Revitalise your Routine in Late Winter

Revitalise your Routine in Late Winter

Using the seasonal calendar to align our practice, mindset and even diets is fundamental to cultivate vitality, clarity & focus. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, think of this next few weeks as a transition phase. 


In the cycle of seasons, we find ourselves in the weeks leading up to the new year, heralding the arrival of spring and the rejuvenation of nature. However, we're currently in the late winter phase, where our bodies may experience sensations of heaviness, chill, and even dampness. While dampness within the body might not be commonly acknowledged, it manifests as an accumulation of excess moisture or fluid.


Some common symptoms of dampness include heaviness in the limbs, fatigue, bloating, poor appetite, or/and loose stools. Mentally shows up as a lack of motivation, foggy thinking, or feelings of sadness and depression. It’s fundamental that we break down this common seasonal sluggishness with practices and rituals aligned with this time of the year.


Ayurveda teaches the importance of Ritucharya, which entails aligning one's lifestyle with the rhythm of the seasons. 'Ritu' signifies 'season,' while 'charya' denotes 'regimen.' Nature's energies evolve with each season, such as the blooming of flowers in spring and their shedding in fall. Similarly, our bodies are influenced by these seasonal shifts and environmental changes. Failing to adjust to these transitions can leave us vulnerable to illness.


Seasonal routines (ritucharya) are backed up by our daily rituals or dinacharya. Some example of daily rituals (dinacharya) that influence or seasonal transition are:


  • Waking up early: Dinacharya emphasizes rising with or before sunrise, as this is considered the ideal time to start the day and synchronize with the natural cycles. Start to wake up earlier as we move towards Spring


  • Oral hygiene: Practices such as tongue scraping and oil pulling will help with any tongue coating as a result of poor digestion.


  • Bowel movement: Promoting regular and timely bowel movements is considered essential for digestive health. Drinking warm water or herbal teas upon waking helps with bowel movement stimulation. Fennel seeds tea is great for this.


  • Self Body Massage Also called self-abhyanga, means to massage warm oil onto the body, starting from the scalp and working down to the soles of the feet. The oil is often chosen based on one's dosha or body type.  It is often practiced in the morning before bathing, but it can also be done in the evening as part of a bedtime routine.


  • Exercise: Engaging in physical activity, such as yoga, resistance training, swimming, dancing or walking, is encouraged to promote circulation, flexibility, and overall well-being. If you’re still in the winter coziness start adding 20/30 minutes to your daily activities. 


  • Meditation and Pranayama: Practices like meditation, deep breathing exercises (pranayama), and mindfulness are integral parts of dinacharya for calming the mind and reducing stress. 


  • Nourishing meals: Eating balanced, nutritious meals at regular intervals is what everyone knows is the right thing to do but seems like a daunting task so focus on 2 things only: be regular with your meals and eat what’s in season. Better to see what’s in season in the farmer market rather than the supermarket, as the supermarket as everything all year around, a bit confusing. 


  • Sleep: Going to bed early and ensuring adequate restful sleep is essential for overall health and vitality. Make sure your room is dark, cool temperature and no electronic devices.


From my own experience, integrating these habits into your daily routine may initially seem daunting. However, starting with just one or two practices and keeping it simple can make a significant difference. Take, for instance, incorporating the oil pulling routine into your first week. Dedicate 15 to 20 minutes to oil pulling and approach it as a form of meditation. After just one week, you'll begin to notice the benefits, which often serves as strong motivation to persist and develop new habits.

Need help with your routine and personal practice? Contact me at swarayogaschool@gmail.com for a first Yoga Therapy Session on Zoom 

Much love & health,

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