Winter Wellness

Dear Friends,

As the winter season is upon us, I hope you have enjoyed cozy times at home and savored the goodness of the season. I’ve been cooking a lot, going on local walks, and enjoying the comforts of home. For the first time, I actually lost weight during the holidays. I attribute some of this to not attending holiday parties as there are usually numerous temptations to over indulge. I also have been faithful to the 108 day yoga challenge and made a big shift in my eating habits—both of which I mentioned in the Autumn Reset newsletter. I am not deprived of anything, but I admit that kicking the caffeine habit was (and still is) the most challenging. I’ll write more about the beneficial experience later. For now, here are some seasonal wellness opportunities to explore.

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Online Programs | Featured BookYoga | Happiness CalendarScandinavian Wellness SecretsSupport a Non-profit

Online Programs

Winter Seasonal Health & Wellness

I have been enjoying a different Ayurveda-based program offered by one of my favorite yoga teachers, Melina Meza. You can join for the Jan/Feb part of the program. Details from her website:

Half Dome image by Melina MezaSeasonal Health and Wellness
January 7 – February 26, 2021

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about natural health and wellness, self-care, yoga, and Ayurveda, then please join me for the Winter Seasonal Health and Wellness–Change Your Life One Week At A Time program. Together we’ll explore practices that span a range of focuses—some are dietary, some meditative, some yoga- or exercise-based, and others geared to sleep or self-care. My intention in this program is to inspire each person to fall in love with simple weekly practices that you can do at home while sheltering in. I will teach you more about nutrition for the seasons, Ayurveda for modern times, and offer yoga tools for stress management and grounding.

Details and registration

Yoga for Healthy Aging Immersion – Livestreaming
January 22-24 and January 29-31 2021 (2 consecutive weekends)
Join Melina with her husband, Baxter Bell, MD, for an enlightening and informative program that focuses on practical strategies for a lifetime of vitality and well-being. This immersion includes research-informed presentations and adapted yoga postures for maintaining physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

Join us and learn:

  • How and why yoga supports healthy aging
  • Essential yoga poses, sequences and other health-promoting practices
  • Movement practices for strength, flexibility, balance and agility
  • Unique practices to support heart health
  • Yoga for managing stress and maintaining brain health
  • How to cultivate long-term mental-emotional balance and equanimity
  • Ayurveda for healthy aging

Set Your Vision for 2021
FREE 7-Day program on the new Chopra App
Starting December 30, 2020

The old Oprah-Deepak App has been revamped and replaced with a free Chopra Meditation and Well-being App.  There’s a 7-day program starting on December 30, and you can join within the free period.

Continue your well-being journey in our free Chopra Meditation & Well-being App.

If you miss the free 7-day experience, enjoy three sample meditations from a variety of 21-Day Meditation Experiences:

Experience gratitude as a blissful practice that infuses each moment with the life-changing power of grace
Experience meaningful, soul-filling success in every aspect of your life
Revolutionize the way you look and feel in a lasting way

Featured Book:

Seasonal Health and Wellness
By Melina Meza

Melina wrote the book on seasonal wellness and it is chock full of tips for better digestion, sleep, Ayurvedic practices, and yoga poses. It’s spiral bound so the pages will stay open whether you browse it at a desk, kitchen table, or a yoga mat.  I love that there is an easy to follow practice for every week and every other page features one of her gorgeous photos of nature. It’s like a photographic journey and wellness guide all in one!


About the book: This inspirational guidebook features 52 simple and effective seasonal practices, one for each week of the year. The practices span a range of focuses—some are dietary, some meditative, some yoga- or exercise-based, and others geared to sleep or self-care. Each is designed to be followed at a particular time of day, during a particular season when it is most supported. And each practice is sequenced in a way that allows you to not only feel connected to Nature’s rhythms, but also connects you to a consistent and steadfast practice that allows you to feel a little bit better in new ways each day.

$39.95 Order from Melina’s website



It Starts At Home
January 22 – 31, 2020


Led by the accomplished London-based teacher Hannah Barrett, It Starts At Home will prepare you for the better days coming in 2021. Shot live (and socially distanced) this coming January, Hannah’s accessible classes are ideal for everyone from complete beginners to more seasoned practitioners.

Register for this free 10-day yoga challenge of 10 days of 30-minute classes to develop that inner freedom, strength and peace.

I really miss live yoga classes. By now, most yoga teachers have found their groove with online teaching. Here are a few updates from some of my favorites:

Elika Aird will be selling a prenatal yoga video soon. Check out her classes and other offerings at: http://www.blissfulbodiesyoga.com/

Baxter Bell always has something going on, including the Yoga for Healthy Aging Immersion with Melina Meza (see feature above). See https://www.baxterbell.com/

Jaimi Patterson creates lovely flowy classes and offers a free 7-day trial. See https://practice.jaimipatterson.com/

Kameko Shibata is in Mexico teaching live yoga classes and offering workshops. See https://www.nadigirlayurveda.com/

Nicolette Tura is always rocking her best life and offers free resources on her website. See https://www.theilluminatedbody.com/

There are many more tried-and-true yoga videos on my YouTube Yoga Playlist. Yoga studios around the world are offering online yoga classes, which is a great way to get a variety of classes. Also, see upcoming free classes via Eventbrite.

Yoga for Tension and Stress Relief

UC Berkeley friends, I’ll be teaching via Zoom again during the spring semester.
Save the dates: March 12, April 9, and May 14.
Friday 12:10-1pm | Online
Register when the Wellness Program newsletter has links for each class.

In case you missed it, here’s a video of 108 Sun Salutations. I have updated the FAQ with the What, When, Why, Where, and How.


Happiness Calendar for March 2021

The monthly Happiness Calendar is a day-by-day guide to well-being. The calendar has links to a different article or resource each day!

To open the clickable calendar, click on the image below.

Greater Good Science Center March Happiness Calendar

Pro tip: you are a Google Calendar user and would like the daily tips added to your calendars, click here.

I’ll be adding the April calendar here when published.

A Good Read

5 Scandinavian secrets to a happier, healthier life
From Kaiser Permanente’s Wellness Newsletter

5 Scandinavian secrets to a happier, healthier life Gokotta, hygge, fika paus — are these Scandinavian philosophies the secret to a happier life? Read more

This one made me think of Ikea with words like gokotta, friluftsliv, hygge, and fika paus.  Are these Scandinavian philosophies the secret to a happier life? Read more

Support a great non-profit

International House at UC Berkeley is the non-profit organization that I am grateful to work for. Like many businesses, we’ve been hit hard this year due to the pandemic. We are working towards reopening next year so students from around the world can experience the cultural exchange that we are known for.

Our mission: To foster intercultural respect and understanding, lifelong friendships, and leadership skills for a more just and peaceful world.

Whether you are a Berkeley alum or resident, you like the Spanish architecture of our historic building, or you love the idea of students sharing cultural experiences, consider donating to International House. Please read the message from our executive director and make a gift at ihouse.berkeley.edu/donate. No amount is too small.  Donor names will appear on the virtual honor roll and gifts of $100 or more will also appear in our newsletter, unless you choose to be anonymous. Thanks for your support.

Working from home has been a blessing, and every day is a “take your dog to work day!” I would love to hear how you are staying well and balancing your lives during the winter season.

If you would like to subscribe to my free wellness newsletter, sign up here. If you’re interested in the Camino de Santiago, check out thecaminoprovides.com.

We’ll get through this together, from a safe distance apart!

Be well.

Please let me know if you have wellness events or resources to consider for future newsletters.

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