Wellness

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Photo courtesy of Sylvere Azoulai/Trunk Archive

Ayurvedic Oils
for the
Winter Blahs

  • Bit more sluggish than usual? Does a layer of blankets suddenly sound better than practically anything? Ayurvedic tradition maintains that’s exactly how you’re supposed to feel this time of year. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical tradition, sees health as a holistic balance of mind, body, and spirit; each person is thought to have a dominant energy type, or dosha, that influences behavior, physical attributes, and even personality type. Doshas can also inform the situations we’re living under. For example, the seasons. Shrankhla Holecek, who founded UMA on Ayurvedic principles, says that working with your body can help lift the lethargy of winter.

    “Winter is the season of kapha, the dosha marked by a certain heaviness, a tendency toward mental fog, and sometimes weight gain,” says Holecek, who creates her exquisite elixirs with organically grown, handcrafted essential oils that her family has been farming for centuries in India. (Her ancestors were also Ayurvedic physicians to Indian royalty, and the family’s oils are used today in some of the world’s most expensive perfumes.) Holecek says the right oils can really help with the midwinter slump: “I love rosemary, frankincense, ylang-ylang, and lemon for helping to offset kapha feelings,” she says. “So both Pure Energy and Pure Bliss are great this time of year.”

  • UMA PURE ENERGY
    UMA Pure Energy
    goop, $85

    For an uplifting boost:

    A deep inhale of this rosemary, frankincense, peppermint, and jasmine infusion is gorgeously bracing and cobweb-clearing.

  • UMA PURE Bliss
    UMA Pure Bliss
    goop, $85

    For happy vibes:

    This sparkly surge of rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, and lemon really takes the edge off (and makes us smile).

  • For an uplifting boost:

    A deep inhale of this rosemary, frankincense, peppermint, and jasmine infusion is gorgeously bracing and cobweb-clearing.

    UMA Pure Energy
    goop, $85
  • For happy vibes:

    This sparkly surge of rose, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, and lemon really takes the edge off (and makes us smile).

    UMA Pure Bliss
    goop, $85
    Shrankhla Holecek

    Holecek’s winter ritual incorporates both oils for the practice of emotional release. “This ritual is a reminder to not hold on to destructive feelings, which can happen when there’s too much kapha,” she says. “I love this ritual first thing in the morning to set up for the day, but it’s also amazing for transitioning from day to night, as a way to put the day behind me.”

  • Shrankhla Holecek
  • Holecek’s winter ritual incorporates both oils for the practice of emotional release. “This ritual is a reminder to not hold on to destructive feelings, which can happen when there’s too much kapha,” she says. “I love this ritual first thing in the morning to set up for the day, but it’s also amazing for transitioning from day to night, as a way to put the day behind me.”

    1. Gently rub the skin between your toes to create warmth in the area. Massage in four to five drops of your chosen oil, spending about three to five seconds between each toe.

    2. With the oil still on your fingers and palms, massage the bottoms of your feet, spending thirty seconds on each one.

    3. Move up to your wrists and gently massage the area with your thumb; spend ten to fifteen seconds on each wrist.

    4. Next, move to the ears; use your fingers to massage the area behind your ears in circles for fifteen seconds.

    5. Floating up to the forehead, massage your temples with your forefingers in circles for ten seconds.

    6. Finally, cup your palms over your nose and mouth and take five deep inhales.

  • Note: You can apply the oils separately or layer them together for a supercharged effect; they also make stunning perfumes. Holecek emphasizes that lifestyle tweaks can also make a difference in how you feel as the seasons change. “Yoga can have a profound impact on improving energy levels,” she says. “Begin your day with a sun salutation to capitalize on the energy of the sun. Focus on asanas to invigorate a healthy kapha.”

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