“It’s a bit of a struggle…..” were words I heard more than once at the start of class last week in reference to the switch to daylight saving time.
Lots of us find the sudden loss of light this time of year quite a challenge, so here are a few of the many ways we can use our yoga practice to ease any sense of struggling…
Savasana – The drop in natural light can undoubtedly make us feel tired. Spending a little (or a lot!) of extra time lying flat on your back in Savasana, or ‘Corpse pose’ helps to reduce fatigue.
Tapas – This refers to the self-discipline, courage or passion we need to stick to a regular yoga practice or come out to class when it’s cold and raining. Just thinking about how you might feel in Savasana should do the trick….
Restore – Longer evenings lend themselves to restorative practices, in which supine and seated postures are held using the support of bolsters and blankets to rest the body and soothe the mind. If you haven’t tried restorative yoga, now would be a good time to start – I am teaching specialist restorative classes at the beautiful Life Centre in Islington every Friday afternoon from 23 November to 21 December. Let me know if you’d like more information.
Ustrasana – Something you might know better as Camal pose, this is a wonderful front body opener and a good counter-pose to the habitual rounding of the shoulders we tend to adopt as the weather gets colder. It will definitely feature in class before Christmas!
Garudasana & Gomukhasana (arms!) – Two poses fantastic for improving mobility in the shoulders, parts of the body that often get tight in the winter months. These will also find their way into my November class planning.
Lion’s breath – An energising practice excellent for releasing tension in the jaw and face. Perhaps something to integrate into your daily routine, especially in the run up to Christmas.
Equanimity – The Bhagavad Gita, a core yoga text, defines yoga as ‘equanimity’. This means we should accept the results of our actions, good and bad, with calmness and composure and not get too caught up in the details. For example, not cursing ourselves for hours if we happen to fall out of tree pose! A good lesson for life, especially when we feel stressed or things don’t go as planned.
Those looking for a stronger winter boost to their practice might be interested in taking one of the three remaining spaces on the next day retreat on Saturday 26th January. This will take place in a beautiful centre (photos below) in the historic riverside town of Henley on Thames, just one hour by train from central London. We will enjoy two extended yoga practices to energise, open and deeply rest the body and mind, a warming lunch from an award winning local caterer, homemade cake and a walk around the historical town centre. The day costs £68 and I have three spaces left. Do let me know if you would like one!
If that doesn’t work for you, I will be teaching a number of extra general/slow flow classes at the Life Centre in Islington on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings, afternoons and evenings over the next few months. Do let me know if you’d like more information.
Looking forward to seeing you at class soon,
Primrose Hill Yoga every Thursday @ 5.30. Email me for details and see www.carolineshawyoga.com.
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