Welcoming the winter time is a marvellous way to regain and rest for all of the efforts and ambitions of our modern lives.
In Australia our winter occurs mid year and in fact we are lucky really, because we do all our summer socialising across Dec/Jan, which genuinely leaves our winters for self reflection, nesting at home and hibernating, having hopefully bedded down the routines of our new year by this stage.
In the yoga community we definitely see this as the yin of the yin/yang time of year.
In pure yin yoga terms, it’s all about the water element, which is found in the kidney/urinary bladder systems of the body. The great water regulators of our system.
Recently during a Northern Hemisphere winter, I was lucky enough to visit Nozawaonsen in Japan with my family. It was really great to drop into a winter moment, in a place that entirely functions around a community living within an echo system who work to regulate the water in their community.
With natural hot springs flowing through the village, the elders cook in the hot waters, maintain public bath houses, tend to a huge dam and run a traditional ski field, with families taking their kids to school by community ski chair lift.
There is a lot of water, flowing, hot, cool, in ice form, in snow form, being dug up, being shovelled from roofs, tended to with salt on roads, cooking foods - being completely revered.
While completely surrounded by all this water, I was able to consider some of the wisdoms if the water.
The first thing that came to me was dehydration. How the cold is drying for our bodies, but also how really while us Aussies think about hydration in the hot months, do we really across the whole year consistently hydrate enough? Some do, but for me, it’s a struggle that needs constant attention.
I was noticing how without water to cool our bodies and the spleen stories, damp rises and becomes phlegm and drags other pathogens with it around the body, to become polluted forms of water.
So we must attend to drinking water in the winter months as a way for the body to warm up.
Our yogis at Lotus Bay Yoga this season are all invited to go on a water challenge, by starting the day with a glass of water. We probably already know we should do this, but it’s profound to take the reminder and turn it into action.
Take a look here at Amy’s video reflecting upon water in winter:
See you in class soon with Yin Yoga on Thursdays and Sundays at Driftwood Living in Little Bay. www.lotusbayyoga.com