Finding balance during the winter months. By Denise Leicester
In the summer months our senses are awakened and balanced by nature: the warm sun on our skin; fragrant aromas; bright colours to nourish our eyes; the sound of birdsong; and an abundance of sweet tastes.
In winter, nature’s energy is more withdrawn, and the body naturally wants to follow suit. For this reason, I believe it is essential to consciously nourish our five senses during winter to maintain inner balance and health. So how can we achieve this? Making the most of the winter light with morning walks is essential, while investing in a SAD light box can be beneficial not only for our mood but for immunity and skin as well. Warm nurturing massages are a must to nourish our sense of touch and smell – one a fortnight is ideal – ideally with rich fragrant oils such as vetivert and sandalwood. Indulging in fragrant candles, incense and diffusers during winter spreads rich healing aromas and improves our sense of security and inner peace.
The tongue is one of the most challenging senses to balance because of its duality in both speech and taste. Spices such as ginger, clove, cinnamon and garlic are very satisfying and help keep our internal fire strong at this time of the year . Listening to music nourishes our sense of hearing and with this, our sense of space. Indeed, there are few greater pleasures as the darker evenings draw in than lighting a fir e, playing some meditative music and concentrating on deep, restorative breathing. During the winter, our eyes are even more stimulated by screens as we swap summer evenings outside for nights in front of the television. Rose water eye pads help soothe strained eyes while eye exercises and consciously drinking in beautiful landscapes helps balance our sense of sight and aids digestion (the eyes being the sense organs that are connected to our solar plexus chakra, our centre of digestion and good health).
Choose a weekend when you know you can give yourself a couple of hours to balance all five senses; it’s so worth it for the way you’ll feel afterwards – completely revitalised with glowing skin, sparkling eyes and a renewed sense of connection. Begin with an early morning walk (ideally when the winter sun is shining) to awaken your nervous system and circulation. Being around nature is also good for our sense of sight. Follow with a body scrub with vetivert, sandalwood and petitgrain to stimulate touch and smell, then soak in a warm bath, consciously inhaling the fragrance. Follow with a rich balm massage then light a candle and incense (and ideally a fire if you have one) and relax with some healing music and a cup of fresh ginger and honey tea. I can’t think of a better way to spend a gorgeous winter’s morning.