Tips from Trail Head for Winter

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First, thank you Trail Head for letting me come and chat away.

Second: Winter.  It’s cold.  It’s dry.  It’s unstable.

We also have a tendency to be cold, dry, and unstable (think: stress) during the winter.  How do we keep ourselves healthy in the transition from fall to winter, the transition to holiday craziness, and the transition from the old year to the new?

#1.  Know yourself.  What are your personal weaknesses and tendencies?  Where are you most likely to go out of balance and how do you catch it before it happens?  There’ll be more on this at the Introduction to Ayurveda class in January .

#2.  Balance the cold, dry, and unstable qualities of winter by applying opposites.
Cold with warm.
Dry with moist.
Unstable with stable.

Simple winter tips from our Trail Head Talk:

Eat seasonally.  Our winter foods are naturally warm, moist, and grounding (stable). Our winter foods are rich in healthy fats, they tend to be cooked (which also makes them easier to digest), and are heavy (grounding and stabilizing).  Nourish from the inside out.

Routines. Routines give our body, and mind, stability.  Find a consistent sleep routine (ideally, we want to go to bed early and wake up early).  Eat your meals on a consistent schedule. The body doesn’t think: “Oh, food’s coming later, we live in the first world.” No, the body thinks: “Uh, where’s the food?  Is this the apocalypse?”  It gets stressed out on a very basic survival level AND it holds onto everything.  Yep, that excess weight you’ve been trying to get rid of just might be stress.  We’ll talk much more about this (and living in the daily, seasonal, and lifetime rhythms) in February’s Ayurvedic Routines class.

Start your day with a mug of hot water.  This is warm, hydrating, and wakes up the digestive system.  Add ginger for an extra kick of warmth, lemon for a gentle cleanse, or honey to help clear mucus.

–Sesame oil is warm and nourishing and heavy.  It balances all the winter qualities. Massage your body daily with oil.  Don’t like sesame oil?  There are plenty of Ayurvedic oils to choose from.  Let me know if you’d like help choosing an oil to support your unique needs from sleepless nights to finding mental clarity to support for bones and joints.  Follow your self massage with a warm bath or shower (be mindful of oil on your tub–it can be slippery).

–Can’t sleep?  Stabilize your body and mind with oil.  Massage your feet with oil and dab a touch of oil on the top of your head before crawling into bed.  A mug of warm milk with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg sweetened with maple syrup (Evening Golden Milk) can also be helpful to ground the energy for a good night’s sleep…and it’s nourishing and warm.

Feel free to contact me with follow up questions!!

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2 thoughts on “Tips from Trail Head for Winter

  1. Thanks for the great information last night will definitely be trying some of your hints. I want to get the oils you suggested for my broken ankle, Sue Martin


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the class. Looking forward to getting you back on the hiking trails ASAP. Please let me know if you have any questions moving forward.


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