Saturday, February 04, 2006

Yoga For All Seasons

The UN just released this report that says half of the world's population will be urban by 2007. Living in a city is a very disconnecting experience, especially when it comes to enjoying the change of the seasons. Moving from one climate controlled building to another (in a climate controlled car or train), hardly seeing a tree or grass, and having access to avacados and strawberries year-round, it can all make the seasons seem like a backdrop to our busy lives, nice to look at but unimportant.

But I think this is changing. This year I've heard so much in the mainstream media about Seasonal Affective Disorder. People are starting to get back to the idea that we constantly interact with and are changed by our environment.

Being sensitive to how your body is reacting to the changing seasons can also be brought into your yoga practice. During the winter, energy levels drop, muscles tighten, and circulation decreases. In yoga classes you can take notice of how your body feels at different times of the day and year. Your yoga practice can reflect the seasons, having a practice that allows the body to restore itself during the winter and burns off energy in the summer, for example, is one way to do this. Eating and resting habits, as explored in this article, should also reflect the seasons.

Relective, relaxing postures such as seated forward bends, legs up the wall, and reclining bound angle poses, all of which can be found on Yoga Journal's informative Pose Finder page, can be combined for a home practice that will allow your body to restore itself. These sorts of poses are also helpful in recovering from colds and flu.


Yoga Garden

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