Our Monthly Yoga Project explores the benefits of yoga for the body and mind, while giving me an outlet to share the growth and awesomeness of my personal practice. While I am not a doctor or a yoga instructor, I hope to share the knowledge of others who are, in supporting the evidence that yoga creates wellness. I encourage you to share your yoga journey, write in with questions, and practice daily as a way to celebrate the vitality of yoga.
It’s the holidays. Which means living above standard means. We spend more, we stress more, we eat more, we drink more, we stay up late thinking about about gifts and meals, parties and presents. Our minds warped with holiday songs, our bodies strung out on sugary sweets, the holiday season can leave us feeling tangled up, just like the Christmas lights you’ve been trying to straighten out for the past two hours. While the spirit of the season is to give, give, give- to those you love, to those in need, to the young, and to the old- there is one person you should be sure to treat well. In order to find solace during a busy holiday season, give to yourself. How? By balancing the body and mind.
Balance takes discipline. Mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional focuses drive balance. A concentration that we lose in the hustle of the holidays, that only we can achieve for ourselves. We should trust in our instincts to find balance, and we should work with the rhythm of the Earth.
Catherine Ashton, yoga teacher, reminds us of the powerful days leading to Winter Solstice, “The darkest day of the year begins the Winter season, which is a time of solitude and introspection. We simply wait, with ourselves, and may take the opportunity to consciously co-create a life of our own choosing, by calling to us those experiences and moments which we seek. Solstice is a time to reconnect to Mother Earth, the seasons and ultimately, to ourselves.”
Holding balance poses gives us a time to reconnect with our drives. Time to meditate, to self-reflect, to work towards stillness, to silence ourselves, to feel the Earth and ground into it. Finding balance takes a perfect combination of effort and effortlessness, if that makes any sense at all.
I think about everything that I try to keep in balance in my life- time and energy for family, for our daughter, for my husband, for our friends, for my home, for my freelance work, for this site, and importantly, for myself. When I become overwhelmed, or feel an imbalance, I am learning that I can only restore homeostasis to myself. Once I feel well-rounded again, things seem to fall into their respectful place.
My Reflection on Tree Pose
A strong tree needs a solid trunk, rooted into the Earth, it’s branches reaching out, absorbing sun and life. It may sway, it may even bend, but the healthy tree remains constant in its growth, firm in it’s ground. In the harsh winter, the tree loses it’s beauty, it’s luster, it’s color. The tree bares it all. In the cold, the rain, the snow, the ice. The tree has no choice but to stand strong. To root. To continue it’s growth, regardless of what lands on it’s branches. How am I the winter tree? How do I reach out for light? How do I pursue growth and stand strong when the unexpected alters my plans?
Want to see how Our Monthly Yoga Project all started, check it out!
If you missed last month, please catch up: Our Monthly Yoga Project: Poses for Digestion
And now for my legal disclaimer: If you catch something cool from my view, like adapting to a healthier diet or adding fitness goals to your lifestyle, please be safe and consult with a professional first. Please keep in mind I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, certified counselor, licensed practitioner, or insured therapist. I only practice and encourage yoga, I don’t teach it. At least, not yet. I am mostly an activist, and totally a mom.