TARA’s unique Staying Healthy through the Seasons program brings awareness to our changing needs throughout the year and to the importance of attuning to the natural rhythms and cycles of nature for optimum health and well-being. We feature specific wellness- themed products to support the body’s needs as it seeks to restore and maintain balance during each seasonal change.
Our program incorporates the wisdom of Ayurveda, the world’s oldest healing science. Ayur means “life” and veda means “truth.” Ayurveda is the science of experiencing the truth of who you are. It emphasizes that good health is closely linked to maintaining balance in our life — through right thinking, diet, lifestyle and herbs. Becoming intimately familiar with and connected to our own body and tuning in to the intelligence of Nature are the keys to making the lifestyle choices and changes that will keep us in balance and good health.
According to Ayurveda, we each have a particular pattern of energy or combination of characteristics that make up our constitution. The three basic types of energy are identified as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Everybody is made up of all three energies, with one of them usually being primary and referred to as your “dosha.” To determine your own primary energy pattern, take the quick test on TARA’s Constitutional Analysis Card, then, for in-depth descriptions of the characteristics that make up Vata, Pitta and Kapha constitution types, the Ayurveda Brief Introduction & Guide.
Like our bodies, the seasons also have particular characteristics and Ayurveda divides the year based on how these characteristics relate to these same three energy patterns.
Late Winter is wet, heavy, dense and cold and is primarily a Kapha time of year which extends into the warmer and still moist Spring season. If your climate is cold and dry, there will also be a Vata component.
Summer is hot, bright, intense and dry and is a Pitta time of year.
Autumn (and early Winter) is windy, light, dry, cool and irregular and is a Vata time of year.
Our environment (the macrocosm) affects our overall state of inner balance (the microcosm) and the unique qualities of each season can either pacify or aggravate that balance. Personal seasonal routines can help reduce and restore inner balance.
Following are recommended TARA products for massage, scrubs, soaks and skin care as well as additional suggestions to help you meet the challenges each season presents to staying in balance.
Winter is time to Warm and Boost the Immune System
We can stay resilient by strengthening the immune system to support a deep defense and the body’s natural immune responses against the cold and flu bugs encountered at work or in social interactions. Winter is a time to go inside both literally and figuratively, to redirect our energy inward and to embrace a slower, more relaxed pace. We seek warmth, both physical and emotional. Exercise and yoga are good ways to support physical and mental health during the colder and darker winter months.
Moist Heat Therapy
Moist heat increases white blood cell production to boost immunity, takes the chill out and warms bones and muscles. A warm Herbal-Ease™Neck Pillow can be enjoyed at your work desk or at home while relaxing or finishing the day’s chores. A warm Uni-Pack under the covers will warm the bed or placed on your tummy, will warm your body and calm the nervous system. What a relief, after a day playing or working in the cold, to encase your hands and feet in warm Herbal-Ease Mitts and Booties!
Self Massage (Abhyanga)
Oiling the skin every day after a bath or shower with sesame oil or a TARA Ayurveda Herbal-Infused Body Oil (selected for your primary Vata, Pitta or Kapha dosha) will help keep the immune system strong and vital. “Protecting the skin in a natural way may turn out to be one of the most important health and longevity factors discovered to date,” says Dr. John Douillard. On his website, www.Lifespa.com, you’ll find a step by step self massage protocol that begins with creating a calm environment, quieting the mind and bringing loving awareness through your hands.
Spring is time to Cleanse, Detoxify and Renew
It’s also the time of year associated with new beginnings, changes and growth. “Spring cleaning” applies to our bodies as well as our homes. The human body has an amazing ability to process and eliminate wastes and toxins. However, sometimes these systems can get overwhelmed and congested, especially during the harsher winter months. Detoxification reduces the harmful substances held in the body while also supporting the systems that naturally remove them. Using herbs and essential oils to decongest, detoxify and purify is the best way to give your body a “reboot.”
