Winter Season is
Kapha Season

Four Inspirations for Self-Love and Nurturing This Winter

 

Have you ever focused your gaze at a flower? It’s no wonder that great artists look to nature for inspiration. What could be more perfect?

 

As we head into winter, we can learn from meditating on a flower. Winter gives us a chance to align ourselves with seasonal shifts in the stars and earth. Plant seeds of self-awareness, and know that, like a flower in spring, they will bloom beautifully in time. All we need is to trust the workings of the Universe.

 

My birthday is December 8th. In honor of the change of seasons and my personal connection to this month, I want to share my favorite ways to nurture your yoga lifestyle.

 

Winter Inspiration #1: Always Remember Kapha

 

Winter is ruled by Kapha energy. In Ayurveda philosophy this is mostly about protection. Kapha’s coldness, heaviness, and density can provide a sense of security and stability, yet become oppressive if it’s not balanced. Add stimulation and warmth in all areas of your life, to get the most out of the season without letting it weigh you down. For example:

 

  • Keep to a routine
  • Connect with the season – take daily walks outside in the sunlight with a hat to keep the warmth in!
  • Reduce intake of dairy and sweets

 

Winter Inspiration #2: Nourish the Seeds of Physical Wellness

 

Nurture our whole being by being mindful of what we put into our bodies. Avoid the tendency to overeat by having three meals a day at set times. Follow with Ayurvedic seasonal guidance. Aim for foods that are lighter, drier, bitter, pungent, astringent, and warming.

 

  • Eat smaller meals and drink plenty of liquids!
  • Lightly cooked fruits and vegetables – eat only small amounts of raw as this cools you
  • Cabbage, dark leafy greens, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beans, eggplant, dark chocolate
  • Enjoy spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves,turmeric, paprika

 

I love to balance the coldness of the Kapha season with warm, nourishing teas. Here are two of my favorite blends:

 

Balance Tea

  • 1 to 2 C water
  • 1 cardamom pod crushed, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • boil for 3 minutes, then strain
  • optional- add a touch of honey
  • sip and enjoy!

 

Yogi Tea

  • 1 to 2 C water
  • 1t ginger, 1T coriander seeds, 1T cumin seeds, 1 T fennel seeds
  • boil for 3 minutes, then strain
  • optional- add a little honey
  • sip and enjoy!

 

Winter Inspiration #3: Love Yourself First Daily Rituals

 

Along with food and nutrition, nourish your yoga lifestyle this winter with morning and evening rituals.

 

Morning Ritual

  • Start your day early—before 6 AM if possible, and include in your bathroom routine these steps:
  • Body: take a warm bath or shower
  • Face: splash face, including eyes and ears with cool to warm water
  • Mouth: brush teeth, floss, use tongue scraper
  • Nose: clean nose with Neti Pot rinse and Nasya Oil drops
  • Finish with light all-over massage with organic sesame and sunflower oil

 

Next, devote at least 20 minutes to your physical practice—in this season, it’s especially important to get up and get moving. If you think you don’t have 20 minutes, try removing some (or all) the apps from your electronic devices! Here are my suggestions for your winter morning practice:

 

  • Mantra: “OM” – this sound represents the beginning transformation infinite energy of the Universe
  • Asana that stimulate digestion, increase metabolism, and lighten tissues. My physical practices always begin with moving the spine six ways
  • Three of my favorite Kapha season postures are: Warrior I, Warrior II, and Triangle
  • Pranayama – Bellows Breath or Bhastrika
  • Meditation – “My inner light burns warm and bright, energizing every cell of my being”

 

Evening Ritual

  • Wind down your day for relaxation, sleep. Include in your bathroom routine:
  • Body: take a warm bath or shower
  • Face: splash face, including eyes and ears with cool to warm water
  • Mouth: brush teeth, floss, use tongue scraper
  • Finish with light all-over massage with Marianne’s Body Butter

 

Your bedtime practice is the time to focus on giving to yourself:

 

  • Mantra: “lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu” – a Sanskrit prayer for peace and freedom for all people
  • Asanas that soothe the areas of your body that accumulate tension from the day. Always good to move the spine six ways
  • Three of my favorite evening postures are: Forward Pigeon, Legs-Up-the-Wall, and Headstand
  • Pranayama – Alternative Nostral Breath or Nadi Shodhana
  • Meditation – “My inner light burns warm and bright, soothing every cell of my being”

 

Special tip: Organize your bedroom to create a sanctuary for relaxation and sleep! Reduce clutter and soothe your energy by avoiding electronics, work from the office, or other daytime projects.

 

Winter Inspiration #4: Living the Yoga Life

 

As the season of Kapha energy, winter’s natural element is water–symbolizing introspection and receptivity. Take advantage of Kapha energy in your personal and spiritual life. Now is a good time for dream journeying, looking within for guidance from the Universe – or whatever you conceive of as a higher power. Take note of your observations. You won’t be disappointed.

 

In your relationships, tell everyone you love them, and practice gratitude. Say thank you often! Forgive someone who hurt you. Forgive yourself. This was Jesus’ message to the world, and one we can easily forget in the holiday season of over-consumption and commercialization.

 

What does all this add up to? Winter offers us a beautiful way to celebrate every experience the Universe brings us in each moment. Tending to body, mind and soul nurtures beautiful “blooms” in the months to come. Cheers to your healthy Kapha season!!

 

Namaste,
Marianne

 

Photo credit to Holly Shankland @hollyshankland

3 Comments

  • Bre Sanassarian

    05.12.2017 at 09:41 Reply

    Absolutely loved this. Super helpful coming into the cold Kapha season. Thank you for always inspiring and nurturing! Get on with your Kapha self <3

  • Ann Ehlers

    05.12.2017 at 12:10 Reply

    These are wonderful – printing out for reference!

  • Melanie Bell

    06.12.2017 at 05:27 Reply

    Thank you for so much information and love!
    It really did come at the right time.
    Happiest Birthday to my teacher and giver of the good stuff!
    Melanie Bell

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