I sit here writing this post with blue sky outside and slight wind. There is a promise of hail and rain later today. What a great time time to write when winter is well and truly with us.
It does really feel like a true Melbourne winter this year. I generally do like the colder climate, it is the lack of blue skies in Melbourne that can make the winter season difficult for me. I have found that I need to make some adjustments to my activity level and habits to get me through the colder months with a reasonable intact body and mind!
According to the practices of tradition medicines, the colder periods are times for reflection and introspection; not similar to hibernating bears. I take this to mean making use of the shorter days by doing less and longer nights to go to bed early and a little sleep in (“yeah” says my teenage son)! I used to not allow myself to sleep in as there is a part of me constantly saying you are not good enough if you do not wake to practice at 5:30am. I find that hanging on tightly to that belief and not honouring my bodily seasonal needs, did not make me a pleasant person to be around. It is a very easy way to make your yoga practice hypertensive!
My diet tends to move towards warm liquids. The one bowl meals makes a comeback at our household in winter; Hearty stews and soups rules. Even stir-fry tend to have a soupy sort of nature to it. I even make myself a warm milky (yes dairy) drink after teaching evening classes. I am not sure why but I find the warmth of the liquid sliding down my throat rather soothing. Raw food is out the window this season.
I found that going into deep hibernation mode is not for me as the sense of connection with my community is still important during the grey days. There is seriously nothing better than steaming up the whole house with a hotpot meal with family and close friends. Probably still with the hot liquid idea here!
A winter clean out is a new addition to my winter months routine. I had the pleasure of spending the school holidays with my daughter in Melbourne. We spend about a week clearing out cupboards and to do list. Boy, was that liberating! Forget spring cleaning- winter cleaning is KING!
I think it is with the practice of yoga that I have become a lot more attuned to my bodily needs and be able to be adapting in my mental and physical activities. So, I am not going to be telling you that is what you need to do to get through Melbourne’s winter. I will encourage you to try different things and be curious, while you hold your beliefs lightly.