Balancing Winter Blahs – Cultivating Yoga for Emotional Wellness
The Mind-Body Balancing Act
Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.
– BKS Iyengar
It was the coldest day so far, and I scurried around my garden preparing for the immanent storm. The smell in the air was pungent with pine and the sudden change in temperature was shocking my core stability. The bird’s chirps became more forceful screams, and the strength of each gust of wind increased, foreshadowing what was to come.
I began to feel overwhelmed by the suggested precautions we were to take. The fear the media broadcasted was anxiety filled, as if we were preparing for global war fare and not just seasonal gusts.
As winter hovers, I find myself nesting. My mind is busy cleaning cupboards and reflecting on the past year. I feel inspired to change the colour of my hair and try on party makeup.
They say it is the most wonderful time of the year and yet, try as I might to cover my winter scars with party clothes, I am still reminded of what winter represents.
It is now when my yoga becomes a more targeted and a modified practice that it can help me endure the future storms.
If yoga has only taught me one thing, it would be how to manage being a highly sensitive person or ‘sensory-processing sensitive.’ If you identify with triggers like loud or constant noises, subtle and pungent smells, or textures that can ignite instant heat, pain or irritation, you might consider yourself lucky! HSP’s are often intensely moved by music or visual art because they feel so deeply. They exude extreme empathy that often leads to becoming strong attractors to others.
Yoga is a discipline you can trust and rely on to help you find balance between your sensory emotional state and
your physical world.
I use my yoga for many different reasons and solutions in my life. It is my physiotherapy as much as it is my psychotherapy. My yoga allows for freedom in my body, that creates space in my mind to manage the triggers like guilt, pain, and separation, to feel more manageable and less like punishment. As HSP’s tend to experience emotions on extreme levels, I know I am not alone, often resulting in irritable bowels, anxious behaviours, and in severe cases, depression. I wondered why I just couldn’t remember, smell, taste, hear or recall happy, the same way my body would so ferociously find discomfort?
Then, just when I needed it most, I was gifted that aha-moment and intuitively linked my breath to my present emotion. I inhaled my truest, calmest, quietest, HSP self. It was my mind that cultivated the connection between breath and intellect that allowed me to isolate my body and emotion.
This use of body-mind connection provides us with space between the conscious mind and muscle memory. With this space, I am able to emotionally disconnect from media propaganda, and overstimulation therefore reducing anxiety.
With found space in my body, I am a stronger conduit for the nervous system to send the most clear and direct messages to my being, assisting me with climbing the other side of low to confident, secure and connected. Yoga is my freedom. Namaste