I look around me, boxes stacked, familiar things I have loved and travelled with are either tucked away or given to loved ones as memories of us journeying together on this path of life in love and light.
I scan my body, and feel discomfort, a sense of instability. I steady my gaze on the stack of familiar things that will stay close to me as I transition to my new home in Central Virginia. I feel contentment, and grounded-ness once again.
How grateful I am to remember a Universal Law of Life, Opposites Balance. I appreciate the importance of changing things little by slowly, so I can maintain balance in my mind, body and Spirit. I remember the Principle of Life that suggests that what is happening in my environment (macro-cosmos) influences my internal environment (micro-cosmos). Another opportunity to create balance for myself and loved ones. The ability to offset the cold, dry, windy qualities of the winter season with warmth, moisture, and conditions creating stability in my mind, body and soul. The wisdom of nature applied to my life offers the medicine of well-being, balance and healing.
Awesome preventive actions that promote health and empowerment!
As we experience this transformational and introspective season of movement, reflection and starkness, may you develop practices of self-care that offer ease
and comfort to your life and to the lives of those you love!
Namaste (“I recognize the love and light, the Divinity in your heart”) and Love,
Debbie Vigneri (Devoted to the life-long study of Yoga and Ayurveda)
Seasonal Foods as Medicine
The environment provides nourishment, health and sustainability. What types of seasonal foods are available that provides health, well-being and energy?
*Starchy and root vegetables (potatoes and squash)
*Wintry weather greens: sea vegetables, kale, collards, chard. Artichokes later in the winter
*Warming Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, cumin, salt, black pepper, chilies, and vinegar in moderation), unrefined sweeteners such as maple syrup, raw honey and molasses
*Warmed and spiced milk (cow’s or goat’s), and yogurt
*Raw or roasted nuts and nut butters
*Moisture filled grains, such as wheat, brown rice, and oats (cooked with extra water)
*Fruits that are heavy, moist and have building qualities such as, oranges, bananas, dates, figs, papayas, mangoes, grapefruits, and lemons (in late winter)
Proteins, such as lentils, small beans, tofu, eggs, and most meats
*Self-massage with warming sesame oi in the morning and if needed at night. Heat your oil and mix a favorite essential oil to further enhance relaxation of the nervous system (para-sympathetic branch of the central nervous system). Start at your feet and work your way up toward the head. Arms and legs receive long strokes, circular motion at joints, abdomen and scalp. After at least 20 mins. take a hot shower to facilitate passage of the oil applied, into the pores of the skin for deep penetration. Avoid using soap and blot dry the skin.
*Dress Warmly protecting ears and neck from the sharpness of the cold, wind and cold temperatures
*Swab the nostrils and ears (outer) with sesame oil
*Use a humidifier in sleeping space at night
*Sit in a steam room or in a hot bath
*Moderate motion such as, yoga, dancing or walking
Winter Spice Recipe:
(from: Kate O”Donnell, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, pg. 269)
Providing the balancing tastes of salty, sweet and sour. These spices induce warmth and movement of prana (energy/circulation)
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tbsp., turmeric powder
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. pink salt
To taste cinnamon powder (1/2-1 tsp.) or i?2 tsp. sugarcane
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. black pepper (optional)
In a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet, dry roast coriander and cumin seeds (only for 2 mins. or less until their scent is in the air). Set aside to cool. When thoroughly cooled combine with other ingredients and grind (with hand grinder or mortar and pestle). Store in a recycled glass spice shaker or glass container with a tightly fitting lid to preserve freshness.
Practice sitting quietly after some Mindful Motion Yoga, and sense the breath. By growing the length of your exhalation, your body will now sense a calmness and enter into the para-sympathetic nervous system (the energy or prana can be directed to resting and digesting). Follow our video for the technique specifics.
Mindful Motion (Visit our video for instructions)
Due to the elements (air and ether) that make-up this season, grounding and connecting to the earth for a sense of stability is essential to establishing balance. View our video for the following suggested daily postures (asanas):
With each posture, practice deep, complete breathing.
* Goat Pose (grounding and direction of energy downward for stability, strengthens the legs and adds to lower body circulation of energy/prana)
*Yoga Mudra (alleviates constipation, lifts the mood, eases sciatica, low back discomfort and headache tension)
*Bridge Pose (relieves back pain)
Message In the Wind
Prayers to the Infinite by Dana Faulds
The wind snatches a thought from my head
and makes off with it before I can catch it again.
Of course I don’t really try. Why would I, thoughts being cheaper than cow dung? But now the laces of my mind come undone, and I can’t help myself- I run barefoot in the snow while my hair billows out like a wild pony’s mane.
“Here I am, take all of me,” I yell at the wind, who grabs the words from my mouth and howls in reply. “I really mean it!” I shout, “Take me. Liberate me.
Sweep me away from my routines and what I think
I know about the truth. When I wake up, let it be to a whole new life, a new me, no beliefs or preconceived ideas to fetter creativity.”
The wind roars but it ignores me. Twigs, leaves, bits of ice, a piece of plastic bag blow past while I stand there, jumping from one freezing foot to the other.
Finally, the wind dies down just long enough to give me this advice:
“Go inside before you catch your death,” it says. “Go in and seek your own road to liberation.
Mine looks like hurricanes and cooling summer breezes.
Mine takes the shape of tornadoes, and the lightest touch of air moving across a bear breast.
Find you own way, and when you do, pursue it with abandon.”
So I go indoors, plunge my frigid feet into a tub of the hottest water
I can stand and feel like I’ve won the lottery, or been to France.
I feel like nothing is the same, but it’s still me
I see reflected in the mirror.
I dry my toes and dance with such passion that
I dissolve like honey in hot tea and never hear the wind whistle at me as it rushes past the window.