We, as Indians, are blessed with the beauty of a multitude of seasons. From the scorching heat of May & June to the dipping temperatures of December & January, we enjoy the beauty of the tropical country that we are. With chrysanthemums, dahlias, marigolds, and roses readying to bloom and cheer us with their colorful & fragrant lines in gardens, the winter season is upon us. In India, the winter season is also known as Shishir Ritu. It begins after late autumn and is the coldest month of the year. This year it is beginning on 22nd December 2022 and will end on 21st March 2023. Two Hindu months fall during this time: Magaha and Phalguna. This cold season marks the onset of severe cold and dryness. Excessive dryness & dehydration result in the aggravation of Kapha Dosha and the imbalance of Vata Dosha.
According to the Ayurvedic Ritucharya text, when every ritu changes, certain transformations happen in the environment. Some lifestyle changes that are advised in this duration need to be followed to maintain harmony with Doshas and avoid certain skin and body-related problems. There are some rules and rituals that you can follow to bring your mind, body, and soul in sync during this cold season. Balancing the doshas means balancing the energies and this is crucial for maintaining holistic wellness.
How Does Shishir Ritu Affect Your Body?
This dry and cold time can be a little challenging due to the aggravation of Kapha dosha and Vata dosha. In winter, the weather is extremely chilly and cold and this leads to the loss of moisture. Being present in heated air environments wreaks maximum havoc on our skin. This season is also identified by a feeling of laziness when we wish to be in hibernation mode and that is the reason winters are characterized to be a Kapha & Vata season.
- Cold temperatures lead to physiological stress on your body. Therefore your body needs to be healthy to cope well with these stresses.
- Shishir Ritu can also increase the risk of a heart attack due to constricted veins and blood vessels. There is sluggish blood flow during winter because of constrained physical activity.
- Your body feels more lethargic during this time of the year and this happens because of the aggravation of the Kapha dosha.
- Your skin is susceptible to drying the most when it is the coldest.
- One of the most common skin problems in winter is dry and patchy skin. This can be really painful also because this leads to redness and cracks in the skin.
- The cold winds outside suck all the moisture out of the scalp which leads to dandruff and an itchy scalp. Increased dandruff can also lead to hair fall.
- Dryness can also lead to split ends. This can also cause many other damages to hair like breakage, and dead and frizzy hair.
Various ways can help us improve our wellness. A consistent self-care routine is an answer to ensuring long-term well-being. Skincare rituals and massage therapy or spa therapy are the best way to bring balance to doshas. If you opt for proper massage therapy by consulting a professional that would be the ideal thing to do. But you do not have to worry at all as we are going to sort this out for you. We will let you know the best massage that you can choose this winter.
The Perfect Massage for Winter
There are so many different types of massages available, however, the question that comes here is to choose a suitable massage to prepare your body for the winter season. It is crucial to increase blood flow and body warmth during this time.
Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage is the perfect massage to go for. This is the best massage that you can select for this cold season. It is not just beneficial for your skin and scalp but also works wonders for providing warmth to the body. What makes Ayurvedic Abhyanga massage suitable for winter is that it can be easily practiced by anyone. However to get it done in the perfect way an expert therapist is the best option to go with.
Ayurvedic Oil for Abhyanga Massage
Kapha has qualities like cool, heavy, slow, and oily. For reducing the imbalance of Kapha, select oils that have properties like warming, uplifting, or stimulating. Vata has qualities such as cold, dry, rough, or irregular. To balance this the oils should include warming, calming, and grounding properties.
We have found the right oil to get an Abhyanga massage that works perfectly to balance Vata and Kapha. Tattva has its special massage oil that is most suitable for winter — Vimukti. This oil has warming properties that are suitable for Shishir Ritu. This Ayurvedic recipe delivers the ultimate relief from body aches and soreness.
This oil is combined with the goodness of Ayurvedic herbs like Ajwain and Wintergreen oil. They naturally help with pain-relieving and muscle soreness. Vimukti oil is also induced with Sunflower oil, Almond oil, Eucalyptus Oil, etc. What makes these essential oils beneficial is that they provide relief from pain, stiffness of muscles, and dryness of the skin, to name a few benefits.
How Does Massage Help You in Winter?
One can take a massage during any time of the year; however, they are the most beneficial during winter. Take a look at the following reasons to opt for regular massages during winter:
- Massage helps in enhancing the lymphatic system increasing flow which boosts immunity and fights infections.
- In the colder months, we experience aches, discomforts, and pains. If we take regular massages this will help in enhancing the blood flow and improving the functioning of the body.
- When the chilly winds draw in, we usually get depressed and anxious. With massages, the serotonin levels of the body experience a boost.
- Blustery winter air can lead to the drying of the skin and if we take regular massage therapies, skin hydration also gets improved.
- Massages are not just beneficial in improving blood circulation but also help in boosting your metabolism.
Lifestyle Changes to Follow During Shishir Ritu
Balancing your lifestyle is an important factor to stay healthy during winter. Therefore here are a few habits that you need to change and a few habits that you need to inculcate in your daily routine.
Take a look at the list of don’ts:
- Avoid staying up late at night.
- Do not have irregular meals
- Avoid bitter, too much spicy food items.
- Avoid fasting.
- Avoid dry, cold & light food.
- Avoid excessive oily & greasy foods
- Reduce afternoon naps, and do not sleep late into the day
Take a look at the list of dos:
- Add simple skincare & hair care rituals to your routine.
- Keep your body moisturized.
- Opt for regular body massages.
- Oil your hair with coconut oil or almond oil to provide nourishment.
- Expose yourself to the morning sun for natural Vitamin D.
These habits can affect the functioning of the immune system. To help the immune system, the functioning of your body should be in a rhythm. It is essential to induce a consistent routine to balance your Vata and Kapha as your body also needs enough resting periods during winter. You can begin your day with some workout; maybe yoga, then you can go out for some sunlight and engage in some uplifting activity and at night go to bed early.
There are some times of the day when Kapa dosha is dominant. It is ideal to practice some activity or workout when your energy is high. Therefore the time in the morning from 6 AM to 10 AM is the most suitable for practicing yoga.
It is not just about your sleeping pattern or your workout routine, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the ahara you inculcate in your routine. Foods that taste sweet, sour, and salty are suitable for cold & dry winters. Bitter and especially spicy foods increase dryness in the body so you must try to avoid them. Milk & ghee, butter, and other milk-related product are advised to be consumed. Sweet products derived from sugarcane like jaggery should be consumed during Sharad Ritu.
It is important to maintain a strict diet routine and eat the food at proper intervals. One should not skip meals and eat a heavy breakfast and lunch, and dinner should be light. If you will follow a regime, this will help you to reduce Vata and keep your body warm naturally.