Yoga and Meditation in winter are excellent tools to keep our body and mind balanced throughout the colder season. This blog post explains what simple practises you could add to your daily routine in order to get trough winter in good spirits and good shape.
In the winter months it is not unusual for many of us to have less energy than in the warmer months of the year. Keeping up a regular practise (or starting one) of yoga and meditation in winter can make a world of difference to our overall wellbeing and level of energy. Even just 10-15 minutes per day can significantly improve our physical and mental health.
Here some ideas of what you could incorporate into your yoga practise:
- Move your body. Sun salutation is a fantastic yogic practise for energizing the body. Doing three – twelve rounds of sun salutations (according to your body’s capability) every morning (or however often you can fit it into your schedule) can keep you flexible and healthy.
- Meditate. Especially in challenging times doing something to calm your mind can be one of the greatest gifts to yourself. If you don’t have a meditation practise you can try the simple practise below.
- Stop and become present. Acknowledge what you are doing. What are you seeing, smelling or ? tasting? What are you hearing, thinking, or feeling? Be as much in the present moment NOW as possible. By doing so you are getting out of your train of thoughts, which can promote your health and wellbeing because it has a relaxing effect on the nervous system.
- Chant a Mantra. Mantras are have been used for thousands of years to break through unbeneficial thought pattern. If we chant a mantra, the mantra takes over the space where we usually have unwanted chatter in our heads. In this way we can shift from a lower vibration to a higher vibration (the one of the mantra). Try singing the mantra “Ang Sang Wahe Guru”. It means: The dynamic, loving energy of the Infinite Source of All is dancing within every cell of me. Otherwise you can also just listen to it here and let you mind be transformed by it.
- Take enough time to rest throughout the day. Lye in position called Savasana or Corpse Pose. For this all you need to do is lie on your back on the floor (no cushion under your head). Have your hands alongside your body with your palms up and rest in this position once a day, for 7 – 11 minutes. This super simple pose has multiple benefits: calms the central nervous system, aiding the digestive and immune systems, calms the mind and reduces stress, reduces headache, fatigue and anxiety and also helps lower blood pressure.
Here are two simple meditation techniques that are suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners alike:
- Sit down in a comfortable cross-legged position with your spine straight (or sit on a chair with your spine upright if that is much easier for you). Put a timer on for 5, 7 or 11 minutes. Throughout that time imagine your are outside your head observing what thoughts arise in your mind. Watch the thoughts without judging them or getting involved in them. Acknowledge them and let them pass by. After a couple of minutes shift your focus to concentrate on the gap / the stillness between the thoughts. When you can keep your attention on the stillness for longer periods of time that is when you really start getting into meditation.
- Bring your focus to your breath. Inhale completely (tummy rises) exhale completely (tummy goes down). Really try to keep your body (especially the shoulders) relaxed but use the maximal capacity of your lungs. On every inhalation mentally chant the mantra SAT and on the exhalation mentally chant NAM. Visualize the mantra at the third eye while you chant it. The mantra SAT NAM means Truth is my true identity. When thoughts come just bring your awareness back to the mantra. Practice this meditation for 5, 7 or 11 minutes. If you an advanced practitioner then practice up to 31 minutes.
Meditation takes practise, so be patient. The rewards however are priceless.
Yoga and Meditation in winter is a wonderful way to stay balanced and in tune with yourself. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.