On average in the UK right now we get 8-9 hours of daylight, which means our brains have to work harder to produce melatonin which is a hormone made by the pineal gland.
The pea-sized gland is found in the brain, around the centre of your eyebrows. (Third eye for Chakra fans). The pineal helps your body know when it's time to sleep and wake up, which is why it’s so hard to wake up early during the winter. It’s still dark, the pineal is telling your body ‘it’s still night time!’
You may find your sleep patterns are a little disturbed or irregular this time of year.
This article will YinSpire you to live in alignment with the seasons.
The weather is unsettling, freezing cold, bursts of rain and then sunny. We don’t know what to expect. I leave the house in the morning with a little of everything; woolly hat, gloves and sunglasses. The unpredictability alone is a bit draining.
So, what we need this time of year is rest, recovery and some consistency, which is why increasingly in classes I teach similar sequences for a period of about 4 weeks. The theme in classes recently has been grounding and uplifting, a lot of time spent low to the ground because the energy and abundance we get in summer just isn’t there right now (as much as we might want it to be). Too much rest and relaxation though and you’ll find it hard to motivate yourself to get things done. There is time to be yang af, but right now, lets be YinSpired.
Winter is the Yin time of year, it’s characterised as dark, slow and inward. The earth is calm and quiet, plants and animals lie dormant, conserving energy for the warmer, brighter months.
Modify your Yoga practice to suit the season and climate
Consider your activities and habits, and whether they’re in alignment with the season
Choose warming, easy to digest foods. Raw diets in cold climates doesn't tend to sit well in the digestive system.
My favourite Yin activities are; increasing my blood hot chocolate level, eating jacket potatoes, reading and planning for the summer months. I like to schedule activities or daydream about days at the beach. What are yours? I’m genuinely interested!
To understand more about sleep, listen to my Yoga Pose Podcast epsiode on the subject of rest.
Check out my seasonal retreat offerings here.
Photo by Sarah Alice Lee.