Listen, it’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s really dark, both literally and metaphorically. And the best antidote I can think of to cold, wet, and dark is FIRE. Maybe it’s because I’m an Aries, but I love the heat and glow. So, aside from breaking out the matches, how can we stoke fire during the dark days?
- Exercise. Intense exercise warms you right up: the tougher the better. After five minutes on the spin bike, I am, shall we say, pleasantly warm. Longer than that and I’m sweating buckets. Ahhhh.
- Yoga. The tapas of asana and pranayama always makes me feel better. Sun salutations, kapalabhati, vinyasa. Bring it on.
- Warming foods: think of warming spices like ginger, cayenne, and cinnamon. Both Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have systems to describe warming foods. Or think more literally: soup, tea, hell, even whiskey. There’s nothing quite like feeling warmed from the inside.
- Passion. Sure passion in a physical sense will warm you up, but I mean more broadly: Caring, being excited about something or someone, expressing true interest, curiosity, and creativity. When are you at your best, your most animated? What are you doing? What could you talk about to anyone?
- Hot water: hot tub, hot bath, steam, sauna (OK, may or may not involve water). Immersion in hot water (or air) has plenty of reported benefits, from boosting immune function to increasing blood volume. But mostly, it just feels really darn good.
In fact, a hot bath sounds like just the thing. If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom, with some music playing and some epsom salts easing my muscles while steam rises invitingly from the tub!