STAYING WELL IN WINTER WHEN WE FEEL LAZY
JANUARY 25TH, 2010: I was out at Target this morning and overheard two ladies one saying to the other: "I'm so over Winter. Yeah I've been over it since it started." Ok. I get that. I'm one of those folks for whom staying well in Winter is hard. My balance is constantly disturbed in the Winter (I’m more sensitive to sound & emotions, more easily agitated, more difficulty concentrating, relationship to food is vastly different – my digestion is more sluggish, I want to eat more but don’t get full, can’t warm up, harder to relax, hold my breath more, tired but not sleepy). Does any of that sound familiar?
For most of my life I thought I was alone. Thank goodness I found Yoga and eventually my studies expanded to include the sister science to Yoga called Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, we are all made up of the 5 elements; ether, air, fire, water and earth. The 5 elements combine to create the three doshas; Vata (air and ether), Pitta (water and fire) and Kapha (water and earth.) We are each born with varying quantities and qualities of the doshas, denoting our unique psychobiological make-up or constitution. One of the three doshas is usually primary, one secondary, and the third least prominent. Health depends on maintaining this proportion in balance.
Here’s the thing. STAYING WELL IN WINTER IS HARDER FOR US IN COLDER CLIMATES.
It is much easier to maintain balance (mentally, emotionally, physically) let’s say in Spring and Fall. So what do we do? Give up? NOPE. That’s not it. If we don’t get off the couch the downward energy and sluggishness INCREASE and we feel worse. Bummer. The answer to maintaining balance (or at least have a shot at it) is to address the high degree of Kapha in all of us this time of year and keep moving. YOGA ENERGIZES: it helps restore energy to a tired body allowing cells, senses and nerves to quiet down. It increases circulation to the adrenals, thyroid and kidneys which are the storehouse of energy. YOGA REDUCES STRESS: it reduces cortisol and other stress hormones which drain the body of energy from being in fight or flight response.
However, the Yoga we should do is a steady slow-flow with some holding of poses and more inversions. So that’s what we’ll offer you. All you have to do to feel your best this Winter is show up for class. You guys we have to keep the momentum going, it’s only January 25th….we have a ways to go until Spring my friends. Just don’t give up! Stay the course.
My themes for evening classes this week:
Jan 25th Level 1 at 6:15pm-7:15pm and Basics 7:30pm-8:30pm: Lazy People’s Yoga
Jan 26th Basics 6:15pm-7:15pm Yoga and Weight Loss and 7:30pm-9pm Level 2 Yogapalooza (linking a gazillion poses gently, sweetly to one another)
Jan 27th 6:15pm Level 1 Slow Flow for Home Practice
Jan 28th 7:30pm Level 1 Using Inversions Safely for Healthy Metabolism
Jan 29th 6pm Level 1 Avoiding Stuckness
Jan 31st 4:30pm Level 1-2 followed by 6pm Wine and Cheese Party (Why Do A Yoga Retreat – Benefits of Spiritual Adventure)
So let’s plan a date. Make and keep this appointment with your LIFE, don’t skip Winter, get out there, stay involved and active in your life! Love the day, Silvia (Bonus article below)
”Staying Well in Winter Conditions
Winter brings in a handful of elements that may disturb the healthy balance we maintain during more moderate seasons. Cold weather disturbs, and increases vata. Add the dryness in the air, caused by indoor heat and it increases doubly. Kapha is affected in damp, cold conditions and can also be also exacerbated from not getting much fresh air and natural light.
When the air outside remains cold, it provokes the Vata quality in us all; inside the constant blowing of dry heat can also disturb vata through the quality of dryness; remember that balancing Vata is key to all individuals since when Vata moves, it directly affects the complementary elements, or doshas, for better or worse. Cold, windy and dry conditions can be hard to avoid altogether, and the following actions can counteract disturbed Vata:
* Staying well covered in cold climates - hats, scarves, and gloves
* Nourishing the insides with warming foods, drinks and spices to promote internal fire
*Do more Yoga. Slowly flowing and interspersed with longer holdings an inversions to keep energy moving upward. Make sure to stay warm during the whole practice and cover up during savasana at the end of the practice
* Special attention to skin care in cold/dry conditions - keeping the skin, hair and nails hydrated and lubricated
* Establish and keep to a daily routine - balancing vata in this way will help to keep all the doshas in balance”
MANAGING YOUR ENERGY: WHY AM I SO TIRED?
