a balancing winter routine

After Shinsai, Peony, Sake Bottle, Tray, Teapot and cup, late 19th century, color woodcut surimono
January through March are Utah's ugliest months. Old, blackened snow fills the corners of parking lots, inversion fills the air with pollution. Just walking outside makes my eyes water and my nose clogs. I wait longingly for the sun to make its return. This winter I have been struck by how the cold months balance the warm ones in every way, and I have taken a more Buddhist approach to winter survival tactics this year.  
In the summer my hands callous and toughen from pulling weeds and digging in the dirt, my skin burns under the sun, and my feet become rough from running around barefoot. As a conscious balancing act, this winter I am caring for my skin and hair, and concentrate on general wellness. I've taken to this evening routine twice a week:
  • Hot yoga. I sing the warm praises to yoga of a novice acolyte. The heat opens your pores and seeps into your joints, loosens your muscles and increases your flexibility. Its delicious.
  • Coconut oil. The air in Utah is as dry as a bone. A bone forgotten in the desert. The winter makes it so much worse. This winter I tried coconut oil, and I tell you folks, it works. Before I go to yoga, I rub coconut oil on all my driest spots, and run it through my hair. I practice directly under the heater, and I swear I can feel the coconut oil giving my skin and hair a drink.
  • Take a long, warm shower. Lather away all that sweat and oil, and give your legs a shave. Let your hair air dry.
  • Slip into your most scrumptious lingerie, and make yourself a cup of herbal tea with honey. My favorites are bramblewine berry and sweet wild orange.
The whole routine takes and hour and a half, and you will feel like a new woman.
Mary Cassatt, The Cup of Tea, 1880-1

Edward Penfield, Girl holding tea pot and cup on tray, between 1884-1925, watercolor 


  1. Where are you going for Yoga?

  2. Sweaty Chix, in the evenings! Couldn't ask for better instructors!