Stay warm this winter, and light yourself up from the inside with the “Water Up, Fire Down” method. and with Body & Brain Yoga.
From the time the leaves start to fall in autumn to the time the flowers begin to bloom in spring, and the days are darker and colder, do you find yourself retracting from the world around you or your loved ones? Sleeping more? Avoiding plans? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every winter, millions of people living in the Northern Hemisphere enter into a mild depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). While the specific cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder is unknown, we do know that changes to the biological clock, and in melatonin and serotonin levels caused by a decrease in sunlight, are significant factors that can disrupt your sleep and shift your moods, possibly leading to depression. Symptoms include difficulty concentrating, anxiety, lethargy, social withdrawal, oversleeping, or even a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, which often leads to weight gain. You can apply the principle of “Water Up, Fire Down” to your life in various ways to help keep your heart warm and light during this cold, winter season.
In traditional eastern practices, the balance of water and fire energies is a basic foundation for both physical and mental health. Correct energy circulation, defined by “Water Up, Fire Down”, requires a strong dahn jon to pull warm fire energy down from the heart into the reservoir of energy in the lower abdomen and send cool water energy from the kidneys up to the brain. Maintaining this flow is an effective way to stay healthy and positive regardless of changes in environmental conditions.
Fortunately, there are many ways to incorporate “Water Up, Fire Down” into your life, and plenty of simple measures you can take to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of SAD. Let’s explore!
1. Focus on Your Breath
One excellent tool for enhancing awareness and promoting the proper flow of energy is breathing. The practice of Dahn jon Breathing consists of conscious abdominal breathing, with the added element of energy circulation and accumulation. It’s a highly effective way to gather fire energy in the lower abdomen. The principle of “Water Up, Fire Down” can also be applied to a group of people . For example if one person accumulates enough dahn jon energy it can help to balance out the whole group of people who have too much fire energy in their heads, making the whole group more grounded.
2. Take Time For Yourself
What’s a minute a day? You’ve definitely got one to spare. This winter, take one minute a day to focus on keeping your body warm and happy. With these one minute exercises you can promote positive changes in your physical self as well as your emotional self. If you take one minute to focus your energy on self-improvement, you’ll see how it boosts your mood and your ambition.
Think you’ll have trouble remembering to set aside that one minute for yourself? Download this One-Minute Change app for your mobile device so you’re prepared each day to make a change for the better.
3. Put Your Health First & Keep Colds Out
Colds are around these days, and some have already been caught! If you’ve got one or you’re trying to hold it at bay, you’ll want to take note of the daechu point (indicated with a red spot in the illustration to the left), located between the seventh cervical vertebra and first thoracic vertebra.
In order to find the daechu point, bend your head forward from an upright posture and find the neck bone that protrudes the most (this is your seventh cervical vertebra). The daechu point is just below that bump.
For yourself: When you’re in the shower, use hot water and let it fall on your daechu point for a few minutes as you feel your body getting warmer.
For someone else: Rub the palm of your hand in small circles in the upper back area where the daechu point is located, feeling warm energy going in. Use more pressure or a lighter touch, depending on the person’s preference.
4. Incorporate Essential Oils into Your Life
Essential oils can bring positive energy into your life, warm up your surroundings, and improve your breathing. This winter, try diffusing essential oils in your bedroom when you wake up and before you go to bed, in your office, maybe in your car, or anywhere you spend a good amount of time.
Do you have trouble breathing or have a cold? Try eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint oils to clear you up. Want to refresh your mind and body and increase positivity in your life? Try the Bird of the Soul essential oil blend. Whatever your struggle may be, there are plenty of essential oils and blends that can help you.
5. Find Something to Look Forward to Each Day
Whether it’s your morning cup of coffee, savasana at the end of a yoga practice, or simply changing into your pajamas each night, there’s always something you can look forward to each day, no matter how small. Find your little moment of happiness and take the time to appreciate the joy it brings you and the positive energy it promotes into your life.
Winter doesn’t have to be a SAD time. There are plenty of ways to bring little joys into each day, keep your body warm both inside and out, and fight colds and illnesses that can bring you down. Incorporate these tips for “Water Up, Fire Down” in your life can help you manage seasonal affective disorder this winter.