By Yoli Maya Yeh
Yoga and Ayurveda are both ancient traditions that teach about the health and wellness of mind and body. They we both written down around 3000 BCE but are even older than 5000 years, as oral traditions. That’s a lot of time to innovate ideas of how this body works in accordance with the earth and other elements around us and perhaps even inside us and to experiment and try them out. We can think of Ayurveda and Yoga as sister sciences. They both have an understanding that we maintain our optimum health when we live according to the needs of each season. Some things we know as common sense, like wear a coat when it’s cold in the winter or allow your skin to breathe in the height of summer in order to not overheat. According to these ancient sciences, the five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether, condense into three types of constitution: Vata (Air + Ether), Pitta (Fire + Air) and Kapha (Water +Earth). These tridosha, or three aspects also correspond to the seasonal changes throughout the year. Currently, we are in the cusp of Vata early winter and Kapha late winter. During the Vata time airy disorders are prevalent. Things like dry cough, headache, joint pain, insomnia and anxiety could spike during this time. You can see during this time the outer wind is blustery and it’s feels easy to catch cold. Now, we are entering the Kapha portion of the winter season where the damp nature of the Earth and Water elements can cause excess mucus production, lethargy, asthma, bronchitis, sinus infection and sluggish mind, to name a few of the kapha imbalances. Balance yourself in this season by getting good and regular rest, eating warm meals and not very much of raw or cold foods and drink warm beverages in order to keep the digestive fire alive—which has a direct correlation to your immune health. Yoga and regular exercise are great tools to managing good health in the winter season too! Enjoy this Ginger Tea recipe! From the Tastes of Ayurveda cookbook:
Immune-Boosting Ginger Turmeric Tea
8 slices of ginger, 1-in rounds ¼-in thick 8 cups water 1 tsp ground turmeric 4 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp honey In a large pot on high heat, bring ginger and water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour into teapot and add turmeric and lemon juice. Let the tea cool slightly before adding honey.