“Doing those deeply unfashionable things – slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting – is a radical act now, but it is essential.”
~ Katherine May
This past Sunday, as I watched the slow fall of huge, wet snowflakes in my backyard, I felt a little spaciousness in me open. I asked myself – “do I really need to “do” anything today? Clearly, the answer was a resounding no, so instead of checking things off my to-do list, I worked on a puzzle, read and drank tea, and watched a show with my family as we snuggled up on the couch.
Sometimes we need a snow day (even if what constitutes a snow day for us in the PNW is laughable for those that are from the Midwest or the East Coast). We all need occasional imposed days of rest. This is the gift of this season. This is the gift of “wintering” as author Katherine May calls it in her beautiful book “Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times.”
May speaks not just to the season of winter, but the times of our lives that require more of us – more space, more slowness, more introspection, more paying attention.
These might be times of grieving, times of transition, or times where we are simply processing the events of our lives and the world around us. They might be times where we feel a bit raw, more tender than usual. I recall times in the past where I was wintering regardless of the season – when I lost my mother when my daughter was just an infant. The months of anticipatory grief as I lost my dad to aggressive dementia, and the grief filled months after he died. The first Christmases after these loses. Last year, I experienced a wintering as I was closing the Source studio in University Place – letting go of something that I had nurtured and loved for 10 years. Many of us have had much loss and change that we have wintered our way through during the pandemic.
It’s during these times where more space, rest, and time is not just helpful, but essential. The holiday season is a good time for us to remember this. For some people, the holidays are a time of beauty and joy, but for many, they’re not. Whether the season for you is one of “happy holidays” or a reminder of loss, it may be good to remember the rhythms of nature and give yourself permission to do some hibernating too. Wintering might look like resting more and doing less. It might look like saying no to things we might usually say yes to out of obligation. It might look like not overbooking ourselves and instead making more space for “non-doing.” How can we intentionally create space to nourish and restore our energies through our period of winter?
As a business owner, I also try to have Source Yoga reflect the pace of nature. A sustainable business doesn’t have to have hustle and productivity the aim all the time. We lighten our schedule for the last two weeks of the year. Some teachers take some time off to be with family or to rest themselves. We will still have classes on offer in the studio and online to support you in turning inward, but we’re intentionally resting too. If you don’t see some of your teachers for a couple of weeks, they will return in January rested and excited to continue to guide you in practice.
Many of our extra offerings will be leaning toward the gentle and restoring, including Lori’s Annual Home for the Holidays on December 17th, offered both in studio and online.
I hope Source Yoga can support you in slowing down and resting in the coming weeks. View our class schedule over the coming weeks here.
May you have space and rest this season,
Erin Joosse | she/her
Source Yoga | studio director
Upcoming things to note this month:
- Yoga for the Holidays with Lori ~ Saturday December 17th 2-4pm (join Lori in studio OR online)
- Christmas Day Practice: Embody Self-Care and Peaceful Joy with Lori ~ December 25th, 2-3:15pm (online only)
- SAVE THE DATE! New Year’s Day Yoga: Embrace Your Now with Melissa ~ January 1st, 10-11:15am (online only