The other day I was talking with someone about the cold weather, and I realized I no longer mind winter as much. Since my sojourn into Ayurveda, I’ve come to embrace nature’s cycles. Time is not linear, life is not linear, everything comes around again, and it’s all temporary. Ayurveda teaches us to live more in harmony with nature, so we embrace the beauty of each season.
The cold and darkness of winter lends encourages more rest, more quiet, more ease as we slow down and turn inward. To balance the dark we can bring in soul-soothing light from candles, or twinkle lights strung around the room. I personally leave my holiday candles in the window, and beautiful lanterns in most of my spaces to add a warm glow during these dark times of the year. In fact, all these extra lights (on timers) help me to notice when we are gaining light again, and I either have to adjust the timers or put away the lanterns.
The qualities of winter also allows for more profound meditation sessions. When the world around you asks you to turn in early and you listen, you may awaken to the light that resides within you. Our yoga practice may help us to notice the light within each one of us, from the heart which is represented by the single candle flame to the fiery sun located at our navel. Some even notice the light at the third eye which can shine forward lighting the way to our next best self.
Here are my five best winter-loving tips:
1- Add some light in the form of candles (real flame, or LED) or twinkle lights to the rooms you are in the most.
2- Get outside everyday no matter what the weather. Enjoy the crisp, cold air (or tolerate it enough that you can enjoy your warm home upon return!)
3- Meditate more, or start if you don’t currently practice. Winter is naturally quieter, so it’s a great time to start.
4- Drink afternoon tea. Make it a warming, rejuvenating ritual.
5- Sleep more! Go to bed early (ideally no later than 10pm) and see what happens. Circadian Science has found the more hours you sleep before midnight, the better your overall sleep quality will be.