AUGUST 5TH, 2008: Do you remember Justin Timberlake last year or so had a new album and song about “bringing sexy back” I want to bring ENTHUSIASM BACK – LIVING with passion, vitality, zest!
Did you know that the single most common symptom amongst all disease is fatigue? This class tonight will demonstrate how the multiple causes of fatigue are interrelated and how you can experience more energy through yoga.
· One in four Americans complains of enduring fatigue, and blames everything from a lack of sleep to that general bugaboo: stress.
· Approximately 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with their having a normal life.
· 80% of American women & men suffer from Adrenal Fatigue at some point in their lives.
· Approximately 20% of fatal road accidents involve driver fatigue
· The average working mother spends 44 hours/week at work and 31 hours on family responsibilities per week in effect holding almost two full time jobs.
· The average working father spends 47 hours/week at work and 15 hours on family responsibilities
CAUSES: Fatigue is caused by a wide range of medical conditions so of course always see a doctor if the condition has existed for a long time.
A - Adrenal Fatigue – Affects up to 80% of the population! If you are most tired between 3pm – 5pm AND have suffered a number of shocks, or blessings, within the past couple of years, you could be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
A - Anxiety - "The on-switch for every negative picture that you've ever had about yourself." -Dr. Harriett Lerner
Physical symptoms: Fatigue, sweating, headaches, irritability, need to frequently urinate, insomnia, feeling easily startled and overwhelmed, difficulty breathing and intensification of PMS and menopause symptoms.
C - Constipation - Constipation feeds fatigue, literally. Because toxins aren't being eliminated properly, they are in fact building up and demanding more of your body's energy to process and store. If you do not regularly have 2-3 bowel movements a day, you are constipated.
E - Eye Strain - Spending all day staring at a monitor, watching the road while driving, needlepoint, T.V.
H - Hypersensitivity: A trait that makes about 20% of the population more aware and affected by all kinds of subtle messages from the outside and inside. "It's not that our eyes or ears are sharper. It's that we process more deeply the information we receive." -Dr. Elaine N. Aron, author, The Highly Sensitive Person
N - Nutritional Deficiencies
P - Perfectionism: Did you know that perfectionism is the ultimate form of self-abuse and is a major source of stress and fatigue, especially in women.
How yoga fits in
· YOGA HELPS WITHOUT HARMING: Gentle asana practice stretches muscles, keeps us limber, releases tension in muscles without straining the body the way overly vigorous aerobic exercise can.
· YOGA BRINGS AWARENESS: where are you Leaking Energy? (Tight jaw, Wrinkled forehead, Pursed lips, Hunched shoulders?)
· YOGA HAS NO PRE-REQUISITES: Yoga and breathing exercises can be done no matter how tired you are to help rejuvenate you. It can be practiced anywhere. It is transportable
· YOGA ENERGIZES: helps restore energy to tired body allowing cells, senses and nerves to quiet down. It increases circulation to the adrenals, thyroid and kidneys which are the storehouse of energy.
· YOGA REDUCES STRESS: Yoga reduces cortisol and other stress hormones which drain the body from fight or flight response
· YOGA BRINGS BALANCE: Yoga makes the whole metabolic system function better, with increased immunity, better digestion, better sleep, regulation of hormones, it brings energy/vitality and is the great equalizer.
· BENEFIT comes from consistent practice over a long period of time
· Yoga EMPOWERS us to take back control. You are actively involved.
· Yoga teaches STILLNESS. To hear what is going on, to listen to the answers instead of replaying worry tapes over and over.
· SLOW DOWN people breathing: When you are anxious, natural breathing is inhibited. The diaphragm freezes, failing to move air downward as you inhale, which means that you don't let your lungs fully expand and fill with air. "And when you don't get enough oxygen, the brain receives a 'danger' signal, which perpetuates your mind-body state of anxiety," explains Jonathan Davidson, M.D., director of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Program at