Yoga with Kerry

Winter/Holiday Yoga Practice

Posted by Kerry Turner on Thursday, December 31, 2009
Winter, especially the Christmas Holidays can be a confusing time, mentally and physically.
Naturally our bodies are designed to hibernate, seek calmness, self-awareness, and groundedness during the winter. However, as we have all experienced, the holidays tend to be a time for fun--filled, social activities which can leave us not only feeling ridiculously full, but also ungrounded. When we move into this unsettling place of ungroundedness we may show physical and emotional signs of unbalance such as anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, lethargy, and lack of motivation.

For many years I have felt these feelings during the holidays without understanding their root cause. I love to spend the holidays with friends and family enjoying a variety of social activities, indulging in all sorts of delicious treats and having alot of fun but I always come away feeling slightly uneasy, bloated, and looking for stability. This year I attempted to participate in social activities without losing myself in the process. 
This year I spent the holidays with my family, a fun-filled, action-packed week indulging in plenty of food, drink and socializing. It was a wonderful time, and after returning from a long 7 hour road trip (winter driving) I found myself drawn to my Yoga mat and participating in an impromptu Yoga session. This session was completely and wonderfully spontaneous. Instead of developing a lesson plan, or thinking ahead of sequencing, or rehearsing mentally various poses I simply let my body flow, without a timeline or goal. I didn't light candles, or prepare my room in any special way, nor did I practice in any type of traditional flow.

In reflection, this practice may be one of the best practices I have ever participated in, if not the silliest for its lack of structure. I went from standing poses, to reclined poses and back up for Sun Salutations and seated and back to reclined with a whole lot of childs poses thrown in the mix.

When I started this blog I was thinking of sharing a traditional, reflective style Yoga practice for you to practice as we enter the New Year. However, after reading my own words on spontaneity and the joy in simply doing without thinking and planning, I recommend that everyone try to incorporate elements of spontaneity into their lives. Take a moment to reflect if that is what your body and mind are craving, or do a yoga pose outside, salute the moon with a moon salutation, or relax on the couch wihtout any guilt.

When we truly, authentically listen to our bodies gentleness and ease can be found. It is within these moments where we find stillness, the sense of joy and peace.
For me, this discovery comes from a place of spontaneity and so I welcome you as we enter the New Year and New Decade to practice more spontaneity in your life and begin to let go the feeling of losing control.
The moment you stop trying to get control over something is the moment you feel more control in your life.

I wish you all joy, ease and a sense of peace as we move forward into 2010, and hopefully a year full of spontaneity, and fun!