Winter for Vata-Pitta-Kapha
Thankfully, you have the strengths of all three doshas to support you through the winter. Pitta will be largely calmed by the winter season so your primary focus will be on balancing vata and kapha. Still, you may find it helpful to read the vata, pitta, and kapha sections for tips on how to support each of the three doshas respectively. With some focused inner awareness, you can adapt the advice on a day-to-day basis—pacifying whichever dosha needs the most attention at any given time.
Foods to Favor
On the whole, you can follow the general winter dietary recommendations, being careful not to inundate your body with excessive heat, which would disturb pitta. Among your best choices are tridoshic winter foods like berries, mango, soaked prunes, soaked raisins, asparagus, cooked carrots, green beans, leeks, okra, cooked onion, rutabaga, amaranth, basmati rice, quinoa, mung beans, tofu, ghee, goat’s milk, freshwater fish, shrimp, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Acceptable Seasonal Indulgences
Treats that are well-suited to winter include spicier foods, caffeinated tea, coffee or espresso, and more eggs and meat than would be appropriate at other times of year. If you’re craving something sweet, a cup of Hot Spiced Chai or some Maple Tapioca are lovely winter choices.
Foods to Minimize
Cold, iced, and frozen foods or drinks will disturb your digestive fire and should be avoided during the winter months. Other than that, do your best to become aware of your eating habits and of the effect that various foods have on you. Be on the lookout for signs of excess vata (gas, bloating, constipation, anxiety), excess pitta (acidity, diarrhea, irritability), and excess kapha (lethargy, low energy after meals, brain fog), and adjust your diet as needed to correct these manifestations of imbalance.
Focus on slowing down, staying warm, and balancing a sense of routine with a light-hearted sense of spontaneity and joy. Winter is also very supportive of introspection, so be sure to take some personal quiet time. Embrace the increased ability to exert yourself physically, but be sure to balance exercise with plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate. In your yoga practice, an invigorating routine should be fine through the winter months, as long as you guard against pitta becoming overheated and soothe vata at the end of your practice with a long Savasana.