The temperature outside has fluctuated to a chilly low in Colorado this week. I have often been bundled up with blankets by the fire, drinking hot tea and relaxing. My brisk wintery walks have been invigorating, and my warm soothing baths have been the perfect anecdote for getting cozy.
The winter is definitely upon us.
Both the winter and summer solstice have been my favorite days since I was just a young child. In northern Canada, where I grew up in my early years, the solstices (winter and summer) were pretty extreme.
The dark nights of winter were very dark, cold and long, and the light days of summer made the days seem to go on forever. For me, there was an obvious magic to nature and her cycles, even back then.
So today, on one of my most favorite days of the year, I decided to OPEN registration a little early for THE YOGA OF EATING 2017 as well as bring to you my wintery gift – THE SOLSTICE SESSIONS.
For the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you the FREE rich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions. These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we descend into the darkest nights of the year, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work, THE YOGA OF EATING 2017 that begins this January. (registration is open). I hope you enjoy some of this free content, as much as I love creating it for you.
Because… what I used to consider a cold, stressful and tender time of year has now become a time I cherish.
When I say descend, what I mean is my descent into my inner world - through all her peaks and valleys – where the darkest nights of the year have become a great teacher and chaperon to my own insight and wisdom.
Some would say this descent has been known throughout time, myth, and story as a descent into the underworld. Others see it as the most potent nights to pray or connect to our higher selves. Often we hone how to vision with clarity and precision for the upcoming New Year.
The dark nights expand to cultures worldwide with unique and diverse wintery wisdoms and rituals.
In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:
- Learn the biggest challenge women face over the holidays.
- Some short and sweet solstice rituals begin your own dark night descent – embracing winters wisdoms.
- How to restore your life force and your energy with my most favorite winter warming smoothie.
Have you been busy bustling and hustling to get ready for your holidays? Amidst all of the gift buying, holiday parties and decorating things can get pretty zany out there.
The most common complaints we all know during the holidays: tired, drained, doing too much, over extended, and trying to please everyone else.
This is the # 1 challenge women face each holiday season.
The energetics of winter remind us to hunker down, slow down, and restore our prana (life force). We benefit from cooking our food slow and long, finding coziness and warmth together in our families and communities, while warming our hearts with connection to ourselves and others we love. Follow these three R’s for some simple reminders and reflections.
This year, turn over a new “snow flake” and give to yourself first. You will have plenty more to give to those you love when you do.
How you might ask?
That is exactly what Solstice Sessions are for. Little winter wisdoms to inspire you and remind you that you can live as your own VIP.
Try these daily practices to stay centered and calm:
- Create some daily down time – just for you.
- Go bed a little earlier – winter is a time for rest and restoration.
- Reflect with your inner self – journal, meditate, listen inward
- Take warm soothing baths – these will relax you, boost your immune system and help you sleep
- Bundle up and get outside – the crisp winter days bring energy and vitality
- Order your gifts online – avoid those lines and the holiday bustle
- Say NO more often – save your YES's for the important stuff
- Keep things simple in your celebrations – simple is the new smart
The winter solstice is the perfect time to begin a reflection practice for the years end. The darkest night in many cultures has symbolized the new year and returning of the light. Often winter solstice rituals include candle light, fires and warming foods.
Take some time to look back on your year and enjoy contemplating all the things you have been through (easy or tough), and the life lessons learned in the process, the intentions actualized, and finally bridge some ideas as to where you are heading for the new year to come. (more on the years beginning ritual to come soon)
- Release the old with reverence
- Celebrate the small successes and the little things that matter most
- Relish in the magic of synchronicities, the power of intentions and the opportunities that have come your way.
- Let go of judgement and self-criticism (pretty please)
- Most of all…Count your blessings – big and small
Here some ways create a winter solstice ritual moment:
- Light candles or lanterns and savor the darkness as you take some time in silence to hold your year in a magical embrace.
- Release the old with a fire ritual – burning a list of the aspects of your year you would like to release or let go of. Be gentle with yourself. Use a fireplace, a fire pit, or even hold the burning paper and flush it.
- Spend some time writing in your journal reflecting on the past year, who you were when the year began last January, and what you have learned about yourself and life since then.
Winter eating entails preparing seasonal whole foods that can be stored, canned, or kept for the colder days of winter. Emphasize warming foods that stimulate digestion, circulation, and immunity. Share food with loved ones, focus on the pleasure of eating and the coming together of love and light.
Here are some good winter foods to explore:
- Warming soups and stews
- Root vegetables
- Beans (especially adzuki and mung beans)
- Miso and seaweed
- Garlic and ginger
- Warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.
Try this wintery warming smoothie to nourish your body, mind and soul.
Recipe by Chef Bailey Ruskus
This is my holiday treat for you this year. A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year and some tasters from the The Yoga of Eating 2017Online Course and Community that begins this January – check out all the details below.
The Yoga of Eating 2017: the most in depth and detailed body of work I offer, a way to work with me personally while feeling the support of others on a similar path … to transform your relationship to food and your body.
Many of you have daydreamed of life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness. If that is the case, The Yoga of Eating is just right for you.
This 6 month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age old practices that guide us to deep healing from the inside out.
Click Here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017 … and how this year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.