Tag Archives: balance

Check yo’ Vata for Winter

I fucking hate winter. Wind makes me angry and my hands and feet are almost always cold. I get chilblains on my fingers and toes and have to wear ridiculous amounts of layers to leave my house. Although I do love Wintery fashion – boots and scarves and fingerless gloves oh my!

I live in Canberra which seems like a crazy thing to do given how strongly I dislike the cold. For those who don’t know, it gets super cold here but not cold enough for snow… we just get the freezing cold air off the snow capped mountains and frosty iced over cars.

As it write this, it’s 11 degrees and has been raining for 3 whole days, the sky is grey and bleak and I am cold.

Although it may seem like it right now, this post is not just a big rant about me being cold and wanting to move somewhere warmer… It actually is meant to be helpful to those out there who also hate the cold with enough fiery passion that they should be warm forever and ever, but sadly are not.


 

Here’s something you might not know – I’m a little bit into Ayurveda.

I’m not going to go into too much detail of what Ayurveda is as I am not an expert, but basically it is a holistic system for health and well being that is focuses on prevention of illness and disease by maintaining balance in the body. It can be traced back over 5000 years and is traditionally practiced in India, although is now becoming more and more common in western society.

Doshas.
These guys are Ayurvedic categories used to help us understand the ingredients that make up each of us as individuals. Our physical body, mind, beliefs, tendencies and behaviours are all considered to give an indication of our Dosha or ‘type’. Most of us fall into one or two Doshas but usually have a dominant one. Again, I am not going to give you a huge Dosha lesson here but in a nut shell:

  • Vata = Air and ether (wind)
  • Pitta = Fire and water
  • Kapha = water and earth

Vata are flighty, cold, restless and spontaneous, fidgety and introverted (like me). If you are a Pitta you might have a fiery personality, a warm body, you might be determined, motivated, focused and intense (like my sister Anna). Kapha are very grounded, steady, strong, calm and slow to anger. They are social and generous and likely to be cuddly (like my Mum!).

So Vata has a great idea to have a big party and then gets distracted by something else, Pitta takes charge and organises everything and Kapha stays till the end and then helps clean up.

Keeping all of the elements that make up the Doshas in balance has a flow on effect to how we feel, think behave etc. I hope that makes enough sense that it’s not too woo-woo for you! Sarah Wilson is actually pretty ace at explaining it and has some great insight into why this stuff is important for all of us, not just Vatas. If you want to learn more without getting overwhelmed I suggest you try reading this..

If you want to learn your type google “Ayurveda dosha” and take a little quiz – it can be a fun to read through the characteristics and see where you sit.


 

I am Vata, massively Vata and surprise surprise – Vata’s HATE the cold.

Anyway, this whole Ayurveda lesson was a round-a-bout way of me getting to some simple Ayurvedic tips to help keep my fellow Vata peeps from turning into hibernating bears over winter.

  1. Routine. Too much Vata energy can be reeled in by simple routines. So for me, I start my day with a little yoga (usually 15-20 mins) and then sit down for 5 minutes of breathing. Usually I finish this up with a quick prayer or intention or whatever I feel like on the day. Then, I make myself a cup of tea and climb back into bed with my husband and the cat.
    I love having this time to myself each day and honestly can’t say how helpful it is for setting me up for a good day.
  1. Build Heat. Vata as a ‘type’ lacks in heat which is why we are often cold. Building heat in the body in the wintery cold weather is super helpful for not only balancing an out of whack Vata, but to warm you up… der. 
    So I aim to build heat and increase circulation each morning with a short morning yoga practice. Go easy on your bod if it’s feeling a bit stiff early in the morning. I recommend some slow and steady sun salutations to get everything flowing. Sun sals for the win!
  1. Warm foods. It’s pretty unlikely you will find me sipping on a green juice or crunching on a salad in winter. It simply makes me too cold. Instead I enjoy copious amounts of herbal tea and warm water with lemon. I try to eat most of my food heated and cooked (nothing raw and nothing straight out of the fridge) to a) warm me up from the inside and b) take some pressure off my digestive system (it gives you more energy to actually keep warm if your body doesn’t have to put all its focus into digesting your raw dessert addictions). I also add warming spices to my cooking: Cinnamon, chilly, ginger etc. You know the drill.
  1. Meditation. Vata can easily become anxious and feel like the mind is swirling with thoughts. It’s not a fun headspace to be in and can cause stress and overwhelm. Adding more meditation to my day helps to reduce some of the noise in my head and really does keep my moods feeling more balanced. I know that it can be hard to sit yourself down in the quiet ready to find your zen only to be overrun with thoughts, and thoughts about the thoughts you are having. The trick for me, is to do it routinely. Because I’m a Vata and I need routine… and to come back to the breath. When my head gets too spinny I just focus on breathing in and breathing out until I feel settled and nice again.
  1. Moisturise. I shrivel up pretty quickly in these Wintery months. My skin dries right out faster than you can say “crazy Vata lady”! So I make sure I eat lots of good fats and oils to work healthy skin magic from the inside and I put in extra effort to moisturise my skin with good quality oils (at the moment I am using a Grown Alchemist face oil with an extra drop of lavender). Take it as an opportunity to be nice to yourself rather than it being a chore. If meditation really doesn’t work for you then perhaps this is another option – try taking 5 minutes before bed to sit down and focus on gently massaging your bod with some yummy oils.

