7 tips on how to shine on despite the winter gloom

It’s that time of year when, as soon as the clocks go back, everything seems to get plunged into gloom – both literally and metaphorically. Along with less light, lurgeys proliferate, energy levels plummet and the drive to hibernate becomes overwhelming.  I find it can take real effort to stay upbeat.

So I thought I’d put together a list to remind myself of what to do when SAD threatens to take over:

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Pranayama AKA getting high on your own supply

There’s a line in the song “Mouthful of Diamonds’ by Phantagram that goes ‘you’re getting high on your own supply’.

Although the song wasn’t referring to the yogic breathing techniques collectively known Pranayama, it might well have been, as these techniques definitely are a fast and effective way of getting high on your own supply, and in the process shifting your mood.

And what a supply!

The word “Pranayama” is composed of two sanskrit words – “prana” and “yama”/”ayama”.

“Prana” refers to the animating life force that sustains all living beings, and is similar to the eastern concept “chi”.

“Yama” means restraint and “ayama” means a lengthening. Thus, very broadly, pranayama can be understood as either ‘restraining or mastering the life force’.

Either way, in my experience, practicing pranayama feels damn good. Continue reading