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Winter is when all life force burrows deep in the bosom of the earth and it can certainly be a trying time both mentally and physically. The days are darker, shorter and not to mention colder. Your body naturally wants to hibernate, you feel the need to sleep and eat more. Inevitably, finding balance can be a little more trying during this time (it’s so temping to stay inside and hide from those grey skies) but being proactive about your health and wellbeing is an important goal during this time. Ensure you take time to replenish, so that when spring comes, the gathering energy will burst forth with new growth and you and your body can enjoy those active, sunshine filled months of spring and summer.
I am going to show you how to find balance during the winter months by tuning into this dormant season, aligning yourself with the magic of Mother Nature and the chakra energy system. My recipe book titled ‘The Yoga Kitchen’ follows the 7 energy centres within your energetic body known as the chakras. This invisible energy is vital life force, which keeps you vibrant, healthy, and alive. Each of the seven chakras, has an important part to play in your overall balance and have long been the traditional method for yogis to understand the anatomy of the subtle body.
The season, winter is associated with the sacral chakra, svadhisthana. When is chakra is balanced you enjoy feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When this chakra is out of balance, you may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or addictions.
You can open this chakra with creative expression and by honouring your body. This creativity can be expressed as procreation but the second chakra energy is certainly not limited to bringing family into this world. When you cook, bake, or garden, you are creating. You create when you find a new solution to an old problem. Any time you take raw materials, physical or mental, and transform them into something new, you are using your creative energy.
Below I have shared one of the recipes from the ‘flow’ chapter of ‘The Yoga Kitchen’. This chapter contains all the recipes I recommend eating to strengthen your sacral chakra. The ingredients used in this chapter have all been selected to ensure nothing obstructs the flow of energy to the reproductive and digestive organs, which are the body systems associated with the sacral chakra. Balance can be achieved through simple cooking techniques, such as soaking grains and using fermented foods, which replenish our healthy gut bacteria. These flow processes and ingredients result in the nutrients being absorbed more efficiently into your system.
Some of the raw ingredients Mother Nature provides us with during the winter months are some of the best for getting creative in the kitchen. So why not try out some of these foods to balance your sacral chakra but also nourish your body and find alignment with Mother Nature.
Grain: Barley, buckwheat, black rice.
Vegetables: Beetroot, burdock, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, celery, celeriac, chicory, kale, leeks, parsnips, white cabbage, swede, turnips, pumpkin, jerusalem artichoke, carrots.
Beans and Pulses: Adzuki, black beans, black lentils.
Fruits: Apples, clementine’s, Satsuma’s, tangerines, passion fruit, cranberries, pomegranate, pineapple, pears, black grapes, blood oranges.
Nuts: Chestnuts, black sesame seeds, walnuts.
Condiments and Seasonings: Tamari, miso, sauerkraut.