Do you know your Dosha? Holla at me with any tips you have to keep your Dosha in check. 

Much love

Jodie xx

Why I Think Your Health Kick is a Bit Crap.

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend that seems particularly prevalent these last few weeks. I guess this happens every year. People “over do it” in the holiday period and put on a few extra kg’s, then punish themselves with lettuce and rice cakes to “get back on track.” The infamous Health Kick.

I am not a fan of this trend.

I have a huge problem with the mentality around a health kick. I am generally not one for restrictive diets (disclaimer: I’m currently on the Candida diet which is ridiculously strict but that is for healing purposes, not for weight loss). I super strongly feel that every single person needs to pay attention to their own diet and do what works for them which means listening to your body and what makes it feel good!

A health kick implies that you are only going to eat salad for a certain period of time and then go back to eating junk. Once you have achieved your goal of dropping a few kgs or you get sick of starving yourself you fall straight back into the tub of ice cream.  Ready to repeat the process in another few weeks when you decide that your body is not good enough again. Seems kind of counterproductive and unpleasant to me.

I have this crazy idea. What if you just looked after your body all year round?! What if you loved your body enough to nurture it and honour it with nutrients, movement and rest? What would that look like?

Seriously, stop and think about what that might look like for you.

For me it looks like glowing skin and sparkly eyes, a healthy weight range and clothes that are comfortable, loads of energy and a vibrant perspective on life.

When you eat delicious whole foods like veggies galore, organic meat, some fruit, nuts, seeds, good fats and good quality raw chocolates and deserts and move your body each day you no longer need to struggle through a ‘health kick’. Because you are healthy… your body is happy and so are you.

I am not suggesting that you cannot indulge and have unhealthy foods ever again. But I would ask that when you eat these foods you pay attention to how they make you feel!! If it makes you feel wide awake for 5 minutes and then like all of your energy needs to focus on keeping your eyes open for the next 2 hours, followed by a headache and cravings for more, then is it really something that you want to eat? If it makes you feel heavy and bloated then do you really want to eat it? Weigh up whether or not it’s worth it and you decide.

On a side plate… eating something healthy does not counterbalance all the unhealthy stuff you ate throughout the week. It’s what you do all the time that matters! So if you are eating sugary cereals or pastries for breakfast and deep fried fatty foods every day for lunch then a salad for dinner is not going to make you healthy.

I had a giggle recently when I overheard someone munching on some deep fried chicken proudly announce that it was ok that they ate takeaway for lunch each day because they had vital greens in the morning.  I giggled and then I realised that it wasn’t funny, because they honestly thought they were doing the right thing and it made me sad to think of all the delicious foods they were missing and the lack of vitality they must feel.


 

I feel like eating crappy food is comparative to punching yourself in the face. It will heal and you will most likely be ok afterwards but you would be better off if you just didn’t do it in the first place.


 

What is stopping you from making healthy and delicious food choices today?

Make small changes to how you eat and exercise. You might just start with drinking more water each day, eating more green veggies or taking the stairs at work. Remember that small changes build the foundation for lasting change.

Drop the health kick, and just be healthy my loves.

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