This season invites us to take a healthful pause at a time of increased Vata; when cold, dryness and darkness can have the tendency to deplete our energies. Just now, when our environment becomes more easily inhabitable for viruses, is the perfect time to integrate practices that increase the elements of warmth, moisture, and grounding. Optimal nutrition, extra rest, yoga, breathwork, meditation, and abhyanga are all tools you can use daily to maintain balance and wellness in the winter months.
Winter Solstice is the most beautiful experience for the human psyche…for the ten days after Solstice all the fluids and blood change in your body. During these ten days, you are meant to eat right, live light, and be jubilant since this is when the serum in the body, the mucous membrane and the fluid in the body, change and re-create ourselves. This is why we wish to celebrate winter solstice.
Yoga & Meditation:
Get pranic energy flowing in the body with movement and breathwork. A good morning practice to counter the effects of winter darkness can set your day right. Explore 3-minute power practice Kundalini Yoga videos HERE.
Try Sat Kriya for just three minutes a day (access the video free on the home page here) to shift both your mind and body from that frozen state of “I can’t do anything because it’s too cold and dark” into a more expansive state place of fortitude and action. Enjoy this exercise to bring health to all of the chakras, internal organs, and heart; to aid in digestion and strengthen the entire sexual system and nervous system. Sat Kriya, known as “The Everything Kriya” is one of the most powerful and complete kriyas in Kundalini Yoga.
Bring warmth and light to your body and mind with right nostril breathing. Breathing long and deep through your right nostril is said to boost your energy level and bring a warming “sun energy” into your body.
Abhyanga (Self Massage):
A daily practice of massaging the body with oil is the perfect remedy to counter the effects of a cold, dry winter. Saturating the whole body with moisture acts as an insulator of protection to the nervous system. Using specific oil for the nostrils helps with the pranic flow in the mind (as the nose is the most direct pathway to the brain) and it also creates a barrier between the outside ecology of colds, flu, and viruses. Learn more about Ayurvedic Health Practices HERE.
Draw attention to the elemental quality of your food. Eating cold, dry, rough foods can increase the imbalance of the season. Choose moist and warming meals like stews, soups, bone broths, and cooked grains. Opt for seasonings and spices that bring grounding and warmth; a favorite tea for pacifying Vata combines fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, freshly grated ginger, and a squeeze of lemon juice with raw organic sugar to taste.
The best elixir with antibacterial properties and immune-boosting herbs is traditionally known as Fire Cider and is easy to make at home.
1/2 cup ginger
1/2 cup horseradish
1/2 cup turmeric root
10 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
apple cider vinegar
Grate 1/2 cup each of ginger, horseradish, and turmeric root. Add 10 garlic cloves, 2 chopped jalapeno peppers, 1 lemon zested and juiced, 2 sprigs rosemary fresh and 1/4 tsp cayenne powder to a sterilized, quart-sized jar. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar all the way to the top, seal and shake well.
Allow the tincture to steep by storing in a dark, cool place and shaking daily for one month. Finish the tincture by straining the cider into a clean jar, squeezing as much of the cider as possible out of the pulp. Add honey to taste.
Take at least one tablespoon, daily. Fire Cider contains herbs and spices that work together to improve blood circulation, help prevent and help treat cold and flu symptoms.