My favorite daily winter self-care practice is savasana. If you’ve known me for awhile, you might be shocked to read this, but it’s true.
This is me, taking a savasana break yesterday afternoon.
If you’re not as familiar with yoga or the concept of savasana, it’s the pose most yoga classes conclude with. Usually you lie on your back, with your eyes closed and you try to relax. Sometimes people put blankets underneath their heads or knees; sometimes they cover themselves with blankets and eye pillows for their eyes. Some people use props more creatively, put their legs up the wall, or lie on their side. Some people lie on their mats, eyes wide open, doing their best to stay quiet and not move.
Savasana is a little bit adult nap time and a little bit of heavy-handed spiritual practice attempting to teach about death and letting go. It’s also just quiet space at the end of class to rest, reflect, and restore.
For most people, savasana is what they come to yoga class for and look forward to for the entire class.
For the first decade-ish of my own yoga practice, I primarily tried to avoid it by leaving class early or survive it without wiggling too much.
As a teacher, I always extolled the many virtues of savasana, but sometimes gave it short shrift if my class plan was running over time.
When I became pregnant, my relationship with savasana changed.
No big surprise there. And when I became a mom, I started to really intimately understand why people love this pose so much.
On the day I took this photo, I’d spent a good chunk of the day working, while also trying to keep my 2 year old entertained.
I got a good amount of work done, but not quite as much as I’d hoped.
I felt depleted, creatively tapped, and a little frustrated.
I thought I had at least 15 minutes before Milly’s bus was supposed to drop her off, so I folded a blanket for my head and laid down on my mat.
At first, I couldn’t let go.
Paw Patrol was playing in the background and my body was tense.
So I grabbed the closest thing to an eye pillow near me — my legwarmers — and placed them over my eyes.
My body softened almost immediately.
I didn’t fall asleep, but I felt deeply relaxed.
Milly’s bus arrived early and when the driver honked, I was startled out of savasana, which sucked.
Still, those 8 minutes of savasana helped me rebuild my peace of mind and reground me so I could parent with more love and consciousness yesterday afternoon.
- Legwarmers make great substitute eye pillows in a pinch.
- When vata is spiraling into oblivion, creating darkness (kapha) and warmth (pitta), helps bring vata back down to earth to reground and feel fully supported.
- Giving myself time to rest during the day is a game changer.
Daily savasana is the self care I’m suggesting for this busiest of busy months.
Give yourself a little time each day to unwind.
Whether in savasana or a restorative or child’s pose.
Give yourself this space to regroup and renew.
This is basically what Ayurveda tells us about winter. It can be cold, dark, and full of stress or anxiety. Winter can also be joyful, connected, creative, and a source of renewal. You just have to listen to what the season is trying to tell you and know what actions you can take that will best support your energy.
Here are the big takeaways:
Listen to what winter is trying to tell you.
Go into the darkness.
Give yourself space to rest so you can rebuild your energy before you burn out.
Winter Self-Care Practice Basics.
If you want to learn more about Ayurveda and syncing your self-care with the seasons, please join me for my FREE online workshop on Thursday, December 6th (that’s TOMORROW!)
If you can’t make it, sign up anyway. The conversation will be recorded.
If you can, I’ll be giving away some gifts to those who attend live and you won’t want to miss them!
Have you signed up yet? Do it right here!