Have you got the Winter Blues?
Let's dive deeper! Read my latest Yoga, Travel & Wellness musings
Have you got the Winter Blues?
Anyone that knows me knows that I really don’t like the cold!
I’m so much of a Winter-phobe that I pretty much follow the sun around the planet living as a nomadic Yogini and chasing warmth.
I know I’m not alone in feeling like I suffer from ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ and Winter’s can be a SUPER challenging time.
This year I’ve deliberately chosen to brave the Winter Blues to find stillness and grounding in this sacred season of hibernation.
Today I’ve enlisted the help of one of my soul sister Sarah to share with you her favourite girly methods for staying warm and beating the Winter Blues.
Every season has its deeper purpose and associated symbolism and energies.
Winter is a time to retreat inwards and tend our nest, nourish ourselves and prepare to emerge anew from our cocoon, like a butterfly into the delights of Spring.
Take the opportunity to beautify your home, you will spend more time in it.
Surround yourself with colours and objects that uplift you.
Cook warming, nourishing soups – our bodies need more fuel to stay warm.
Catch up on books and movies under a cosy blanket (by the fire if you are lucky enough to have one).
Write in your journal, winter gives us the time for pause and reflection.
Time to hibernate, sit and ponder.
Time to be content with doing less and feeling more.
Time to ruminate on new projects that will be born in the Spring time.
Clear out the old to make way for the new.
Having a wardrobe clear out can be cathartic and aid in clearing out the cobwebs of your mind that might be keeping you stuck in negativity.
Most of us have too much stuff anyway which can clog the physical spaces in our home as well as the clarity of our mental spaces.
Try tending to your garden.
Weeding is therapeutic and can symbolise the clearing out of the old and unnecessary from our lives.
As can planting seeds both physically and metaphorically.
Seeds that will begin to sprout and take growth in the coming Spring.
Observe the leaves that fall from deciduous trees, we too have this opportunity to let the old dross fall away from us.
Winter is the perfect time to up the self-care by creating a day spa vibe in your bathroom.
Start by symbolising the shedding of the old by exfoliating the whole body.
As you slough off the dead skin, imagine you are releasing anything that has weighed you down.
Complete the renewal ritual with a beautiful bath, adding your favourite essential oils and Epsom salts.
Surround the bath with candles, put on your favourite face masque, sip on a cup of tea and the picture of winter bliss is complete.
Rituals are so important in our busy, outcome obsessed, swipe on, swipe off world.
Bathing is an ancient ritual which is perfect to reclaim the divine feminine and have some quiet time to contemplate and emerge renewed.
Just as Winter naturally tends to be a time to hibernate and stay inside, with our glorious sunny days it is also a brilliant opportunity to go on bush and beach walks.
There are less people around so it is a beautiful time to commune with nature.
The fierce summer sun is often one we retreat from, unlike the winter rays which are truly Divine.
On these short days, if Surya shows himself, get out there and bathe in the vitamin D.
This can really help to keep the SADs at bay (Seasonal Affective Disorder from lack of sunlight).
Rigorous exercise is not something that I am naturally drawn to.
I am much more comfortable in a forward fold over a bolster or resting my legs in viparita karani (legs up the wall).
Whilst I can endlessly sing the praises of yin yoga, a brisk walk can be very beneficial during this season.
Sweating and increasing our circulation are warming and can shift those winter blues and physical sluggishness.
And if you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still looking for something more then why not plan a Yoga Holiday?
Check out the retreats I’ve got on offer so that you have something to get you through the depths of Winter and look forward to next year!
Winter doesn’t have to be about cold and suffering, make the most of the beauty that is this quiet, reflective time and feed your soul with warmth and nourishment.
"Be prepared to feel your soul expand because that is what happens in India! It was a beautiful experience to travel to India with a group of like-minded women who lift you up. I felt like I had all of the wonders of a group tour together with the depth and nourishment of a retreat."
"I finally had the time to meditate in a way that I've never been able to before. Travelling to India was such a personal and profound experience. Through doing the ancestor puja I felt a deep connection to my late father. And seeing how yoga really works there has helped me to bring so much more substance to my yoga teaching."
"The experience has been profound and will continue to be processed in time to come. I feel a deepening of my spiritual awareness and I found the connections made between Hindusim and Buddhism very interesting."
"I have learnt that I am enough - even though I notice that the internal dialogue on this can change. But right now, in this space and time, I am enough."
"The experience on the boat in the Ganges, in the flow of the current with the wind in my face and the smells and sounds of India all around was quite profound for me."
