Winter as a Long Posture Hold

It's late January;  a time of scheduling upheavals, dry skin outbreaks, nasty colds, and a blanket of grey fog shrouding the sun.  Spring isn't close enough to wish for and a stretch of cold, wet, grey days carries on with no end in sight. Let's face it- we've seen better days and we're starting to feel as if we can hardly remember them.  This is the long posture hold of winter. When we're on our mats and ready to leave a pose, it's been said that this is when a posture really begins- the moment we get the impulse to leave it. And because we are in class, we stay beyond that impulse. This, as we know as yogis, is when the yoga gets interesting. The mat is a laboratory and the posture hold is a mirror for our habits, our knee-jerk reactions, our relationship to discomfort, to boredom, to challenge, to whatever comes up when we are holding a position we don't want to be in. In the same way, winter challenges us. We no longer want to be in this season, we want something different, warmer, brighter. The mind escapes when we are bored and when we are stressed. So The posture asks us to make it sustainable. What would it take to make this posture hold engaging enough but not overwhelming? In my classes lately, I've been reminding students to create warmth and light in their bodies- to embody that which they are missing. We are all shining gems which the stressors of life scuff up and dim. Our practice restores, tapas, or heat and polishes us by removing the stuck, the dark, the stagnant- the residue of life's stressors until we shine again and feel like ourselves again. So in the darkness and coldness and dryness of winter, we actually have to create more heat, more light, more breath, to polish ourselves. It's another one of the dualities that exist in this practice, another union of opposition that restores balance and harmony. So today, with scheduling cancellations and another driveway to shovel, make heat, sweat, work hard enough to breathe deeper. Meet the day with enough zeal to neutralize the potential for sloth-like behavior. Bring the balance. It's the yogi way. ~Namaste