Hello! Happy November. What do you all think of this time of year? We're entering into winter, here in Canada, and I have to tell you, my body is telling me all about it! It's interesting, before I began this yoga journey, I was pretty unaware of my body, and it's cycles and signals and such. I lived, a little cluelessly, complaining when I felt bad, happy when I felt good, but pretty unconnected with how my body is a beautiful communicator of what's going on and around me. Yoga has really helped me connect with what is going on. Awareness is one of the wonderful results of yoga. Have you found that in your life and in your body?
So, right now, as we enter November, late fall, and into early winter, I'm very aware of the desire to get cozy, slow down, and draw inwards. I notice that my desire for foods has changed. I really don't want raw veggies, salad, or cool things anymore, things that I loved in the middle of summer. My body is asking for warm oatmeal in the morning, thick stews and chili, and warm, rich soups. It's asking for a few more carbs too, which I didn't think of, so often, during the hot months. I'm being careful not to go too heavily in that direction, but I think my body is trying to fatten up for the winter!! I'm becoming a bear preparing for hibernation!!
According to Ayruvedic tradition, an ancient Indian tradition of healing and holistic living, the fall and early winter is Vata season - the season that is characterised by wind, movement, and coolness. And I see this, in so many ways. Our skin begins to dry out, due to the windiness and dryness of the season. There is a different energy to this season than in the summer - September and October are always such busy, moving, whirling months, as people get busy with school, work, activities - it sometimes feels frenetic. I find that as we head into November and December, my body is trying to find balance - to slow down, as I mentioned, to draw inward, to get all hibernatey. In the past, I would have fought it, I think, this desire. I would have judged myself as being lazy, depressed, a slump. But I think it might be the wisdom of my body, telling me the seasons are changing, and I need to go with the change. In the summer, I feel excited to be active, to swim and bike and walk and move and visit. In the early fall, I feel motivated to be busy, moving. But as we come into the next season, I notice a change. And I will accept that change. I will accept the signals my body is giving me.
Because, if you think about it, animals that hibernate need that time, to rest and heal and restore before the spring. Trees lose their leaves, appear almost dead, and become "dormant" during the late fall and winter, and during that time, there is rest and healing and restoration before the spring comes again. Hmmm. I'm pretty sure we humans are no different. We too could use this season as a time to slow down, rest and heal and restore, before the seasons bring us back to the busy active times. In our busy society, we push and move and stay active, book our social calendars to the max, work crazy hours, go go go. But if we take time to slow down, to be aware, and to listen to our bodies, they might tell us how to live the best way, for us, right now, in this season.
So I will embrace my hibernating cravings. I will eat well, healthy, and warmly. I will sleep, I will stay cozy. I will keep my body active and healthy, but it will likely look very different than how I live in the spring and summer. And that's ok :)
What about you? Do you notice differences in your activity level? What's your body telling you?