9 tips for tailoring your practice for winter + ayur veda insight, from Melina Meza

I heart sharing Melina Meza’s posts on Joy for Life. She’s truly tuned into how yoga and Ayur Veda can be used to keep our good health mojo flowing. Even my Ayur Vedic doc Shiva would love her recommendations. Here’s her latest blog, outlining what to alter about your practice for Winter. I can personally vouch for how all of her suggestions will rock your routine. I do them all, too. Except the sit by a light-box idea; making sure I get outside every day works for me–especially first thing in the morning.

by Melina Meza, BS Nutrition, 500-RYT

Winter Elements = Earth + Water
•Earth qualities: stable, rigid, grounding
•Water qualities: fluid, cooling, calming, graceful

Here we are again on the cusp of another winter. Are you ready? I hope so! In this blog and upcoming Seasonal Vinyasa Winter retreats in Mexico or Hawaii, I will be sharing numerous ways to drop deeper into your sadhana (path of practice) and awaken your own potential for self-healing and bliss.

The cold, dark, wet nature of winter makes it the easiest time of year for me to personally drop deeper into my sadhana. My winter practice includes more silence, longer meditations, focused home practice, change in my diet, and boundaries around my social life. If I’m going to bed early and saying “no” to excessive amounts of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol throughout the day, I find it’s easier to sleep and maintain a healthy immune system, avoid seasonal affect disorder and decreases the chances of putting on too much extra winter weight. Keep in mind that the more imbalanced you get at this part of the year, the harder it is to get back on track in the springtime. I highly recommend over the next few months discovering what inspires you to stay healthy this winter and make that part of your daily sadhana.

Since we are part of Nature, you too have the opportunity to be graceful and let the seasons flow without clinging or grasping. It’s natural to have preferences for certain seasons, times of year that resonate with your core elements and make us feel more like ourselves. And yet, developing equanimity and contentment with all seasons—regardless of dosha, or where you live—is essential to well-being. This is where the art of sequencing can be instrumental and serve of great benefit. Here are a few suggestions from my upcoming Art of Sequencing – Volume Two book, to start weaving into your morning winter ritual:

•Wake up at 6:00-7:00am (the yogic version of sleeping in) and greet the day with gratitude for another opportunity to celebrate life.

•Wash your face, brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, do a neti pot, and lubricate your nostrils with oil or ghee.

•Drink hot lemon water with a little sea salt in the morning to stimulate elimination.

•Meditate 5-30 minutes (on snow, candle flame in the cave of the heart, or image of the sun).

•Do your active, warming asanas, Sun Salutations, inversions, and balance poses to promote circulation, or go outside, or to the gym, for a 20 minutes (minimum) cardiovascular workout.

•Sit in front of a light box if you struggle with seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.).

•Exfoliate your skin and improve circulation with a gentle dry brush rub before showering.

•Perform abhyanga, a full-body self-massage, which calms the nervous system and hydrates the skin. In the winter, apply sesame oil (leave the oil on for 10-30 minutes) and then take a hot shower, which will open your pores and allow the oil to be absorbed into your skin.

•Enjoy a warm breakfast in a quiet space.

Stay tuned for more ideas to grow your daily ritual next month.

About Melina 
Melina has been exploring the art and science of yoga and nutrition for over 16 years. She combines her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda, whole foods nutrition, and healthy lifestyle promotion into a unique style called Seasonal Vinyasa. Find out more at http://www.melinameza.com/

RELATED10 tips on creating and maintaining your daily practice

Dec 2, 2010 · Comment (1)

1 Comment · Add Yours

Dear Melina,I will tweak a little what you suggested.First You must wake up at 5.00 A.M.(Forget 6 or 7)Then wash your face and brush and blah blah..Then DO MEDITATE for 20 minutes. (Meditation technique cannot be elaborated here as it is very vast subject)Then do Surya Namaskara (sun salutation).Then also perform three basic asanas.But do not forget to perform dead posture or corpse posture (Shavasana)Then you can take warm lemon water with a very little salt. BUT this is not recommended for thin people. Mind it.Then go to a holy place (Temple, Church or Mosque) for a prayer with a commitment of doing good to others for about 15 minutes.These whole process would be ended within 7 AM and you are Super Refreshed in Mind Body and Spirit.Try it.ThanksKindest to you,Manidip


Add your comment