Five awesome things you can do for your body this winter

Winter can be rough, especially here in the northeast.  I spend a good amount of time tensed up from being cold, and replenishing the moisture that I am not getting from the winter air.  It is easy to fall out of balance when the weather is so extreme.  Not only does it affect us physically, but emotionally as well.  By stepping in and creating balance for ourselves, we can appreciate the contrast of the seasons, and maintain a peaceful place from which to exist.

Here are five awesome things you can do for your body this winter:

1. Hydrate with hot water.

Think about the effect of hot water versus cold water on a greasy pan.  The hot water will break up the grease, and penetrate any clogs, while the cold water will cause the grease to harden.  Something similar is happening inside your body:  when you sip hot water, the lining of the intestinal tract expands, and allows for deep hydration as the water seeps through.  Cold water causes the lining to contract, and so complete hydration is hindered.  

2. Hydrate your skin and lips with avocado oil.

Soap dries out your skin, and can strip away protective layers that help to maintain properly hydrated skin.  Wash and moisturize with avocado oil in the winter time to maintain beautifully hydrated skin and lips, as it penetrates deeper than other oils. As a result, dry skin stays moisturized for longer periods of time, giving you healthy, softer skin.

3. Stretch.

You may not realize how much you are tensing up, but the cold makes your muscles stiffer.  Stretch purposefully every day, or incorporate a yoga practice that fits into your routine to keep you flexible and warm.

4. Warm up with right nostril breathing.

The right side of the body is associated with the sun, and warming energy for the body.  While sitting comfortably, try blocking off the left nostril, and breathe deeply through the right nostril only for several minutes in the morning to warm the body and invigorate for the day.

5. Eat seasonal foods.

While some warming foods are obvious - like hot peppers - other winter foods may not come to mind as easily.  At this time of year, you may find yourself craving warming foods such as artichokes, cinnamon, honey, garlic, ginger, dates, mango (dried is my favorite!), quinoa, onions and peppers.