Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Season & Ayurveda

Stay Healthy This Winter

Winter season (Sanskrit Name: Hemant Ritu) is the season of cold, where the atmosphere temperature drops down, the environment becomes chilly. Chilly and cold wind began to blow which leads to the disequilibrium of VATA Dosha and KAPHA sanchay.
In winter the Agni or body fire increases with the support of VATA Dosha. Hence there will be a marked increase in appetite. The frequency of food consumption increases. We should keep a watch on the type of food we consume to satisfy our appetite during winter. Avoid consumption of junk foods, too much of sweets and oil food as these lead to weight gain.
Winter is the best season to improve immunity. It's not a weakening season if you know how to strengthen immunity. And in ayurvedic terms, immunity is connected with the digestion. When digestion is strong and appetite is good, then immunity is strengthened. Whatever weakens digestion weakens immunity. It's that simple. For this reason, it's more important that people eat immunity-boosting foods in winter, and that they follow the ayurvedic daily routine

Some simple tips to say healthy in winter:

Ayurveda has some very simple home remedies to prevent, heal, and quickly avoid lingering congestion:

Kapha dosha is prominent this season. Enable the body to fight the cold outside this season. Energy rich food items like milk and milk products, ghee, carbohydrate rich food items like rice, wheat, whole gram, etc.
A heavy diet needs to be taken that must include milk and its products, wheat, carrot and raddish, tomatoes and sugary food.
In the winter season Vata Dosha is accentuated and needs to be satisfied by a heavy diet (snigdha, Madhura & lavanrasa).
Sweet,sour and salt taste food can be taken. In this season the digestive activity becomes more powerful. Increased vata gets obstructed from spreading out due to cold atmosphere outside which can digest the tissues. More intake of sweet, sour and salt helps reducing the vata.
The diet in Hemant Rutu must include wheat, gram, milk & milk products, jaggery, cane sugar, figs, carrots, tomatoes, dates to prevent the disequilibrium of vata dosha.
Drink warm water and it will improve your life span.
Wine prepared from jaggery (molasses) can be taken


1.Be under the Sun for sometime - Sunlight is rich in Vitamin D - lest you be affected by the
Seasonal Affectional Disorder ( lack of Sunlight )
2.Til oil massage is suggested to prevent disequilibrium of vata dosha and excess sanchay of
3.Daily exercises or yoga is beneficial.
4.Consume hot soups.
5.Use VATA balancing foods like wheat, oil, corn, black gram and jaggery.
6.Tickle your taste buds with sweet, sour and salt tastes.
7.Sip hot water or tea throughout the day to improve digestion
8.Cover your body with sufficient warm wraps
9.Always wear foot wear.
10.married couple should use aphrodisiacs.
11.Spend your leisure time with friends and relatives whom you like.
12.Reduce or avoid white sugar white flour products as they cause congestion and prevent
digesting nutrients from our food.
13.Don’t expose yourself to cold.
14.Udvartan(Dry or Powder Massage) with fine paste/powder of kumkum (kesar).

In order to keep the doshas in balance one should follow the ritucharya.

Pamper your skin in winter:

During winter skin can not replenish its moisture naturally due to less humidity in air. Low humidity due to indoor heating, hot showers and bath exaggerates this condition and skin is bound to become dry and irritated. Dry skin tends to crack and bleed. Cracked skin looses its ability to protect the body and increases the risk of infection. The best ways to keep the skin soft, healthy and moisturized are
•Avoid long hot showers and bath.
•Quick three minutes’ bath is advisable.
•Use moisturizing body wash.
•Apply petroleum jelly on tough areas like knees elbows and heels.
•Apply lip balm to prevent cracking.
•Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week can give your skin a healthy glow
•Ayurveda stresses on massaging body with oil during winter

Are Bath's A Good Thing?

As much as we love it, taking a hot bath during the winter is not a good habit to get into especially if they are long in duration. As they rob your skin of natural oils so try to limit the time spent in the bath and don't use hot water.
Lower the temperature to something just nice and comfortable. Water that is too hot isn't good for you anyway. Switch to a shower, that is even better. And don't forget a good body lotion and slather it on.

Note -- The material presented in this article is for educational purposes only and is not to be used to treat, cure or mitigate any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Padmasana - The Lotus Pose

"Padma" means "lotus" in Sanskrit. "Padmasana" means sitting in the "Lotus Posture".

This posture is called Padmasana because the arrangement of the hands and feet resemble a lotus when seen from a distance. The two feet placed upon the opposite thigh resemble the leaves while the two hands placed one over the other resembles the lotus in full bloom.


