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Stay Balanced through the Winter Season

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Stay Balanced through the Winter Season

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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Be ready for Spring, Yoga Healing Nature seasonal attunements.

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Be ready for Spring, Yoga Healing Nature seasonal attunements.

Spring is here are you ready for it?

 

Spring is here and although many of us are looking forward to this exciting time of year sometimes certain unexpected imbalances can occur... It is important to remain aware of the body’s tendency to become imbalanced as the seasons change. Here are a few Yoga Healing Nature tips to properly balance your system with this exciting transition into Spring.

Spring is the time of the year when nature really speaks to us, with it's expansive energy, everything around us changes bringing new color and life. All the buds shed their protective layers, very useful during winter, but now no longer needed, expanding into beautiful flowers. The Spring season is related to the Space Element, also called Wood Element in traditional Chinese medicine and in your body is connected to your Gall Bladder and Liver meridians. Hence when moving into spring it is important to bring attention to these areas of the body helping you keep in balance with your natural clock.

When the Space element is balanced one achieves a clear overview about their life, has good planning abilities, strategic skills and is very confident about which directions things should go. I'm sure everybody can benefit from more of that! On the other side when the Space element is out of balance we can feel very indecisive, have a lack of control, difficulty in planning, poor judgment and/or lack of coordination. All of this can lead to becoming a more controlling, angry, resentful, opinionated, stuck and inflexible person.

These imbalances are all matters that can be addressed through making small lifestyle adjustment and becoming more attentive of certain things. Here are a few of the best things to do to keep your balance throughout the Spring season.

 

 

Detox.

A gentle Liver detox is really helpful in this time of the year, get in the habit to squeeze the juice of half lemon in a cup of water (better if at room temperature) first thing in the morning. This will gently help your liver to get rid of extra unneeded fat.

 

Light fat free Diet. 

The best way to get the right nutrients needed for every seasons is to eat seasonally and locally and spring has plenty of rich and colorful foods to delight you with something different every day... Avoid fatty foods like butter and cheese, if you eat fish go for light white fish other than salmon     for example, or if you eat meat go for some organic chicken breast, other than pork or beef. With your cooking try to boil or grill your food other than frying it.

The Yoga

Yes this is where all the magic happens... In Elemental Yoga we use the meridian lines to activate the energies of each organ and in the case of spring the Gall Bladder and Liver meridians. Through asana practice we can bring energy to these organs to balance the Space Element.

If you are an expert yogi, you want to concentrate your practice on any type of side stretches and side strengthening, (like extended side angle and side plank) this will activate your Gall Bladder energy, and for the liver you want add to your practice some deep twists.

Since your Liver is one of the largest organ that sits on the right side of your upper abdomen and lower ribcage any deep spinal twists will squeeze this organ and in turn this helps to cleanse and stimulate your liver. Follow the link to my video for a short 20minutes yoga sequence to practice during spring or to add to your existing practice.

Elemental Yoga aims to rebalance the body through the practice of yoga, meditation, good nutrition and small lifestyle adjustments. Feel free to get in touch with us to receive and initial free consultation online.

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