holiday fitness · holidays · meditation · season transitions · self care · yoga

Making Space 2022: Day 21

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21 is the Winter Solstice – the 24 hour period with the least daylight in the year. After today, things start to get a little brighter day by day.

It’s kind of like when you know the most challenging part of something is almost over and there is some ease ahead. At this point, you have to keep putting one metaphorical foot in front of the other and you will get through.

One December 21, 2020, Martha was inviting us to Embrace the Light – not only to be hopeful about the fact that there will soon be more hours of sunlight but to look for other sources of light in your life to help lift your spirits.

That’s some really great advice from Martha. Not only can we take action to bring more literal light – candles, lamps, strings of coloured lights or whathaveyou – we can also look for things that lighten our spirits – friends, family, treasured memories, enjoyable pastimes- and make them part of our days.

So, if you can, try to create some space around those ideas today: What brings light into your life? How can you stay connected to those things, those people, those activities, throughout the year?

However you decide to embrace light today, I wish you ease and peace of mind.

I hope you can be kind to yourself as you move through your day.

May you have the space and the light that you need.

A photo of the sun rising over a distant hill on a winter morning. In the foreground are the silhouettes of large evergreen trees and in the middle ground are streets lined with houses and other buildings.
My sister Denise likes to greet the sun on the winter solstice. This is her photo from December 2021. Image description: A photo of the sun rising over a distant hill on a winter morning. In the foreground are the silhouettes of large evergreen trees and in the middle ground are streets lined with houses and other buildings. There is a light dusting of snow here and there throughout the photo.

Some people who practice yoga regularly like to greet changes in season (such as the solstice) by doing 108 sun salutations. If you are more casual with your yoga practice, 108 might be a bit much for you but perhaps you might enjoy welcoming the light’s return by doing a shorter version of the practice. I have found two videos you might like, a 10 minute practice from Yoga with Adriene and a chair yoga practice from Donna Freeman.

For our meditation today, I have three things for you to choose from. The first is a slow, breath-focused practice, and the other two are opportunities for reflection rather than guided meditations.

A 10 Minute Sun Salutation Practice video from Yoga with Adriene. The still image shows a blue panel on the left with white text reading ’30 Days of Yoga’, on the right, Adriene is doing a low lunge on a pink yoga mat that is resting on a brown wooden floor.
A video from the Donna Freeman YouTube channel entitled ‘Chair Yoga Sun Salutations: Two Ways.’ The still image shows the instructor facing to the left while sitting on a kitchen chair in a home studio space that features a large painting of a daisy hanging on the back wall. The instructor is at the edge of the chair with their legs extended in front of them (touching the floor), and their arms extended overhead and forwards. Their upper body is leaned forward slightly.

A Winter Solstice Guided Meditation 2022 from Jenna Goldman’s YouTube channel. The still image is divided horizontally with a black and white photo at the top that shows darkness between two outcroppings of light-coloured rock. The bottom image is of the sun in the distance rising over water.
In this video from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway from the Buffalo People Arts Institute explains what the Winter Solstice means to her. The still image, shows the speaker (with a museum exhibit behind her) speaking animatedly with her hands, palm upwards, in front of her. She has long brown hair with some grey in it and she has glasses. She is wearing a red shirt, a pink scarf, and a necklace and earrings made with traditional materials.
This video from the Canadian Mental Health Association is entitled ‘Holiday Story Time: Mouse Celebrates The Winter Solstice’ and the still image features the story title in the foreground and a background of evergreen branches, twinkle lights, and a small red star.

About Making Space 2022

About Making Space 2022

In December 2020, Fit is a Feminist Issue blogger Martha created a tradition – a series of reminder posts to take good care of ourselves during this last month of the year when it is far too easy to get swept up in your to do list, no matter what you are celebrating or not celebrating. Last year, it was my turn and after an introductory Go Team post called Give Yourself Some Space, I created a series of reminders called ‘Making Space‘ that offered a suggested short exercise video and a suggested meditation in case you needed an easy way to find space for yourself in your schedule.

For 2022, I’ll be doing the same thing but I’ll also be including a link to Martha’s post from the same date in 2020 and I’ll offer a few extra ideas for relaxation, creativity, and self-kindness here and there.

These posts are not about insisting that you do more, more, more during this busy season. Instead, I want to encourage you to remember that there IS a *YOU* who is doing all of the things and you are worth taking good care of.

Perhaps the things I suggest aren’t what you need in the moment. That’s totally ok. Perhaps you can use something else to create some space, something that will help you feel more relaxed or more in charge of your day.