Think Warm Thoughts

by Barrie Risman

Last week on a grey, windy November day, we lit our first fire at home. Sitting close to the flames, feeling their warmth, I remembered, “This is what I need to be cultivating inside myself.”

November in Quebec is often the greyest, darkest month of the year. This time around, we have been fortunate to have more than our share of bright, sunny November days. Yet, as the colder weather sets in, we are reminded of where we live and what we signed up for during the winter months to come. We feel it in our bodies as our muscles and joints hold the effects of the cold and wind. Warming up for practice takes longer, even if I’ve done a strong practice only the day before.

Harsher weather calls for the need to nourish ourselves from within. How do we do this? In my experience, it can happen on all levels. It can be as simple as sipping hot water, soaking in a hot bath and eating nourishing food.

Inner nourishment happens in the mind as well. Kind, compassionate, loving thoughts toward ourselves bolster us from within.

Perhaps most importantly, are our practices. Asana done with a conscious engagement with the breath cultivates an inner radiance as prana, life force, moves through us more fully.  Sitting for meditation, we go inside and stoke the inner fire of our deepest selves. This experience is often expressed in terms of light. In meditation we connect with the inner awareness that illumines our mind, senses and body.

Thoughts and acts of self-care support us in remembering our inner light as the outer world grows colder and darker. How will you be nourishing your inner light in the days, weeks and months to come?


  1. I’ll take all of your advice, and escape to warmer climes as often as possible.
    Here’s to warm drinks, warm baths, healthy food and lots of yoga with a little meditation on the side. Thanks for all the inspiration!

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