yoga winter I always find December to be a bit ungrounding. I think it’s because of how much opposite energies are in play during this time of the year. Seasonally, it’s colder, the days are short, and our bodies—particularly if we are sensitive to our environment, like most yoga practitioners—instinctively want to eat more, rest more, stay inside, and slow down. But the calendar tells us a different story. It says it’s time for holidays and celebration! Shopping! Late nights spent out at parties! It’s hard not to feel split between the desire to be social and the urge to hibernate.

New Year’s Eve, of course, is the pinnacle of this conflict. Many of us feel tempted to do something mindful and mellow for New Year’s, like go to a yoga class or sit in meditation, but the temptation to go to that all-night rager can feel equally as strong. So, how can we find ways to be more grounded during the winter, even amid all of the excitement? For me, I try to eat a lot of warm food. If I have plans to be out a couple of nights that week in seasonal celebration, I’ll try to stay in on the rest of the nights and nest. I move slower in my yoga practice, building heat in the body through slow, deliberate movement instead of fast-paced vinyasa. And I try to socialize in smaller groups, taking advantage of the sense of intimacy that the cold, dark season can offer. When I feel a lot of noise going on around me, I try to turn the volume down.

What do you do to stay grounded during this time of year? What tricks did you find useful this past Christmas? And do you have a favorite yoga-oriented ritual for New Year’s Eve? Write in and let us know what you think!