“In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus.
Now is the time to take a look around you and within you. Take time each week to clean out a space, a closet or a room that has become jumbled or cluttered. Likewise set time aside each week to turn your gaze inward. Look to your habits, eating patterns or thought processes. Ask yourself what is it that does not serve you physically, emotionally, spiritually or intellectually.
Create a space and time to just be; to be still and quiet. Learn to listen as opportunity can knock very softly.
Look into the winter Yantra above and repeat this mantra twelve times: "I am ready to let go in order to receive.”
As Swami Vivekananda said, “Take up one idea, make that one idea your life; Think it dream it, live on that idea. Let the brain, the muscles, nerves and every part of your body be full of that idea; and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
Nurture the seeds you will sow. Mother Earth knows when its time to send her shoots up to the surface, align with her; your seeds too will explode in full glory as the earth warms.
“I have made a garden out of my body, my mind is the spade, with it I have dug up illusions like weeds. I broke up the clods of worldliness I have raked the seeds of the spirit. My well is a thousand-fold lotus, my waterwheel my breath. My subtle Nadi is used to channel water to prevent the five oxen of the senses from trampling my crops. I have set up a fence all around of patience and poise…….. Day and night I have watched to protect my tender seedlings.” - Allama Prabhu
During this time of preparation it is essential to nourish the body and soul. It is important to receive what Mother Earth offers. This is the time for root vegetable, warm and hearty soups, stews and broths. Include herbs and spices that are not just heating but also therapeutic:
- Nutmeg when taken in warm milk (or soy alternative) at bedtime is known to promote sound sleep.
- Cloves strengthens the heart and warms the kidneys and is also known to be a powerful analgesic which can be taken in warmed milk (or soy alternative).
- Garlic is a rejuvenating herb and a powerful detoxifier. Heat but do not boil.
- Cinnamon harmonizes and strengthens the flow of circulation and is a good expectorant for treating colds and flu.
- Tumeric is an excellent natural antibiotic and blood purifier and is believed to inhibit the onset of Alzheimer’s. Take in warmed milk (or soy alternative).
During cold weather it is important to keep the body hydrated, internally and externally. Our skin becomes very dry due to heating systems and the cold outside air. Give yourself a weekly body oil massage, add a few drops of your favorite essence to warmed massage oil and indulge yourself. Your skin will smile!
Enjoy the warming aspects of a strong yang-based yoga practice. Building heat, strength and stamina with warming, powerful vinyasa flows.
In doing so you will be well prepared for your "invincible summer."
Debra Kochanczyk has been teaching for about ten years and believes strongly that yoga is for everybody. She takes into account all aspects of the human experience via stimulating the physical body, the emotional body, the intellectual body and the spiritual body. Debra lives and works in the U.A.E. and loves spreading the seeds of yoga to so many different nationalities. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.