How to Thrive this Winter

How to THRIVE this Winter

Winter is coming. Actually, scrap that, it’s here. If you’re anything like me, you’re huddled up in all your jumpers, trying not to use the heaters, drinking endless cups of tea and dreaming about those long summer days.

If there’s one thing I’m committed to this winter, its to STOP complaining about the cold! Who’s with me?? The words and thoughts we use will shape our reality so if you spend your time complaining, the world will seem like a difficult place. If you spend your time practicing gratitude for everything you have in your life, the world becomes much friendlier. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Just like yoga.

I’ve put together a little winter survival guide just for you. 

Explore your surroundings

Sun, fresh air and time spent with trees = healing earth medicine. Even though it’s less appealing to get outside in the cooler months, you need the natural world more than ever. Here on the South Coast we are blessed with an abundance of walking tracks, coastal paths and pristine bush land. Make a commitment to yourself and explore a new place once a week! You can even join our new Bushwalking group (speak to Clare for info).

Move! (and know when to rest)

I’m definitely guilty of moving less during winter. Evenings spent under the blanket with Netflix and chocolate can lead to sluggishness and less desire to jump out of bed and head to that 6.30am class. Yes Winter is a time of rest. However like anything, there’s a balance. Listen to your body, and if you’re feeling lethargic that’s a sign to take an energising yoga practice, dance in your living room, jump in the ocean or run up a hill really fast! See how you feel afterwards. It’s often the things that appear challenging that are the most beneficial. On the flip side if you’re feeling burnt out, you need deep conscious rest. Come to Yin instead or practice Yoga Nidra from the comfort of your bed.

Drink more water!

You may have noticed you drink way less water in winter. This is not good news, especially for your lymphatic system. Water is essential to life! You’ve seen what happens to the plants when you forget to water them. It’s not pretty. It’s super important to stay hydrated, especially after class. We have a fancy new water filter that tastes wonderful so you can enjoy water sans chemicals at the studio. On that note, we also have a new communiTEA area and we’ve all been enjoying warm herbal teas and good conversation after class too.

Boost your Vitamin D through food glorious food

Surprisingly Vitamin D deficiency is super common, even in Australia, the sunniest place on earth (scientific fact! Lol) My wonderful friend Kerryelle has provided some info on how we can get more of this nutrient in winter when light levels are lower.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for your health. It helps your body absorb the calcium you get from foods or supplements and is necessary for strong, healthy bones. It’s also a key player in your immune system, where it helps to fight off bacteria and viruses.

Vitamin D is known as “the sunshine vitamin” due the fact that about 50% to 90% of this vitamin is absorbed through the skin via sunlight, with the rest coming from diet. However, because many people in modern society are increasing their use of sunscreen and decreasing the amount of time they spend outside, it’s estimated that about 50% of the population has vitamin D insufficiency. Fortunately, in addition to getting a moderate amount of sunshine (the recommended amount is 20 minutes daily) there are a few powerhouse foods we can eat to help boost our vitamin D levels. Here are five that pack the biggest punch:

1)         Herring

While not as commonly eaten in Australia, herring is a nutritionally dense fish enjoyed in many parts of the world. Try it raw, smoked, canned, or pickled.

One ounce of fresh Atlantic herring contains 115% of your recommended daily intake.

2)         Salmon

Easy to come by and versatile in the kitchen (try baking, grilling, or broiling it), salmon is a delicious fish to incorporate regularly.

Just 3 ounces of cooked salmon contains 112% of your recommended daily intake

3)         Sardines

Sardines are small, oily fish that contain an impressive array of nutrients beyond vitamin D, including healthy fats, calcium, and a variety of other minerals. Moreover, they are considered a sustainable seafood. Try tossing them into a salad or piling a few onto hearty crackers with a squeeze of lemon.

1 can of sardines (3.75 ounces) contains 63% of your recommended daily intake.

If you’re not a fan of seafood, vitamin D can also be found in lesser quantities in egg yolk, liver, as well as in fortified foods, such as fortified milk and orange juice.

For vegetarians or vegans, mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D and you can boost their Vitamin D count by placing them in the sunshine prior to consuming them. In summary, while daily sunshine is still the best way to get the majority of your vitamin D, these foods can be an excellent way to boost your intake of this crucial nutrient.

Use all that extra ‘night’ time to commit to your yoga/meditation practice

It’s easier to commit to a regular practice in winter as there tends to be less social events. The dark evenings mean more time to focus on your own inner landscape. Finding time for self study (svadyahaha) and introspection will allow you to ATTEND to what you INTEND. To ensure your living your life intentionally, rather than doing things you don’t really want to do because you thin you should, or worse, someone told you to. We offer unlimited classes across both our locations for only $28 per week. If you’re practicing 5 times a week, you’ll feel AMAZING at only $5.60 per class. 

I hope this has inspired you to love Winter a little more!! If not, full permission to hibernate and I’ll see you in September ;)

With love, Clare

Clare Lovelace