It’s hard to believe we are already well into the fourth week of the New Year. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us we are moving deeper into the winter season of rest and renewal.
In winter, nature stops its outward growth and turns inward. This pause allows the earth to restore its internal energy reserves. Our inner landscape reflects this cyclical slowing of the natural world. This is the time to pause, breathe, go deep inside. To let the body be still and replenish itself.
In the midst of hectic lives lived in a city that moves at a lightning-fast pace, this is much easier said than done. We all have many responsibilities to work, family, and friends that often leave us with little time for our own self-care. Finding 60 minutes for a restorative yoga class or 30 minutes to sit in meditation may some days seem an impossible task.
However, you don’t need tons of time to give the body and mind a chance to slow down. Start small:
- take one minute upon waking, either lying or sitting in bed, to close your eyes, connect to your breath, and clear your mind
- in the evening, lie for 5 minutes with your legs up the wall (Viparita Karani) while practicing deep breathing
- during your daily subway ride, take a short seated meditation by closing the eyes, focusing on the breath, inhaling the word “let”, exhaling “go”
These tiny pauses sprinkled throughout a busy day may not seem like much, but they can be just enough to calm the mind, rest the body, and open the heart. Gradually you may find yourself making more and more space and time to relax and restore.
Christine Malossi is a freelance writer and yoga teacher based in Manhattan.