7 Healthy Habits for Winter

Winter is a time to enjoy the more snuggly and warm things in life. It’s an opportunity to get out the gorgeous soft blankets and surround yourself with the beautiful warm light of candles in your home to create a cosy, warm and nurturing environment. Here’s 7 healthy habits that can get you through a cold winter into the New Year and beyond.

1. Create a cosy home

For myself, I often enjoy the oncoming winter months as the light draws in. I look forward to cocooning into my nest at home and creating a warm and cosy space. I’m thinking candles, snugly blankets and throws, and anything that makes your home feel like you can really relax into it.

2. Take time to rest and rejuvenate

Strange as it seems we can often find resting and rejuvenation difficult, as it is hard to jump off the hamster wheel. There are some fantastic resting postures and restorative Yoga which can be really restoring for your body. I’m thinking Viparita Karani or Legs up the Wall posture. It is fantastic for boosting your immune system, replenishing and nourishing organs, re- energising- the list is endless. Check out the link http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/legs-up-the-wall-pose/

3. Find out what herbal supplements are right for you

There are many natural supplements which can support you over Winter and it is important to find the right ones for you. It may be you suffer from cold hands and feet and Gingko Biloba may suit or something to boost and support your immune system – Echinacea for example. Take a visit to your local Independent Health Food shop to have a chat.

4. Give your pineal gland some love

The Pineal Gland has been known for a long time by ancient civilisations. Rene Descartes discussed it as “The Seat of the “rational soul”. It is now seen as another master gland by science. Its function is to transmit information to the body pertaining to the length of daylight, therefore helping us to stay attuned to nature. Get out during the day and allow the light into your pineal gland to help keep you feeling positive and balanced throughout the winter months. Yoga Inversions such as Downward Dog and Standing Forward Bend are great to stimulate this gland too.

5. Boost your nutrition with healthy, hearty food or with juices.

Cooking and enjoying a home cooked meal for some is priceless or you may want to get yourself an invite round to a friend or family member who loves to feed people! We recommend good hearty meals with pulses, curries, juices and lovely herbal teas to warm your insides.

 Try this simple juice recipe for those cold winter mornings! 

  • 1 apple
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small beetroot with tops
  • 1 small knob of ginger (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Juice, stir in the cayenne afterward and enjoy!

6. Attend a Yoga Class or Winter Workshop and put a spring in your step

In my Dru Yoga classes, at this time of year, the key focus is on rest and rejuvenation. We spend lots of time breathing into stretches and have extra-long relaxations which benefit and nourish your whole body and mind; we spend time practising movements which balance the emotions.

Joining a group of like-minded people in a day or half day workshop can be just the ticket to give you a boost in the colder months. Allow a practitioner to guide you through a lovely restorative Yoga session, reap the rewards of meditating with a group and let your immune system and sense of wellbeing be transported to a different place.

We are holding a Circle of Candlelight Winter Workshop at the beautiful Sanctuary of Healing, Langho in Blackburn. For more information see our Facebook page.

7. Reflect on all your achievements of the last year

Winter is a great time to reflect on all that we have achieved in the year. As we make time to go inward and notice the beauty in the stillness you may notice life becomes a little less hectic, our relationships are enhanced as we have more energy to show love and care for those we love around us and equally as important we have energy for ourselves. Within Taoist philosophy the yang energy of summer is warm, dry, extroverted, fast and male which is suited to more energetic activity. However, the yin energy of winter which is cool, wet, slow, quiet and female, it is very different and is more suited more to storing and conserving energy.

Our suggestion is to quietly and think about what will nourish and nurture you over the coming months? How will you ensure you are making the most of the light throughout the day? It could be that you incorporate a short walk (20 minutes is the recommendation) to ensure you are exposing yourself to light or treat yourself to an uplifting workshop.

Maybe taking up a relaxation practice, yoga or meditation can assist you to tune into the stillness of winter. Buy candles and surround yourself with the warmth and light of a gentle flame. The first step is recognising what nourishes you and prioritise your life to experience it.

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