your body and the seasons
Living a less-distracted life : slow down and listen to your body; recognise that it experiences seasons, too.
One of the best lessons I’ve learnt as a woman is that my body experiences seasonal cycles. There is something quite empowering about really knowing your body; being aware of its constitution, its likes and dislikes, its subtle changes.
The earth goes through four seasons in a year and because we are nature, we primally respond to the weather and alter our lifestyle accordingly. But when we’re busy, living rushed, distracted lives, we loose the ability to notice change and we fail to respond. We have progressed (or, regressed) so much that we need constant reminders to come back to our roots – to slow, be and listen.
I was in my early twenties when I started practicing yoga. Within weeks of my first class I was confronted with the fact that I had absolutely no awareness of my body; I was completely off-kilter – distracted. Since then I have, very slowly, begun to understand my body and the way it reacts to all manner of things – food, stress, emotions, seasons. In doing so I have a deeper awareness of what is good for me and, of course, what doesn’t serve me well.
As Sara Avant Stover says in her truly wonderful book The Way of the Happy Woman:
So: give yourself permission to move at a slower, more rhythmic pace and start to become aware of your body and how it really feels. Discover the contentment of living in sync with the seasons and, in turn, recognise your own ebb and flow, wax and wane.
As I write this the August winds are gale force and as a result I’m irritable and slightly anxious – I’m typically vata. And so, after school pick up I’m returning to the still of home where a cup of tea, an early dinner (warm and nourishing with plenty of good oils and fats) and a bedtime ritual (epsom salt bath, half-an-hour of reading and a cup of chamomile) will hopefully restore some calm and subsequently ground me for a good nights sleep.