With the winter season in full throttle and negative temperatures freezing our nose hairs together, it’s easy to believe the lies that spring will never get here. Well, I have some good news—spring is on its way! Okay, I admit that I don’t really believe it, either.
There is a reason for every season, even the long, drawn-out winter.
If you’ve caught cabin fever, seasonal affective disorder, or the winter blahs, then you understand why the cold days and even colder nights can bring an uneasiness along with it. And a muffin top. And pale skin. And an ever-increasing urge to jump on any plane heading South.
It’s time to consult your inner yogi.
All the philosophy you’ve picked up from asana class and self-study comes in handy in moments like these. Take comfort in knowing that you have the patience, strength, prana, and these following tips to get yourself through the worst of this season.
1. Take it as it is.
Just like seasons in life, the changing weather brings rain, snow, and sunshine. While we may naturally smile at the sun and frown at the rain, yoga teaches us to be indifferent to our external circumstances.
No matter what happens around us, all happiness and contentment is ultimately found on the inside.~April Saunders
I often forget this simple truth. There is beauty in each day, a reason to practice gratitude, and happiness from within.
2. Be consistent.
It’s easy to skip class, minimize your tasks, and hibernate during the dead of winter.
And sometimes that’s okay! But don’t let your lack of motivation keep you from being consistent. If you allow the drab weather to affect your ability to be productive at work, maintain friendships, and keep your body healthy, then it’s time to intervene.
Consider taking some shortcuts. Invest in a light therapy lamp to trick your brain into thinking it’s sunny outside. Take a vitamin D3 supplement.
And if cooking a healthy meal is too much work for you right now, consider a healthy green juice or smoothie. You will still get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients needed to keep your body going strong without all the fuss!
3. Move. Your. Body.
With energy levels low, working out takes extra effort because making it to the gym feels like a workout in itself! Try changing it up a bit. Signing up for an intro rate at a new yoga studio—like Bikram—is guaranteed to keep you on your toes and SWEAT regardless of the subzero temperatures outside.
Yin yoga is also another great option this time of year. The slower pace of this intense stretching class can be done in cozy sweats and really help you feel restored.
4. Snuggle and accept.
Winter can be the warmest season with cozy fireplaces, hot cinnamon tea, thick blankets, and extra socks. This is a great opportunity to write letters of gratitude to your loved ones, update the photo album, and work on that tight hamstring with the foam roller in the middle of the living room floor.
Practice loving and accepting things for what they are in the present moment, instead of wishing for the future or dwelling on the past. Embrace your winter Kapha and keep it in balance with love, acceptance, and yoga.
Do you have anything to add to this list of suggestions for kicking ass this winter? Let us know, yogis and yoginis!