Welcome the New Year
With Meditation & Self-Care Ideas for the Winter Months
Yoga and Tai Chi are closely related to, some would say parts of, medical, or philosophical, models from their respective countries of India with Ayurveda and China with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Each of these models respect and include nature as one of the major driving forces of health and wellness. If you want to know what is happening outside, look within; if you want to know what is happening within you, look outside.
Accordingly with the seasons, our needs and our ways to meet them change. Many of us naturally do this without realizing we are practicing these principles. We eat differently in winter, generally more cooked foods, than in summer. We dress differently, more layers and less shorts and sandals. We may not be as physically active in winter as in summer. These models, however, give us much more information than how to eat, dress and move. They also give us little lessons in self-care and honoring our bodies and our health and insights into understanding why certain physical conditions or even emotions may be happening and how to cultivate our energy for them.
For example, in TCM, winter is connected to this idea of slowing down and doing less with the intention of building energy for the upcoming year and months. When we do not honor this, sometimes with the busyness of the holidays, we may find ourselves becoming run down and even sick. One way to build energy — throughout the year — is to rest for 20 minutes every day, no distractions, simply focusing on your body and your breathing. As long as there are no health conditions or reasons that would preclude you from having your legs above your heart, such as blood clots, glaucoma/eye pressure, active acid reflux or you are menstruating or pregnant, even better is to lie down on the floor with some support for your head and and to rest your lower legs, from the back of the knees to the heels, on a chair. Cover up your body with a blanket, place a washcloth or eyebag gently over your eyes, and breathe. Twenty minutes.
Another way is to be sure and stay warm over the winter months, including drinking warm liquids and maybe wearing a scarf and vest. In my years of practicing and teaching, I find more and more that I lean on these ideas and their corresponding meditation and breathing ideas to help support me. Each season and year has led to subtle but powerful shifts in my own health and well-being.
For the second year, each season, I would like to share these ideas with you through Seasonal Workshops. The first one for this year is this Sunday and is for winter.
Warmth & Wellness Through Joyful and Contemplative Practices — Seasonal Meditation & Breathwork for the Winter Months
Sunday, January 10th (Payment Due: Wednesday, 1/6/16)
The Way of the Knees: Release, Soothe and Support
Sunday, February 7th (Payment Due: Wednesday, 2/3/16)
A “Sea of Vitality”: How To Find Strength, Ease and Flow in the Low Back
Sunday, March 6th (Payment Due: Wednesday, 3/2/16)