Apologies this post did not come out yesterday. You see, as I was about to start perusing the blog roll to write up the weekly review, I decided I wanted to do something slightly different in honor of the last week of the month.
So after some thought I decided every last week of the month I am going to randomly choose a blog to highlight. The question I will ask the blogger will remain the same – Write about a difficulty you’ve encountered in the past month and how it relates to your yoga practice.
I think this is an excellent way to accent the variety of bloggers we have in our community and find out a little more about each other.
Since I made this decision last minute, I reached out to Crystal, a dear friend and fellow YIOMer and asked if she would quickly put together a post for me for the week. Not only did she follow through, but her post really warmed my heart.
Without further ado, here’s Crystal’s post!
January. In my little corner of the world January is a cold, unforgiving lady. She tries to break you with ridiculous amounts of snow, dark days, and -40 C (-40 F) temperatures (don’t you want to move here right away?). Sometimes she wins and this month she almost took me down. Almost.
Last week as our temperatures slipped down into the -30s, I managed to keep a little optimism while wearing 13 layers of clothes to stay warm. But, as it started to move to -40, I began to feel the winter blues come on and the hibernation of Crystal began to set in. I’ve mentioned in my blog before how I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and I can say that last week, it started to hit me hard. I used to be ashamed of this condition, but now I find it helps to speak to others about it. Occasionally, someone will open up to me about their experiences with SAD or they’ll rally behind me to get me outside and not let me hide away at home all winter. Being able to share freely about the winter blues really helps and also reminds me that I’m not the only one. Unfortunately, this recent dip into the frigid winter temperatures caused me to skip some yoga classes – shameful, I know! It took a lot of effort to just get myself back and forth to work in this weather, so motivation to venture out and do other things was non-existent. It’s hard to admit this to you, but that’s what happened. Even as this was going on I felt awful and beat myself up over the inevitable hibernation that was starting. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, so why couldn’t I just bundle up and go to class? I’m not really sure, but most people with SAD can’t describe why they just want to stay inside and hide during these months. They just do it. I did it last winter and it’s not really something I want to repeat.
It’s also challenging because I know in my heart how much yoga helps me in times like these. Almost instantly, I could feel the positive changes to my body when I was in class this week. Heart opening, shoulders relaxing, mood improving. Somehow, an hour and a half class can feel like a full body transformation – and I love it! It’s my winter version of summer sunshine and just like in the warmer months, I can’t hide from it. There’s no shame or real control in being affected by the winter blues, but changing the way I react to frigid temperatures is in my hands. Taking the time to notice when I’m trying to avoid activities in the winter, acknowledging it without judgement, and then getting those layers on and my butt out the door. No sense staying in a funk all winter long when I know how much yoga boosts my mood and makes me feel better all around.
This year, January almost consumed me but she didn’t know that I’m better equipped this
time around. My yoga has made me stronger and even though there are still some bumps along the road, I’m more aware now because of my practice. It’s true that the SAD is still there, but the awareness is a powerful tool for managing symptoms and empowering myself to feel better everyday. Now, here’s hoping it warms up soon! ॐ
Thank you Crystal for sharing with us! If you would like to read more of her posts, check out her blog here.
I would also like to mention two new members that joined this week!!
Have a fabulous weekend all!