Monday, August 12, 2013

eight | practising simplicity

pink blossoms; the onset of spring, a time of renewal

Living a less-distracted life : slow down and listen to your body; recognise that it experiences seasons, too.

One of the best lessons I've learnt as a woman is that my body experiences seasonal cycles. There is something quite empowering about really knowing your body; being aware of its constitution, its likes and dislikes, its subtle changes. 

The earth goes through four seasons in a year and because we are nature, we primally respond to the weather and alter our lifestyle accordingly. But when we're busy, living rushed, distracted lives, we loose the ability to notice change and we fail to respond. We have progressed (or, regressed) so much that we need constant reminders to come back to our roots - to slow, be and listen. 

I was in my early twenties when I started practicing yoga. Within weeks of my first class I was confronted with the fact that I had absolutely no awareness of my body; I was completely off-kilter - distracted. Since then I have, very slowly, begun to understand my body and the way it reacts to all manner of things - food, stress, emotions, seasons. In doing so I have a deeper awareness of what is good for me and, of course, what doesn't serve me well. 

As Sara Avant Stover says in her truly wonderful book The Way of the Happy Woman:

"...let's be realistic: living in sync with nature is both the easiest and most natural thing we could do and one of the most challenging. It's challenging because it means going against the flow by taking time to slow down, letting your body lead the way, making outdoor activities a priority, and spending time and money preparing food and beverages that truly nourish you. The world isn't going to slow down. But you can."

So: give yourself permission to move at a slower, more rhythmic pace and start to become aware of your body and how it really feels. Discover the contentment of living in sync with the seasons and, in turn, recognise your own ebb and flow, wax and wane.

As I write this the August winds are gale force and as a result I'm irritable and slightly anxious - I'm typically vata. And so, after school pick up I'm returning to the still of home where a cup of tea, an early dinner (warm and nourishing with plenty of good oils and fats) and a bedtime ritual (epsom salt bath, half-an-hour of reading and a cup of chamomile) will hopefully restore some calm and subsequently ground me for a good nights sleep


  1. I am the worst when it comes to listening to my body. Particularly hopeless at getting to bed early. I love your idea of a bedtime ritual - it would be a miracle if I ever managed something similar!
    Ronnie xo

  2. i think natural lighting is so important. to sense the sun set without drowning it out with artificial light does as much for me as getting out in daylight in winter does. and then keeping the lights low...

  3. I'm enjoying your practicing simplicity series Jodi. I've found that the more time I spend with nature the easier it becomes to notice the seasonal cycles - and their impact on me.

  4. Oh how i wish i could have a before bed ritual but with a 10 month old that often refuses to sleep before midnight, i just am not able to devote any of the evening to myself. One day i hope that will change. This wind is crazy today, it's definitely making me feel uneasy.

  5. I am really enjoying this series it is really encouraging me to be more aware and taking care of my body not just for my sake but that of my children's too. I am interested to know if your Epsom salt bath is helping? I have aches and pains generally and I am trying to find natural things to help.

  6. I read and nod with good intentions, Jodi! Like Ronnie, I am hopeless at going to bed at a reasonable hour - burning the candle at both ends as my mother would say - and my body is telling me to stop - don't they say old habits are the hardest to break?! I want to change it - need to change it.. I can try! xx

  7. This is exactly what I needed right now. Thank you for sharing this post.
    I will make a point to be more aware in my body. I never was until I was pregnant and since being pregnant, I have slowly, but sadly, surely, forgotten what my body really feels.
    These posts are... some of my favourite posts. I am always so inspired. Thank you.

  8. I love this, so true and so important!
    thanks for the reminder

  9. Thank you for these wonderful words Jodi, very poignant.

  10. I love this post, so essential! I do also need a cup of hot water before to go to bed (even sometimes without chamomille and it is sort of so nourishing drink for my body!

  11. The wind makes me irritable and restless too. It's my least favourite weather type. I don't mind rain and of course love sunshine, but throw the wind in there on either occasion and I'm toast.

    I struggle not to struggle against the flow. x

  12. I don't think it was until I started teaching that I realised how in tune to the seasons our bodies are.


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