Winter Warming Daily Deeds ~ how to stay Fit & Hea...

Winter is Kapha season for all things cold, damp and heavy where life moves slowly. The predominant qualities of the winter season are damp, cloudy, heavy, cool & oily. The perfect environment for those pesky cold bugs to flourish in! Kapha is by nature slow and steady so you can feel good by changing your daily habits  to suit your environment! 

 

o   Waking up: an excuse to lie in bed! Unless work otherwise restricts, a 7am rise is perfect. 

 

o   Tongue scraping: do this after brushing your teeth. This is a vital part of daily hygiene. It removes toxins/coating & stimulates digestion. A stainless steel tongue scraper should ideally be used. Your toothbrush just wont do the job no matter what the branding tries to sell you.

 

o   Yoga Asanas: best poses for winter include Fish; Locust; Boat; Bow; Lion; Camel and Shoulder Stand. You can get a DVD and practice at home if you are too shy to join a class. When practising any yoga poses always work within your limitations, knowledge & awareness. If you are not or have never done a yoga class then think about starting one. There are heaps of gentle stretching classes for beginners.  Hatha yoga or Iyengar Yoga classes are best for beginners. Now I know what you’re thinking…but I’m not flexible enough! Well Ill let you into a little secret…. The whole point of yoga is to connect you to your breath and your physical body. It has very little to do with flexibility which is something that comes as a result of many years of practice. Having practiced yoga myself for the last 30 years (yes I am that old and I was lucky to have an old hippy as a teacher at 10 years of age who took yoga classes in the heart of Yorkshire England) and now about to qualify as a yoga teacher trainer, the benefits I have personally taken from  this ancient practice are immeasurable.  I used to suffer from a tight neck and would regularly be unable to turn my head for days. I also had chronic digestion problems that were helped with yoga practices. But the most amazing thing I take from yoga is the continual learning about my self, my body and my mind even after all these years there is always so much more to learn and discover about me…and lets face it, its all about us isn’t it!

 

o   Quiet meditation: follow your yoga practice with 5-10 minutes of quiet grounding meditation. Sit in a comfortable position (don’t lie down you are likely to fall asleep and this is not the object of this game) focussing entirely on your breath as it enters the nostrils following it all the way through the brain down the body & out through the feet and base of spine. Imagine that you can grow deep roots into the Earth. If your mind is busy think to yourself “thought” then take your awareness back to the breath. If you get physical pain then think to yourself “sensation” and take your awareness back to the breath. If your mind is distracted with surrounding noise think “noise” and again return your focus to the breath. Keep repeating this for 5-10 minutes. No one can do this well when they first start. It would be like saying Im going to run a marathon and then not train for it and expect to be able to run the whole course. Its just not going to happen. The benefit is in the practice. Its not the end goal of getting it perfect. It is a practice of training the mind to be still. Go on, give it a try today. 

 

o   Self-massage: stand in the shower without the water running & apply a handful in total of warmed organic black seed sesame oil to your entire body. I offer beautiful Ayurvedic body massage oils blended to balance your doshas. if you are interested email me and I can send you the details. Begin with your scalp (don’t worry it doesn’t make your hair greasy) and don’t forget your head and soles of feet (being careful not to slip in the shower with your oily feet). Use a soft rubbing motion massaging around in circular movements for the joints, and lengthways up and down your arms and legs. Follow this with a hot shower to rinse off. Warm sesame oil penetrates all 7 layers of the skin & will give you a nice winter coat for warmth and protection, boost your immune system, help rejuvenate and revitalise your skin, aid in proper elimination of wastes and give you an all over glow like the old porridge adverts on TV. It also helps with flaky scalp and greying on the scalp.

 

o   Winter Food Suggestions: winter is a time when we feel the need to eat comfort food. Some of us will start to reach for the pasta, home made puddings, chocolate and pies at this time. Well the good news is we can eat hearty meals without the need to put weight on if we keep it simple:

 

  • Breakfast: cooked quinoa, amaranth, barley or tapioca in water or rice milk with a pinch of cinnamon, tumeric, and add it whatever dried or fresh fruit or nuts you like. Mix it up a little so you don’t get bored with the same thing every day.  
  • Lunch: this should be the largest meal of the day. Why I hear you ask? Well because our digestion is at its most effective when the sun is highest in the sky – ie at noon. After that the fire in the sky and our bellies diminishes and we are less efficient at digesting our food and our emotions after this time. – try a nourishing and detoxifying Kichardi of mung dhal and basmati rice with winter herbs. Chicken or turkey can be added for extra strength in winter.
  • Dinner: this should be the lightest and smallest meal of the day – try steamed vegetables and hot home made soup.
  • Drinks: boil ½ tsp fresh ginger + squeeze fresh lemon + ½ tsp cinnamon + pinch cloves + pinch turmeric in cup water for 5 mins and drink – or better still put all ingredients in a thermos flask, fill with boiling water, allow to steep for 5 mins and sip this throughout the day.  This is fabulous for improving circulation, eliminates mucus from the system, helps clean and detox the liver, and stokes your digestive fire so you can easily digest your food and avoid unnecessary weight gain. Its also great for strengthening your immune system and preventing colds + flus.

Winter Herbs: the best herbs for winter are heating, decongestants such as: liquorice; ginger; black pepper and turmeric. Use in teas and/or add to food.

o   Physical Activity: get up a sweat! A brisk walk up a big hill will do it! Put lots of layers on and keep them on to keep the sweat going. Avoid naps during the day in winter and instead go to bed earlier. 

 

o   Bed time: rub 3/4 drops of organic black seed sesame oil on your scalp and soles of the feet to promote sound restful sleep. Avoid stimulating activities 1-2 hours before bed. Yes that includes TV, playstations and iPads folks!!

 

Yoga Nidra: Relax and get back into your body with Yoga Nidra - no this isnt yoga its a meditation practice that talks you through each part of the body to get you into a very deep state of relaxation. Its fantastic for sleep problems and when your mind is whirring away when you're trying to get to sleep. !!! I have just recorded my own Yoga Nidra CD which is now for sale. Contact me for all purchases!!!

 

 Energise ≈ Rejuventate ≈ Vitalise

 

Initiate Ayurveda

Anjani Helen Gregoriou, Ayurvedic Therapist | Energy Healer

0423 550 668 | initiate.ayurveda@gmail.com

www.initiateayurveda.blogspot.com

www.initiate-tours.com

Namaste,
Anjani


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