Happenings

Holiday presence

Yep- things are definitely under way now. Less than a week until Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice, and barely a week until ’twill be the night before Christmas.

So, tell me, my friends… how’s it going? Are you experiencing the holidays or experiencing a holidaze? Personally, it was holidays, then Holly-days, and now… Holly-daze??

That’s why I am even more grateful for this great reminder about staying in the moment during the holidays- though these suggestions are invaluable for being present at any moment (holidays or no). Check out Panache Desai’s Six Ways to Be Present During the Holidays.

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Karma Yoga: Yoga off the mat

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna states that the most important lesson his disciple, Arjuna, can learn is to perform his duties with devotion and without attachment to the fruits of his actions- i.e., without an eye on rewards for what he does.

The yogic path has several branches. While Hatha Yoga (the yoga of physical postures) is the most well known in the Western world, “doing yoga” can actually mean many things. Karma Yoga is the yoga of selfless service- it calls upon the yoga practitioner to serve without seeking a reward. Gandhi was a model Karma yogi.

It is often said that this time of year is a time for giving. One cannot turn on a tv or walk down the street or do anything really without being bombarded with suggestions for how and what to ‘give’ this holiday season. So, here‘s another one- giving time and service through Karma Yoga. Take your yoga off the mat and into the world this holiday season!

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Go, Mercury, go!

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately. I also mentioned that I’m aware I must be present through everything that I’m feeling- lest my ego take this valley and turn it into an abyss. A bottomless chasm of separatemess (typo, and it’s staying).

‘Here I am all alone on this island and no one elsewhere could possibly speak my language… or help.’

Nonsense! When I respectfully ask my ego to zip it and sit down, I remember my connectedness to all life. I realize that, in many ways, my plight is universal. If not universal, cosmic.

Jupiter, my ruling planet, has been retrograde for about four months now. This year, there have been shake-ups in my astrological chart that haven’t happened in nearly a decade. There has been a series of eclipses that have been like astrological earthquakes for me, beginning on December 21, 2010. Things are opening up in a miraculous way, astrologically speaking.

Well… not just astrologically. I feel it on many levels, which makes me that much more eager to share insight into the astrological conditions that are shaping the ‘state of things’.

December 10th was the last in the series of eclipses. On December 25th, Jupiter will go direct (thank you, Jesus). And tomorrow- tomorrow, Mercury will go direct again. Hallelujah.

Mercury is a cheeky little monkey. Its retrograde stations are the most discussed of the planets in our solar system. This is an elucidating explanation of the effects of retrograde planets.

Take note, ego. The jig is up.

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Yoga this week!

I’ll be teaching on Wednesday at 10am this week. And you are invited. Good times!

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It’s the full moon!

Today, the moon was full at approximately 6:36am PST. Also, there was a lunar eclipse today that was the last in a series of eclipses that began about a year ago.

I enjoy keeping tabs on the phases of the moon. The gravitational force of the moon has had much to do with the way life has evolved on this planet. It is the cause of the oceans’ tides. It may also have strong effects on our own bodies. Consider that our bodies are mostly composed of water. Now remember the pull of the moon creates the tides. Perhaps this is the origin of the association of the full moon with strange behavior or with other changes- like more babies being born?

In any case, I like to stay connected to the phases of the moon simply because it is a connection to the rhythms of nature. The time around the new moon is a time for manifesting and setting intentions- letting them come into being as the moon itself waxes. And the full moon, with its powerful presence, is a time for cleansing, clearing, and letting go. Let the gravity of the full moon draw away anything that is no longer serving us.

I have found the moon to be a very powerful ally in manifesting and evolving. How about you? Do you follow the moon and its phases?

Eclipses can also bring about big changes in our lives. Read what Susan Miller has to say about dealing with eclipses here.

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New Year’s Yoga Challenge

I can say from personal experience that I feel more centered, grounded, and just plain better when I keep up with my daily meditation and asana practice. This 21-day Yoga Challenge will be a fun way to maintain my practice as we usher in 2012- and a fun way to share my experiences with other yoga lovers.

Using Social Workout, you can track your progress and invite others to join you. The Challenge includes a daily yoga (asana) practice, 15 minutes of meditation daily, and eating at least 1 vegetarian meal a day.

This is what YJ has to say about it:

Starting Jan. 9, you’ll begin receiving daily newsletters outlining that day’s practice, with a video link, a Challenge practice tip, information about that week’s meditation, and a link to a delicious and healthy vegetarian recipe from Vegetarian Times.

January 9th is one month away… if you would like to join my group, search for Holly Richelle (email: Holly@KamelienYoga.com). Let’s get this party started!!!

