The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life; hold on, for the promise from the wild nature is this: after winter, spring always comes.
~Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With Wolves
Posts Tagged seasons
If you are not familiar with ‘inner body’ awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands. Don’t ask your mind. It will say, ‘I can’t feel anything.’ Probably it will also say, ‘Give me something more interesting to think about.’ So instead of asking your mind, go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of aliveness inside them. It is there. You just have to go there with your attention to notice it. Your may get a slight tingling sensation at first, then a feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. Some people won’t even have to close their eyes. They will be able to feel their ‘inner hands’ at the same time as they read this. Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body- legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on- into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness.
~Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
That was where we began class this week. Since my inspiration this week was metaphorical- preparing the soil for the seeds we will be planting and growing in the rest of 2013- this passage from A New Earth served to anchor our practice in our bodies rather than our minds.
Spring is a time of renewal, and I find myself excited and inspired annually at this time. I have had a backyard vegetable garden for a few years now, and the process of preparing, planting, and tending that garden has connected me more deeply to the unique qualities of this part of nature’s cycles. I’ve become more aware of how my efforts in the garden can serve as a template for renewal in many areas of my life- and how those efforts can be bolstered by the prevailing conditions of the season.
As any gardener knows, before you can begin planting the seeds and watching them sprout, you must uproot the weeds and prepare the soil. Our practice, therefore, comprised of grounding, standing postures and special attention to the flow of apana vayu. Standing postures activate and balance the root chakra, which governs our sense of security, stability, and safety. A healthy root chakra is an essential foundation.
Apana vayu, one of the five “winds” or aspects of the life force, is associated with the lower abdomen and pelvis and relates to eliminative functions. Shedding, of sorts. It is the downward-flowing energy that allows the old to be released and transform into the fertilizer for the new to grow. Staying in the “inner body” awareness where we opened our practice together, we used various standing postures to explore apana vayu and connect with this “shedding” energy that enables renewal. To learn more about apana vayu and yoga postures that activate it, check out this article from the Himalayan Institute.
I’ve created a Pinterest board to gather my “spring cleaning” inspirations. As I said, this is one of my very favorite times of the year, so I’ll be keeping you posted on my progress throughout the next few weeks. Stay tuned…
Namaste, yoga lovers!
We’re transitioning into one of my very favorite times of the year, and I am so stoked for class this week. We’re a week away from the spring equinox now, and that is going to serve as the inspiration for our yoga practices together for the rest of the month.
Tomorrow (Thursday, March 14), we will explore apana vayu, the downward-flowing energy of elimination, along with grounding standing poses to “prep the soil” for new beginnings this spring.
What seeds are you ready to plant for the rest of your year? What do you wish to manifest?
Join me on the mat to put those visions into action!
ps- The photo above from Kamelienyoga.com was selected to be on YogaPoseWeekly.com. Click here to vote for my photo by clicking on the heart in the upper left-hand corner or ‘liking’ it below the image. Thanks!
Whoa! Did you see that?!!
That was the fall equinox that just went whizzing by.
I must warn you that I am a great lover of solstices and equinoxes, and I get pretty worked up for each one. To me, each is like a mindfulness alert from the universe- a reminder that things are changing and evolving and a push to align with the times. How does ‘change’ manifest in my life at the moment? What can I do to address it? I find that this quarterly practice of ‘checking in’ truly elevates my actions and choices. It brings them into resonance with a bigger picture and gives greater meaning to everything I do.
So, here we are again. It’s fall. And I’m a few days into my fall check-in. So, what’s coming up?
My son is at a stage of learning and understanding that I’m rather enjoying. He will ask questions that make the needle in my brain skip sideways. He asks ‘why?’ about nearly everything. And he also asks questions that force me to stop and think about things in a way that I’ve not done for a very long time. Like, “What does ‘about’ mean? What does ‘an’ mean?” I’ve realized how much I take for granted in my words and the ideas, thoughts, and concepts that generate them. The more words and complicated explanations I throw at him, the more lost we get.
