March 12 – 20

As we draw ever closer to Spring, our work with the Bladder and Kidney meridians starts to ease and move from forward and backward flexion and extension and deep Yin practice to a more snaky sideways dance, celebrating the early days of Spring and the rising energy around us in the natural world. Birds are singing from dawn till dusk in a heady foray of mating and nesting. We too feel stirrings of a new fresh energy. So our downward dogs/dolphins become dancing dogs/dolphins. Our practice is slowly rising up, standing spinal rolls, high lunges.

In the last weeks of Winter practice, we can continue to fill our well as best we can, allowing time to mentally becalm and settle before sleep (no late night browsing, Lucie!),

FOOD Eating salty cooked warm food  is excellent for winter. Replenish energy with casseroles, soups and roasts. Salty is not foods with added salt but food such as seaweeds, olives, celery. Other good foods include kidney and aduki beans, roasted seasonal root veg, roasted lamb, pheasant, whole grains, ginger and garlic. Beetroot and seaweeds are excellent for cleaning the blood and supporting the kidneys. In Spring time we will change towards sour tastes. Broker the change with hot water and lemon first thing! Let your Spring detox be one of keeping hydrated before cutting out anything.

Avoid drinking a lot at mealtimes, instead for healthful whole body hydration, sip a few mouthfuls of room temperature water every 10-15 minutes, so the water is easily absorbed, rather than leaving it a few hours and then gulping 300ml+ in one go. throughout the day. Take time to cook well and eat slowly.

PHYSICAL Restore and renew are the key elements to any physical exercise, keeping warm and generating energy, breathing deeply to keep the digestive system healthy. Keep 50-60% in your energy bank account when exercising to refill your energy levels. Walks are a wonderful way to refresh body and mind, keep wrapped up and walk briskly. Restorative former such as Yin yoga, Tai Chi and Qigoing are excellent. Avoid being outside in cold wet weather for too long. Avoid stiffening up, have regular massage.

MENTAL: Winter is the time for evaluating your past year, looking at your accomplishments, disappointments, and learnings. What could you do differently? Acknowledge your roles and responsibilities and free yourself up to set supportive goals for the year ahead. An excellent book to help with this is Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny Ditzler.

It is time to be fully responsible for how you feel. Admit it is ok to have fears and anxieties, but find a little courage to face them using reassuring techniques such as visualisations of future positive outcomes, beyond the situation causing upset.

Energy is rising, support this with daily affirmations, thoughtfulness and calm