7 Yogi Tips for Winter

Winter tips, yogaAs the seasons change, we need to adjust and change too. During winter months, the days get shorter and colder. We get less sun (and less vitamin D). It is cold and flu season. We may also feel the stress and overindulgences that come with the holidays. Here are some tips to fight the blues and make these winter months more meaningful and productive. Many of these tips are based in Ayurveda (the ancient science of wellbeing behind yoga).
1) Winter is the season for quiet contemplation. Let yourself slow down. Take time to reflect and relax. It is a great time to add meditation or journaling to your daily routine.
2) Get an adequate night’s sleep (6-8 hours at night). Taking naps during winter months and sleeping too long causes sluggishness and should be avoided.  
3) Fight the blues by brightening up your space. Clear some clutter. Playing music you love. Increase the lighting. Use aromatherapy oils to make your home smell fresh.
4) Get some sun. It is so easy to avoid going outside when it is cold. Just bundle up and take an invigorating walk in the crisp air. Your body and your mind will thank you!
5) Adjust your winter diet to raise and sustain your energy level:

  • Start the day with a cleansing, warm (not hot) drink with lemon and honey.
  • Avoid heavy foods such as wheat, dairy, nuts, and excess sweets. 
  • Bitter, pungent and astringent tastes are also recommended. This includes bitter greens like broccoli, arugula, endive, dandelion greens, cabbage, brussel sprouts, garlic, and onions. 
  • Also try warming spices such as turmeric, cumin, fennel, black pepper, fenugreek, cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. 
  •  Avoid ice-cold beverages. Ginger tea after meals aids digestion.

6) Get plenty of exercise. A regular yoga practice can keep the body strong and supple as well as support the immune system.
7) The body naturally reacts to the brisk cold by tightening, stiffening and contracting the muscles. Warm and loosen the muscles with yoga. Treat yourself to a hot stone or deep tissue massage. Daily self-massage is also a great practice. See video below for instruction.