Reflections of Winter

By Rodney Yee, December, 2016

Winter is a time when nature loses its fall colors and exposes the bones and highlights the roots. It is a time for hibernation and deep sleep and a different use of energy. The sun rises late and sets early. We are part of this great cycle of seasons and change and for us to deny it puts us in a state of isolation, confusion, and exhaustion. Consider the world before electric lights – as humans we had time before sleep that was filled with reflection, quiet time, intimate family and village interactions, and listening to our inner voices and our breath and body. These relationships within our inner realms substantiated an orientation and a foundation.

What serves this role in our present day lives? Does our cell phone and all of its communication apps serve as our new earth?  My five senses desire full usage and with the present technology my senses feel starved and much of my connectivity is shut down.

In comes Modern Yoga to save the day? Take off your shoes. Let the body take on every possible shape. Revitalize your sense of touch. Become aware of your breathing and be conscious of smelling the nuances of the moment. Eyes, ears, and even tongue wake up when the mind is honed to return to the present.  Being this awake and vital relies on training the mind in meditation and on resting and balancing the body through asana.

As winter reminds us every year to change our focus to our inner world, let’s take note and get to our mats for restorative poses, pranayama, and sitting meditation. Set up for a different season. Take out those winter jackets and the snow boots but also get a new book, dust off your meditation cushion, and set up your props for your favorite restorative pose.

Om Shanti,

Rodney Yee

Rodney is a world-renowned yoga teacher who started practicing yoga in 1980. He has been in over thirty yoga videos, and is the author of two books, including Moving Toward Balance. Along with his wife, Colleen Saidman Yee, he is the co-director of Heath and Wellness Initiative of the Urban Zen Foundation, Donna Karan’s project to change the healthcare paradigm to include complementary healthcare practices. He has been teaching at Colleen's studio, Yoga Shanti Sag Harbor, for several years, and is one of the founding members of Yoga Shanti New York.

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