Themes for Contemplation

A Winter Landscape

Ah, winter! Icy blasts, Alberta Clippers, snow, sleet, ice. You NAME it! Winter can be a trial, but it can also be a time to slow down and meditate on a variety of issues. After 6 weeks of turmoil and expensive household minor disasters, peace is descending in my home, and I have some time to absorb recent past events. Finally! Time for meditation! Time to broaden my professional education as a yoga teacher! Time to work on some sculpture projects that have been simmering in my subconscious!

The most important piece of continuing education in which I am involved in terms of teaching yoga is a certification program in which I am involved called “Yoga Nidra”. Yoga Nidra is basically a way to quickly achieve a deeply meditative state through guided relaxation. Sometimes called “Sleep Yoga”, there is no way you will not benefit from this kind of meditative practice. The Amrit Yoga Institute claims that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 3 hours of sleep. Here is the restorative power of this practice: whether you remain conscious or you fall asleep during this practice, you still reap the benefits of Yoga Nidra. The guided meditation gives your brain a chance to restore the frontal cortex, secrete a variety of hormones that help heal the body, and equilibrate cerebrum hemisphere functioning. Not too shabby for a short half hour or so, I would say!

I encourage you to find the beauty in this sometimes challenging season. Remember that the ice and snow that visits in winter gives the earth a chance to slowly absorb much needed moisture, setting the stage for new plants and flowers in the spring. It gives the aquifers a chance to be replenished, a vial step in fresh water preservation and availability. The sometimes enforced hiatus in human activity as a result of winter storms gives each of us the opportunity to pause in our headlong sprint through life, so that we have time to reflect and meditate on what is most important, or is most meaningful, to each of us in life.

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