Ayurveda & Winter Wellness

By Annie Reed, RN

Winter Wellness Through the Sacred Practices of Ayurveda the Science of Life

Winter sits between the dosha’s of vata and kapha. In early winter, the cold and dry weather increases vata. In the late winter, the cold and wet weather increases kapha. It’s important during the winter months to pay close attention to how your environment shifts and observing the effects those shifts have on you.  

Foods are warm, soupy, and well-cooked meals of whole grains, legumes, root vegetables, cooked greens, and stewed fruit, with pungent spices, such as, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne and chili. Healthy oils of ghee, sesame, and sunflower, and high-quality dairy and animal protein, if desired. Eating meals in moderation with observing your digestion.

Even though winter wellness is a time to go inward, you still have all the things that need to be tended to, children, meals, work, and so much more. I get that, I have raised 5 children, and have been blessed with 10 precious grandchildren with a new birth expected in March. Being creative in managing a winter wellness routine is important. Even though I provide you with routines, rituals, and recipes that nourishes and bring balance to your system. Creating self-nourishing habits needs to be simple, easy, with slow change that allows the space and time to create a wellness practice that becomes a habit. Because of our unique experiences and perspectives, ask yourself, “What brings me balance, grace, and deep nourishment?” 

A self-nourishing practice of legs up the wall pose, inverts the body without straining the head or neck. This pose is excellent for reducing stress, anxiety and is easy to practice for 5-20 minutes 3-5 times weekly. Stacking practices can support your wellbeing and time management with a busy lifestyle. When practicing legs up, take that time to take a few deep breaths in and out through the nose, slow, rhythmic, with a brief pause at the top if the inhalation, focusing on your heart with gratitude, calming the nervous system.

Let’s begin by placing a blanket against the wall to support the back and hips, if needed, use a thin pillow for the head.  

Getting in position, lie down on the blanket with buttocks/his scooted up toward the wall. The tailbone should remain on the floor and the buttocks a few inches out away from the wall, with the feet/legs up the wall in a L shape. Back, shoulders, neck, and head relaxed.  

Close the eyes, begin slow, rhythmic, deep breathing in/out through the nose, pausing at the top of the inhale, then exhale, continuing for 9 cycles of rhythmic breathing focusing on the heart feeling gratitude for self, this practice, family, friends, home, mother earth, etc. 

Golden Milk Oates
2 cups water 
½ teaspoon ground ginger 
½ teaspoon ground turmeric 
1 cup organic gluten-free rolled oats 
½ cup raisins or 2-3 dates chopped 
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom 
Pinch of salt 
1 teaspoon ghee  
Optional – small amount of milk and 1 tablespoon maple syrup 

In small pot, bring water to a boil at high heat. Add oats. Reduce heat to low-medium. Do not stir. Cover pot and cook for 7-10 minutes, until liquid is almost fully absorbed. Add the raisons or diced dates and remove from heat. Stir in spices, salt, and ghee. If desired serve with milk and maple syrup. 
In the cold winter months, warm teas support our body to increase the internal fire called Agni. This warm Agni tea helps bring heat to the belly. Enjoy!

Warm Agni Tea
4 cups of water 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon raw honey 
Small pinch cayenne  

In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add the ginger, simmering on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for another 5 minutes. Strain the liquid, discarding the pulp. Stir in lemon juice, add raw honey, and cayenne. Sipping between meals.  

Annie Reed RN, MSHNFM, MBA, 500 RYT, Ayurveda Wellness Counselor 
Annie has a private online practice serving woman as a Holistic Women’s Wellness Practitioner and Transformational Coach. She holds sacred space for healing, as it should be. She is passionate about creating a safe and supportive space for women to honor their needs, own their power, and speak their truth. She views her clients as creative, resilient, resourceful, and innately well. Recognizing that her clients are experts of their own wellbeing, and empower them to take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing through their wisdom and healing already within them. Connect with Annie!

“The Profound Woman deeply cares for her Self. She dances to the song in her head. She speaks her truth through the rhythm of her heart. And loves from the depths of her soul.”