Winter is here along with its cold and dry qualities. Everything that affects your skin starts inside, so think of now as the perfect time to upgrade your daily rituals so they sync with the seasonal changes around you.
According to Ayurveda, everything that exists in the universe is made up of the five elements; earth, water, fire, air and space (ether). There are three constitutions (known as doshas) that you will have, and they are known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Each of these doshas tends to be amplified accordingly to the season. For example, cold winter weather is known to aggravate Vata in the body which can cause physical and emotional imbalances that manifest in the body with symptoms such as dry skin, brittle hair, insomnia, and anxiety.
By adjusting your diet and implementing a few of these tips, you can keep glowing all winter long, so keep reading! I have some great tips below the picture of this Lentil Stew which I nearly always have for lunch!
#1: Sip on ginger tea through the day
Beauty comes from the inside out, and that's why ginger's warming properties are legendary. Eating and drinking ginger helps to stimulate the bowels (by breaking up mucus) and speeds up the removal of toxins through the body—it also increases blood circulation which makes skin glow!
To prepare ginger tea, take two inches of ginger, grate it, and add the pieces to two cups of boiling water. Steep for around 10-15 minutes and drink every 30 minutes during the day—you'll be amazed at how you look and feel.
#2: Favor warm cooked food
Warm cooked foods made with sesame oil or ghee (clarified butter) have a wonderful soothing and lubricating effect on your tissues and organs. Soups made from root vegetables (carrots, beets, pumpkin, sweet potato) will also help you feel grounded. Oatmeal with warm almond milk and roasted seeds sprinkled on top is a great breakfast option too. Remember to try and avoid cold food like salads, smoothies and sandwiches right now.
#3: Do yoga + deep breathing exercises
Exercise is also one of the best ways to stimulate sluggish digestion, regulate the metabolism and aid in the removal of toxins from the body. It’s a great idea to start the day with some stretching, as this helps to build up heat in the body and wake up your major muscle groups.
A breathing exercise such as Kapalbhati Pranayama — is excellent for generating internal heat and improving digestive fire (known as Agni in Ayurveda). This practice helps to detoxify the lungs and give your skin an instant shine.
#4: Oil massage
Before you shower massage some warm sesame oil all over your face and body, starting from your feet up all the way up to your face and leave it on for 15 -20 minutes. This is a beautiful way to add some self-care into your daily rituals and get your skin moisturized and juicy!
Increased restlessness and anxiety is another condition of a harsh winter season, and this can show up on the face as a tense expression. A daily meditation practice like this one, can really help relax you from the inside-out and outside-in.
#6: Consume triphala
Triphala is one of the most potent formulas for beauty in traditional Ayurvedic medicine; its ability to cleanse whilst nourishing the body makes it a detoxifying staple. It's made of a preparation of three fruits (bibhitake, haritak and amla) that each have their own healing properties and when combined, become even more potent.
Triphala also works as a gentle laxative, by stimulating the peristaltic actions of the intestines to improve elimination whilst removing toxins. Amla is also loaded with vitamin C, which helps keep the skin bright and hair shiny. You can have 1 teaspoon of triphala powder mixed with a glass of warm water before sleeping. Sweet dreams!
* This post was inspired by Nomita Hathiramani from mindbodygreen