Thanksgiving Blessings

Wishing the very warmest wishes and heartfelt gratitude to all my yogis and friends and family.   Here is a poem by John O’Donohue.

I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gift of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life,
The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.

Tonight my daughter comes home from college, and we will drive down to Portland to spend the holiday with family. So, I will not be teaching tomorrow, but I do have two very special classes planned for this weekend.  I hope you can join me for one if not both of them.

Saturday @ 9:15am  @ River Tree Yoga

Benefit Class for Yoga Behind Bars

You can you use your pass if you have one.  I will be donating all proceeds from the class to YBB.  This will be a class focused on gratitude, a heart opening practice designed to nourish and inspire.

Sunday @ 9:45 @ Village Green Yoga

A special class to help us unwind, detox and restore after a  long weekend of celebration.

Be Well

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Thanksgiving Greetings from your Favorite Yogi

My in-box has been overflowing with reminders of gratitude practices.  It has also been overflowing with opportunities to shop, shop, shop. Personally, I like the former much better.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Family and friends come together for no other reason than to share gratitude and food.

My family has already begun to arrive.  My children are all now home – which brings me so much joy.  The kitchen cupboards and fridge are full, and the scent of baking fills the air.  Actually my son is making risotto which smells almost as good as hot chocolate chip cookies.  More of my family arrives tomorrow and there will be  21 for dinner on Thanksgiving.  Now that will be a bountiful evening.

Here is the thing about the holidays.  Even if this is your favorite time of year, it is the time you are most likely to overdue and wear yourself out.  So instead of reminding you about all the things you have to be thankful for, I will take this moment to remind you to take care of yourself.

Steps to self-care during the holidays

Take time to be alone: Get up a few minutes early to have some time to yourself.  Perhaps you will meditate, or maybe enjoy that first cup of chai tea/coffee by yourself.  Whatever you do – don’t do anything that is on your to-do list.  Just be.

Do your practice:  Even if you don’t have time to come to the studio for classes, do take time to do a few down dogs and warriors, a baby back bend or two, a couple of twists for your digestion and don’t skip svasana.  You can do this all in 20 minutes or less, and you will feel much better for it. And if you can squeeze in a full practice, it will definitely help you to stay calm and cool and centered in the face of any family dynamics or undercooked turkeys.

Nourish your body:  I know you plan on eating lots of turkey, stuffing and pie, but don’t forget your greens, salads, and even a light soup to refresh your body.  Be sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast, my favorite is yogurt, granola and fresh fruit.  This will give you all the energy you need to face the rest of the day.

That’s it.  Have a great Thanksgiving holiday.  As you sit down with your friends and family, look around and smile.  Let your heart fill with gratitude and let everyone know how happy you are that they are there.  I found this blessing and thought you might like it.  Direct the prayer to whatever the divine means to you.

Thank you for the elements, which compose our bodies, all of nature and this food we will enjoy.
Thank you for our ancestors who sacrificed for us to be where we are today.
Thank you for the earth and its astounding beauty.
Thank you for love, family, friendship and community.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Learning to Bless and Accept Change

“See, this day I set before you blessing and curse; choose blessing that you may live”
Deuteronomy 11:26

Sometimes when we least expect it, the universe throws us a curve ball.  The question is:  how do we relate to and manage change.  Even when situations seem haphazard, chaotic, sad, or frustrating, our work is to stay present to the possibilities for growth in the moment of transition.

For most of Seattle, last week was all about change.  The change that happens when you are stuck in a snowstorm.  Snow and ice were every where, keeping many of us from conducting business “as usual.”  In fact many of us couldn’t even get out of the house to do our “stuff.”  On top of that, many folks lost power and didn’t have access to their computers and other electronic distractions.  For some this was a time of great frustration, but I have also heard wonderful stories of how families and friends came together and supported one another, and had fun playing in the snow.  For those who chose the path of blessing, the snowstorm was beautiful and productive.

Of course, there are all those other big changes that happen: moving, sickness, loss of a loved one, loss of employment, the list goes on.  And while there is no denying that these are difficult and painful moments of transition, we must learn to accept that they can and will happen.  Our work is to choose how we will respond to them.

This past year we had the honor of sharing the last months of life with a very dear friend.  Of course we were devastated when he passed.  But we also were able to be present for that moment of passing and to feel blessed by the time we shared with him.  Our choice was either to sink into the sadness of our loss, or to embrace the goodness of his life.  I still cry, but I also smile when I recall our time spent together. A blessing.

On Monday of this week, another big change came my way.  As many of you now know, I am no longer teaching at Urban Oasis.  I have greatly enjoyed my time there and learned a great deal from my many wonderful students.  The next evolution of my practice will be at Village Green Yoga, where I will expand my current teaching schedule to include the Tuesday and Thursday Vinyasa classes previously available elsewhere.  So the big changes of this week have offered me moments of reflection and the opportunity to expand my outreach and have greater simplicity and continuity in my life. A blessing.

Here’s to embracing change, an everyday practice.  We just never know what is around the corner.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi