In the northern hemisphere, we’ve moved into winter. Plants are dormant, animals are in hibernation, lakes and rivers are freezing over. Yet, we feel the need to rush around. The temptation to live outside of ourselves is strong. Our ego is gluttonous, feasting on expectation, judgment, and comparison. As we are pulled in all directions, making lists, checking them twice, and moving from one obligation to another, we are left feeling hollow.
During these dark, cold nights we are called to take a cue from Mother Earth. To slow down, to rest and to move within. The calm and peaceful nature of darkness creates a space for quiet reflection. Stay in, curl up with a warm blanket and mug of cocoa.
In the company of glowing candles or Christmas lights, take time to reflect on the previous year. You may take this opportunity to examine how you feel in the dark. What comes up when the light is soft and everything is quiet? Often it’s our own thoughts that make the darkness feel scary or lonely. Darkness can evoke feelings of uncertainty or unknowing. See these anxieties, name them. Take note of habits or thought patterns you’d like to leave at rest here in winter.
Just as the warm glow of a fireplace fills a dark room, what is it that fills you up? Are there habits, hobbies, or loved ones you can spend more quality time with? What is it that feeds your inner flame? What can you call upon to keep you going through the next year? Reflect on what truly warms your heart.
As you seek warmth moving through this holiday season, do so thoughtfully. If you find yourself depleted, retreat and rest. In moments of joy, when your heart feels warm, lean in. Maybe working on a puzzle, stringing popcorn, baking, listening to music, or cutting out snowflakes. Live in that joyous moment, however small, give yourself permission to bask in its warmth. When we allow ourselves to be fully immersed in that feeling, it will fill us up a thousand times over.
We savor moments of peace and enjoy warmth with gratitude, knowing this is a luxury. Not only is it fleeting, but it is not something all humans have been blessed with experiencing. As we fill ourselves up with joy, love, and light can we find ways to bring this into other’s lives?
ABOUT SARA KREOWSKI
Growing up in Thousand Oaks, California, Sara was constantly riding bikes, swimming and climbing trees. Seeking out adventures in her backyard, on the beach, or on a snowy mountain; she always thrived in the outdoors, connecting physical activity, nature, and mindfulness with happiness.
As an enthusiast for knowledge and an advocate for a healthy body and mind, Sara believes an honest yoga practice will translate into positive changes both on and off the mat. Coming from an asana-based training with a strong emphasis in human anatomy, Sara’s priority in the classroom is sequencing smart classes, safety, breath, focused effort and release, and most importantly, self discovery and personal growth. Through her 500 hours of training, continued education courses, and personal practice, she recognizes the magic of yoga but aims to take away some of the mystery.
She enjoys cooking and loves discovering and sharing yummy recipes that nourish the body. “I look at a cooking recipe and a yoga practice the same way—as a road map, not an instruction manual. If you listen to your instincts and are not afraid to make adjustments along the way, you’re bound to come up with something delicious,” she says.
As a recent transplant to the East Bay, Sara is excited to share her passion and knowledge with a new community. When she isn’t practicing you’ll find her laughing with friends, shopping farmer’s markets, cooking, hiking, camping, walking her pup, or enjoying the beach watching her husband surf.