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Winter, Wisdom & Water

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Where we live here in York, we’ve moved into the dark half of the year – a time of magic (which York is excels at) and also the beginning of a time of restoration.

Each turn of season, according to Chinese classical philosophy brings about a change of element. We’ve moved into the Water Element. Standing in the energy of water is about being still and quiet – which is a challenge in our society, with all of its expectations and demands, particularly as culturally everything gets ramped up for Christmas.

However, nature has other ideas; everything in its season. York is so beautiful. We feel very blessed to live where we do and as Tulsi and I spend so much time outside we really experience the changing seasons – actively celebrating the qualities of each one. There’s something really peaceful about November, the calm before the frenzy. We spend a lot of time in Rowntrees Park and by the river, there’s such poetry about the park in winter.

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Winter is about quietude and restoration, it’s a state of resting within so that our energy is collected and held in reserve, enabling us to burst forward in the spring with power and force, once again living to our full potential.

It’s not always easy to live within nature, but there are practical steps we can take to stay healthy. Go to bed earlier and banish all screens from the bedroom! ipads, phones, laptops) Eat nourishing soups and warm stews. Drink plenty of water! And make sure you get out in the sunlight every day – we need at least 30 minutes, even on a cloudy day to stay healthy.

It’s always harder to get to your yoga practice in the winter, but it’s the key to staying well. It’s easy-peasey when it’s warm and the evening’s are light, but this takes grit – it’s true warrior work to get off the sofa and come.

Our practice this month will focus on generating warmth and enjoying deep twists, keeping our internal fires stoked, moving that fire around the body to keep us well and using that warmth to sooth us in our extended relaxations.

Stay warm, rest well & get to the front of your mat!