The increasing darkness of winter is an invitation to move more deeply into our shadow selves. We can hunker down, get internal, and examine what pieces of ourselves no longer serve. It is time to clear out space and let go of old habits and limiting patterns, so that when the sun begins to come back, we have room to create anew.
To clear out the old, we begin with detoxification. Manipura chakra is the center of willpower and is associated with the fire element. The solar plexus is also the seat of digestion and the digestive fires, which can burn out the restrictions of energy at the base. As we inhale, we fan the flames down to these blockages. The exhalation reinforces uddiyana bandha and mula bandha, which draw these blocks up into the fire to be purified. Thus, the power of the breath and the fire of our bodies work together to unleash our energetic potential.
While physical movements such as sun salutations and standing poses certainly heat our bodies, it is the the effort to focus and our will to concentrate that fans the flames. Moving into twists to tone the abdomen and balancing poses to strengthen the mind, we purify the physical and energetic body simultaneously – burning away dis-ease and attachment.
In the darkness of winter, we create our own internal sun.