Here and Now: Stay Present in Winter

By Shelby Villier

It’s here–The dead of winter. The temperature has finally dropped, the snow and ice have made an appearance, and most people are already itching for warmer weather. While winter has so far been much more mild than usual, it is still easy to get down and out, tired and grumpy, or just plain sad this time of year. We often send our focus to what is ahead: Derby, warmer days, longer days, lake days, and BBQ’s. What we don’t realize is how much we are missing in the here and now.

Instead of wishing the days away, use winter as an opportunity to practice presence.
  1. Use your breath to focus on bringing ease into each pose that you may struggle with in your physical practice, and during stressful moments off the mat.
  2. Keep up with your practice, and don’t succumb to the laziness of winter. Our practice can bring warmth into our lives this time of year through the physical warmth of the studio, the connection of the community, and the satisfaction of taking care of yourself.
  3. Appreciate taking things slow. We have time to challenge ourselves to something new before the busy spring and summer months come. In the cold of winter, we have time for self-inquiry, time to finally clean that hallway closet that everything seems to land in (we all have one), and look at our surroundings. Whether it’s your office, bedroom, or mind; you can observe, assess, and remove what doesn’t serve you.
  4. We have time to dedicate to ourselves and our passions in general in the winter. Three-fourths of the year, time is usually spent outdoors at gatherings, festivals, and events. But all too often, we spend it thinking of the future and the coming months instead of the present.

Change your default from the winter blues to a winter renewal. This is the perfect time to focus on the positive things in your life right now and allow yourself to enjoy the here and now. Just like on the mat, we can use breath, focus, and our own heat to make the world outside the studio and off the mat even more amazing.