type. Use Kesar Oil every night to nourishing face.
- Diet: eat warm, mushy food, bring water-rich foods in your diet like soups, stews, porridges, curries, and avoid roasts. Adding spices improves the digestive fire or Agni, which tends to slow down during winter. If you can handle them, then consider cayenne pepper, black pepper, chilies otherwise ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, while not “hot” on the tongue do well for warming the system. Sprouts are excellent for winter and can add protein while helping you overcome carb craving.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Winter months make us want to go to the toilet more, and we often end up avoiding drinking enough water. That effects on not only the digestive system but also cause mental sluggishness and dry skin. Drinking tea, warm milk, or caffeine-free drinks are great. I often keep some hot drink in easy reach.
- Dinacharya: As we feel lazy, we often overlook our daily routine. This has the most immediate effect on ama or toxins. I recommend waking up before sunrise during winter, doing Neti and applying oil in your nostrils. These simple rituals goa long way in preventing the common cold. Scraping the tongue stimulates taste and digestion. Keep the head and neck area covered. The marma points in these regions are particularly sensitive to cold weather.
- Exercise: This is one time in the year when Ayurveda recommends vigorous exercise, especially in the morning to support Vata. Join yoga lessons. Specific yoga routine for winter includes Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara), Fish Pose (Matsyasana) Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): and Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana). All these postures help prana flow through our bodies. These steps are not strenuous but go a long way in helping fight the winter blues. When spirits are high, we see the beauty in winter.Posted by
Dr Rachna Kumar BAMS
Rachna Kumar graduated in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from India and has continued to develop her skills by attending regular courses in the UK, USA, New Zealand and India. She has practiced Ayurveda for 20 years in New Zealand and England. She now offers specialist health and beauty services using Ayurvedic principles for women in Hamilton. www.ayuspa.co.nz