Note: If you live in a part of the country/world that has cold winter weather, these practices will probably make more sense to you then to those of you living in a warm climate year round. But even so, they are good for those stressful times whether it’s cold or warm outside.
Winter with its shorter days is a time of rest. Nature is at rest and waiting for the warmth and newness of spring to begin. It’s a time for us, like nature, to turn inward. I love to just sit quietly in a cozy chair by a window with a warm cup of tea. It gives me a rest from the world and a get away from people, noise, technology, etc. A time to be totally present with just me. I love to gaze out the window and breathe in the beauty of winter, even if there’s no snow. To me, the grayness of the tree branches, the almost lifeless look of the ground and the illusion of stillness all around it as much a part of nature’s beauty as a flower garden in full bloom. You know that old saying that you can’t appreciate the good without experiencing the bad…or something like that? The same goes for the seasons, especially if you’re one of those who complains about winter.
While the days have become shorter and colder and most mammals hunker down, hibernate or just physically move more slowly, not us humans. For us, life only gets more frantic when temperatures drop and the holiday season comes and goes. We just keep on going. While the challenges that naturally arise in an active life can build strength, resilience, and confidence, a critical ingredient to that growth is easy to forget in our hyper-productive culture, recovery time. To put it simply, we need to make time for rest and turn our attention inward. This allows us to recover fully from all the stresses and strains of life. By relaxing the muscles, lowering your heart rate, and allowing your nervous system to stop constantly reacting, we can do what happens naturally in nature…rest & rejuvenate. This is what restorative yoga can do for you.
Below are 3 different restorative yoga home practices. Depending on which practice you do, the props you’ll need will vary. The first one is at the wall, so all you need is a wall…how easy is that! The other two you’ll need are some blankets and a few cushions or firm pillows. Click on the links for the instructions. I hope you’ll try all three!
Whether or not you do the restorative yoga, I invite you to listen to this short winter meditation. (scroll down to the bottom of the page)