A guest blog by Tahira Herold of BeautyByTahira.com
Winter often brings a desire to cosy up under the covers and hibernate, but even if we respect the natural slower rhythm that winter brings, it is essential to prioritize our well-being amidst the chill and hustle of the season.
So while cosy blankets and hot cocoa have their place, incorporating mindfulness, yoga, and self-massage into your winter routine can elevate your mood and help combat the winter blues.
The gentle stretches of the physical yoga practice can boost blood flow, helping relieve winter stiffness and promoting warmth and flexibility in muscles and joints. Yoga isn't just about bending like a pretzel; it's a love letter to your body.
Yoga is a wide and varied practice and it's about so much more than the physical poses we see portrayed. Yoga can also appear intimidating, I often hear students worry about whether they are doing it “Right” but there is no such thing.
Yoga is about listening to your own body, noticing where you are in your energy and moving with that. There is no right or wrong, only what feels good and what does not, go with what feels nourishing and avoid what is not.
Sometimes yoga can be a dynamic practice that lifts your energy helping you combat lethargy, but it can also be a slow soulful sequence, allowing the mind to calm and go inward to create inner safety and self-caring.
Certain yoga poses are specifically designed to energize, invigorate and offer a holistic workout, engaging various muscle groups and stimulating the cardiovascular system. Incorporating such dynamic sequences into your winter routine can ward off the sluggishness that tends to settle in, ensuring that your body remains agile and responsive.
Other poses are designed to calm the nervous system or to simply gently stretch out stiffness bringing mobility and flexibility to the body. Both of these physical aspects are key to mental well-being, especially as we move through the years of our lives.
Through mindful yoga, each movement becomes a meditation in motion, connecting the physical and mental realms in a harmonious dance. By cultivating an awareness of the present moment, individuals can navigate the challenges of winter with a sense of calm and clarity.
The simplicity of focusing on the breath or observing the subtle sensations creates a connection between the mind and body, allowing for an exchange between the two. This makes us more aware of how to use the mind to lift the body and use the body to lift the mind.
Mindfulness not only helps reduce stress but also enhances our overall sense of gratitude and contentment during the colder months. It can either be practised on its own or as part of a yoga practice. Mindfulness can be summarised as noticing the moment and being fully present in the now. That is why yoga is a mindfulness practise, but everyday activities can be made mindful just by noticing the details.
For example, if you make a cup of tea, notice the water boiling, the steam rising, opening the tea and placing it in the cup, and so on. Just observing each moment as it comes, and not succumbing to the stories we tell ourselves about what came before or after the moment is mindfulness.
As the cold weather tightens our muscles, self-massage becomes a therapeutic ritual that not only relaxes the body but also nurtures the mind. The Balmonds Body oil is perfect for this. Take your time to knead away tension from your neck, shoulders, and lower back. Self-massage not only improves circulation but also provides a profound sense of self-care and self-love, which is crucial for maintaining a positive mindset throughout the winter season.
You can add in some facial massage with the Enriching Facial oil to help nourish dry winter skin. For the face, be more gentle with the pressure and move from the center outwards, when making sweeping motions, or gently using the fingers or knuckles to relive tension in the jaw or temples.
I also find my hands get really dry at this time of year and I have a large Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream by my bed, and a Balmonds hand cream in my purse, along with a mini Skin Salvation to relieve dry skin and cuticles.
To fully embrace the benefits of mindfulness, yoga, and self-massage, consider incorporating these practices into a daily or weekly routine. Dedicate a quiet corner of your home for meditation and yoga if you can. Consistency is key, and even short daily sessions can make a significant impact on your overall well-being.
Mindfulness, yoga, and self-massage offer a holistic approach to winter well-being, providing you with the tools to navigate the season with grace and vitality.