Late Winter Is a Time for Rest and Rejuvenation
Late winter is a time for rest and rejuvenation, according to Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old system of health and longevity. So even though Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this year, and an early spring is predicted here in the Northern Hemisphere, we still have a few weeks to take advantage of this seasonal downtime.
Many of us living in colder climates are making the shift from Vata Season (fall/early winter) to Kapha Season (late winter/spring). You can feel the cold, dry, lightness of Vata shifting to the cold, damp, heaviness of Kapha.
This is a very tenuous time for the body (and the mind, as well). Ayurveda cautions us to give extra TLC to ourselves as we make the transition.
We’re more susceptible to illness, both physical, mental, and emotional.
Common Kapha-type imbalances include lung conditions, depression, lethargy, and a heaviness of body, mind and spirit.
Of course these days with the crazy climate fluctuations, it seems like we’re sometimes changing seasons on a day-to-day basis. One day we’re experiencing a Nor’easter, and a week later, temperatures climb to 60 degrees.
This is not good. We’re made of the same elements as everything on this Earth (air, space, fire, water and earth) and the health of our planet is reflected in our own health, and vice-versa.
“We hold the memory of the five elements in our physical body. The memory of Earth is kept in the heart: the memory of Water is stored in the kidneys; the memory of Fire is kept in the intestines; the memory of Air is held by the lungs; the memory of Space is stored in the brain.” — Maya Tiwari, “A Life of Balance”
The best we can do is practice awareness and use common sense to keep the body healthy while the seasons transition or the climate shifts unpredictably.
Ayurveda teaches that to live a balanced life we must be in rhythm with Nature.
So, just like the plants lie dormant in late winter, and many animals are still hibernating, so should we.
In the past, I would dream of a Caribbean vacation when the weather turned cold, but now I happen to love this time of year. Strangely, I don’t even jump for joy on a 60-degree day in early February like most people do.
With each year that I live a more Ayurvedic lifestyle, the quiet months of January, February, and sometimes March give me permission to get quiet, go within, and let creative ideas germinate.
Of course, I’m not knocking those of you flocking to Florida, the Caribbean, or any other beautiful, warm tropical location. By all means, enjoy the blissful sunshine, because what can be more restorative than that?
But if you find yourself unable to escape the cold, know that there can be blessings by staying put, as well.
Spring will be here soon enough and a little bit of hibernating never hurt anyone. Get lots of extra rest, don’t overdo it while exercising and nurture your body with warm, nourishing foods and drinks.
It’s a great time to read, write and reflect. And of course, meditate! Your body, mind and spirit will thank you for the respite you took to replenish your well. And when spring arrives you will have the necessary energy to birth new ideas and blossom right along with the rest of Mother Nature.
Barbara Sinclair is an artist and holistic health practitioner with a passion for Ayurveda, the ancient mind/body system of healing and longevity. Barbara was able to heal herself from years of fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, by adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle. She is now pain-free and joyfully shares these methods with her readers and clients. Barbara received her Ayurveda training from Wise Earth Ayurveda, the first school of Ayurveda teachings in the US. She is also a certified holistic health counselor and energy healer.You can contact Barbara HERE for an Ayurvedic consultation or energy healing session. To receive her monthly newsletters as well as weekly practical Ayurvedic tips click HERE.
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