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Aneta Podlaska: “To cope with the cold season, make sure you slow down, observe and breathe!”

November 19th, 2013 by baoli

This month, we have chatted to Aneta Podlaska, a passionate Ayurvedic therapist trained under the eye of Dr Deepa Apte, one of the biggest guru of Ayurveda in the UK, about the benefits of Ayurveda and how it can help us stay healthy, happy and glowing this winter. Aneta offers a wide range of ancient holistic treatments bringing balance to the mind and body at Samsara Mind and Body and Ayurveda Pura as well as having her own practice at Free Flow Ayurveda.

What is Ayurveda and its benefits?
Ayurveda is a powerful natural healing system that originated in India 5,000 years ago. It is based on the universal law of nature and depends on the diagnosis of body’s unique characteristics to achieve a balance between the body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda involves establishing one’s individual constitution and the root cause of the disharmony of body and mind and offering the way to return individual’s body to a state of healthy balance. Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments.

What are those energies?
Known as Vata (Space + Air), Pitta (Fire + Water), and Kapha (Water + Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature.

Samsara Mind and Body Ayurveda Treatment Room

Why we often struggle with the change of seasons, especially moving to cold winter months?

Autumn in Ayurveda is governed by Vata elements - cold, dry, rough, mobile, fast, unstable, which tend to manifest themselves in our beings more this time of the year.
Vata governs all biological movements and activities within the body, such as breathing, absorption, elimination, assimilation and circulation. It is also associated with emotions, expression of thoughts and functioning of the mind. Vata is present in the colon, brain, throat, ears, pelvic girdle, bones and thighs. When Vata is balanced, you feel lively and creative, but when energy of movement predominates, you tend to experience anxiety, insomnia, difficulty focusing, constipation and dry, dull skin.

How can Ayurveda help us cope with these seasonal changes?
Ayurveda offers useful tips to stay away from cold, infections, headaches and stress this autumn and here are just some of my personal favourites…

1. Eat warm, cooked, grounding food, such as stews, soups, casseroles. Give predominance to sweet, sour, salty flavours, as these increase nourishment and stability. Building, nourishing foods for autumn include root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips), pumpkins, butternut squash. Avoid dry food and don’t skip meals.

2. Start your day by scrubbing off your tongue accumulated throughout the night toxins from your digestive tract in form of white coating. Follow it by drinking ginger and lemon tea, which will boosts your digestion if you have it also 20 min before and after each meal.

3. Massage your body with warm sesame seed oil to restore circulation, keep the skin soft and to insulate your body from the cold. When feeling stressed drink a warm cup of milk with some chyawanprash or cumin tea, then soak your feet in warm water with some added salt for 15 min and massage warm oil on your soles.

4. Stay warm in general and re-introduce hats, scarves and gloves. Especially protect your head which is a seat of Vata.

5. For sinus congestion and headaches apply ginger paste to the affected area.

6. Cough and sore throat will cure gargling and steaming hot water mixed with a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of salt.

7. And mostly importantly: SLOW DOWN! Rediscover advantages of going to bed before midnight. Wake up couple of minutes earlier to welcome the new day in peace. Leave the house earlier so you won’t get irritated by people on your way. Observe and breathe…

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