6 Yoga & Lifestyle Tips to Spark Joy in January

As we move into mid-January, take a moment to pause, take a breath and notice all around us that is good.

blue monday yoga lady doing yoga to spark joy and happiness this winter

Some people call today Blue Monday and it is considered to be the saddest day of the year. Is this because the festivities of Christmas and New Year are over, resolutions are forgotten about or seem too hard, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter really is starting to kick in?

The principles of nature, Yoga, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine talk to us about Winter as the season of nurturing, slowing down and resting where ever we are. If we move at 100 miles an hour all year round, we are guaranteed to burn out. Winter and the principles of rest, reset, restore or whatever you'd like to call them, ensure that we are taking a breather. Quite literally.

So, let's take this Ancient Wisdom and turn it into practical, feel-good motions, and hold a little space and gratitude for all that is good in our lives.

Here are 6 ways to spark a little joy (as the wonderful Marie Kondo likes to say!):

1. Get outdoors

Whether the skies are blue or the wind and rain is blowing you sideways, get outdoors and get the elements of nature on your skin, through your hair and into your bones. They say it's not about the right weather, it's about the right clothing. And I'm inclined to agree. I chose a bright red winter jacket to cheer me up whenever I wear it. There's no need for all big coats and hats to be dark and gloomy like the skies outside! Pick an activity that suits you and your family, maybe a quick walk or bike ride round the block, a blustery run around on your local park, forest or beach, or maybe don the walking boots and set off on a good old hike with a friend or alone. Whether you're out the house for 5 mins or 5 hours, you'll feel so restored when you get home, kick off your shoes and sit down with a nice warm cuppa.

2. Eat nourishing, warm and seasonal food

There's a reason why lush green salad leaves don't grow in January, our bodies and minds don't need them! Take a leaf out of Ayurverda's cookbook, and eat according to the seasons, and this means, what's in season. I love Eat, Feel, Fresh by Sahara Rose. A great introduction to Ayurveda and some simple recipes to inspire and get you started. Get ready to learn some recipes and play around with your favourite root veg. Carrot soup and beetroot curry are two winter favourites in our house. My father-in-law loves to cook brussel bhaji and you can slice and roast just about any combination of roots. Stewed apples bring about a little sweetness and warming spiced teas can light you up from the inside out.

Next week, here at The Frog Project, learn about Yoga for a Happy Belly and take away a simple practice and 2 day digestive reset for you and your gut.

3. Move (but not too fast)

Ayurveda also has some lessons for us here. Slow and restorative movement can be really key to helping us feel in line with the winter season. Take a restorative Yin inspired yoga class (check out our Nurture sessions here at The Frog Project), or relax with meditation or yoga nidra. Some days you might feel like a get up and go, with a more high powered yoga session, a run or a dip in the sea! The key here is to listen to your body and whenever you feel as those you may be becoming depleted, to rest and reset, before moving back out into the world again. Space is central to this idea. Build space into your routine to give you time to really notice how you're feeling. This means many things for different people, but for me recently, I've started driving in silence. Usually as soon as I drop my kids off at nursery, the radio is up loud and I sing all the way home, but I'm tired at the moment, and actually not turning the radio on and driving with the window and little down, in silence, is really helping me take little moments to check in.

4. Keep warm

This may sound like a bit of a no brainer, but make sure you've got a good amount of under layers on! Tuck your t-shirt in to keep your middle warm, wear thick socks and a hat when you're outdoors! A trick if you practice yoga, especially on those slower evening classes, put a nice blanket down on your mat! And certainly utilise a blanket as much as you can during your practice. I've been known to do a whole class under a blanket. Well, not teach from under a blanket, but certainly for self-practice! Make sure you've got some nice comfy trousers and a hoodie to snuggle into when you're home on the sofa or in front of the fire. We can recommend these lovely, organic, sweats and hoodies from our amazing supplier Teemill.

5. Do things that spark joy

Ever since I read Marie Kondo's 'Spark Joy' I've been really into the idea and what I can do in my life, my house, my hobbies, my relationships, my food that really do spark joy. Even if it's the smallest things. A dear friend of mine introduced me to an Australian Project called The Resilience Project last year, and I've been journalling daily ever since using their Resilience method, and focusing on gratitude, empathy and mindfulness really does help you to identify what sparks joy daily, and it then makes it really easy to let go of the things that don't.

6. Sprinkle a little yoga into your life

Last but not least, why not add a dash of yoga into your life. This Blue Monday, here at The Frog Project, we are offering 3 months unlimited yoga for 50% off. That's just £10 per month for your first 3 months of up to 17 classes a week. Use code THREE4THIRTY at checkout, click here to buy (valid until 31st Jan 2022).

I'll leave you now with a little yin practice you can do to embrace the Winter months and add a little joy to your day.

This Blue Monday, join our FREE Yoga Nidra session to cultivate inner strength and power.

Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.


Carrie Froggett

Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.

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