If u live in the northern reaches of the northern hemisphere you know that feeling when the darkness kicks in. Life turns into walking in a dark tunnel from mornings to evenings on end. This year in Finland we were extremely lucky for we had very sunny and dry autumn, which we welcomed delighted after such a cold and rainy summer! But latest by the beginning of Novemeber we were hit by the darkness. And we are still going towards the dark…till the 21st of December, which is the darkest day or should we say longest night of the year in Finland. And, imagine this, the next time when the Sun raises in Utsjoki, a town in the far northern end of Lapland, will be the 16th of January. No kidding.
My partner in life was raised in the Sun, down, down to the south. He, well, kind of, falls asleep here during the winter. Sure, there are bright light lamps where you can stuff your head into in the morning and he has a friend whom he visits in order to do so. But I have been pondering how to light up our inner light and fire during these cold, and not only cold, but dark months as well. I got to one idea in the sphere of yoga practice.
A few weeks ago, just when the darkness really hit us deep, I was in the middle of practicing my hand balancing poses like hand stand. Naturally they are not so easy for me since they require a strong core. But since I started every morning after meditation with planks, navasanas, the corner pose, which prepares for a hand stand, and the hand stand itself plus some other stuff that really talk to the belly ( ! ) well, the outcome was I was feeling warm, alive and excited. That inspired me to work with my yoga students on hand balancing poses and yes, now they are asking for more! Thanks, Eva, for your wish to work more with hand stands, since that kept me pondering about this! Today we practiced hand balancing together with my husband. And he seemed to come to life during the practice.
I highly recommend hand balancing poses for those with dominant Kapha dosha. Kaphas have a certain strength in a body that asks for action. Otherwise this cool and relaxed Dosha might start to hypernate. With those with a fair amount of vata will benefit from hand balancing as well during this season, but I would say the practice could be less intensive than amongst Kapha types. Vatas have a enthusiastic nature and we love to keep it up even in the darkness. Pittas, as a warm body type, tend to have fair amount of inner fire, but surely during the darkness it might be withering, so just feel it yourself. Sometimes even a Pitta needs an inner kick to bright her/his beautiful inner light up again!
So, if u are new to yoga, you can start with planks. Start smoothly. Time yourself. Here with hand balancing, timing is something to consider. You do not need to do it, but if you might consider it, timing can be a helpful tool to develop your practice. You can start, let’s say, 20 seconds every morning for one week and increase the time slowly to one minute. The corner pose is such a good way to prepare for hand stands. I suggest you consult a yoga teacher/instructor for the smooth results. In Vijnana Yoga we practice the corner pose regularly for students to develop in hand balancing poses step-by-step from where they stand. To find more about vijnana yoga check the web sites http://www.vijnanayoga.org for Israel and international retreats and http://www.joogaolemus.fi for those living in Finland.
Let’s find the Inner Fire in us one way or the other. One way is through yoga practice. Another might be by opening a book of stories about an Indian Goddess Durga. There are million ways to go, dears!