The Winter Solstice is the first day of winter which happens when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees or the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. It is the shortest day of the year. It is also one of my favorite times a year because it reminds me to SLOW DOWN for rest and relaxation, and TURN INWARD for reflection with more yoga, meditation, mantra chanting, journaling, walks in nature, collage making, and reading.
In preparation for this year’s Winter Solstice, I planned a weekend of yoga and meditation that started with a wonderful yin yoga and yoga nidra workshop taught by my yoga teacher, Danielle Polen at Tranquil Space on December 20. Danielle’s class was exactly what I needed to open my heart to the Winter Solstice season.
On Saturday afternoon, I attended the monthly Buddhist meditation circle for my People of Color Sangha. It felt really good to sit for 30 minutes in silence with my Buddhist sisters and brothers. After the sit, we listened to a dharma talk on the emotions that occur during the holiday season given by our meditation teacher, La Sarmiento. We also shared our thoughts with each other in a mindful discussion.
On Sunday morning, I listened to a Winter Solstice sermon on stillness given by Reverend Rob Hardies at my church, All Souls Unitarian. Rob’s sermon reminded me how important it is to take time out to be quiet. Later that day, I treated myself to a restorative yoga class at Embrace Yoga Studio.
On Saturday, I attended my yoga teacher, Danielle Polen’s yin/yang yoga class at Tranquil Space yoga studio. During the yoga class, Danielle encouraged me and my fellow classmates to set an intention for the holiday season. My holiday intention revealed itself as a six-word memoir during a child’s pose: surrender – joy – gratitude – patience – love – abundance. By the end of class, my six-word memoir intention had become my 2014 life intention.
After class, I shared my intention with my yoga digital sister, Julia Coney (@juliaconey on Twitter). I also thanked her for referring me to The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover. This year, Stover’s book helped me deepen my commitment to self care and my home yoga practice.
While I was at Tranquil Space, I had a chance to learn more about my fellow Fabulous Women Business Owner DC member June’s new skincare line, lilikoi living living. It is lovely and makes for a wonderful holiday gift.
As I was walking home from Tranquil Space, I realized my best yoga moments in 2013 occurred while I was practicing yin yoga at home and with my Tranquil Space community in Danielle’s classes. What a yoga blessing!
What are your 2013 best yoga moments?
PS: If you are in DC and looking for yoga-inspired holiday gifts, stop by Tranquil Space.