"Belinda teaches from the heart and offers a truly meaningful experience. It is a trip that lets you dip your toes in a rose petal topped pond of India: feminine, nurturing, all planning and preparation lovingly taken care of - all while bringing you to the real face of Spiritual India."
"We met amazing people, learnt about the Hindu and Buddhist religions, gave offerings, were blessed, and at times felt like celebrities. I loved how colourful the locals dressed, how incredible the food tasted and so enjoyed the wafts of incense most places we went. Never could I ever have imagined that this country would leave such an impression on me."
"I had a lot of fun and experienced sites and places that I would have never visited on my own. The pilgrimage was well organised with great yoga, safe travel, good accommodation and a balance of inner and outer work."
"Over the course of the 10 day pilgrimage the regular daily practice of pranayama, perfecting the art of using mala beads and the japa chanting of one of the special mantra’s has permitted me to make slow but steady progress towards understanding the soulful practice of meditation at a deeper level."
"Being with a group of amazing women showed me that I do have the inner light. The balance of spirituality and mindfulness practice was perfect for people who are considering a full retreat but are not yet ready for a strict regime. This was the perfect stepping stone for me."
"This was an intimate female tour to India with a strong spiritual and self exploration theme. The all women aspect was great and I loved the yoga...even the Indian Guru!"
"I liked being looked after and I was happy to connect with and learn so much more about Ancient India. There is a lot of knowledge given about the Gods and Goddesses and mantras which is done in an authentic way without being overwhelming."
"My main feeling as we started to get to the end of the trip was that I would like to have kept travelling through India. This trip has given me the confidence I need to explore India and all of it's offerings further. I would highly recommend this trip, so well organised, the pace was perfect, teachings excellent and accommodation great."
"The experience the stands out the most for me was receiving the protection sutra in the temple in Varanasi. It was an emotional, magical, heartfelt, out of this world experience and I felt this energy sensation in my crown chakra which I have never experienced before."
"I connected with the entire concept; like minded women on a journey of exploration and introspection. A wonderful introduction to India and an opportunity to explore your spirituality in a safe, supportive environment - and it was fun!"
"I have an overwhelming feeling of peace and calm. This was a wonderfully safe introduction to India and I found it very enjoyable to travel with a group of like-minded women where the travel, energy of the group, laughs and learning were all shared in good company. Our guides and leader were also particularly knowledgeable."
"I think travelling in the group was a really good experience. I think India can be a shock to all of the senses and it puts you on a alert. To be able to feel and experience everything knowing that someone is there guiding you through is the perfect way to do India. There is no way I'd want to do India alone!"
"I am better in myself for now having seen India and understanding their culture and beliefs. And I think it's a great way to see India in a warm and friendly group, meeting other women who share similar interests."
"The most special for me was the joining together of all of us women, the coming together of 13 beautiful hearts and souls and the friendships formed and stories shared will stay with me forever."
"An amazing seamless journey in what is possibly the toughest country to achieve this. I learnt a lot on many levels - leading and living from the heart, exploring faith and trust in that which is bigger than I and being inspired to follow my dharma."
"I loved the Mehrotra Silk Factory and trying on beautiful Indian sarees in all of the jewel colours of the rainbow with the sisterhood of women on the trip, it was just magic. "
"If this is your first time to India then this is a great way to get insight into what this country has to offer. I know that travelling in this way has been a great security and that there have been 13 new friendships formed that I am looking forward to continuing."
"If any woman feels apprehensive about travelling to India alone then this experience is amazing because it's safety within a group. I loved the feeling of calm in the spiritual surroundings, the wonderful temples visited and mantras and meditations taught."
"The aspects I will keep in my heart forever are visiting the Taj Mahal, meditating with the monks and soaking up the ambience at the Mahabodhi Temple, the boat trips on Mother Ganges and seeing the cremation ceremonies and evening Aarti as well as the Puja at the Shiva Temple and learning new meditation practices."
"For me, the trip was pure magic. It was great to travel as part of a group because you're able to interact and find that you are all connected and experiencing something unique on a deeper level because it's together. I think that everyone should give it a try for their own soul, for their own spirit and inner wellbeing. I'll do it again!"
“I have gained a wonderful insight into Yoga, Buddhism and all of the other aspects of Spiritual India and have found an opening in myself to embrace these practices.”
“I really enjoyed the group and loved the company of other women around my own age. And I now have a deep sense of gratitude for the people of India, I was mesmerised by their devotion to their religion and how warmly they welcomed and shared their culture with us.”