OK, so it’s still light at 7pm, and my toes are still clinging furiously to their trusty sandals, and I’m still determinedly eating my dahl and rice on the green outside the Tate Modern while watching the bubble man blow his maaaasssivve glassy eggs into the sky. But I am wearing long sleeves. And I don’t leave the house without a shawl and a brolly. And I’ve stopped waking up naturally at the crack of dawn every morning. So yes, the bright yellow ribbon of summer is unraveling.
When I first moved to England, I LOVED being cold. Coming from Zimbabwe, where constant sunshine was just something you took for granted, a chilly morning was a treat indeed. Growing up, I relished Africa’s rainy days and jacaranda skies, when it was cool enough to warrant a hot chocolate. I didn’t own a winter coat, but I did have a thin green school jersey, and I was a happy camper when I got to wear it. So imagine my mirth at moving to London in winter and wrapping around me all those cosy clothes, fire-lit pubs, boots, umbrellas, rain on tap and – the cherry on the cake – central heating.
Fast forward 13 years and I’ve shed my enthusiasm. London’s winters have lost their appeal. I’m reluctant to pull out my winter woolies. I don’t want my feet to be suffocated by socks. I’m still on juices and avo rather than steaming oats for breakfast.
Surya Kriya to the rescue
So I’ve chosen to practice surya kriya (instructions below) for 40 days to keep the summer near me a little longer. Surya (sun) kriya is a kundalini yoga gem that activates the sun energy in your body. Think creativity, charisma, warmth, openness, dynamism, action and vitality – practising it is like taking a giant swig of life-force energy. It particularly boosts the right side of your body – the pingala nadi, which encompasses all the qualities associated with the sun (ida on the left is more moony). Breathing through the right nostril to kick off the kriya gives you an almighty sunny pingala boost.
When I bask in the healing meditation at the end, mulbandh tightly sealing in the effects of the kriya, my body fizzes with vitality, but my mind is searingly clear and still. It’s a goodie. I’m half way throgh my surya kriya challenge. I love its optimistic effects. And it does keep you warm. Maybe that’s why I’m still able to trot about in my sandals despite the chilly temperatures and broody skies.