12 Dec 6 tips for Winter WellBEing
In the YouTube video above you can listen to me sharing 6 tips for feeling well in your BEing during the cold winter months, or you can read about it here below. I have also added links and extra information that supports the content in the video.
1. OUR LIFE FORCE ENERGY DURING WINTER //
The winter months are dark, cold, there is increased moisture and perhaps a sense of heaviness. According to yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda; health and wellBEing depends on a delicate balance between mind, body and spirit. The main goal of Ayurveda is to promote good health, not to fight disease.
There are 3 doshas (or individual constitutions) within ayurveda. They are called vata, pitta and kapha.
During winter, the kapha dosha dominates but the vata dosha is also present.
If you feel heavy and lethargic that is the kapha dosha. It needs to be shaken up.
If you feel more fears, anxiety, sleepless nights; that is the vata dosha. It needs to be grounded.
According to ayurveda like increases like. Opposites balance.
If you want to read more about the doshas; here is a great website to learn about them.
2. A PERSONAL ROUTINE //
With all of this in mind I highly suggest that you think about creating a routine that keeps your mind, body and spirit in balance. Perhaps reflect back to last winter. Do you remember how you felt? Note what worked for you, and what didn’t work and adjust your routine accordingly.
If you usually fall into a slump (kapha dosha) create a routine where you incorporate some active movement to gets the prana flowing. Here is a fun morning routine to get you going.
If you feel anxiety, ungrounded (vata dosha) create a routine where you incorporate exercise/yoga that supports you to feel more grounded. The Align & Shine series i shared over the Autumn about the 5 koshas incorporate helpful yoga routines that can keep you moving as well as grounded during winter. You can find the series here.
It’s generally advised to
* go to bed by 10 pm – so you get enough rest and sleep
* rise early to start your morning with something that grounds you.
It doesn’t have to be a huge big routine. Keep it simple. Refrain as much as possible from rushing in the morning. It’s very vata aggravating.
What you do the night before has a big affect on how the morning goes 🙂
3. REDUCE STRESS //
Stress is inevitable, but trying to follow the yama aparigraha (which means non-greediness) can be helpful. It’s about practicing being ok with having what we need and not everything we desire. Try to simplify life, get organised and perhaps plan a bit, it is incredible how it can reduce stress and make you feel more in control, secure and grounded. Putting a plan in place can reduce stress tremendously and is so supportive for Vata.
Think about where you can simplify, organise and perhaps batch plan to support VATA.
4. HYDRATE //
We get so vata dry in the winter months. I recommend drinking more water to stay hydrated on the inside.
Use a good cream for your face, neck and decolletage,
Also abhyanga is ayurvedic massage – which is about massaging oil all over your body and let it stay on for 15 min (i do breathing and meditation during this time). This is both hydrating and grounding.
Deep breathing, meditation, restorative yoga, slow flow yoga is hydrates us on different levels and helps make us feel less stiff in all the layers of our Human BEing.
Get fresh air. Well, depends on where you live. We don’t have much fresh air in London, the most polluted city in Europe, but hey it’s good to spend time outside in the park non-theless.
Again i will suggest the Align & Shine series centering around the Koshas is a wonderful program for staying nourished and hydrated on all levels of your human BEing. You can find the link here to the entire series of videos.
5. FOOD //
Like i said in the beginning – like increases like. So in terms of food; warm foods, warm drinks are recommended. It’s better for the agni, our digestive fire. This is why we want to avoid cold foods in the cold winter months, according to Ayurveda.
Also try to eat more astringent foods, flavour with cinnamon, fennel, coriander
Try to avoid over-eating, the kapha dosha makes us lazy.
Adding a few pounds during the winter is normal, but try to find a balance between being cosy inside binge watching Netflix while munching on “too much” delicious food 🙂
Try to add in a routine of some movement.
6. GRATITUDE //
Last, but not least. I’m a huge advocate of practicing gratitude. The Niyama santosha* means contentment, and this is a daily practice. It is a mental attitude of enjoying and accepting what is and to be grateful for what we have. Practice saying thank you. Say it to yourself, say it out loud to others, write down in your note book what you are grateful for.
It’s a good prescription if you feel unfulfilled. More isn’t always better. Less can sometimes be more. Simplify 🙂
Check in with your heart, and follow your heart.
I have made several gratitude flows. You can find it here.
*In the video i say contentment is saucha, this is wrong. I apologise for making this mistake.
There is so much more that could be said about this, but I hope this inspired you in some way. Follow your own inner knowing and practice feeling and finding what works to support you in these cold winter months.
Cheers and much success to your winter wellBEing.