Hello Winter! Welcome to the season of chill, rain, wind and a lot less sunshine than I am ready to handle. There used to be a time where we were so connected to our bodies and the cycles and seasons of life, that when illness appeared it was a time to check in physically, mentally and emotionally. That time is slowly, but surely, making a comeback.
I have to admit that living in Los Angeles gives me the upper hand and I have access to the information, the nutrition, the guidance and the support that allows me to heal from the inside out. But I’d like to think that, for the most part, we are all able to access the tools we need to find some inner calm, that keeps us working like the well-oiled machine that we are expected to be. There is a lot that is asked of us on a daily basis, whether it is your work, your family, your relationships, or just your personality that asks you to put in 150% into everything that you do. This can weigh on us, ESPECIALLY during the holidays. All this exists on a daily basis, and then .. queue Thanksgiving dinner, AND PIE. Sprinkle in some Friendsgivings and birthdays, pop a little Christmas dinner in there and don’t forget the New Year’s bash.
What I’m getting at, is that the holidays breed plenty of shift in our normal routine, probably when we need that routine the most. This is where we get to touch base with that natural cycle of life and get creative with it! I grew up in a Persian and French household, with more ancient remedies than seems believable, and for a long time, I brushed off a lot of the remedies as nonsense. Younger me was so cute and naive. Who knew watermelon and cucumbers really do help with headaches? Who knew my grandma was right when she said that waking up with 10 minutes of floor bicycles kicks in the mornings will change your day? Who knew that tea after every dinner wasn’t just another reason to gather and talk, a lot? Well it is another excuse to chat around the dinner table, but it also helps the food digest after a big meal. And those bicycle kicks, gets the heart racing, increases endorphins, elevates your mood!
Over the past few years I have attended some Yoga Teacher Trainings and Ayurvedic programs.. thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours… to hear the same wonderful lessons I have been hearing about my entire life. Pssst, the elders were right, about all of it.
Especially Turmeric – its gold; as are cooked veggies, grains, soups and all the spices! This winter, if you do anything differently, let it be that you trust the lessons that you already know, and take the time to tune in with what your body is telling you it needs!
My daily routines that keep me connected are what I like to come back to, when I feel a cold coming on, when I am on my monthly cycle, and when all is right and solid. This is how I want my days to look and feel! I wake up early and spend the first 15 minutes of my morning with movement. My movement of choice is yoga, lots of sun salutations and seated twists, forward folds and backbends, they are a reminder that I can create and move from an internal fire, I create that momentum. Then I get my chai tea with honey and almond milk or some coffee and I meditate. After this little routine, I get ready and I’m off for the day.
During the week, I like to take a yoga class after work, usually a fun mid-level flow where I can sweat it out! During the weekends, I really dive in. I like to extend my morning routine and have a full practice early in the mornings, by myself, while the world is still quiet. Since I am at home practicing, it’s much different than the flow classes I usually take during the week. I like it to be active and invigorating, but I have to say, I find a much deeper connection to my breath and movement during these weekend flows. I move in every direction, I move with DEEP intention, I move faster and slower depending on what my body and mind need. This is a practice that is developed without a clock and without too much structure. It’s a free flow.
Maybe yoga is your thing and you know exactly what this delicious feeling is, maybe yoga isn’t your thing. There is some movement out there that is exactly what you need, and I am the biggest advocate for taking time for yourself to explore it without instruction or time limit or self-critique. Move, because that is our human nature.