Christmas is meant to be a time of peace and joy and giving. For many of us, however, it has become a time which is far from peaceful. Our stress levels rise as we count off the days. Shopping takes over our lives and the ‘giving’ can become obsessive anxiety about whether we have spent enough on our gifts, or got enough food in for the big day. The message of peace and love which is the essence of Christmas can get well and truly lost.
So how can we get back to the essence? How can we bring to Christmas that sense of peace and genuine (rather than commercial) giving that it really represents?
Dru Yoga, of course, has all the answers, as it will always bring us back to that place of stillness within us. Dru Yoga postures and sequences will restore our bodies and minds, releasing blocked energy.
Simply standing in Tadasana (the Mountain Posture) connects us deeply to the earth. Visualise a tree, with its roots firmly anchored into the earth, giving a wonderful sense of stability. Using the breath, lengthen through the legs, keeping the knees soft. Engage the core stability muscles slightly to support the posture. Lift the sternum, relax your shoulders, lengthen the back of your neck. Feel tall and relaxed.
At this time of year the earth is dormant, but a lot is happening under the surface to prepare for the renewed growth of spring. It’s the same with this posture. As we stand on the earth in this focused way, an amazing well of energy can rise up through our spine.
The vertical alignment breath can help this process. Visualise breathing in from the core of the earth, letting the breath flow up your legs and up through the spine to your heart. Then as you breathe out, imagine the breath flowing upwards from your heart, out of the crown of your head and up into the heavens. On the next breath, repeat the process, drawing energy down from above to you heart as you breathe in, letting it flow down from your heart and out of the soles of your feet back down into the earth as you breathe out. Repeat this process for as long as it feels comfortable, as you become a connection between heaven and earth. Finish by drawing energy to your heart from above, then offering it out horizontally to bless the world.
Winter is a time for stillness and reflection, for preparing and making plans for the year to come. Complement your yoga practice with introspection, looking at the direction you want your life to go in, considering how you can best strengthen and help yourself, those around you and the wider world.