Would you believe that I’ve just taken these photos on the last day of November? If it wasn’t for the lack of leaves on the trees, it would be easy to believe, with such blue sky and brilliant sunlight, that this is mid summer. However, on stepping outside the door, there is no doubt that we are on the verge of winter, having had a deep frost and temperature down to minus 6 last night. Clearly, therefore, not summer!
I don’t relish the dark mornings and afternoons at this time of year and I think I am not alone in that feeling. Days like this are heartening. To see the sun and blue sky on such a day can lift our spirits. The air is colder and it brings a sharpness to the breath that makes us feel alive and vibrant. By being mindful of our surroundings and being more present in our lives, we can feel brighter, lighter and happier. The good news is that, by the time we reach Christmas day, the days will start to lengthen again, so lighter, brighter days will come into prospect.
For the critics amongst you, dear readers, I know only too well that, however optimistic we are, life does not always appear as a bright, sunny day on a day by day basis. We all have our dramas and our crises, our ups and our downs. It is only in experiencing the many points along the scales of life that we come to understand own lives better and to make the most of where we are on our own journey through life.
For me, yoga is like a bright, sunny day helping us through the dark and dull days of the winter. It helps us to learn to be more mindful of our feelings, our surroundings, what is happening in our lives. We can learn to relax in our bodies and quieten in our minds and, in learning to release in ourselves, we can perhaps learn to let go of – or at least give a little from – the things that do not always serve us well in our lives. This improves our health and wellbeing and enhances our feelings of balance and harmony in our every day lives. And, my experience has shown me, that, as our self-awareness grows, our choices in life expand.
© Sarah Swan (November 2016)