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Yoga help for the holidays

I. Love. Synchronicity.

I’m preparing my class for tomorrow. It’s my birthday, and I get to teach. It’s a gift that I couldn’t have imagined receiving just one year ago. It was about this time one year ago that I sat down and made a list of intentions for the coming year. I wrote them down, said my prayers, and watched things fall into place in such a miraculous way. High on the list… finally get certified to teach yoga. And here I am, one year later, preparing the class I will teach on my birthday.

In gratitude for this wonderful blessing, I wanted to put together a class that honors where I am in my life today while also honoring my students and the spirit of this special season.

We are now 6 days into the 40-day Global Sadhana honoring the Divine Feminine. I am loving connecting with the energy this global community is generating. Each day, I am doing my humble part by finding ways to honor and connect with Mother Earth.

It has been such a powerful practice for me that I wanted to bring that energy into my class this week. The root chakra (muladhara) seemed like a logical place to start. It is the center of physical experience, and its element is earth (its associated shape is the square, which represents the Earth itself).

And then… voilà! This article not only details kundalini practices for developing the root chakra, but also addresses the importance of balancing muladhara during the holiday season.

Thank you, Shakti! Thank you, Ma! I can’t wait to see you at all of my celebrations this year! ♥

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Yoga this week

December is here!! This week, I’ll be teaching on Wednesday– my birthday! Such an awesome gift… you know I’m going to make it a special one. Come join the party!

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When I say Bolo, you say Ram

Hey there, yoga lovers! The birthday train is rolling now… next stop, kirtan in Santa Monica. Kirtan is a call-and-response style of chanting that I find to be so powerful and liberating. Plus, it’s F-U-N, and there is such a great energy at kirtan gatherings.

The video is a kirtan with Dave Stringer and C.C. White- I’m going to see him tonight at Bhakti Yoga Shala! See you there if you are going. If not, I’ll be sure to fill you in later.

Love to all!

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Intervention is divine

I haven’t had television in my home for many, many years now (unless I was living in someone else’s home…gypsy roots). Occasionally, though, I’ll find myself in front of a TV and a show will really get my attention. One of those is a show called ‘Intervention’ about addicts and the loved ones who are trying to get them help to change their lives.

It’s generally dark and intense, but what I find most intriguing about it is that ray of hope- the prospect for change. Will they say yes? Will they let go of low vibrational behaviors and activities? Will they begin an upward spiral? Through their actions, the subjects are crying out for help… but will they take it?

I suppose I had ‘Intervention’ on my brain yesterday because it was the first of the month (a day that I usually check in with myself and set intentions for the month) and also because it was the first day of the 40-day Global Sadhana honoring the Divine Feminine. Everything about the Sadhana screams YES! to me. In fact, it was one of those areas that I felt that the Divine was winking at me and saying, “Here you go. Here’s what you’ve been looking for. Here’s what to do next.”

But would I accept the help that is being offered? It was after 10pm on the first day, and I hadn’t found time for the daily observances. I was tired. It had been a long day. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Blah, blah, blah. The truth was that I had let myself be carried through the day on the momentum of the habits and rituals that are really, honestly not working for me anymore.

I chose yesterday’s daily reminder specifically for the first day of Global Sadhana to remind myself what the commitment really means (and maybe, possibly because I could foresee myself talking my way out of it). It is a commitment to raise the vibration of our planet and to embrace my own highest vibration for the good of all. I say YES! to that. Drop everything else. Clear my schedule. The Goddess herself has sent me an invite. I’m there!

We are fast approaching that time of year again- the big first day- when we make our resolutions and welcome a new beginning. But what if, this time, we didn’t think of it as an event that will come and go? What if, this time, the commitments that we make to ourselves and each other are the commitments that we keep in every moment- with our words, with our thoughts, with our actions? What if we make every moment a New Year’s Day where we reaffirm our commitment to be the highest and best version of ourselves?

The Divine speaks to us everywhere and through everything. Even the most challenging “problems” are opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve. But the first step is always opening our hearts and accepting that help is here. It reminds me of the story of the man and the lottery ticket:

There is a man who’s always been poor, and one day he decides to pray to God that he could win the lotto. He prays and prays, but doesn’t win. Every day, he prays to God that he could win the lotto, and it never happens.

One day, when he’s very old and frustrated, he gets on his knees and says, “Look, God. This is the last time I’m going to pray. PLEASE let me win the lotto, or at least tell me why you aren’t letting me win.”

Suddenly, an angel appears before the man and says, “Look, sir, could you do God a favor and at least BUY A LOTTO TICKET?!”

So…what’s your answer?

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