fitness · winter

Seasonal adaptation– slowing down, turning inward

Last year this time I wrote a blog post about early winter walking– you can find it here.  In the post I was full of resolve and plans for doing a challenge for walking a mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  A bunch of the Fit is a Feminist Issue bloggers and friends were doing it– some running, some walking.

For me, this challenge was a bust.  I didn’t have the oomph to do it.  It just made me feel resentful, overburdened, under-exercised, and inferior to my obviously-better-life-manager compatriots.  However, it turns out that others found the challenge, well, challenging.  It was reassuring to know that I had company in having a hard time meeting the challenge of challenges.

Of course this is no surprise.  Challenges can be motivating, but also can trigger resentments, fears, anxiety– you name it.  I speak for myself in a blog post here, but I know y’all can relate.  Your comments about the various challenges I’ve taken on have been so helpful– I’ve gotten advice, encouragement, and stories of solidarity.

Now here we are, a year later, in that frenzied, festive, overheated period where both the light is fading to its minimum and we are expected to rev up the fun and frolicking.

In the midst of it, I feel– calm. A bit quieter than usual.  Slow and deliberate. The indirect light suits me.  The early dusk I find entrancing.  This is a new experience and completely unexpected.

Maybe part of the reason is that I’m continuing my yoga-every-day practice.  I’m up to 52 days now (I think), and it’s become a habit.  Some days all I do is a few sun salutations, child’s pose, downward dog, a twist or two, and then legs up the wall.  Other days I do more active yoga classes (or two classes in one day, kind of by accident last Wednesday).  There are lots of options, and I’m beginning to develop tastes and preferences and needs which vary day by day.  I’m learning a lot about how I actually feel– in my body, in my head.

But to hear these messages I need to be quieter.  Despite the frenetic pace of the season, a little bit of yoga practice is bringing that quiet to me.

This week I’m setting up my bike trainer.  Next year I have several cycling goals and plans, and they require proper training over the winter. I’ll be writing about those plans a bit later.  But for this month, I’m going to try to bring that sense of quiet to my study where I can just turn the cranks on the bike and listen to what my body is saying that day.  I’m keeping up the yoga too.  It will be interesting to see if there is a way to bring a sense of quiet and inward focus to my other physical activities.

Are you feeling more inner-focused these days?  Are you making use of the last bit of light and warmth before deep winter hits?  How do you manage the transition?  I’d love to hear from you.

A tree with white lights on the Cambridge Common at night.
A tree with white lights on the Cambridge Common at night.

2 thoughts on “Seasonal adaptation– slowing down, turning inward

  1. I live in northern Alberta. The light and warmth are both long gone. Lol
    I am a chicken and do not walk outside alone. Or much at all during the winter. It’s dark and slippery and too many people have big dogs off leash.

    I have started a morning 30 minute routine to add strength. 3days a week,
    I like 3 days and then I am flexible to skip a day of need be.
    I continue to practice yoga every evening. I just keep to myself schedule, even though it is pitch black when I get home from work.
    It’s warm in the yoga studio. And my alternative of sitting on the couch all evening makes me tired!
    Yoga changes things….


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