Winter is a season that invites us to slow down and turn inward. It is a time to rest, reflect, rejuvenate, and imagine. However, depending on your inner nature and current state of balance, you may feel either soothed or aggravated by the qualities of winter. If you feel lethargic, heavy, or uninspired, you might be experiencing the effects of the Kapha energy that dominates the season.
To balance the energy within you, it is essential to shift your practices to promote self-care and balance as the energy of nature changes. Yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation are powerful practices that can help decrease the intensity of your symptoms.
Asanas are favoured during the morning hours of 6-10 AM, which can help balance the dark, cold mornings and give you the grounding or uplifting you need to start your day at ease. Honouring which dosha is dominant outside your door, as well as within you, will be an essential factor for balancing your mental health and keeping your nervous system functioning well during the winter.
To balance kapha energy, try to create heat and intensity while practising at about 60-80% of your capacity. Pranayama practices that are good for kapha energy are Kapalabhati (skull shining breath) and Bhastrika (bellows breath) to create warmth, boost energy, increase circulation, and support digestion.
For Vata energy, slow inhales and exhales, as well as Belly Breathing, are especially helpful and grounding in the moment. 3-Part Breath can create deeper, more even breaths, and Alternate Nostril (Nadi Shodhanam) can help create balance.
In addition to asana and pranayama, Yoga Nidra is a science of deep conscious rest and an ancient technique designed to help you detach from your unpleasant thoughts, release tension and pain from your body, promote peace throughout your being, and tap into your innermost need. This practice can improve your ability to relax, rest, and sleep while supporting your nervous system, mental health, and overall well-being.
This winter, remain tuned in to the conversation your body and mind are having with you. Notice the energy that is present within and around you so you can meet yourself with the grounding or uplifting you need. Allow your yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation practices to support your nervous system, mental health, and overall well-being like a soft, warm, and cozy blanket throughout the season.