Winter Yoga through the Lens of Ayurveda

The Science of Life

The snowflakes twinkle with a soft glow as I tilt my head up towards the sky to feel them as they land gently on my skin. I feel the wetness created as they are heated and change states. The silence and stillness around me help me to focus on the moment, this time of transformation and stark beauty.

For me winter holds a melancholy feeling. I begin remembering the loss of people, places and things.  I long for the familiar, the ease of certainty.  Why do things have to change?

How can I embrace change as the snowflake? How can I remember the balance of letting go and letting in? When I am willing to let go of the past, a newness floods in. I am recreated! New loved ones, experiences, and circumstances allow me to grow in different directions and stretch beyond what I ever thought possible.

When I remember this principle, I appreciate the tempering this season offers in all ways. Great opportunities to come in the Spring of a new time.

Namaste (I honor the light and Divinity within us), Debbie

Debbie Vigneri, Devoted body worker, student of Ayurveda, Student and Instructor of Yoga and Health Coach

May you have great ease as you let go, may you grow and flourish beyond your wildest dreams. May the information and suggestions offered here benefit you in every way.


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

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.


  • 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 Lifestyle

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.


Breath Work

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 Yoga

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. With each posture, practice deep, complete breathing.

View our videos on YouTube  for the following suggested daily postures (asanas):

“Every body can do yoga!”

Debbie

Debbie Vigneri

Yoga Instructor

 

 

 

  • 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)

 

 

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