As the seasons shift, our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change that serves to harmonize and create balance within us. These changes are usually influenced by the seasons themselves: hours of daylight, foods that are abundant at particular times of the year, weather patterns and seasonally inspired activities.
Although your body will adjust to these changes naturally, it never hurts to integrate some simple tweaks into your routine to aid in the transition and link yourself more intimately with the season that is upon you.
It is important that we change with the seasons just as nature does by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices. During the winter season, the energy of the Earth and its creatures is drawn inward. We can use this time for restoration and introspection, just as many plants and animals use it for hibernation. In preparation for the spring, it is important to slow down and rejuvenate.
An Ayurvedic approach to winter
There is a rule in Ayurveda that “like attracts like.” That is why the kapha and vata doshas can become provoked and aggravated during the dry, dark, cold months of winter. This is because the climate is alike the qualities of these two doshas. If kapha or vata are triggered, digestive fire plummets, leaving you more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. Here are some yoga and lifestyle tips that can help you to balance your doshas this season.
“Our garden has gotten people so fired up,” says Kate Weaver, a lead volunteer in a team of Gaiam employees who’s bringing a new organic garden to life at our Boulder, Colo., headquarters. “I’ve never seen so much heart go into anything.”
I’ve come to realize that one of the keys to creating healthy, flavorful meals is using fresh herbs as much as possible. But it kills me to pay $2 for a bunch of wilting cilantro when I just need a tablespoon to sprinkle on my bowl of chili. So, after years of living in an apartment with no outside access save a dreary fire escape, I finally have a porch and a yard—the perfect places to plant a container herb garden.