When I think of winter I think of the qualities of the vata & kapha doshas, dry, windy, cold, slow, damp & dense. These qualities of the season increase the both doshas. Vata as we begin winter from fall & kapha as we are in winter and move into spring. The elements of these dark winter months coming up & into spring are earth & water. We are in the midst of transitioning from the windy & dry season ruled by vata. Winter is in part both vata & kapha. People with vata & kapha doshas may be more susceptible to depression & feelings of loneliness. In this time of darkness it is important to find balance in the light.
Tips for maintaining vata balance:
- Create a schedule for yourself, being mindful not to skip meals, keep to a regular sleep pattern & be sure to exercise!
- Start your day with warm lemon water to cleanse your lymph.
- Pranayama – practice deep breathing for 10-15 minutes each morning.
- Vinyasa – practice grounding & hip opening postures in a slow vinyasa practice or yin.
Here are some tips for maintaining kapha balance:
- Maintain a non-sedentary lifestyle (no hibernation here). January is a time of setting intentions. Make time to schedule in activity into your daily routine.
- Drinking hot water with lemon (aids in elimination), ginger tea with cinnamon & clove (to aid in clearing out mucus) rather than consuming cold drinks.
- Pranayama – Channel Cleaning Breath (Nadi Shodhana) to increase circulation & heat.
- Continue to build heat & energy by saluting the sun with variations of Surya Namaskar A & B.
- Winter is a natural time for reflection. Embrace the silence & darkness through meditation & journaling.
- Bring the lightness & energy in by wearing bright & cheerful colors.
- Nourish yourself by preparing fresh, warm meals. Seasonal produce is best!
“loka samasta sukhino bhavantu – may all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”