Instead, I must get to the heart of the thing, even approach it symbolically. What is the underlying essence of this thing, beyond the words I know about it? Repeating this exercise day in and day out has made my mind much more limber than it was a few years ago- more ready for the next curveball little man throws my way. My mind is more open to setting aside preconceived ideas about things and connecting with the sweetness that makes them what they are.
I was practicing this yoga for the mind (of moms. Of 3-year-olds.) while meditating on ‘fall.’ I get so excited at the beginning of every season- excited to experience the unique sweetness that makes fall fall. As it usually happens, I was drawn to the outdoors, to see how Mother Nature is doing it (because she does it best).
The leaves are falling. The winds are picking up. The time for the harvest has arrived. This is the ‘reaping’ time in the cycle. The seeds that we planted in the spring and tended in the bright, summer sun are now ready to be plucked from the vine and enjoyed.
Also in nature, I see the transition from the hot summer sun to cool fall winds beginning. From a pitta (fire) season to a vata (air) season, according to Ayurveda.
I am vata. Very, very vata. Moving into fall can throw me off balance if I am not mindful that Mother Nature is piling on extra vata. The equinoxes are a time of balance. The hours of dark and light are equal. So, I like to go with the flow and work with a vata-pacifying diet and focus on grounding postures in my yoga practice. I also bring my mindful awareness to any other habits or situations that may be throwing me off further and focus on letting them go.
To aid me in my efforts, I have been relying on an affirmation that I would like to share with you. It is from Doreen Virtue’s Chakra Clearing: A Morning and Evening Meditation to Awaken Your Spiritual Power (available on iTunes).
“I am harmoniously aligned with the ceaseless flow of supply and love that springs from the golden fountain of light from within my center. All of my desires are perfectly balanced right now.”
Happy Autumn, everyone! Here’s a free dosha quiz if you would like to learn more about your Ayurvedic dosha.
Do you remember way, way back when I was working my way through a 7-day crystal/chakra healing marathon? We had made it all the way to Day 5 / the throat chakra when my computer went on summer vacation.
To me, the change of seasons is like nature’s reminder alert to slow down and take stock of things. Check in. Whether it’s in my yoga practice, diet, daily meditation, habits, thoughts, emotions, etc.- I boost my efforts to bring change where it is needed by aligning with the energy of change that swells at the solstices and equinoxes.
It’s a time of one phase ending and a new one beginning. Why not follow Mother Nature’s lead to let go of the ‘old’ and welcome the ‘new?’ She pretty much has this whole managing life thing down to a science.
If your chakra health is an area that will have your attention as we approach the fall equinox, healing crystals are a great way to uplift your efforts.
…Which brings me back to the crystal/chakra healing countdown. Who needs a refresher?
And now… let’s resume, shall we?
6th chakra / third eye / tiger’s eye
“Tiger’s Eye combines the earth energy with the energies of the sun to create a high vibrational state that is nevertheless grounded, drawing the spiritual energies to earth. Placed on the third eye, it enhances psychic abilities in earthy people and balances the lower chakras, stimulating the rise of the kundalini energy.
Tiger’s Eye is a protective stone that was traditionally carried as a talisman against ill wishing and curses. It shows the correct use of power and brings out integrity. It assists in accomplishing goals, recognizing inner resources and promoting clarity of intention. Placed on the navel chakra, Tiger’s Eye is excellent for people who are spaced out or uncommitted. It grounds and facilitates manifestation of the will. Tiger’s Eye anchors change in the physical body.”
~from The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall
Mmm… sounds good. Love you, Tiger’s Eye!
Last week’s oracle card reading wrapped up with the suggestion to spend time outdoors over the weekend. I happened to take that advice, packing up the fam and heading out to Joshua Tree. It was a great trip for many reasons (I got to see Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band, CC White, Arjun Baba, and Krishna Das!!!), but one of the things that made it the most special for me was being in the desert landscape. I love going to places where the natural environment is different than the one I see in my day-to-day. It gives me a new perspective on things.
So, I guess I don’t have to tell you that I’m stoked that Doreen is using her ‘Healing with the Fairies’ oracle card deck this week. The fairies are nature angels. They back up Mother Earth and work to keep her balanced. Doreen states in the beginning of her reading that the Healing Fairies deck works well for anyone who has environmental issues on the brain.