Spring is an ideal time to book a lymphatic massage at your favorite spa. This gentle technique supports lymph drainage, eases water retention and encourages detoxification.
Skin brushing not only exfoliates dead skin cells, it also stimulates the lymphatic system, whose main job is to drain waste and toxins from every cell and organ in the body. Ayurvedic philosophy has long linked the lymphatic system to optimal health and longevity and emphasized the importance of detoxifying it.
Spring cleaning also applies to the mind. Clear out negative thoughts by invoking positive affirmations and flood your mind with positive intentions.
Moist Heat Therapy
Ayurveda For Spring
Summer is time to Cool, Soothe and Refresh
Summer is a Pitta time of year, relating to the fire element which needs to be cooled and soothed. It’s also a time when our own Pitta dosha can become aggravated. If left unchecked, this can turn into chronic inflammation, a growing health concern for many people today. It’s time to get outdoors, take a hike, play tennis, lounge by the pool, and, most importantly, we need to protect and rehydrate our skin!
It’s important to wear protective hats and clothing that help deflect harmful UVA and UVB rays and it’s also important to select a safe sunscreen. The chemicals in chemical-based sun screens are not only absorbed into our bodies, but these sunscreens actually absorb the UVA and UVB rays! Screens made up of natural minerals, on the other hand, act as a physical barrier that deflects the sun’s rays.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Inflammation is exacerbated by stress, so giving your body and mind a good 7 to 9 hours of rest will help reduce inflammation.
It has been found that positive emotions inspired by spending time in Nature, listening to beautiful music, looking at beautiful artwork, or doing anything you find “awe inspiring” will help reduce inflammation.
UVO is a revolutionary vitamin drink and sun protection supplement that TARA has heartily endorsed and is introducing to spas across the country. Its scientifically proven ingredients work from the inside out to protect the skin from sun damage during exposure, to soothe over-exposed skin and to repair sun-damaged skin. UVO can be purchased on their website, www.drinkuvo.com, where you can also view a complete list of ingredients. It’s also available at Amazon.
Other Super Summer Oils
Autumn is time to Restore and Maintain Personal Balance
Lazy days at the beach, family outings, vacations and looser summer schedules are over. It’s time to return to regular, more structured work and school schedules and also start gearing up for the holidays. The weather’s becoming cooler, drier and changeable. All this can be stressful and anxiety producing.
According to Ayurveda, too much stress aggravates Vata, which is the energy that governs the nervous system. The seat of Vata is in the large intestine where the neurotransmitters that regulate how our nervous system reacts to stress are produced and stored. When a body is under prolonged stress, messages declaring, “emergency, emergency” are sent out from these neurotransmitters to all the cells in our body. Since calming and soothing our nervous system is essential for maintaining health and well-being, we need to engage practices that send messages of peace and calm to the brain, soothe our nervous system and help restore balance in the body.
Meditation & Yoga
A formal meditation practice or just time carved out to sit quietly and follow the breath will help you relax and release stress and tension. Visit our Inspiration page for more on starting a meditation practice. For Yoga followers, focus on the balancing postures such as the Tree Pose, Half Moon Pose or Head Stand. Staying grounded, centered and focused as we execute these poses helps the body align physically and energetically.
Energy Balancing Technique
Alternate nostril breathing will calm the nervous system and also awaken energy. Using your thumb and ring finger, close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left nostril; release the right nostril and exhale slowly. Then close the left nostril with your finger and inhale through the right; release the left nostril and slowly exhale. Repeat for a series of 8 breaths. This balances the right and left sides of the brain and the body’s energy meridians.
Ayurveda For Autumn
Triphala is balancing for Vata dosha in the small intestine and Ashwagandha helps rejuvenate a compromised nervous system and supports the health of the intestinal tract.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Seven to nine hours of sleep will let your body release stress and tension. Visit our Wellness Solutions page for more details about the importance of sleep as well as some sleep-inducing suggestions.