Relax into who you really are.
You are magnificence itself.
Let go of resistance to everything,
And what remains is the perfect flow
Of effortless Life.
What you are unwilling to feel
Remains as tension,
Becomes gnawing, Grows into addiction.
Restore the capacity to feel fully,
To allow the experience without flinching,
And the addiction, the gnawing, the tension,
Rest here and things are simple.
~ Arjuna (from the epic, Bhagavad Gita)
The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year (in yoga this is the ida energy, the femine, and the nourishing). It also marks the shortest day of the year (in yoga, this energy is represented by productivity, penetration and externally focused energy).
The solstice is a natural time within the cycle of life, where it is organic to rest, regenerate, gestate, and recover. It is the time when nature prepares for rebirth and emergence into spring.
Winter solstice is also a time to practice being quiet: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is a proper time to rest the digestion, draw back from life’s stimuli, and find stillness.
Here are some tips to bring the winter solstice more fully into your yoga practice:
- · Meditate on gratitude ~ make a list or create a piece of art or mandala that marks all of the magic that has occurred in your life this past year. The simple things also apply.. things such as, “wow! I stayed well all spring without catching cold”, or “My car didn’t break down even once!”
- · Practice lunar breathing…. Sit in a comfortable position, place your right index finger and middle finger on your forehead and close your eyes. Exhale completely. Use your right thumb to close the right nostril and inhale through your left nostril. Close the left nostril with the 4th finger of the right hand. Exhale out the right nostril. Repeat this for approximately 10 minutes.
- · Take a technology break from sunrise on the 21st of December to noon on the 22nd.
- · Practice a gentle and reflective yoga practice
- · Invite clarity and beauty into your life – mark this with a dance, a walk in nature, a yoga practice or an artistic creation
The beauty of winter solstice is that it is when Nature lets go of all that has been spent. There is no need for you to do it… just breathe and align with nature and what serves your highest good will flourish and that which does not will fall swiftly and effortlessly away.
Om Namo Ganapatayeh Namah!