The third quarter of 2020 is fast approaching, and with winter here in full force, it’s a great time to go inward and decide how you’d like to approach your health and wellness routine for the second half of the year. Yoga is a great tool to include in your arsenal, coupled with a mindfulness practice that helps to combat the stressors of life, and keep you present regardless of the challenges you have to face in your day. If you’re ready to take the plunge into making both of these a part of your routine moving forward, I’m happy to share a couple of tools that will make it easier for you to get a clean break and a fresh start.
Let’s Face It, The First Half of the Year Has Been Tough
There’s no denying that 2020 has been brutal! Yes, totally brutal! The COVID-19 pandemic knocked us all for six, and we’re still going to be feeling the effects for a long time to come. The key to moving forward is remembering that resilience and adaptability are well within our framework as human beings. Over centuries, we’ve adapted to the ever changing landscape of the world and this will continue to be a part of what humanity has to face moving into the future. A fresh start requires you to acknowledge that things have been hard, to recognise that they can be different, and to realise that you have a role to play in how you respond to steady the ship in your own life.
Self Care and How It Dwindles During Winter
The end of June usually signifies the peak of winter in South Africa, and whether you’re enjoying a wet one in the Western Cape, a dry one in Gauteng or something in between elsewhere, you’ll know that the core tendency is for us to retreat during this time, spending hours in front of the television, skipping out on early morning workouts and paying less attention to how we’re taking care of ourselves. While winter presents a great opportunity for reflection, and some time to yourself to relax and veg out certainty has it’s short-term benefits, it’s important to be mindful that there is more of a tendency for self care to be forfeited this time of year, which can make it hard to recover from when you’re looking to get back into the swing of things a few months on.
Making a Hard Decision Now, Which Will Benefit You Later
While starting with a new health practice in July can seem like a tall order, especially if you’re reading this in between a Netflix binge, making the hard decision to look at building mindfulness and yoga into your routine during the colder months can pay off greatly at the turn of spring. Not only will you be better equipped to take on more activities by the time it’s warmer (and safe to do so), but you’ll certainly feel better than you would have if you did no activity and practiced no self care over the course of the entire winter season. Will it be hard to carve out some time for yoga and meditation this July? Absolutely. Will it pay off in the long run? Even more than you can imagine now.
Starting Small: Building a Meditation and Yoga Practice
If you’re keen on a fresh start going into July, the key is to start as small as possible. Work in 10 minutes of meditation time into your morning, possibly for right when you wake up. You can slowly build on this over time, until you find the right length and a mindfulness practice that works for you (explore guided, reflective, analytic meditations and more). Yoga is a great way to increase your mindfulness and to center you with the world around you. Knowing it’s value, we recently launched a free Yoga From Home program, aiming to teach first timers the basics and introducing them to the practice with an intention that they will start to set aside more time for their self care practice moving forward. Give it a try if you need a bit of extra encouragement. Before you know it, you’ll be out in nature in the Summer sun, feeling rejuvenated and energised thanks to a couple of baby steps in winter. Good luck!