I was recently doing research on how to best prepare my backyard for growing new grass and to help make the lawn stronger and the earth richer for next year. I found articles in the newspaper and information in books. A large part of this preparation involved aerating the soil (punching holes into and removing plugs of soil), applying compost & seed.
Thinking about it I saw a great insight in this process that can be applied to how we live and prepare ourselves for the coming spring & summer. One can certainly choose to spend the fall and winter in inactivity and hibernation. Or one can choose to prepare for the winter and coming spring using the same principles as preparing the ground.
Fall and winter are perfect times of the year for improving your health. These months however can pose significant problems. Being indoors with windows closed and re-circulating air can be a perfect environment for passing or picking up germs & viruses. By the way frequent hand washing has been shown to be quite effective in reducing the transmission of viruses & germs.
That being said these months provide opportunity to eat heartier meals, breathe cool, clean air and exercise that can improve the yang energies. In the hotter months when we exercise, especially outdoors we tend to sweat in an effort to cool down. In the colder months our bodies need to produce more heat in an effort to stay warm, this keeps more of the yang energy inside our bodies. It also gets the qi moving, which helps with nourishment and circulation.
Needless to say it is vitally important to dress appropriately for the weather. Coats, hats & scarves all act as protective barriers. They block wind and cold out while keeping the heat in. Most of us tend to go out without any head covering. Considering the fact that we lose a lot of heat through our heads, we are basically leaving the door open while the heat is on. We need to keep that yang energy inside ourselves as it is the yang energy that protects us.
So let us takes these two colder seasons and make the best of them by strengthening ourselves, through exercise, acupuncture, massage therapy, proper nutrition and by dressing properly.