Winter Transition Day. The Crone time of Year.
We are approaching the threshold of winter.
Life is being drawn into the earth, painlessly descending down into the very heart of herself.
And we as natural human animals are being called to do the same, the pull to descend into our bodies, into sleep, darkness and the depths of our own inner caves continually tugging at our marrow.
But many find the descent into their body a scary thing indeed, fearing the unmet emotions and past events that they have stored in the dark caves inside themselves, not wanting to face what they have so carefully and unkindly avoided.
This winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this period of descent into our own darkness was so necessary in order to find our light. That true freedom comes from accepting with forgiveness and love what we have been through and releasing the hold it has on us, bringing the golden treasure back from the cave of our darker depths.
This is a time of rest and deep reflection, a time to wipe the slate clean as it were and clear out the old so we can walk into spring feeling ready to grow without a dusty mountain on your back & chains around your ankles tied to the caves in your soul.
A time for the medicine of story, of fire, of nourishment and love.
A period of reconnecting, relearning & reclaiming of what this time means brings winter back to a time of kindness, love, rebirth, peace and unburdening
This modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, bad food and consumerism.
And yet the natural tug to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and we are left feeling as if there is something wrong with us, Whereas in actual fact winter is so kind, yes she points us in her quiet soft way towards our inner self, towards the darkness and potential death of what we were, but this journey if held with care is essential.
She is like a strong teacher that asks you to awaken your inner loving elder or therapist,.
Winter takes away the distractions, the noise and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb like love, bringing fire & light to our hearth.
- words Brigit Anna McNeill•
New Winter Routines.
When the weather turns cold and dry, it’s time to pacify vata dosha (the cold, light, dry aspect of our constitution). emphasizes the importance of including abhyanga (self-massage with oil) in our daily routine, to keep the body moist. Calming the frenetic vata energy of this season by adopting an Yoga practice that is grounding, restorative, and rejuvenating, to give us stability through the winter.
Adapting to Winter.
Follow Routine calms the Vata dosha.
Ayurveda suggests waking up a bit later in the winter (around 7 a.m.) than we would in other seasons.
Next, on rising, drink a cup of warm water to stimulate a bowel movement.
Then treat yourself to a quick massage. Rub warmed sesame oil all over your entire body, let the oil soak in for 5 to 10 minutes, then take a hot shower and exfoliate your skin.
Conclude your morning routine with yoga, pranayama, and meditation. Surya namaskara (sun salutation) and poses that open the chest, throat, and sinuses remove congestion in the respiratory organs. Try the fish, boat, bow, locust, lion, and camel poses, along with the shoulderstand.
Follow this with a relaxation.
After Yoga & meditation, it’s important to eat a nutritious protein rich breakfast.
An hour after breakfast, boil 1/2 teaspoon of fresh or powdered ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of ground clove in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Drink this tea to increase your digestive fire, improve circulation, and reduce excess mucus.
Soak up the sunlight.
Walk. Sit by a window to bathe in early morning or evening light. Sun rays relax the muscles, produce vitamin D, soothe Seasonal Affective Disorder, and help the body maintain healthy sleep rhythms.
What to Eat & Drink
Incorporate steamed vegetables, warm soup cooked with ghee (clarified butter), and spicy food into your meals. Because your appetite is heartier in the winter, eat more protein—beans, tofu, eggs—and if you’re not a strict vegetarian, chicken, turkey, and fish. Add warming spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper to promote digestion. Drinking a small glass of Apple cider vinegar in warm apple juice with your meals will stoke your agni (digestive fire), improve your appetite, and increase circulation. Avoid cold drinks and opt for hot water, hot tea or chai.
Avoid cold drafts, wear warm clothes, and don’t forget to wear a hat outside. (Granny was right: more than half of the body’s heat is lost through the head.)
Cure a Cold. Try Ginger.
Ginger is the best remedy for colds.
Try a ginger steam treatment. Put one teaspoon powdered ginger in a pint of boiling water. put a towel over your head, and inhale the steam through your nostrils for about 5 minutes. This will relieve congestion. Drinking hot water throughout the day removes toxins from the system and speeds up your recovery time.
Why Is Your Appetite Stronger in the Winter?
In response to cold weather, the body constricts the skin pores and superficial tissue to prevent heat loss, which directs the heat away from the peripheral tissues and into the body’s core, including the stomach. Agni (and, therefore, your appetite) becomes stronger in winter
Journaling prompts for Winter transition.
Write the following contemplation questions in your journal.
Last Years Reflections…
For me the last Year has been…
What I have learned is…
What I am most proud of is…
If I knew I couldn’t fail, what do I think I would be doing that I’m not?
Why is doing this important to me?
What’s my why?
What is standing in my way? What has stopped me from achieving this goal in the past?
What kind of support do I need?
Are there people in my life currently who are working toward a similar goal?
Are there people in my life who will work against me, consciously or otherwise, in achieving this goal?
How will I overcome this?
What do I need to incorporate this intention into my life?
My goals/intentions for the next Year are…
My first step towards my goal for next Year is?
My word for next Year is?
For next Year I commit to…
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.