Yoga is for all seasons
As I sit down to write, as is often the case, I don’t know what I will write. I did know, though, that today I had to say something about the extreme weather conditions we’ve been experiencing in Australia.
How long have we had them? Hard to say. Months? A year? Maybe more?
Records are getting busted all over the place. Rain and flooding where it’s supposed to be dry as…. And hot, dry, windy conditions, as never before.
At my home on Mitchells Island which I often describe as paradisiac, the high yesterday was 46. It wasn’t just hot in the extreme. But also accompanied by a cruel, blustery wind that threatened to broil every bit of vegetation on our property.
Is there a yoga practice or a way of practising that can be done in such conditions?
Well, you would expect me to say yes, and I will.
Yesterday I did yoga at 7:30 am and that went well. More humidity than I would have preferred, with somewhat higher temperatures. But by nine a.m., I was finished. I felt cleansed, calm and a little virtuous, to be honest. Almost always, it’s possible to do early morning practice. Before it gets hot, before you get busy.
Days of extreme weather might be the way of the future. Who knows? Most scientists say this is the way we are heading.
If so, we need to include reflective practices as part of our yoga routine. We need the tools that create mental and emotional space to deal with difficult situations. It’s not enough to keep up with a strong physical practice. Meditation, savasana, yoga nidra, and pranayama are necessary to weather all conditions. Not only extreme climactic fluctuations.
Here are my favourite tools
Mindfulness Meditation a la Jon Kabat-Zinn audio recordings, especially his Loving Kindness/Heartscape.
Restorative Yoga – Taught everywhere these days; it’s a simple style to do at home. Judith Lasater lays it all out in her book Relax and Renew.
Pranayama is best learned from a yoga teacher. I like the way Donald Moyer incorporates pranayama into yoga sequences in his excellent book Awakening the Inner Body.
Savasana has to be the most practised yoga pose in any class. It’s very portable and can be done almost anywhere. Even by people who don’t subscribe to physical yoga practice. Try my version Just for You.