December 2015: Go Yin-wards and Celebrate!
Christmas Yinner Blessings To All!
Tis' the season to indulge in the year end festivities, parties, travels and gatherings. Focus starts to shift from work to home, friends and families. The weather also changes, from winter cold months in the northern hemisphere, and rainy, wet season in the tropical side of the equator.
As the weather cools down, there is a subtle shift within us as well. Amidst the activities, there is a need to start to slow down, unwind, let go of the year’s baggages and worries so we have space to receive what the new year is going to bring for us. Our bodies might feel lazier and perhaps find all excuses not to move around much even!
It is a time to go Inwards, find introspection, review what the year had been, and learn to let go of baggages no matter how hard it can be. Our inner intelligence is much more than what we think we are. We can start celebrating the small and big parts of ourselves, achievements ,set backs and struggles even , because what won't kill you will make you stronger:)
Yin yoga approach and its practice will serve us well in this season. Yes it is a slower, more inward approach of practicing poses. While to the impatient mind it can mean boring, there’s actually a myriad of benefits in holding to poses for about 3-5 mins.
There’s time to really get down deep into the connective tissues to release tension while the external muscle learns to soften itself out. This creates a wider range of natural motion within the joints.
Energetically, it can help the flow of Qi or Prana around the body and joints where energy can be stagnated.
Mentally, it allows you to learn and work around being comfortable with the discomforts that will arise, from the physical discomforts to the mental and emotional. When applying this to your daily life and struggles, you’ll notice some shifts in the way you manage things and you’d thank this practice for that!
Yin poses are Grounding, helps to Hold Space and to Relax into your being.
The pelvis plays an important role to determine the integrity of the poses, ie. More weight put on the pelvis, more grounding action is rooted .The longer length of time created and to hold space for yourself to allow whatever needs to be released and resolved.
More physical space = More emotional space!
By being soft in the muscles, we physically learn the action of letting go, moving from the stimulating sympathetic system to the parasympathetic system to help us Relax. The more we relax into discomfort, the deeper we can get into our system to release any tensions in all manner.
Once there’s integration in the approach, which I admit, may be quite uncomfortable to begin with, it’ll slowly grow on you. You may be able to start observing whats unnecessary and what’s important, and eventually let them go. There’s a huge power within ourselves if we only quieten down and Start Listening to ourselves from within in reverence, love and patience.
3 Yin Poses
- Decompresses Spine and relieves lower back aches
- Hip opener
- Great for the kidneys, and female/male organ functioning
- If you have Sciatica, avoid this pose as it aggravates it. Elevate the hips with cushion if need be.
1.Sit on the floor with both knees bent to the side and soles of feet touching
2.Hold on to the toes with the hands and fold forward, allowing the spine to round.
3. Allow head to drop towards toes and Relax, Breathe deeply
***Cushion Knees/ankles if there’s pain/tightness performing it. Bring feet more forward.
- Opens and lengthens the hip flexors, groin and back of thighs
***Cushion knees for additional support
- Come into a low lunge pose from Downward Dog and release knee onto the ground.
- Lift torso upright, place a palms on top of thighs and relax the upper body
- Sit and bring weight down towards hips.
- Breathe long and deep breaths for 3-5 mins
- Slowly get out and back into Downward Dog and switch sides.
- Repeat and then rest in child pose for a few breaths
Cinnamon is my all time fave spice to use in my daily smoothies, cereals and now Tea!
When boiled, the aroma brings about a welcoming and warming scent throughout the house, bringing a comforting smile on the face:) Its healing properties are also really a winner!
Here are 2 Tea Recipes to get cosy during this rainy season or winter, wherever you are.
1.Hawthorn Berries, Rose Cinnamon Tea- Heart Warming and Calming.
Hawthorn berries are great for heart health,Rose opens the heart energetically and has anti inflammatory properties . Cinnamon is great for digestion and its anti inflammatory properties . The combination has a whole concoction of healing properties for various health ailments and immune strengthener for the system as well.
2-4 tablespoon of dried hawthorn berries
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon of dried rose
- Soak dried hawthorn berries in water for 20 mins till soft.
- Boil hawthorn and cinnamon in a pot of water for 10-15 mins.
- Add dried roses into tea strainer in a teapot
- Pour boiled goodness into teapot and let it steep in the dried rose for a few mins.
- Pour out into cups , Enjoy the divine aroma and taste!
2.Orange Ginger Cinnamon Tea - Detox drink
If you would like more Oomph for the tastebuds and system, this is it! Zesty orange and cinnamon and zingy ginger for the digestive system, aids flatulence, detoxification and loaded with vitamin C :)
Orange peel of half of an orange, sliced into thin strips
1 Cinnamon stick
A thumb size of ginger
- Put all ingredients into a small pot and boil for 15 mins or till orange and ginger aroma comes out.
- Pour into cups and add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten and add some depth.
- Enjoy the zesty warming drink !
Till the next one, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I wish you great health, more love and joy in your lives!
Love and Light,