Ayurvedic Hacks For The Holiday Season

The holiday season does not have to be full of hangovers, overeating, and a long marathon of social get-togethers. Though a holiday is supposed to be relaxing, most often, it’s quite the opposite. All the excess activity tends to increase the feeling of pulling in your body which leads to a slow tightening of the shoulders and jawline, and even our fists.

Ayurveda attributes this ‘tightening’ function to vata dosha, which is governed by mobility, dryness, roughness, and the cold that comes with the fall and early winter. So here’s what you can do to balance the effect of vata during the holiday season.

1. Try And Stick To Your Routine

Whether you like it or not, socializing is a part of the holidays. Friends, family members, and co-workers are all vying for your time and when you’re in a social situation, it’s hard to say no to things. Your meals, exercise schedule, and sleep cycles go haywire which throws your vata off balance.

Though you don’t have

to say no to every invitation, you should try to stick to your routine as much as possible even during holidays. If a party invitation is clashing with your yoga class, work around the situation by doing a 30-minute practice at home before heading to the party. And even when you are at a party, don’t pressure yourself into staying back late just because you’re expected to meet and talk to everyone. Listen to your body and mind. If you feel like you’ve been in the party long enough, politely tell the host that you need to leave and excuse yourself.

2. Come To Your Senses

With so much happening, it’s easy to give in to excess during the holidays. Whether it’s with food, drink, or people, the holidays can bring sensory overload with it. However, your senses are also a gateway to subtle self-awareness. Here’s how you can use your senses to access subtle bliss.

Smell: It is the most primal sense and relates to

the earth. You can use it to ground yourself by adding essential oils to your daily routine. Just dab a little on your wrists, heart, and behind your ears for a subtle reminder. Oils that work on vata include cedar, vetiver, and sandalwood.

Taste: It is the pleasure sense which relates to the element water. It brings nourishment, ease, and enjoyment. Taste is a sense that always demands more but you need to exercise better judgment. Do you really want that extra drink or that extra serving or food? Enjoy your food but also listen to your body.

Sight: Your visual sense connects to the fire element, which is responsible for transformation, digestion, and power. All around you, commercials, emails, and sparkly things attract visual senses. Look at everything with a sense of calm without being overwhelmed. Give your eyes the rest they need.

Touch: The sense of touch connects you to your breath. It’s ruled by the element air, which governs movement and change. Vata is directly linked to the mobility of the breath which is why it is an important point of focus for the holiday season. A steady

breath or alternate-nostril breathing is a great way to restore balance.

Sound: The sense of hearing relates to the element of ether, which is both the space around you and the container of space. The excessive socializing can lead to a feeling of congestion. Find calm in the clamor through self-expression, creativity, and truthful communication.

3. Give Yourself Presence This Year

This holiday season, instead of making a list of things you’d want from Santa, list out all the things you’d like from yourself. Now that you know what you want, next to each item, note down action steps required to get those things. If you want to eliminate stress from your life, for example, make a plan to meditate every day, let go of things you can’t control, and keep your life simple without giving in to too many desires. You may not be able to do this every day but tell yourself that you’ll do your best and not give up on your wishlist.

View the

holiday season as a beautiful meditation. Give yourself to others but never at the cost of your own well being. Remember that you cannot control other people’s expectations but you can always draw the line when it comes to both giving and receiving. So, put yourself in a state of ease and don’t let anything or anyone throw you off balance this holiday season.