Thoughts on a Memorial Day Practice
Honoring those who continue to inspire and guide us
Class today was supported by inviting in and celebrating the energies of those whom we hold sacred in our lives. We chose to remember people whose very existence has deepened our own experience on this planet. It didn’t matter whom we chose to bring with us into our practice. Some may have chosen their mothers, or grandmothers, or friends, or maybe they invited Lao Tsu, or Rumi, or Leonardo DaVinci, or Ramakrishna, or Abinhavagupta or Gandhi.
We didn’t discuss who was inviting whom to class, or why. We simply chose in our hearts, one or two people to celebrate during our practice. And what a magnificent practice it was. Heads bowed to open hearts, warriors were courageous and strong, mountain poses were the embodiment of strength and endurance, and forward bends – poses of stillness and embrace were soft and nurturing.
I am grateful to my wonderful students today who chose to honor Memorial Day through their yoga practice, and in doing so, honored their heroes, ancestors, and sacred teachers as they celebrated and nourished themselves.
Shalom & Namaste,
I see snow on the mountains. The air has changed and now it is surely winter. That’s okay by me, now I have an excuse to drink eggnog in the mornings and hot chocolate in the afternoons. Maybe I will even get to go skiing this year.
Another thing that winter brings is an increase in vata energies. Now I am by no means an expert in ayurveda ( I can however, recommend a few fabulous practitioners), but I do know that too much of anything can lead to imbalances. Too much vata energy can lead to an increase in colds, joint pains, arthritis, congestion, dryness of skin, insomnia, and a generalized sense of agitation.
But you don’t need to let the “winter blues” get you down. Don’t let the wild winds of winter blow away your serenity. Turn to your yoga practice to bring balance back into your life. Now is the time to slow down your practice, and build and stoke the internal fires. Start by holding your poses for longer – go deeper exploring the edges of each asana. Add a few balance poses – Vriksana (tree) and Gururdasana, will bring both heat to the body and calmness to the heart and mind. Turning further inward, spoil yourself with a deep forward bend aided by props. Do a long paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) but use bolsters and blocks so you can stay longer. Finally, add a few minutes to your svasana – add them at the front end, as you place blankets on and under your body. Nurture yourself with bolsters and eye pillows.
Yoga and ayurveda have long been the sister sciences of well-being. Learning about your doscha, and how seasonal changes effect your doscsha can help you to stay healthier and calmer regardless of the season, the weather or your “to-do” list. For more information on ayurveda, here are a few of excellent links:
Have a great week, stay warm, and love yourself.
Shalom & Namaste