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Winter Blues

Blooming purple crocus

I’m having a bit of writer’s block… normally I find it easy to sit down and write out a few paragraphs about something that’s captured my attention in the recent days. I think my attention is tired. I’m tired of snow, I’m done with freezing temperatures, and I am ready for some genuine SPRING! I think my writer’s block is some winter sluggishness that just needs a little encouragement to let go and #beginagain.

In Ayurveda, the study of life and healing, and the sister science of yoga, Spring is a time for transitions and new beginnings. Spring is the season to shrug off the heavy sluggishness of winter. Can you say, “Yes, please!”

But shedding the sluggishness of winter doesn’t just happen because we turn the clocks ahead or put away our winter shovel. You did remember to adjust your clock, right? Ayurveda (pronounced “Eye-Yur-veda”) is all about daily habits to support and bring the body into harmonious balance by cultivating sattvic nature.  Sattva is a complex concept in Indian philosophy, and it means “pure, essence, nature, vital, energy, clean, conscious, strong, courage, true, honest, wise, rudiment of life”. Kapha is the ayurvedic dosha or constitution of Spring that rules earth and water qualities. Kapha provides lubrication for the joints, mucus to protect sensitive tissues of the sinuses, lungs and stomach; it also determines the size, strength and suppleness of our muscles. When Kapha is in balance, we feel strong, composed, and stable. When it’s out of balance, we might feel sleepy, mentally dull or depressed. We might have writer’s block or a “life vitality block”.

To compensate for the lingering heavy effects of Winter, Spring is a great time to recommit to a wellness routine. Establish a pattern, rhythm, or practice that encourages movement and creates space for strength, heat and effort. Spring is all about renewing vitality and remembering hope. Do you get excited at the first sprouts of crocus and daffodils? I do!

The pelvis and the legs are the anatomical center for Kapha dosha. As such, asana (postures) that use the legs and pelvis are great ways to shed the lethargy of winter. Practices that lift our spirit and our bodies, that warm us up and ask us to apply a little effort are great ways to shift the energy and restore balance. Don’t be surprised if you see more standing postures in your yoga classes at Life’sWork Yoga in the coming weeks.

In your intentional self-care routine, explore these yoga practices to help shift heaviness in your life:

  • Asana: Goddess Pose (or add a pulse between 5-pointed star and goddess)
  • Pranayam: Ujjayi (ocean breath) or Kapalabhati (quick forced exhale and passive inhale)
  • Meditation: movement meditation like walking or free form dancing

May you breathe deeply, move freely, labor lovingly and live vibrantly.