TOP TIPS from amazing yoga teachers from around the world
Since the colder days have arrived I have really been struggling and I know I'm not the only one. With fewer hours of sunlight it's tough to be excited to go outside in the dark and face the cold.
Many of us experience this mood shift during the colder and darker days of winter, the climate change is never easy for anyone so I have contacted some of my favourite yogis around the world to find out what their tips and tricks are to overcome that winter blues feeling.
We are all different and all respond better to different things so have a read and I know you will find some incredible tips that might just make these colder days not so bad after all.
First up is Catherine, an amazing yogi who runs beautiful yoga retreats around the world. Here are some of her top tips for you this winter.
Light diet: Consider your natural light vs junk light intake. Get outside as much as possible during daylight hours for your Vitamin D happy sunshine dose!
Warming Foods: Keep your meals warm and add warming spices. Ayurveda recommends nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric at this time of year. As well as outside Keep your insides warm & cosy! Top tip! Don’t forget a pinch of black pepper with your turmeric as it makes sure your body absorbs it.
Love: This season is the perfect time to slow down, rest and take some really quality time with those you love. Whether with friends or family make sure you’re around positive people you love. This is super nourishing soul food around the festive season!
You may find Catherine anywhere, Morocco, Italy,... right now Catherine is in Sussex. For any of you in the UK around Sussex, Catherine is hosting a workshop on the 22nd of December ‘The Big Chill’ a workshop that will relax, re-energise and rejuvenate you during this busy and chilly time of year.
For more information about Catherine and her retreats check her out at: https://yogawithcatherine.com or find her on Instagram @yoga.with.catherine
Savannah also known as Trendy Hippie has some great tips for you on these cold winter days from Wisconsin in the US.
Eat warm, comforting and nutritious foods that make you feel good- soups, roasted veggies, potatoes, etc.
Even though it’s cold, get out into nature when you can. Bundle up and go for a walk or take up some winter activities, you’ll feel refreshed and invigorated when you’re done!
Sweat- doing whatever that means for you. For me it’s a hot yoga class, but maybe a sauna session or a more intense work out is your thing!
Bonus- if you can swing it, take a weekend getaway or vacation somewhere sunny and warmer than where you are! It’s amazing what that will do for the soul 🙌🏼
Savannah is a supermum who offers incredible tools and resources to empower women through pregnancy, birth & postpartum. You can find Savannah at: www.Trendyhippie.com
and on instagram @trendyhippie. If you are a new mum click the link in her bio on Instagram to get directed to some very special affirmation card decks.
Dragana a source of light and strength and such a special yogi based in Stockholm recommends:
'My top tips would be (besides taking D-vitamin, I feel like that is universal saying)'
Get yourself outside and move, even if the weather is not your favorit.
Invest in good quality outdoor clothes, that will definitely upgrade your life and you will be able to enjoy all the seasons of the year.
Allow yourself to be more indoors and work with creating a cosy environment. This weather is allowing us to slow down and we should work with that instead of pushing to be and feel in a way that we don’t. I feel like we are used to perform and be go go go but that’s not always what we feel like doing. Accept that life has different seasons and find the beauty in where you are right now.
Next up Elise Ottaway, one very special yogi from Australia, Byron Bay, (yes it does get chilly in Australia) and Elise has some great tips for you this season.
‘When it comes to those chilly months of the year, for a lot of us, bed feels a whole lot cosier and staying motivated and upbeat becomes a whole lot harder. Here are my top three life hacks to keep myself feeling my best:’
Practising gratitude - whether it's taking time to write it down, talking about it, or simply taking a moment to feel it, practising gratitude every single day is a sure fire way to bring yourself back in to presence and give you a little change in perspective.
Leaning in to a slower paced lifestyle - our bodies are designed to work with the seasons, whether it’s through what we eat or the pace of our lifestyle. Don't be afraid to find a balance of a slightly slower pace over the winter months and give your body time to recuperate. And of course, I don't mean to just become a full-time couch potato, it's all about balance, but also allowing yourself to slow down.
Find a weekly "Fun" commitment - maybe you create a weekly board games night with your friends, maybe you join a book club, maybe you find a yoga or fitness class you love, maybe you take up dancing or a musical instrument. Whatever it is, just choose one thing that you can have as a standing 'fun' date every week, something to look forward to even if the weather outside is getting you down.
I am adding one for her here, Elise is an amazing cook and I would highly recommend you go check out her E-cook Book ‘Crowd Pleasers’ that has one very special vegan lentil Bolognese recipe in there that will warm your heart and soul up this winter.
Krista also known as Shakti Sita Kaur owner of The Pallas Kundalini Yoga & Meditation studio in Westchester New York has some bulletproof tips for you to add to your daily yoga practice.
Breath of Fire - a rapid, rhythmic, and continuous breath for 3-11 minutes will keep you warm and alert. Focus on creating an equal inhale and exhale through the nose. The navel point will naturally start to move with the breath. You can also mentally vibrate “Sat” on the inhale and “Nam” on the exhale. This breath boosts the immune system and strengthens the nervous system.
Cold Showers - super counterintuitive, but nothing warms me up like a cold shower! It activates the body’s natural internal heat and helps me feel vital all day even when the sun sets before 4pm. It brings blood to the capillaries and strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. You’ll create a resilience that will get you through the darkest days of the year.
Chanting Mantra - with winter solstice and the shortest day of the year, it is naturally a time to go inward and meditate. One of my favourite ways to meditate is by chanting mantra in the hours just before sunrise. Some of my favourites are Guru Ram Das and Mul Mantra.
If you are in her area be sure to go and check out her studio and take her classes because this yogi knows her stuff. You will leave feeling amazing, that I am sure of. I would also highly recommend her podcast ‘Crown Yourself’ that has some very special Episodes out.
Find Shakti Sita on Instagram at : @shaktisitakaur or click the link to be directed to her link tree with all the information on where to find her https://linktr.ee/thepallas
Marie Dutton a very special Irish yogi living in Western Australia recomends:
Embrace the cold and go dive into the ocean at sunrise. (This is an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone to try out. You will feel so alive and ready to take anything.)
Get cosy with some Chai tea and try out new ones and lastly make lots of heart-warming soups.
Find Marie on Instagram @irishyogalady be sure to look her up and take her classes if you are every in Perth! And make sure to join her and the great community that go and jump into the ocean every morning at sunrise.
Last but not least, Aga Bohun, the queen of waltz in Vienna, Austria, this yogi is amazing and a ray of light everyday, here are her recommendations for you:
Good Music & Dance - Dance has always been my companion but especially when the days become shorter and the temperatures go down. I can lit myself up from within through daily dance movement. I concentrate on my solar plexus and create the missing warmth & sunshine from within ;)
Turning Inwards, as outdoor activities become less I consciously turn inwards spending more time at home and starting to reflect on the past months and set new intentions for the new year ahead.
Essential Oils, They help me nurturing a cozy and warm feeling in winter times.
Find more information on Aga Bohun on her website: http://www.agabohun.com or instagram: @agabohun
May these tips and tricks help you and make you feel invincible this winter season.
Make sure to check out more about all these amazing yogis that are based around the world they are all very special to me and have shared some magical tips to beat the winter blues.
To end this post a few things I have been putting in place this start of winter are :
Exercise, any way that lights you up… dance, run, do yoga, ski whatever it is, move.
Hot, warming drinks and winter veggie soups are a must.
Spending time with family and friends as much as possible
A daily gratitude practice to focus on everything that is amazing and so special in my life.
May you all have a beautiful Winter Season.