This is the time of year where we should be honouring darkness at it’s peak, we have less daylight and longer darker nights. If we don’t step back and look after ourselves, this can seriously affect our health and emotional state. Most mammals sleep more or slow right down or even hibernate through the winter, not us humans though. For us life only gets more busy when temperatures drop and the holiday season arrives.
Put simply – we need to rest more and it’s absolutely vital that we consolidate our bodies energy levels. Therefore, this month leading up to the winter solstice on the 21st December should be a time for reflection and life in balance.
Yoga improves powers of attention and concentration, fights depression and fatigue. It has the ability, to decrease and decompress the effects of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in elevated levels, is associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Yoga in a nutshell transitions the mind and body quickly from stress to calm. When the body is deeply relaxed and the nervous system is balanced, the mind is able to engage in our direct experience, enhancing optimum health.
My teaching offerings for December’s classes will reflect this, so expect delicious slow flow winter reviver sessions each week. Each class will begin with a seated meditation where we will sit and simply observe ourselves from a place of quiet. We will then practice deep rhythmic ujjayi breath or nadi shodhana cleansing breath, then from stillness, our postures will begin to slowly and methodically unfold with open awareness of movement and breath flowing in sync. Winter Yoga Poses access the water element and support the health of the spine, low back, brain, nerves and hormonal balance. We will therefore be mostly practising free flowing fluid heating poses to warm the waters of our body to lift and balance energy. We will also focus on forward folds, as well as gentle heart and shoulder openers followed by inversions such as supported headstand and supported shoulder-stand. Then we will gift ourselves a deeply relaxing restorative pose where we can sink, float and rest suspended with blankets, bolsters, sand bags and eye pillows, unburdening and releasing the strain from our bodies and minds. Lastly I promise, there will always be a long winter warming shavasana on the menu and we will take rest in the well and sanctuary of inner silence within.
Winter yoga basically has the ability to reduce the effects of stress, anxiety, depression and illness.
Love B xx