Autumn and winter can be tough seasons for some of us. The shorter days can bring cosier nights, but they can also take a toll on our motivation, energy levels, and mood. Exercise is an ideal way to boost our happy hormones, and keep our bodies’ moving when we’re tempted to hibernate until the spring.
Our Starseeds Ambassador, Marc Laws II, is not only an incredible yoga teacher, focusing on the physical technique and the exploration of the mind and soul, but is also an ex-professional footballer and sports therapist. Marc deeply understands the workings of the human body and the mind-body connection, and so who better to talk to about keeping active and healthy in the colder seasons...
Many people struggle in the dark months to stay motivated when it comes to moving their body and staying healthy; what do you do to stay inspired and get moving during winter?
Since the end of summer I sat down with a dear friend of mine and created a life wheel. It gives me a chance to reflect on different aspects of my life and make any changes I think that would enrich my life. In the HEALTH section I wanted to make additions. So I chose to add a morning and evening ritual to my life. I find rituals inspiring and provide me with sacred time for myself.
My morning ritual looks like this: Wake up, drink a glass of purified water, go upside down on my FeetUp for 5-10mins, followed by 5-10mins of meditation + ponder 1-3 things I’m grateful for, 1-3 kettlebell exercises, cold shower, and a fresh juice or a few pieces of fruit.
Also, make sure you get at least one good heart felt hug a day… The most nourishing thing you can do for your body and the other person you embrace.
In the winter, lots of us feel the need to slow things down and nourish ourselves after a long year – what would you say is a great yoga style to try for this?
Personally, I choose strong asana flow or a really slow flow. It heats the body and deepens concentrated effort. From there my body is awake and when it comes to a bit of yin or asana at the end I feel balanced.
I always like to mix my modalities or ingredients in life. There’s too many colours to choose one. I’ve always liked the third option… Choose this one or choose that one, or the third option - have it all!
How does your diet change over the autumn-winter season?
I live my life from a really intuitive place, so if I feel like I need something, I’ll take an action. I hear that inner voice and make an adjustment as needed.
I don’t have a set diet, but with the season change, my body might ask for more fats like macadamia oil, olive oil, avocado oil - it’s similar to a craving. I usually listen to my intuition and only make small adjustments, yet suddenly I’ll feel so much better.
I also feel extremely good if I add some moments of fasting. I’ll usually be on liquids and juices for few of days. Sometimes I’ll eat very little throughout the days and other times I’ll eat a lot, it’s all down to the body needing different things at different times. But when your body gets a good cleanse, it really knows what it’s asking for.
In terms of the patterns that I notice in the winter season, I like how the Ayurvedics breaks that down… I like a lot more soups, root vegetables, my favourite organic pumpkin tart from Whole Foods, much more warming things. I’m quite Pitta- so I’m fiery; most of the year I just crave cold things and I also like to embrace the cold in winter season. So occasionally I’ll still have an ice cream or vegan ice cream even in this weather.
Can you suggest any online resources to help keep us motivated this winter?
You can access classes from me and other great teachers on Udaya UK
To find out more about Marc’s classes, his teaching, his projects and how to connect with him on his website, MarcLaws.com