by Janel DuRoss
I truly enjoy the festive energy of the holiday season, there’s a certain specialness and mystery or ‘rasa’ in the atmosphere that makes this time of year fun and cozy. Although, I much prefer warmer temperatures like 90 degrees, I like how nature inspires our body and mind to slow down. It’s a time to restore us, especially since there’s less sunlight hours, to keep our bodies in sync with the circadian rhythm of the earth.
I’m very VATA (dosha – the Ayurvedic body type) and VIRGO (a zany combo lol), which has me very aware of my surroundings and environment. How is my energy is being used, abused (?) and consumed. I have noticed if I don’t listen to what my body needs in terms of warmth, rest and nourishment, I fully pay the price with an energy deficit, completely depleted only to wind up sick – for days.
Katy Bowman (a biomechanist) says you can’t bank movement or self-care….I FEEL she is correct.
The really good lesson I have learned from this, is that it’s not one big thing I must do, yet it’s a small daily practice/routine (not just managing 20 things on my list). By taking the time to SLOWLY eat a nutrient rich meal, getting to bed “early” (goal by 11pm), doing my meditation, adding in a fun movement practice. These little bits make the difference that add up to better health, well-being and showing up for others – like my students! xo
One important task, I try to do every day, is to start shutting down all electronics (computer and smart phone by 10pm), getting rid if the blue light helps prepare the parasympathetic nervous system to get ready for sleep. And if I’m still up (usually), I put on my orange blue light blocker eyeglasses to protect my eyes from the direct blue light that emits from light bulbs and other devices.
In the colder months, I really enjoy practicing mobility movements, since I do spend less time outside (in the cold). These simple poses help keep my joints mobile and release muscular tension (and I add them to my classes…hint!) And if you don’t like the cold weather like me, these poses work! (see ** below) To warm my soul and insides, I drink crazy amounts of herbal tea throughout the day. However, when I have more time, I love to make a heart-warming hot elixir or a fiery digestive tonic! They make me feel so good and happy! (see recipe below)
I’m interested and curious about (so many things in) life, that I’m always reading a book…or two, or three….or more…. It’s just another way I nestle; just my thoughts, my mind. Learning or exploring with something new is always revitalizing! I consider this part of my mindful mental practice, it’s a valuable way to ignite neurons in the brain.
Yoga poses: therapeutic + mobility **
(Lay down on your back, draw your knee toward your chest, draw big circles with knee, while grounding down straight leg. Reverse circles then repeat with other leg. Option to bring knee across the torso for a releasing twist.)
(Stand in Tadasana, keep shoulders and hips facing forward, extend a straight arm forward, circle around to back then reverse the direction. Repeat other side.)
(With straight arms, palms pushing into the mat, lean your sit bones toward right, back, left then forward continue circle, then reverse.)
(open up most all the joints)
Golden Healing Elixir
2 c almond milk (or coconut milk, nut milk of your choice)
1 tsp turmeric ground powder
1 vanilla bean (small size)
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp raw honey
2-4 cardamon pods
1 tsp whole cloves
Add to saucepan, heat on medium, make sure not to burn. Stir consistently as spices are added. Place a small mesh strainer over the mug, then pour hot elixir. Make sure to add raw honey AFTER, not in the saucepan, as the heat will affect the natural enzymes of the honey. Enjoy!
Energizing Fiery Digestive Tonic
16 oz filtered water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pomegranate concentrate (excellent for brain health)
fresh ground horseradish (in loose tea strainer) squeeze out liquid
fresh ginger root
fresh orange peel
1 tsp cayenne ground powder
*option: 1 tsp raw honey
This recipe works best if you mix all the ingredients in a medium size glass mason jar (or something similar). Let horseradish marinate for 5-7min or longer if you desire. Make sure to stir all ingredients before pouring into servicing glass. Option to add 1tsp raw honey if it’s too strong. Enjoy the fiery side.
Janel has been practicing yoga for 15 years. She’s passionate to inspire her students and clients to move and feel their bodies, generating new body awareness, she believes it is essential to know the WHY you are practicing or moving in a specific manner as it will help you remember and practice more often. In both practices, Janel extends a warm hand, open heart, and non-judgmental eye. Janel is excited by all forms of movement, which she integrates into her classes. Yoga combined with Tai Chi, Calisthenics and Animal Flow create another level of body sense and breath. Enthusiastic for knowledge, Janel continuously seeks new workshops, classes, and life experiences, embracing these opportunities to deepen her own practice and to provide new insights for her students.
Janel teaches Fun Core Burn Vinyasa – Level 2 on Tuesday & Thursdays at 6:30pm. Click here to register for one of Janel’s classes.