for the season of deep rest and festive dreamings
Of all the reasons to include yoga in your life, I think learning to listen is the most impactful. It helps you recognise when you’re off balance (emotionally, energetically, as well physically) and provides the tools to bring yourself back to equilibrium.
A yoga practice teaches us to slow down and notice what is often missed in the busyness of life. Even the simplest weekly practice helps us become more patient, towards others and ourselves: maybe just a bit more compassionate and willing to give time to ourselves and to others, whatever is going on in life.
When we move in a conscious and intelligent way on the yoga mat, we learn to listen to what our body needs, what it loves and what it doesn’t. That level of attention flows out into the rest of life.
You may have seen in the media recently a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine linking a person’s ability to balance on one leg with their anticipated longevity. Over a period of ten years, the study group of 51-75 year olds were tested on their capacity to hold a steady balance for 10 seconds. The inference being that lack of balance, stability and proprioceptive awareness contributes significantly to risk of falls and injury as we age. As you know, a good yoga practice works on all those skills, building awareness and confidence, whatever our starting point or our physical limitations. If you want to read more, I found the Guardian article really interesting.
We’re in the season of slowing down. I’ve come to love this period of darkening days between Samhain and the Winter Solstice as a time to deepen my listening. Reducing commitments and enjoying the excuse to hunker down and get cosy of an evening helps me become still and to rest. And from that rest, I can more easily hear my own thoughts and respond to the subtle needs of my whole being.
How is it for you? Do you love or loathe the dark nights?
I firmly believe that the more I drop down into the darkness and embrace the expanding nighttime, the more excited I am about Christmas and the return of the light. There’s good reason why nearly every culture around the world has a midwinter festival to mark the gently increasing hours of daylight at the end of December. We celebrate what we need, the return of the light, for the health of mind, body and spirit! And to really enjoy it, we need its opposite – to know and respect the value of sitting and listening in the darkness.
The weekly yoga classes over the midwinter period will reflect this pivotal point in the seasons – dropping down into hibernation as the nights continue to draw in, before celebrating the re-emergence for Solstice and Christmas, and then the fresh new feel of a new year.
I’m now recording the online classes and anyone who signs up for the block, but misses a class, will be able to access the recording for up to seven days afterwards. Also useful if you have lots of parties on the run up to Christmas and don’t want to miss your yoga practice!
Email me for more info and to book your place.