A cornerstone teaching in our practice is learning to balance effort and ease; finding that sweet spot where we have just the right amount of prana (energy of life) to lead our best lives. We practice finding this balance by paying close attention to our bodies and our breath as we move on our mats and in our lives, making micro adjustments over and over back toward middle, toward balance, toward harmony.
Mid-January begins the transition from Vata dosha season to the Kapha dosha season in the Ayurveda calendar. As the earth is cold and wet, forming dense mud, we too may experience density, stagnation and mud emotionally and physically. This natural occurrence is compounded by the global pandemic we have all been enduring…how can our Yoga practice help to guide us back toward balance in our lives?
Antidotes to the sluggishness of Kapha season are to activate, to energize, to engage both on the yoga mat and in life. In class, we will practice with a flowing, less static practice, bringing more awareness to our inner core muscles and using this awareness as we twist, open our hearts and engage our roots. We will practice energizing pranayama (breath practice) with our Ujjayi breath which translates literally to “victorious breath”. Off your mat, you may consider bringing organization to your routines, practicing more moderation and balance with regards to time spent sedentary (in front of the fire with a book or movie) versus early morning or after dinner walks. Finally, as we each individually find harmony, balance and ease as we engage energetically, we give others permission to do the same.
With light and ease,
Below are readings from class this month.
The Longing Do not pretend that The Longing has not also lived in you, swinging like a pendulum. You have been lost, and thieved like a criminal your Heart into that darkness. But life is tired, Deep Friend, of going on without you. It is like the hand of the mother who has lost the child. And if you are anything like me, you have been afraid. And if you are anything like me, you have known your own courage. There is room in this boat: take your seat. Take up your paddle, and all of us – All of us – shall row our hearts back Home.
Manifesto of the Brave & Brokenhearted
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise. With skinned knees and bruised hearts; we choose owning our stories of struggle, over hiding, over hustling, over pretending. When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes. We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. We craft love from heartbreak, compassion from shame, grace from disappointment, courage from failure. Showing up is our power. Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.
Speak this to yourself until you know it is true. I believe that I woke up today and my lungs were working, miraculously, my voice can sing and murmur and ask, miraculously. My hands may shake, but they can hold me, or another. My blood still carries the gifts of the air from my heart to my brain, miraculously. Put a finger to my wrist or my temple And feel it: I am magic. Life and all its good and bad and ugly things scary things which I would like to forget beautiful things which I would like to remember -- the whole messy lovely true story of myself pulses within me. I believe that the sun shines if not here, then somewhere. Somewhere it rains, and things will grow green and wonderful. Somewhere inside me, too, it rains, and things will grow green and wonderful. Sometimes my insides rain from the inside out. And then I know I am alive I am alive I am alive -Eve L. Ewing