I love getting up early in summer, getting on my mat first thing. In the beautiful summer weather it’s easy to feel really bendy and sweaty and get that detoxification going.
Yoga practice in summer, especially outside, makes you feel so light and strong and connected. It’s hard to keep that flow going when it’s cold and dark outside.
However it’s important to not discard your practice as winter draws in, and use the fall to change your routine to support your practice in a different way.
How to Maintain Your Yoga Practice as the Seasons Change
Firstly, it’s really important to shift your eating to a seasonal-based diet.
Fall and winter meals needs to have warm foods, use spices, avoid cold beverages and drink plenty of warm teas. I really like to do a cleanse as the fall weather comes in.
I don’t really like to focus on losing weight with this cleanse, instead I use it to shift the old summer patterns and become mindful of the seasons changing and embrace the new rhythms Mother Nature brings.
I really recommend The Three Season Diet by John Douillard. He’s an Ayurvedic practitioner and gives some great advice on how to match what you eat not only to the time of year but the time of day.
Your sleep patterns need to change too in winter. It’s ok to sleep a bit more at this time of year.
Many of my students say they feel much stiffer in winter, and I know myself I start my practice later as the temperature drops because I need some time to warm up before I can get on the mat in the morning.
Ayurvedic practice recommends massage with sesame oil to help keep heat in, plus it will help loosen up all the muscles and joints and get those nerve endings fired up.
Finally a hot shower before your practice will also help open your pores and get the detoxification process going.
Another important element is your practice space.
In summer you can do yoga almost anywhere, but when the weather is harsher you need to invest some time and money in making your practice space as welcoming as possible.
You happily invest in a great bed because you sleep in it every day, and if you are doing yoga practice every day then your space needs to be a priority.
Get a space heater, a humidifier, maybe a diffuser with some beautiful smelling oils.
If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, this is a great place to put a sunlight lamp. Making your practice space a little more thoughtful and special will make you want to spend time in there.
It’s also really vital to invest in some self-care and make sure you make time for that in your calendar.
I like to book in some private lessons or a retreat so I can see it coming up and I know I will have to meet my teacher and be accountable.
I find this really motivating and inspiring knowing that this check in is coming soon.
Just switching up your routine a little can help you step away from that feeling of drudgery. No man is an island so it’s silly to think you can continue your yoga practice on for months without any support.
My last tip would be to just embrace your practice during the changing seasons.
Don’t feel you have to make a huge plan. Just do today.
See what makes your practice effective today. Observe the changes within you and keep an open mind.
If you start with the mindset that winter will be brutal, your practice will become brutal too. Try your best each day, see what works and make any changes you need to help your practice be as good as it can be.
Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s all about learning and growing.
I’m always updating my calendar with new retreats so jump in there and get some booked in to your schedule. If you’re in another part of the world and can’t make it, get in touch by email and I can help you find the resources and guidance you need to support your practice over the coming months, I’m here to help.