“The soul usually knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”
– Caroline Myss
December is a time marked by waiting and introspection. In the northern hemisphere, we are snuggling in with anticipation of the dark days and nights of winter. Those of us who celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah are waiting, marking this interim time of expectancy and contemplation day by day.
While I truly love the giddiness, lights, sounds and sharing of the holiday season, I also truly dread the dark months of winter. I like to be outside all day; I like overbearing sunshine and bare arms and tan lines. I like sunglasses and sweating and frizzy hair and the expansive energy of summer. Winter is none of these things.
However, I’ve made it a point over the past few years to pinpoint and appreciate the silence and potential of the winter season. There is power in the silence of the season; there is promise in long evenings of introspection and heavy blankets and book reading. I’ve noticed that with this attitude, by New Year, I’ve gained a new appreciation of rest– both physically and spiritually– as if all I needed to do was to become quiet enough to listen to what my soul really needs.
Here are four ideas to help you appreciate the interim time of waiting and deep winter this year:
Drink herbal, warming drinks: In Ayurveda, the medicinal science of yoga, winter is an important time to eat root vegetables, drink non-caffeinated spicy drinks, and rest in the evenings. Try my favorite hot, herbal tea:
Cinnamon-Orange Peel Tea:
- Place 1 cinnamon stick in your mug
- Peel a medium-sized orange and add 1/2 its peel in your mug
- Add 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Add 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- Pour 10 oz. steaming water over your concoction and let it steam for 8-10 minutes and enjoy
Get Moving every day: Nothing screams depression like being sedentary. Try a physical activity that inspires introspection like running, walking or yoga. If you are stuck inside due to icy sidewalks, hit up my teacher Tiffany Cruikshank on YogaGlo.com. This is a high-quality online yoga site that offers classes with master teachers ranging from fifteen minutes to one hour.
Start a daily Reflection Practice: Winter is the perfect time to begin a daily reflection practice. Challenge yourself to turn off the TV a few minutes early before bedtime and spend ten minutes in reflection. Grab a journal and finish these sentences…
- Today, I was inspired by…
- Today I experienced love…
- Today showed me that my Soul needs…
- Today I am grateful for…
Re-commit to a daily Meditation Practice: Dark mornings and evenings mean you’ll be inside anyway; sit down in a quiet place for ten minutes, light a candle and tune in to your intuition.
New to Meditation? Not sure how to start? Join me for my first ever on-line class, Distance Learning Class: Meditation for Stress Relief. This is the perfect introduction class for Beginners. Register through Westport Yoga KC today!
Distance Learning: Meditation for Stress Relief
3-Week ONLINE COURSE January 27- February 10, 2019
Zoom Conference Meetings: 2 pm Sundays January 27, February 3 and February 10, 2019
In this distance learning class, you’ll master the 5 basic steps of Organizing a Meditation Practice that relieves stress and reduces anxiety.
You’ll learn the physiological benefits of meditation, bust some common myths of meditation and master 12+ stress-busting practices you can incorporate into your daily routine. Together in our Zoom Conference Meetings, we’ll learn and practice techniques to trigger our body’s natural Relaxation Response and have time for discussion in an intimate learning environment.
In between our 3 Zoom Conference Meetings, you’ll complete homework assignments and enjoy the opportunity to check in with your fellow classmates. You’ll also receive weekly Inspiration in your inbox from Lisa, encouraging a successful plan for at-home daily meditation practice.
The course includes a detailed e-manual for future reference. You don’t even have to leave the house! (Zoom is an online conferencing program available for free download.)
Spots are limited; registration closes January 22, 2019.