In the bleak midwinter the trees sparkle with frost,
reminding us that there is beauty to be perceived.....
The winter solstice (21st December) marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Rituals and celebrations to welcome back the sun have been celebrated by many cultures around the world for thousands of years.
It is a time for reflection as we come to the end of the darker cycle, of renewal and hope as we emerge into the light cycle, the return of the sun.
The purpose of our Winter Solstice Practice that I'm sharing this week is to:
Remind us of the natural cycles,
To connect to our deepest self choosing what to release,
To connect to our most loving heart choosing what to invite in,
To bring ourselves back into balance
Then to stillness.
First we take the mantra meditation Sa Ta Na Ma to honour the cycle of life.
This is a powerful practice to cultivate total mental balance, relieving stress and soothing emotions.
Meaning of the mantra:
SA is birth, the beginning
TA is life, existence
NA is death, change
MA is rebirth, regeneration
This mantra meditation is practiced with 4 mudras, hand gestures.
SA Mudra The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index finger.
Ta Mudra The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the middle finger.
Na Mudra The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the ring finger.
Ma Mudra The connection of the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger.
When using the mantra we will use three “voices”. The loud voice, which represents the voice of action. The whispered voice, which represents the voice of the inner mind and finally the silence where you repeat the mantra mentally to yourself, representing your spiritual voice.
Secondly we practice a burning ritual using a candle. We take supported asanas to guide us deeply to our inner wisdom so that we may choose what is no longer serving us and what radiant light it is we wish to manifest. We commit these to paper and then set them free. First we watch the element of fire burn away what we choose to release and secondly we watch the flame ignite and set fire to our deepest desires. We must be willing to let go of all attachment to the outcome but honour our intentions.
We move through releasing asanas (focusing on the hips) and then an energising sequence (focusing on the heart space) to reinforce this.
Thirdly we take a pranayama practice - Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breath)
A technique that balances our masculine and feminine energies, to settle the mind, body and emotions. This practice will help balance us before we settle in to a long relaxation moving into stillness.
Lastly we take an extended savasana and move through a Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra is a guided practice that takes you to a state of deep surrender where your consciousness is far away from physical body experiences. You're then brought gently back into a waking state, bringing with you a little of that peace to keep with you as a guiding light as you emerge from your practice into the next cycle.
Winter Solstice Blessing
May you have a warm heart,
open hands,a creative mind.
May you experience inspiration and brilliance,
clarity and focus.
May you laugh richly and deeply.
May you circle and celebrate,
may you change and grow
May that which is waiting to be unlocked
And may you soar with the knowing
that you are carried by a great wind across the sky.
By Molly Remer
Last dates to be emailed the pre-recorded Winter Solstice Online Class is Sat 19th December.
Included is a 2 hr full practice as well as each segment recorded as seperate video links to practice as and when you need.
Booked via the website https://www.paperkiteyoga.co.uk/book-online
Have a wonderful Winter Solstice, a happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.