The Guest Blog: Winter Solstice by Sierra Hollister

Winter Solstice has always seemed like a time to draw in closer to the hearth, closer to the family as well as closer to our most inner self. The year has been spent, for better or worse, we have sowed and reaped. Now feels like a time of caring for our deepest selves, our soul selves. It is nice to put some portion of the day towards tending and nourishing the well from which we drink. Regardless of the weather, I always like to spend some time outside on this day. Nature is the ultimate cathedral in which to worship. Incidentally, the custom of bringing evergreens into the home comes from long ago when the people wished to signify to the nature spirits that they were welcome, that safe shelter from the cold and dark outside could be found in a home so decorated. I also like to look for my shadow on the solstice as the longest shadow you can cast is at noon on the winter solstice.

When I meditate on the energy of winter solstice, I feel all the seeds snug in their earthen beds, deep below a shimmering blanket of fresh snow. Solstice at winter also feels like the pause at the bottom of the exhale, the ultimate exhale, really. Winter solstice is that moment before we begin to inhale, before the light begins to grow again. It has been my understanding that some of the most profound healing in yoga happens in the pause between the breaths.

A nice practice for this solstice energy might be to sit in Easy Pose, hands in Gyan Mudra, eyes closed. Follow the breath, pausing at the bottom of each exhale, listening before drawing the inhale. Perhaps 3 minutes, 5 minutes or 11 minutes of this. Follow with sweet witnessing meditation, no judgment or attachment, just a witness of what flows up.

My wish for you is that you will make a bit of time to tend your soul this Saturday solstice and that your healing will be profound, your happiness complete. Happy Solstice.

To read more of Sierra Hollister’s work check out her personal blog or the Asheville Yoga Center Blog.

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