  1. Sit erect.
  2. Stretch out your legs in front of you and keep the heels together.
  3. Hold the right ankle with the right hand and the right big toe with the left hand. Bending the right knee outwards, pull round the right foot towards your left groin line. Set the foot firmly at the root ofthe left upper thigh. The heel should lightly press the left side of the lower abdomen. The foot must lie fully stretched over the left thigh with its sole turned upwards. Keep the right knee pressing the floor.
  4. Similarly, fold the left leg and place the foot firmly at the root of the right upper thigh. The foot must lie fully stretched over the right thigh with the sole turned upwards. Keepthe left knee also pressing the floor.
  5. With both legs now interlocked, keep the spine, neck and head erect.
  6. Place one palm upon the other, both turned upward and cupped, and rest them on the upturned heels a little below the navel.
  7. Remain in this posture in perfect ease until you begin to be uncomfortable.
  8. Unlock the footlock. Stretch out your legs and return to the original sitting position.
  9. Practice alternating the legs.


  • Do not sit in this posture while eating food or immediately after taking it.
  • Persons having sciatica or varicose veins in the legs should attempt this posture cautiously.


  • Sitting in Padmasana will help to reduce excess fat in the abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
  • This posture strengthens the thighs and calves and provides elasticity to the hamstring muscles.
  • Padmasana develops the correct carriage of the body with perfect equilibrium since the spine has to be kept straight during the practise.
  • The important muscles, ligaments and tendons of the lower extremities are extended and flexed while sitting in Padmasana and relaxed when it is released.
  • This posture promotes a rich supply of blood to the organs in the pelvic and the abdomino-genital regions while the flow of blood to the lower extemities is limited. Since more blood is made to circulate in the lumbar region of the spine and the abdomen, the spine and the abdominal organs are toned up.
  • It firms up the coccygeal and sacral regions of the spine and the sciatic nerve. It also tones up the colon.
  • It limbers up stiff knees and ankles and improves the flexibility of the hip-joints. It relieves arthritic pain in these areas.
  • Minor spinal deformities are set right.
  • The erect spine prevents the compression of the abdominal viscera while sitting in this posture.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Incompatible Foods ( Viruddha Aahar ) & Ayurveda

All food articles possess their own Rasa (taste), Guna (characteristics), Virya (potency), and Vipaka (post digestion effect). Some food stuffs also possess Prabhava an unexplained effect. The fate of food articles with in our body depends on the state of our digestive fire. When two or more food articles having different taste, energy and post digestion effect are combined the digestive fire can become overloaded, inhibiting enzyme system and result in the production of toxins.

Poor combining can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation and, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia, and diseases. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish digestive fire, change the intestinal flora, produce toxins and cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies. Although both of these foods have a sweet taste, a cooling energy, their post digestion effect is very different – bananas are sour while milk is sweet. This cause confusion in our system and results in toxins, allergies and other imbalances

Some of the incompatible food combinations are:

Don’t Eat



Fruits, Cheese, Eggs, Fish, Milk, Meat, Curd


Fruits especially melons, Beans, cheese, fish, milk, meat, curd.


As a rule shouldn’t be taken along milk, Curd


Fruit, tapioca


With equal amount of Ghee by weight, boiled or cooked honey

Hot drinks

Mangoes, cheese, fish, meat, starch, curd


Cucumber, milk, tomato, curd


Everything especially dairy products, eggs, fried food, grains, starch. Melons more than other fruits should be eaten alone or left alone.


Bananas, cherries, melons, sour fruits, bread containing yeast, fish, meat, curd

Nightshades e.g. potato, tomato

Melon, cucumber, dairy products


Bananas, raisins, milk


Fruit specially banana and mango; beans, raisins, jaggery


Fruit cheese, eggs, fish, hot drinks, meat, milk, nightshades. More than this curd should never be cooked and should be taken in night, summer, rains and spring season. Curd should always be taken with sugar, soup of green beans, ghee or the Amalaki powder.

It is a very short list. To find which combinations are incompatibles there are some rules and regulations:

  • In cold areas and in cold seasons the food articles which are cool in potency and unctuous in character are generally wrong food combination for that area.
  • Like wise in warm areas and in hot season the food articles with warm potency and pungent or bitter taste are generally should be avoided.
  • When one is having little fire in stomach then taking a heavy meal is wrong combination.
  • When a fellow is habitual of taking dry, un-unctuous, warm food articles then the food articles with cold potency and unctuous in character prove to incompatible food combinations.
  • Food articles with warm potency mixed with food articles with cold potency
  • Eating some thing while holding any of the natural urge as said above
  • Milk with Sour fruit or salt
  • Food articles which are either over cooed or under cooked or very much time has passed since cooking
  • Eating any thing with out willingness.