Mid-Winter Practices: Warmth, Invigoration and Keeping the Inner Light Bright!

It’s been minus 20 here in Ottawa for a few days, and I’m reminded of the efforts we make in Yoga to keep up the fire of digestion as well as regularly re-kindling our inner light. Life means constant engagement, as well as regular respite or easing into the moment. A fine balance of effort and allowing.

What do you do to keep going and positive in these periods between the holidays and the Spring Equinox, which can be a plateau of sorts. A natural pause or a winter slump, depending on how you look at it. All we really need to do is come back to our five holistic touchstones:

Move – Whether it’s a dance party in the living room to your favourite up beat tunes (Happy, DeeLite, anything that gets you going), a daily walk or a warming asana class, just make sure you commit to one movement-based interlude a day! And, perfect for the season, we’ve got five invigorating Akhanda Advanced classes new to AYO and one Akhanda Foundations class outlined below!!

Breathe – In the cold season, amp up the Ujjai when you practice yoga. Add a little kapalabhati to your wake-up routine, or try chandra bhedi in the middle of the day. So many fun techniques. You don’t have to do a whole session, just fit 5 minutes of pranayama into your day throughout the day! I call this bus-stop Ujjai.

Engage with Sound – I like to use sound as a key in dropping into presence. Have you ever tried to hear the sound of a lone dry leaf twirling on its stem or the sparkling of ice crystals in a wintry forest? Get curious about sound!

Meditate – Winter is a natural time to cocoon. Settle down earlier in the evening and take advantage of this precious time. Make it more active or sonorous if you need to in this season. Walking meditation, bhramari meditation, mindful self massage with bergamot oil. Have fun with it!

Lean into Yogic Wisdom – Many of us are not getting out as much as we do with the longer summer evenings. Why not re-engage with one of your favourite books or podcasts. We’re excited to announce that by Equinox, we’ll have a new online philosophy offering ready for you.And I’ll keep you posted very soon about our winter webinars!

Savour the season!!