Winter is here, are you ready?

First of all let me use this opportunity to give you our warmest greetings for the Holiday Season and New Year. 

Winter is here and most of you in the northern hemisphere surely can see the changes in the weather and the nature around you. For nature life seems to be on hold, a lot of animals hibernate, the trees are completely leafless and the ground is cold and bare. We all know what winter looks like, but how does winter affects us as human beings? Personally for me it's the hardest time of the year, so much so that I have managed to spend the last 7 years in warm countries so I don't have to deal with the winter. And guess what?... It's not enough! Even if you try to trick nature, nature is stronger! Even if you live in a warmer place, unless you are deep in the southern hemisphere, you will still be affected by winter, somehow. 

It is well know that the change in seasons can effect our bodies both mentally and physically. Nature goes through constant cycles manifesting the seasons and essential changes that we need to be connected to for our personal health. Yoga Healing Nature provides you with some directions on how to be more sensitive to your own nature noticing changes and imbalances happening with the transition between seasons. With the tips we give you you can work towards a happier and healthier lifestyle in tune with nature.

Winter embodies the more Yin aspects of life with its cold, dark and inward energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is related to the element of water which is associated with the kidneys that distribute water in the body and the bladder that holds water. The kidneys are of great importance, because they contain and store our fundamental essence called Jing. The concept of Jing is comparable to our DNA, it determines our basic constitution, and represents our ability to grow from an embryo through all stages of our life and continue on to create new life.  Therefore it is important in these cold months to keep warm and especially strengthen and cover your kidneys as well as protect your ears as it is believed in Traditional Chinese Medicine that the cold enters through the ears.

Imbalances that can manifest themselves at this time of year are either a lack or excess of water energy. When the water energy is lacking it creates stagnation in the body and in nature water that is stagnant can become polluted and poisonous. If your water energy is deficient you may experience fearfulness, inability to stick to anything, tendency to depression and even a loss of libido. On the other hand when the water energy is excessive it can lead to overflow and in nature too much water can destroy. Signs of a water excess, may include recklessness, over ambition, over dominance, excess sexual desires and jealousy. When the water energy in your body is in balance however you will be able to flow with life, be calmer, comfortable in your own skin and able to grow. Find a few tips below to keep yourself balanced this winter season.

Maintain your energy levels - Keep your energy levels balanced. Things that can deplete your essential Jing energy in the body are stress, being overworked, excessive worrying, misuse of drugs, too much alcohol and too much sex.  

Get plenty of rest - During this season it is very important to get plenty of restand it is advisable to try and go to sleep earlier and wake up a little later. This will help to replenish energy levels needed for the upcoming expansive springtime.

A positive mindset - As your energy levels may be lower in winter keep your thoughts and mindset positive. This is the perfect time to take on more introspective practices such as Meditation and Pranyama practices such as Nadi Shodhana. 

Yoga asana - Take a look at our video: Elemental Yoga sequence for Winter and practice it daily, to help stimulate the kidneys keeping them warm and strong. It is important to prioritize forward and back bends during the winter months. The following asanas are very rebalancing:

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)

Paschimottanasana (Sitting Forward Bend Pose)

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Parsvottanasana.jpg

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)

Halasana (Plough Pose)

Nourishment for Winter:

1) Watch your intake of salt as it affects the kidney function and try to substitute it with products such as organic soy sauce or tamari and miso. 

2) Drink plenty of water. 

3) Important winter healing foods are kidney beans, buckwheat, kelp, red cabbage, water chest nuts, blueberries and cranberries. 

4) The best cooking method for winter is steaming.

The above suggestion are general and are based on Elemental Yoga Therapy. Elemental Yoga Therapy works by finding your own personal imbalances and by adapting and designing a practice for the individual. If you feel like you need to work more in this direction feel free to contact us for a personalized program.

 

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