\nIt is said that the seasons mirror our own physical and emotional needs: spring is a time of creation and new life; summer is a time of exuberance; fall is a time for shedding what doesn’t serve us; and winter is a time of contemplation and renewal, to prepare us for our blossoming in the spring. Although winter might feel dark and, at times, lifeless, it is the ideal time to go within. The seeds that you plant during this season will emerge later—so use this time to set the tone for the coming seasons ahead of you. This is why winter is an ideal time for meditation: Earth aids us in going deep within ourselves by slowing down and taking away the distractions that would otherwise keep us from hearing our quiet inner voices. Here are some ways to make the best use of winter for meditation.\n \n1. Use the extended nighttime hours.\n \nIt is said in Indian wisdom that the hours before dawn and those just after dusk are the most conducive to meditation. This is because, during these times, the brain is more easily able to enter the slower Theta state, or the brainwaves associated with accessing the unconscious mind and creativity. This makes it ideal for meditation, since you are more suggestible in this state and can both clear away negative beliefs and plant positive, empowering ones. Since winter has longer dark hours, you have more time in this state to meditate.\n \n\n \n2. Spend time in nature.\n \nDuring this time of year, spending time in nature is especially grounding. Spending time in the cold strengthens your immunity and helps your body regenerate. During the day, you can spend more time around plants, and at night, the stars are more visible for longer periods of time. In connecting with nature, you will reconnect with your source at a deep level, and this will make your meditations even more insightful and healing.\n \n3. Eat more grounding foods.\n \nDuring this time of year, your body may need more warming, calorie-dense foods. Root vegetable stews, nuts, and richer foods are nutritive and help you to stay warm. Moreover, they help to slow the mind, which can make meditation easier. If you practice fasting, this is also a great time to do it as it deepens meditation.\n \n4. Spend time setting intentions.\n \nThe seeds that you plant during this season will blossom in the following year. That’s why it’s important to set positive intentions now. If you like guided meditations, you may notice that you will have even better experiences with them now than you do during the rest of the year. Journaling is also a great practice during the winter season.\n \n\n \n5. Ask yourself who you are at the deepest level.\n \nWhen life is active, it’s easy to get lost in doing rather than being; that is, we often lose sight of who we truly are. Winter is a great time to reconnect with who you are on the deepest level. In your meditations, you may try an exercise in which you just focus on the sensations in isolated parts of your body to help you relax and become present. Through this process of achieving stillness, you may be more easily able to reconnect with your true self. This makes it easier to live authentically and joyfully.\n \nDo you have other tips to share on how to make the most of winter meditations, or other thoughts on this subject? Share in the comments below!