It’s cold outside, but no matter, I’m still going out…

Make friends with snow. Make friends with the cold. It takes only a few minutes to step outside and stretch, and you’ll go back in feeling refreshed and more alive.

As you inhale, slowly stretch to the right and hold the pose.  Exhale as you come back to the center. Then, inhale and  stretch the opposite way. Repeat  as many times as you wish. Your body will be really thankful for this little gift of a stretch. 

If you’re courageous, make the snow your bed for a few minutes. Find a clean snow-fluffy place and lie down. Take a few deep breaths. Expand the belly as you breathe in, and allow it to fall as you exhale. Relax your legs and let your feet freely drop to each side. When ready, take both your arms and squeeze your knees close to your chest. Breathe in and out, slowly, evenly. Feel the stretch of your spine and sacrum. Go to the next position and hold one knee close to your chest but stretch the opposite leg and arm all the way up. Feel your joints opening. Look up at your palm and see how much you are able to elongate your limbs. Hold for as long as you are comfortable. Don’t let yourself get too cold!  Repeat on the other side.

***Do not do this exercise if you feel unsafe in the snow. You can do it at home on your own bed if that makes you feel better. The most important thing is to move and stretch your body every day, especially during these long winter months.***

Seasons of Life – Mirrors of Nature

As we move through the major seasons of life – from childhood to old age – our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being is affected in a myriad of different ways. In fact, the seasons of our environment – spring, summer, autumn and winter affect us on many levels. 

Each season has its own energy and its own wisdom. If we pay attention and immerse ourselves into the season we connect to  nature as it flows through us, bringing inevitable change. Feeling safe, grounded, and stable in these moments can be possible with any kind of energy practice, such as Tai Qi, Qigong, and Yoga. We can surrender safely to the challenges of life as we  recognize ourselves as part of nature. It is even easier to envision our future when we trust the process of transformation that takes place in nature as a mirror that takes place in us.

As you contemplate winter, here are some benefits and suggestions to carry with you in this beautiful season:
You have more time for yourself, for self discovery.
It is a time of inner growth, listening to your inner rhythm, to your voice.
It allows you to contemplate your inner nature and to know your inner strengths.
Treat winter as a quiet, slow time with no distractions.
Use winter to learn about your inner resources and consider possibilities for spring.
As life holds you still feel the pristine beauty of solitude.
This is the taste of gentle, uncrushed vibration. You too can be gentle with yourself.
This calm and peace will not last long so dive into it and cherish every moment. As winter nears its conclusion, take time to go deep inside and feel the pulsing of upcoming change. Allow. You are strong. Your resources are plentiful.