The First Winter.
Winter. I have so much to say about NYC Winter. But, I will try to keep it all positive. Winter is a time to part with things that no longer serves and/or encourages growth.
Macy Gray’s song: I try, succinctly encapsulates my feelings on Winter and the changes that Winter requires.
The Science of the Winter:
Ok, so lets dive right in. The heat energy provided by the sun is at its lowest during this time of the year. Light energy is also severely diminished. I have to honestly say, just writing about these changes creates a depressed state in my body. (I am sorry, I should keep it all positive.)
So, no need for the depressive sprouts. I have found that the cure for any Winter ailment is to develop a healthy routine that will assist to guide and moderate the ego, during these abnormally trying months.
Health and Nutrition:
Have you ever observed the morphological arrangement of individuals during the coldest months of the year?
Most people are hunched over, tensed and shivering. And the logic follows, the closer your body limbs are to your core, the warmer the body becomes. Therefore, I understand why most individuals would adopt such a poster during the Winter months. But, unfortunately, there is a not so positive implication for the hunched back posture.
Studies show that stress can cause neck and shoulder pain. Which then leads to the hunched like poster we observe during the Winter months. Generally, stress levels are highest during the Winter months (which is expected, due to the fact that most major American holidays, fall during this season as well).
So…what to do? Studies also show, that it is best to develop a predictable and useful routine, especially during the time of Winter.
What I have found to work really well is to incorporate a healthy practice of Yoga and meditation. This helps to relieve those additional stress molecules that accumulate in the shoulders and neck.
So, for about two years when I first became a professional teacher, I was apart of an intense, energetic and uplifting Yoga experience called Urban Assanas, which is owned and operated by one of the most benevolent, talented and REAL yogis ever, Jyll Hubbart-Salk.
And let me be clear, this is not your average run of the mill yoga studio. Its yoga with class, style and most importantly, grace. And I promise, it will get you through any Winter that NYC throws your way. I encourage you to take a class, but bring water…lots of water.
So, after a healthy yogic practice is identified, I also strongly urge a meditative practice to go along with your daily routine.
Every morning, I meditate (which for me, is simply counting the inhalation, exhalation and inactive moments of my breath cycle). For example, I inhale for a count of 5 seconds, then hold my breath for 2 seconds. Then I exhale for a duration of 7 seconds, then hold my breath for the duration of 3 seconds. I generally try to complete about 25 cycles.
Lastly, I follow up with at least 2 sun salutations; an image of a feasible routine is included below. I end the practice by simply resting on my back for about 1-2 minutes.
I begin the next phase of the morning with a warm glass water. Then, I make my tea: either apple cider vinegar with honey or green tea with honey.
I also strongly encourage running for at least 3 miles a week and sleeping as much as you can.
Now to the dope stuff:
Candles are a must. Humidifiers are essential. Lastly, your favorite sweat shirt will aid to concede a successful, happy and positive winter.
Also, try to get as much fresh air and sunlight as possible during this time of the year.