Last month we considered how choosing discomfort can assist our quest for Balance. Winter can be uncomfortable!
Finding Balance in Winter: Nurturing Mind and Body
Brisbane Winter has arrived in force and, it’s essential to pay attention to our well-being and keep seeking balance and re-balance in our lives. The colder temperatures and shorter days can affect our bodies in unique ways, requiring us to adapt and find harmony within ourselves. Let’s explore how our bodies respond to the cooler weather and shorter days, and intentionally build practises for nurturing our well-being during the winter season.
The Body’s Response to Cooler Weather
During winter, our bodies respond to the drop in temperature in several ways. Firstly, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and maintain core body temperature. This can lead to decreased blood circulation, making us feel colder. Additionally, our metabolic rate may increase slightly as our bodies work harder to generate warmth. And, of course, cooler weather can cause muscles to tighten, leading to stiffness and reduced flexibility To counter these effects, it is crucial to engage in activities that promote warmth and flexibility, such as Yoga!
“In winter’s embrace, our bodies seek warmth and harmony. Embrace the season with practices that nurture your soul and body.”
The reduced daylight hours during winter can affect our mood and energy levels. Many people experience a dip in serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, due to limited exposure to natural sunlight. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, low motivation, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Sound familiar? To counteract these effects, it is essential to prioritize self-care activities that uplift the spirit and boost overall well-being. Yoga, the overdue massage (in a warm room!) connecting with friends and getting into Nature. “Winter is the perfect time to turn inward, explore the depths of your being, and reconnect with your inner sanctuary.”
Get into Yoga
Practicing Yoga during winter can be an excellent way to maintain physical and mental well-being. The flowing movements and focussed breathing during Yoga practises help increase blood circulation, warm the body, and enhance flexibility. Additionally, the camerderie, mindfulness and relaxation techniques incorporated at Centenary Yoga can reduce stress and uplift the spirit.
Prioritize Self-Care Rituals
Engaging in self-care rituals is vital during the winter season and these may be quite different to your Summer self care. Taking warm baths infused with essential oils (Cleopatra’s bath: add 1/4 cup milk to diffuse the oils and treat your skin), practicing meditation, if only for 5 quiet minutes per day, and enjoying an extra cup of warming herbal tea can provide a sense of comfort and relaxation. Listen to your body’s needs and make time for activities that nourish your soul.
Connect with Nature
Outdoors? in Winter? Please do, it’s crucial to spend time in nature whenever possible. Bundle up warmly and take a brisk walk at Rocks Riverside park or Toohey Forest. The fresh air and natural surroundings can uplift your mood, boost circulation. Your connection to the natural world is omnipresent, get out an experience it!
Finding balance in winter is a journey of self-care and mindfulness. By understanding how our bodies respond to cooler weather and shorter days, we can make conscious choices to support our well-being. Embracing indoor yoga, prioritizing self-care rituals, and connecting with nature are all ways to nurture our bodies and minds during the winter season. As we navigate through the colder months, let us remember to embrace the beauty of winter and find inner harmony amidst its challenges. Discomforts are simply reminders from our bodies to choose actions which bring us to Rebalance.
Finding Balance in our Yoga practice and life is a continuous journey and part of our human condition. Yes, it requires us to keep an open mind, a willingness to expand our comfort zones, and a commitment to self-care. At Centenary Yoga, we know that navigating Winter is an essential part of this rebalancing process. Let us embrace the discomfort, prioritize self-care, and consciously create a Balanced and fulfilling life. Each and every moment. Thanks for reading! Namaste 🙂