It’s that time of year again, a time when most Americans begin to reflect on the year past and declare new resolutions that will improve their health, help them lose weight, motivate them to sign up for a gym membership, or undertake a simple cleanse to get back into shape after a decadent holiday season. If you are inspired by the New Year and plan to make steps towards improving your health, in the next few newsletters I will be offering a few yoga and Ayurveda suggestions to consider when building your new daily routines.

January focus is on the Circulatory System, one of the systems in the body that helps with elimination of waste. I will continue to write about the Digestive, Lymphatic, Skin, and Liver in the months ahead.

The Circulatory System’s main functions include pumping blood, delivering oxygen, and carrying waste away from cells. Yoga and any aerobic exercise done on a regular basis will help improve your circulation. In the New Year, consider starting your day with a glass of room temperature water to hydrate. Follow this with basic joint rotations (examples in Art of Sequencing Volume 2 and 3), simple vinyasas where your breath is linked to movements (think cat/cow poses), and then end with a few Sun Salutations when you feel warm. This practice done once or twice each day will do wonders for improving your circulation and help you stay warm this winter, especially if you live a cooler climate. In addition to yoga, consider taking a 20-30 minute brisk walk, bike ride, or visit to the gym three to five times a week to look and feel your best!

Common herbs and spices such as cayenne, ginger, black pepper, chili pepper, garlic, rosemary, turmeric, and cinnamon can also be used to improve circulation and help you stay warm this winter season. Consider adding a few of these ingredients to your meals this month and see if you can feel the difference.

Last but not least, baths are another great way to help improve your circulation while helping you to relax. To make your baths extra special, consider using the following oils for your constitution:

  • Vata (air): ginger, cinnamon, vetiver, or jatamansi
  • Pitta (fire): peppermint, rose, honeysuckle, or chamomile
  • Kapha (water/earth): tulsi, sage, or eucalyptus

I hope you enjoy these tips and that they enhance your feeling of well-being. I look forward to sharing more yoga and Ayurveda tips with you in the New Year.