Catchy title huh? Yes, we are entering the Holiday Season. For many people, this is a time to get together with friends and family and celebrate. The celebrations at this time of the year include: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Lord Gansesha Celebration, Yule, Yalda, and many others. Deities aside, this time of the year was historically, an important time to come together and celebrate as we near the shortest day of the year (Northern Hemisphere bias noted).
These short days of little sunshine affect more than just our inability to grow fresh food but it also means we aren’t getting as much vitamin D and we are not making the same levels of melatonin. Vitamin D is important for many functions including bone building and immune function. Melatonin has two important functions in immunity and sleep regulation. Lack of sunlight can make us more prone to sleep disturbances and decreased ability to fight infections. Many people experience depression that is seasonal called, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this time of year. One of the ways to assist with this is to expose your face to blue light.
Another effective way at helping to cope with the lack of sunlight is to spend time with friends and family (that has been shown to alleviate symptoms of SAD) and eat foods high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is required to make serotonin (the feel good hormone) and melatonin. Holiday foods of nuts and turkey are high in tryptophan. Don’t worry my vegetarian friends, so is tofu.
As we enter the season of shorter days, remember the importance of being with friends and family and eating the comfort foods. Getting regular exercise also helps regulate hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
Speaking about getting together, decreasing stress, and feeling great:
YOGA! Yes, we are tweaking the schedule for January and adding a class or two. We already have some exciting new classes such as a new Rest and Restorative Class on Wednesday nights with Azaria. We are also adding a weekly meditation class on Wednesday nights with Danielle. Siri will be teaching a Hatha class on Tuesday nights.
Next Yoga Teacher and Wellness Training at Ekahi is February 20th. This training is not just for those wanting to be Yoga Teachers but also those wanting to have a deeper understanding of the human body. It is fun and informative and runs for 8 weekends starting February 20th . The training can be life changing. The instructors create a fun learning environment for everyone. Early bird rate ends Jan 15th.