Winter is the vata time of year. The weather is colder, windier, drier. The nights are long, the days are short.
Winter is time for more yin energy: quiet, inward, reflective, nourishing, calming, dark, slow, stable and tranquil.
The cold, dark nights are guiding us inside ~ within our homes and within ourselves.
This inward pull of energy draws us into our inner realms; our quiet, reflective nature. From this naturally meditative state, we are more easily able to rest in a state of being, to relax and experience more of our intuitive, emotionally sensitive and psychic energies.
More simply, winter is an important time to rest, nourish and repair.
The more we can ebb inward at this time and get the deeper sleep our body needs, the more able we are to flow outward during the brighter, longer days of summer.
Having an easy and relaxing evening, going to bed early, getting lots of deep rest, eating high quality oils and yin- nourishing foods all helps to repair and strengthen the nervous system during these darker days to keep you at your best in the big picture.
Some basic ways to take the best care of yourself from now until spring include:
- Have a relaxing, easy, fun and sweet evening at home. Avoid working or doing too much in the evenings, especially going out often in the winter nights.
- Go to bed early. Really early. Listen for when your body/mind is asking you to turn in. Turn off the tv/ computer/ i-pad and see when you really get tired. If you’re a “night owl” you can train yourself otherwise. If you’re busy and still have a lot of things to do, it’s better to get them done in the early morning than evening.
- Eat more healthy fats to nourish and strengthen the nervous system: nuts, seeds, healthy oils, avocado, ghee, etc are all great options.
- Eat seasonally: warm soups and stews, warm grains/ cereals, warming spices, herbal teas, grounding winter veggies – beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, squashes, etc.
- Practice a daily ritual of massaging oil into your skin (abhyanga). Each day, either before or after you bathe or just before going to bed, massage an unrefined, organic oil into your skin. This amazing self care practice really soothes, strengthens and nourishes the skin and entire nervous system.
- Make time for meditation, preferably each morning around sunrise. If you already have a regular practice, inquire into how it can serve you more. If you don’t, click here to learn more about creating one.
- Rest in silence. Find time to be with yourself, in solitude. See what arises or doesn’t. Let what otherwise has been hidden or unseen be seen, felt, heard, healed and released. Create room for your more quiet nature to emerge and let any insights, dreams and visions come to you. Feel into your more subtle nature to experience your natural intuitive and psychic capabilities.