I also love that the reading for the weekend brings up detoxing and clearing. We are rapidly coming upon the change of the seasons again. I often like to observe solstices and equinoxes with some type of cleanse or detox- whether it be in my diet, my thoughts, my habits, my schedule. Whatever form it might take, I love to ride the energetic wave of ‘change’ that surges around solstices and equinoxes.
I’ll have more to share about that as we roll up to the autumnal equinox, but I love that it came up already. A great reminder and great motivation.
Do you observe the changing of the seasons in some way? What will you be doing to get ready for fall?
Well, well, well… what have we here?!
Moments ago, I logged on to the site for the first time in… a long time. In fact, I noticed that my last post was from June 18th- two days before the solstice.
Ahhh, yes! It makes perfect sense now. I sat down to do my ‘work’ on the morning of the 19th, and I no longer had a working display on my computer. Because the fairies, angels, Holy Ones, and heavenly Beings must have thought it would be best for me to disconnect and enjoy my summer ;). Thank God/dess!
Within days of my personal computer breaking, all of the others in my home developed problems as well. I have been completely, blissfully computerless all summer. It’s the best time for it, really.
There are new developments to share- and new inspirations. This time has been a productive one for me to regroup, reevaluate, and decide what is the next step. I will have a lot to share very shortly. Just in time because the computer situation is on the verge of being remedied.
Check back soon for more updates!
Love to all!
Namaste, yoga lovers!
Now that spring is here, you may be considering undertaking some good ol’ spring cleaning. As I’ve said, this is a great time of year to make changes- out with the old and in with the new. Powerful forces are present to support any little seedling intentions that we wish to manifest. Working consciously with them is like a power-boost to our manifestation.
If your spring cleaning includes ditching any old habits or patterns that affect the body, the equinoxes are a great time for an Ayurvedic cleanse.
In Ayurveda, the seasons have a predominant dosha just as human beings do. Spring is a kapha season- with the wetness of spring rains and the heaviness of the saturated earth as comes back to life.
Following an Ayuvedic ‘spring cleaning’ program can help balance kapha in the body. Less kapha means less heaviness and more energy. Less inertia and more action.
Working with Mother Nature in this way is a great way to jumpstart any goals you have concerning your health and wellbeing. I don’t know about you… but I can use all the help I can get ♥
For many, the Spring Equinox is symbolic of rejuvenation in various forms and facets. The rebirth time in earthly cycles has come again. There are many ways in which a feeling of newness and possibility can manifest at this time of year.
Maybe you are inspired to undertake spring cleaning in your home- allowing the old junk to move out and make room for new things to come in. Maybe the milder weather and the prospect of summer on the horizon motivates you to get out and move around more. There are many ways to plant seeds during this season so that you may enjoy them throughout the year.
If the seeds you will be planting are literal, you have a great opportunity to connect with the Nature Devas. “The word deva comes from the Sanskrit language, meaning ‘a being of brilliant light’ and is used to indicate a non-physical being.” (via Soul-Guidance). They are nature spirits.
Even if you do not have a garden or grow any plants, you can send them a little love for the nourishing food that they help grow for you. You can send thanks when you appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature. They’re her entourage.
Take some time and include the Nature Devas as you celebrate the beginning of spring. They’re working hard this time of year!
The Vernal Equinox is tonight at 10:14pm PST!
Around the world, people will be celebrating this event according to their unique cultural and spiritual traditions. At my house, we’re having a Peeps and Pysanky party! I prepared the dyes this morning and put the eggs out so they will be the right temperature when it’s time to get our pysanky party on. My great-grandma was a real master at making Ukrainian Easter eggs, and it was a yearly tradition in my home growing up. I’m like an excited little kid to share it with my family.
I’m lucky to be living in a time zone where staying up to burn my “clean slate” list won’t push me too far past my bedtime.
I love this season! Bring it on!!
Happy, blessed Spring to everyone! May the seeds you plant grow and flourish… ♥