One of the intentions I set for myself this year was to let go of the overly busy lifestyle, and instead slow down as much as possible and practise more self care. While 2014 was all about working hard, velocity, not getting enough rest and sleep, I started 2015 with a new approach. Effortless and Graceful are two of my keywords for this year. I want to take much more time to nurture and pamper myself, with more time to relax and let go and do more of the things that nourish my body-mind and soul.
So in the future I will keep sharing all the things and practises that help me deepen my body-mind-soul connection and my hope is that you will get a spark of inspiration and start to incorporate some of the practises in your daily life.
So today I will share how ginger is helping me to stay warm during these cold winter days and I will also be sharing some simple yoga stretches, which I started to include in my nighttime habits. This simple shift has completely changed the way I fall asleep, whenever I do the stretches I share below I sleep like a baby.
GINGER AND IT’S MANY BENEFITS
I have been drinking a lot of hot ginger water, ginger tea or smoothies with ginger during winter. On days when I am working on my desk and whenever I sit a lot, I tend to feel cold very quickly. Since my body is used to constantly move, and that’s how it produces heat, I am sensitive to cold and easily freezing when I am not moving. Hot ginger water is a great way for me to heat up the body from the inside, on days when I am not able to move my body that much. I cut a nice junk of ginger root into little pieces and pour boiling water over it. I often add an organic lime, which gives the water that wonderful zesty aroma and taste. I let the hot water sit for about 10 minutes and then drink it throughout the day. You can try out different variations and replace the limes with grapefruits, oranges or lemons. Just make sure you use organic, untreated fruits, since you don’t want to drink the pesticides. Also adding a little honey or your favorite choice of natural sweetener can be an option. Try it out and let me know what you like most.
Not only does ginger help you stay warm. Some of the many other bebefits of ginger are:
- Detoxifies the body
- Improves Circulation
- Strengthens Immunity
- Fights the cold and flue
- Relieves Asthma Symptoms
- Reduces inflammation
- Releases muscle pain and sore muscles after exercise
- Helps ease migraines
- Improves Blood Sugar Regulation
- Menstrual Cramp Remedy
- Helps with morning sickness during pregnancy
- Reduces motion sickness and nausea
- Clears sinuses
- Fights cancer
- Protects against Alzheimer
- Reduces osteoarthritis
- Blocks acid from heatburns
- Improves your breath
- Natural aphrodisiac
With so many health benefits and since it’s so easy to make, it makes sense to start adding ginger to your daily habits and some of your dishes.
Here is one of my favorite winter-smoothie recipe, which is also made with ginger.
This smoothie will give you an instant boost, helps with digestion because of the diferent citric fruits, at the same time it’s warming from the ginger. It is so delicious! Press 2 grapefruits and 3-4 oranges. Cut 1/2 pineapple into pieces. Put everything into a high speed blender and add a piece of ginger (size of ginger depends on how hot you like it) Mix and blend everything on high speed till it’s smooth and creamy. Enjoy right away!
EVENING STRETCHES FOR DEEP RELAXATION
Another practise I have been starting again this year is stretching before I go to bed. These specific stretches are relaxing yet invigorating and help to reduce stiffness that has been built up during the day in the areas of the spine, hips, shoulders, legs and neck. At the same time these stretches massage and nourish the inner organs, preparing them to fulfill their proper function during sleep.
I created little snapshots from a video I did on my full evening stretch sequence. Since the images are “cutouts” from the video, they are not the clearest fotos. Also the lighting wasn’t the best, but I wanted to create something for you, so that you can try out the stretches for yourself. I don’t always have the time to do the full sequence. When I feel very tired I just do a few of them, and sometimes I just don’t feel like stretching at all. But the difference in the quality of my sleep when I do the stretches is remarkable. I cuddle into the bed, feeling totally relaxed and comfortable in my own skin, and fall asleep very easily. Try them out, or some of them taht feel good. Remember this is a practice and not about prefection. If the poses look or feel too difficult for you, just do what you can from where you are right now. this is not about how it looks like but how it feels like.
LUNAR YOGA PRACTISE
(based on the teachings of Shiva Rea )
Part 1: Full body warm up and flow
These stretches help to warm up and massage the whole body and realease stiffness, especially in the back, hips, neck and shoulder area.
Part 2: Spine Extentions, Forward Bends and Twists
These forward bends and twists help to calm down the nervous system and create space in the spine and the hamstrings/back of the legs
(Variation with bent leg for beginners, using a strap or towel)
Part 3: Hip openers for release and relaxation
The hips are the place in the body where a lot of emations are stored. So it makes sense to stretch this area for the night to support release and deep relaxation, letting go of emotional discomfort.
Part 4: Inversions
The upside down poses of the shoulder stand and plough, increase circulation, they massage and nourish the internal organs, and the proper function of the endocrine system
(Relax in Shavasana as long as you like)
And this is a little behind the scenes, showing what usually happens during my practise: She always wants to do her little feat (“Kunststückli”)
Click here to download a PDF of the whole routine for print out.
I hope this post inspires you to create your own sanctuary wherever you are. As always, please leave your your comments, feedback, experiences questions and insights in the comment section below.
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Have a wonderful week,
as always I am happy to read your comments and feedback!
with lots of love, beauty, creativity & magic,