windy weather

Lovely views, wicked winds

Years ago when we were planning our escape from Sydney, we wanted our new home to have a beautiful outlook. We bought a property on Mitchells Island and had our house built on the top of a rise. We’ve ended up with views: mountains to the west, wildlife in the forest, green pastures and even water views.

What we also ended up with as a result of being so elevated is full exposure to blustery south-westerly winds. These have been hammering Mitchells Island over the last few days.

I wouldn’t trade our lovely outlook for the windless quiet of a sheltered valley. I love being able to see broad horizons and big skies. At the same time, this is just the sort of weather that makes the transition from autumn to winter unpleasant. Perhaps even unhealthy. It can weaken one’s immune system and lead to colds, coughs and flues.

In Chinese medicine, there are acupuncture points on the neck and shoulders which are called the wind gate points. These are said to be entry points to muscles and joints where a cold chill can travel into your muscles. Exposed to boisterous wind conditions, you might end up with sharp neck pain and restricted movement. Weather conditions could also contribute to cold symptoms, such as chills, headache and runny nose.

Ayurvedic medicine, called the sister science to yoga, recommends pacifying practices for ‘vata disturbance’–the imbalance of this air element.

  • Avoid over-exercising and do gentle yoga.
  • Do meditation and pranayama to soothe vata anxiety.
  • Keep up a regular routine with regards to sleeping, eating, working. An ideal bedtime is between 9:30–10:00pm.

Windy yoga poses

Some of the best poses for colds, sinusitis and the immune system are inversions. Even if you’re not a fan of headstand, shoulderstand and plough poses, there are effective alternatives to inversions . Some of these are downward-facing dog pose, wide-leg forward bend, supported bridge (on bolster and blanket) and legs-up-the-wall.

line drawing of woman in downward facing dog poseLine drawing of woman in standing forward bend yoga pose

Line drawing of lying down woman with her legs up the wallIf you are situated high up on a windy hill as we are, or even in one of those urban wind tunnels created by high-rise buildings, be prepared.  For winter, rug up, muffler up, and go head down, bum up, in your yoga practice.