|Image of Hannah Rose Pratt by Monique Pantel - Words by Nikki Zajac|
Since recently moving back to the prairies from California, I noticed that there was something missing. Nothing obvious, but at the same time very pressing. Now, coming back to a real winter is a huge shift from palm trees and sunny skies. The more time I spent marinating on what my intuition was trying to communicate to me, the clearer it became. It wasn't, however, until I got my butt outside that I had my breakthrough realization.
I'll tell you what that is, but you must first know how much I craved to be indoors beside a warm, sizzling fireplace with a hot cup of spiced tea on a cold winter day. This was what I was missing earlier this winter. I have completely indulged and have since satisfied my cozy fire cravings. It was after I got my fix that I started to get a little stir-crazy.
Everything changed when I decided to gear up and spend the day outside. I felt refreshed, revitalized, alive and free. I couldn't stop smiling. Yes, it is those powerful nature vibes that sunk into my pores and made my body dance with happiness. One day, one moment, everything changed.
Now, I know that I am not the only one living in the prairies during the long winter and at times, feeling caged in.
I want to share 4 ways to free your mind this winter and help you connect to yourself in ways you have been missing out on.
1- Go on a hike.
Gear up and get yourself outside on a beautiful winter day. Go to a park or a quiet location surrounded by trees. Go solo, with a furry pal, a friend or partner. The most important thing is to dress for the weather so you can fully enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Breathe deeply and take in the perfection of the trees and snow. Spend some time connecting to what you are grateful for in your life. By the time you are done, you will feel refreshed and your mood will be elevated.
Nuff' said. Dress for the weather and go do some snowga (snow + yoga). It's fun, challenging (err, balancing on uneven ground) and extremely peaceful.
3- Take up a winter activity.
If you don't already engage with a winter sport, plan a day to do so. Rent some skates, cross country skies, or a snowboard and get out there! Who knows, maybe you will discover your next passion?
4- Winter photography.Whether it is an iPhone or a high-quality camera, get outside and take some pictures of your surroundings. It is a great way to connect to nature, stimulate your creative juices and practice a new skill.
There you have it. Prepare to free your mind and up the joy in your life this winter. Remember cold doesn't necessarily mean hibernate. Honor what you are given and find small ways to enjoy your winter. And most importantly, it is all about the balance of yin and yang energy. (I’ll save that topic for a future post).
As I always say, Freedom is a state of mind.
Nikki is a Flow Yoga Instructor and Self-Love Guide from Winnipeg, MB. Not only does she help women align their bodies with yoga, but she also helps women align their lives. Her holistic approach to teaching brings spirituality, love and wisdom to all. She believes that the answers we seek in life come from within and that happiness comes from the willingness to love yourself fully. To Nikki, yoga isn't just a practice on the mat, but a practice of life. Off the mat she is a lover of green juice, hip hop dancing, nature and unplanned adventures.