December 21st is the Winter Solstice where we officially welcome in the Winter season and almost say goodbye to another year. Read on to see how yoga can support us…..
The Wisdom of The Winter Solstice and Winter Season
In terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Winter is linked to the element of water. Water allows us the ability to flow with life, to take the ups and downs and ride with the waves. Water is also linked to the sacral chakra (Svadhisthana) which has a similar role.
Winter is a time for reflection, introspection – a time to be still like a pond – a time to rest, dream and make plans for the future.
If we look at nature that is exactly what she is doing. Take a good look outside or even better, go for a walk. You can feel and see the stillness, the quiet and the ‘sense’ of rest – waiting. Now, take an honest look at your own life and ask yourself, are you doing the same? Are you taking time to rest?
I am not judging at all. Life is busy – I hear you. However what I have learnt, and found, is that if we follow what nature is doing outside, we tend to feel a lot healthier both inside and out.
The message from the Winter Solstice, is to hibernate and rest more. The days are shorter and the nights are longer. The invitation is very clear and yet many of us ignore it.
Yoga for The Winter Solstice
Over the last 3 years, I have learnt to rest more in Winter. I take more early nights and if I feel tired I listen to my body and I rest by practising a restorative practice or just take time to chill out. I feel better as a result – less tired and depleted. It really is that simple and I urge you to do the same (from my heart).
Let’s start with our yoga practice. Below is a yoga sequence to celebrate the winter solstice.
It is a slow vinyasa flow using mindful movement connected deeply to the breath. As you move through the movement allow the exhalation to help you let go of all the things which no longer serve you. Visualise them drifting off into the distance, making room for new things to come.
To help you honour the introspective quality of the winter solstice, move through the postures slowly, really observing how your body and breath responds as you do so.
The sequence contains several standing poses which will help you connect to the earth’s grounding energy; some back bends to help you open your heart to new opportunities and some hip openers to allow you to let go of any emotional baggage.
Other blog posts which you might be interested in catching up on for the New Year: