Pause for Winter Well-being; a winter solstice practice
Pause for Winter Well-being
Pause for winter well-being has been the theme for my winter yoga class schedule this season. It’s impossible to ignore the change in seasons and the shift nature makes at this time of year towards a state of hibernation, bringing with it a sense of closure for the year that has passed. The leaves let go from the trees and are washed away with the winter rains. The frost is icy and refreshing on the ground and reminds us of the cleansing properties coolness can offer. There is a freshness in the air and the scent can be full of alpines and spices as we move into the festive season.
There is a lot going on in our culture at this time of year so it is important to honour our own needs and pay attention to the subtle qualities of life. This can be in the form of bearing witness to the Robin on our fence post to experiencing the warmth of our breath as it touches the coolness of air. It could also be stopping to witness the afternoon sun, low in the sky, reminding us of its presence whenever it can. It could also mean snuggling up on the sofa and watching our favourite Christmas film. There are may ways we’re able to nourish ourselves, I guess its a case of finding what is right for us.
After the year we’ve all been through I think there is a need for a global rest in some way. We’ve all been through what some have labelled ‘The Great Pause’, but did we really switch off? Did our nervous systems allow us to fully relax with so much uncertainty around us? Whilst I feel this was a great time for self-reflection, should we have found ourselves with the space to do something more contemplative as a form of practice, I appreciate that for many the knots of confusion and fear would have kept building within.
I know that for me I am ready for a pause, and to hibernate in my own way before 2021 arrives and brings with it planning, ideas and words about where I will go next with my yoga classes and creative business. For now though I am ready to honour myself and nourish myself through yoga, food, sleep and my family.
A gift for you this Christmas; Yoga for the Winter Solstice practice – 60 minutes
As we move through to Christmas I’d like to invite you to pause with me for an hour and take a practice inspired by the passing of the Winter Solstice.
Solstice, according to its latin meaning translates to “sun standing still’. With the winter solstice across many cultures marking a time to celebrate the gradual return of light. In this practice we welcome the gradual return of our own light towards that of our outer world – the sun and the promise of longer days marking the end of one stage and the conscious beginning of another.
We start on the ground and build slowly, in order to have a clearer understanding of our needs during the practice. I invite you to pause often, and at times to feel strength and energy in your body through more energising postures in an attempt to re-connect or ignite those parts of us that may have become a little dormant during winter.
The practice then winds us back down to the ground where we explore some more restorative positions for us to rest and let go of tensions in our body. It closes with a meditation centred upon giving and receiving. Ensure you have props available such as cushions, blocks, blankets or a chair.
Thank you so much for your support during 2020. What a year it has been! I hope you can find time to nurture yourselves fully during the months ahead. This will look a little different for each of us, so in whatever way you are able to find time to pause often and observe. Even if it’s just a few moments of breathing naturally. It will help you to re-connect to yourself.
Online yoga classes will resume on the 4th January, I look forward to seeing you then.
Regular pauses deepen our human capacity to sustain steady, inner stillness unruffled by the ups and downs of life.
Kate Vogt; Our Inherited Wisdom