As we covered last week in the Sad News for Smoothies post, winter is the season of the kapha dosha in Ayurveda. This season is characterized by heaviness, dryness (and wetness as we get more into spring), slowness and potential stagnation in digestion, mental processing and emotional state.

A great way to brighten things up and cleanse and clear the respiratory system — as well as the mind — is a good, old-fashioned steam.

(Side note: Somehow I did not get the sauna that I asked Santa for. Weird.)

Most of us do not have a steam room or sauna, and even if you have one at your gym, it’s not always practical to do. If only there was a way to spare your hairdo from the sweatfest.

Oh wait, there is!

It’s the mini personal steam.

This doesn’t mean you have to hunch over a pot of water on the stove. Just pour some steaming water in a mug, drape a kitchen towel over your head and breathe slowly in and out through your nose for a few minutes.

Essential oil (one drop) will amp up the medicinal value — eucalyptus, myrrh, cedarwood, ravensara, rosemary, fir and spruce are some of the great expectorant oils. (Keep in mind, this is medicine, not fun fragrance, so don’t over-dose.)

We did a personal mini steam in this weekend’s Seasonal Care workshop to rave reviews!

A steam can balance whatever state is in excess — it will help focus and clarify the mind so you can work on a task, and it will soothe and clear the mind so you can rest. Of course, it’s fabulous for cold prevention and cold care — keeping the respiratory system moist and moving.

Give it a try and test the effects for yourself. As always, I’d love to hear how it goes.

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