Seasonal Ayurvedic Wellness: Winter Edition

Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, is one of the world's oldest systems of healing. Its integral approach, based on the truth of our interconnection with the natural world, stresses the importance of synchronizing our personal rhythms with the rhythms of nature for promoting true wellness.

One of things I love about Ayurveda is how it encourages us to read nature for clues on when to make shifts in our daily lives and lifestyles. In winter, most of the natural world becomes dormant and quiet. This active, resting phase is an important cycle to honor each year in order to replenish ourselves after the summer heat and fall harvest.

In Ayurveda, seasons are associated with the three individual constitutions, known as five natural elements. Winter is the season associated with the Kapha dosha and all of the imbalances connected with the earth and water elements. In winter, you may feel heavy, sluggish, depressed, and experience swelling in the body. No matter what your individual constitution is, seasons will often have an effect upon you as they do with nature.

To help you ward off Kapha imbalances, consider the following recommendations:

  • Exercise outside for 20 minutes each day to raise your core temperature and get some Vitamin D.
  • Enjoy yoga practices that are warming and dynamic.
  • Stay hydrated with warm beverages.
  • Eat a light breakfast, have your main meal for lunch, and consider soup for dinner by 7pm. See my recipe for Ginger Miso Soup below.
  • Rub herb-infused oil on your body before showering.
  • Meditate daily, focusing on what brings you light.
  • Practice moderation with sugar and alcohol to avoid mood swings and depression.
  • Be in bed by 10pm and aim for 7–9 hours of sleep.
  • Wear bright colors like red and orange if you struggle with depression.
  • Incorporate some of the six Ayurvedic rasas, also known as tastes, into your diet. Increase foods that are pungent (like ginger), bitter (like turmeric root), and astringent (like chickpeas).
My hope is that as you weave these ideas into your daily or weekly routines, you will feel balanced and energetic throughout the winter season.

Join Melina in her 5-Day Winter Ayurveda Yoga Challenge.

Ginger Miso Soup Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced and cut into half-moon strips
  • 2 carrots, matchstick sliced
  • 6 cups broth
  • 4-6 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice miso paste
  • Garnish: wakame sea vegetable

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onions and carrots until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add enough broth to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil.
  • Add the shitakes, tofu cubes, grated ginger, and salt.
  • Add more broth for thinner consistency.
  • Reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes.
  • In a bowl, dissolve the miso in a ½ cup of the hot broth and add to the pot just before serving. Garnish your bowl with wakame.
About the Author

Melina Meza

Melina has been exploring the art and science of yoga and nutrition for over 20 years. She is the author of Seasonal Health and Wellness - Change Your Life One Week At A Time, as well as the Art of Sequencing books series.


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