Welcome to winter my friends. Despite a fall of wind and rain, chilly, chilly days followed oddly by balmy, spring-like days, we have arrived in the dark season of winter. As we move toward colder weather and shorter days, we might very naturally move toward a sense of quiet, hibernation, turning inward, which seems very much in tune with what is going on around us; the trees are barren, the flowers are no longer in bloom, even the squirrels in my neighborhood are all hidden away preserving their energy. And thank goodness for that - my dog, Jasper hates, or shall I say cares very little for squirrels - we can finally walk around the park in peace!
So why, during this time when we feel most like cuddling up with a blanket and a good book, does this traditionally turn into the BUSIEST time of the year??? As we move from Thanksgiving preparations into the shopping frenzy marking the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa holidays, all the hustling and bustling to find the perfect gift, the food, festivities, and celebrating seem to go against the signs we receive from nature and from ourselves. . .SLOW DOWN, GO INSIDE - not only physically, in-doors, but inside ourselves, preserving our energy, restoring.
So how do we strike the balance between all of the festivities of the holidays and our innate sense to go inside? How do we get through this season in a way that nourishes us and leaves us feeling restored rather than zapped of our energy? Maybe simply start by making the holidays your time, celebrating them with traditions that mean something to you, traditions that bring you a sense of peace and joy so you are filled with those blessings. Even making time to practice yoga J, meditate, read a book, take a long bath - anything that makes you feel good - is a wonderful way to nourish and nurture yourself.
By creating a holiday season that supports your well-being, rather than depletes it, you'll experience more fully the richness of this special time of year. And by nurturing your own self, your own spirit, you become a messenger of light, of peace, and of joy!
Life is a miracle - Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace starts with a smile - Mother Teresa
If you're tired of shopping and racking your brains for the perfect gift, how about trying your hand at CREATING something unique and special for the unique and special folks in your life? Here are a few suggestions from me, but I bet you can come up with a million more. . .
Give me love, give me love, give me peace on earth. . .George Harrison
Check out this page at Yoga Journal for meditation ideas and guidance.
Since it is a great time to renew ourselves, what better time to do a little restorative yoga? When practicing restorative yoga our main focus is on BEING rather than DOING. We are deliberately relaxing ourselves so that we can conserve energy, release tension and stress that accumulate in the body and mind, and restore balance and harmony back into our beings. With support from blankets, pillows, blocks, etc., we are enabling the muscles and the bones to take a break from their everyday jobs of movement and action, thereby encouraging the nervous system to quiet.
(if you have low back, hip, and sacroiliac injuries, please be mindful ? as with any physical/ exercise program you should always consult your doctor before trying a new practice)
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose/Goddess Pose - my favorite!!!!!)
For restorative yoga you simply need to have some blankets or pillows or both, a quiet space and a little time to relax deeply.
Thank you so much for reading the winter issue of this is bliss. Please feel free to share any thoughts, ideas, suggestion, comments. And certainly feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think might enjoy reading it. If you would like to be removed from the mailing list, please email and let me know.
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