Yoga for the winter solstice

Sunrise over a snowy field

In the stillness of the solstice we pause and become aware of our visions and the seeds of our future growth waiting for birth. A time of reflection and celebration of the return of the sun as the days begin to lengthen.  (from Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred)

A lovely way to spend the winter solstice, preparing for the workshop I’m running tomorrow.

Although the darkest time of year, for me it marks the return of the sun as the days begin to lengthen once more. Doing Surya Namaskara, the sun sequence is a wonderful way to express our gratitude for the sun and to visualise it’s warmth and light, filling us with energy and vitality.

I also associate solstice with candles and the light of flames, as the sun is one huge mass of fire and light. We’ll be practicing a sequence based on a Dru dance called Becoming the Flame, which inspires you to strengthen your own inner flame.

And this darkness at the turning point of the year gives us time for reflection, for turning inwards. Looking back and looking towards the year ahead thinking about what seeds you’d like to sow in your life in order to grow into who you really are.

 

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Inner radiance

reflecting candle

“The warrior of light concentrates on the small miracles of daily life.

He is capable of seeing what is beautiful because he carries beauty within himself, for the world is a mirror and gives back to each man the reflection of his own face. The warrior knows his faults and limitations , but he does all he can to maintain his good humour in moments of crisis.

The world is, after all, doing its best to help him, even though everything around him seems to be saying the opposite”.

From the Manual of the Warrior of Light by Paul Coelho

And as your own inner light glows more brightly, so it shines out and reflects back to you, making the world seem a brighter place. Some lovely flowing movements in class this week based around a Dru dance named Becoming the Flame, which will help you to develop your inner strength and become more radiant.

Relax, relax

Words for relaxation

At this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and all the preparations for Christmas. Yoga gives us that breathing space to relax and recharge the batteries. In the classes before Christmas we’re focussing on de-stressing and relaxation, but at the same time enjoying a good stretch to release tension from the body. We’re also thinking about light – candle-flames, moonlight and stars. Visualising yourself warm and filled with light is a very nurturing and powerful thing to do, particularly when the days are so short.