Saturday, 12 January 2013

Winter Yoga

Those of you who know me personally will realise how important yoga has been to my growth so far in the last year. I cannot emphasise enough how much it has helped me. My yoga has changed in the last four may remember I was doing a yoga class everyday, loving every minute. There was aching sometimes and also some days when I was wishing I hadn't. But the fundamental yoga practices are already locked in my brain. I find myself recognising them in my day-to-day life now, without thinking.
Breath is such an important point. I come back to my breath, notice it, meditate on it, so many times every day I would lose count if I tried to keep a tally. If I find myself tensing up or worrying, if my body is uncomfortable or in pain, I come back to my breath so automatically it is a great comfort. It gives me the consciousness to realise any discomfort and release the tension. That release is a cleansing of my body, mind and spirit.
Mountain pose, dancer, down-facing dog, cat, so many poses come into my life. I may not be attending a full class, but I just get down on the floor and release like that too.
Chinese medicine recognises winter as a time to slow down, to regenerate, to rest and heal. I was freaked out by what my body started doing in the Autumn as the nights started drawing in. I stopped doing a yoga class every morning, I was sleeping for an extra two hours most days and I was more tired during the day. Nothing but concern hit my mind "what is happening?", "am I going backwards?", "have all my efforts failed". I knew it wasn't SAD, Seasonal Affected Disorder, as I actually felt quite high in spirit, happy and content. But someone pointed out this phenomenon to me and it seemed so natural and true. By body might be more tired, working more slowly, but my mind is learning lessons every day, I feel stronger, more healthy inside than I have in a long time. My digestion, my lungs (I can actually walk outside in the cold, without stopping to catch my breath every few paces), my desire to socialise, to try and help in the home more; its all signs of improvement and I'm grateful for them.
A fantastic book I have, The Chocolate Cake Sutra, by Geri Larkin offers an autobiographical tale showing how the yogic lifestyle can become part of everyday life, no matter what worries or hurdles may come your way. I feel like a true yogi (or yogini!) knowing I can live this winter to the best of my ability and be happy in that. I breathe, move, live with my sutras. With breath, meditation, poses, gratefulness, trust, and belief. I am getting better and yoga has helped me find that path.

1 comment:

  1. I sure love yoga, Hannah. I contacted that person in Seattle you recommended to me but I now have a Netflix copy of Beat Fatigue with Yoga ans will see if it works for me.