by Jillian Pransky
Are We There Yet?
It has certainly been an unforgettable winter. For weeks on end my town looked beautiful tucked into its pristine white blanket, my puppy Sunday zealously frolicked in snow banks taller than me, my 10-year-old son William regularly celebrated no school with sleigh riding and excess hot chocolate, and I marveled daily at the sunrise as it cast a sparkling pink glow across my white-lake of a front yard.
And while this very ‘wintery’ winter has been amazing for photographs (which I share regularly on Instagram), the truth is…I have been going crazy!
Since December, William has been out of school more often than in school – between 8 snow days, two winter vacation breaks, and a bout with strep throat we have often been holed up at home. Several of my classes and trainings have been cancelled. My routine schedule, many plans and expectations, have all been hijacked by the weather.
For weeks I have deeply craved predictability, a clean house, no piled up winter jackets and boots in the kitchen, and driving without the fear of sliding on ice. I’m longing for William to be in school for even just one week straight. I am beyond eager to end this hibernation period.
My daily practice has been my savior through my extreme cabin fever. I roll out my mat to recalibrate, harmonize, and ‘re-relax’ with the forced slowness of winter every morning.
However, my craving for things to be different doesn’t just dissipate because I practice yoga and meditation. Instead, what changes is that I become less fixated on my longing; even humored by it. This makes all the difference in the world.
After all, the anxiety I create through wanting things to be different makes me more tense than the winter cold itself. Allowing myself to relax with my thoughts, reduces my stress: I grow more able to embrace winter–even while realizing I am wishing for change.
At some point (maybe even more often than not) we all find ourselves wanting things to be different. But what makes us actually feel fluid or stuck, is what we do in the process of wanting and waiting for change. It is how we react that makes us feel miserable or content, stressed or not. In short, it is not the weather; it is the way we deal with it that matters.
Thankfully, change always eventually happens. To quote Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
And, whether it feels like it or not, change is happening. The Spring Equinox is right around the corner, arriving in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20 (at Exactly 12:57pm EST, but who is counting?) The big thaw is on its way; the days will become longer, the air warmer and life will begin to spring up from the earth.
In fact, even as I write this article the birds are chirping out my window. Their song already makes me feel more spacious and I am grateful. And I certainly agree with Anne Bradstreet, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant…”
PREPARING FOR THE SHIFT – OUR DAILY PRACTICE
And as we approach the vigorous transitional season of spring, a daily practice becomes more important. Even for just a few minutes will help prepare the body and mind for a deep winter sludge removal. However, be sure to practice without over effort or excess stimulation, honoring winter’s last moments of quiet; we are just getting the body ready for a deeper spring cleaning practice when things really start to shift.
Enjoy this 8-minute slow flow video practice daily. Done regularly it can help create inner warmth, tone the abdomen, stimulate the digestive and elimination systems, open the lungs, and release overall tension. Even a few minutes a day can help you best prepare harness the transformational energy on its way.
Visit Jillian Pransky’s website to find more info about her teaching, workshops and new DVD, Calm Body, Clear Mind.