The changing of the clocks for the winter brings a sharp reminder that summer is long gone and winter is just round the corner. I always struggle to adjust, as there is no public service announcement for dogs, to inform them that we will be getting up later each morning. As a result, my days start an hour earlier and as I work evenings, bedtime cannot come any sooner.
I don’t think I am alone in this, it is recognised that the body is quite finely tuned to the time of day and this sudden change can take a while to adjust to. In 2017, scientists researching the genetic basis for the body clock were awarded a Nobel prize. Their research explored “how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions.”
We experience problems if our internal body clock is misaligned with the environment, most classically in the case of jetlag but on a smaller scale we can feel it when the clocks change. All living organisms are aligned to the cycle of day and night created by our planet’s movement around the sun, even to the extent that the timing of a surgical intervention or taking a drug can be affected by the time of day. IT should come as no surprise that people working strange shift patterns or at night can experience higher levels of ill-health, which could be linked to the disruption to their body clock.
At times like this it is more important than ever to listen to our body. A mindful yoga practice is the perfect way to learn to recognise how we feel on a physical and emotional level. Maybe we need a more restorative practice for a few weeks, perhaps we need to do more relaxation and fewer asanas. Yoga is about honouring the needs of all parts of our being, so that we can be as well as possible.