Mantra for March
By Laura Mills
Gloves, hats, and scarves in March? Maybe…but so late in March? With spring’s arrival, spring break approaching, and Passover and Easter right around the corner, the extra-frosty air and brutal wind seem quite out of place. Sure, we had a stretch of really mild weather back in December when we expected cold…now that the weather is “supposed” to be warming up, though, the cold just doesn’t seem to want to leave.
But yogis, take heart! 2013’s weather so far has much to teach us. The lingering cold invites us to continue our practice beyond our mats, as unexpected challenges like this lead us—if we’re open and accepting—into new ways of approaching life, into places where we need to return to our breath and revisit our intentions. We slow down, look inside ourselves, and observe what’s there at the present moment. Meanwhile, the spring kept at bay invites us to step up our practice of patience. Not the strained patience of a parent or teacher begging Mother Nature to ease up so the kids can play outside, but rather the patience of a seed just under the earth, frozen, dormant, waiting for the perfect moment. This is a patience that reaches deep beyond the choice of how to respond; it reaches into the realm of following nature’s cues, of letting nature lead. To the seed, when it’s time, it’s time.
Remember that, no matter how we perceive our weather and its changes, winter never just gives up and spring never just takes over from there. Instead, winter flows away, and spring flows in. Any given year—when it’s time, it’s time. The planet breathes and moves in a practice all its own; no matter how long it holds any pose, it always encourages us to join in.
By Laura Mills
Right now I am sitting at my kitchen table in front of my computer, having just finished my cereal, drinking coffee, listening to classical music. The patio door is open and I’m looking into my yard, and I’m hearing the chirps of crickets and birds. Of course, not every moment of my life is this easily sweet; just this morning before breakfast I dusted the living room, swept the kitchen, and fed and cleaned up after my cats. Soon enough, I’ll head back upstairs to get ready for work. But right now, in this moment, I am exactly where I want to be.
We all experience snippets of life like this in which the immediate circumstances just seem right. We are content to breathe and feel and be without immediately moving on to something else. We think, “Ah, so THIS is happiness.” Our challenge, I believe, as I discuss so often with other yogis, is to nurture the contentment of these moments and apply it to the times when life isn’t so accommodating. Our yoga practices help; with yoga, we encourage our bodies, minds and spirits towards lasting and perfectly balanced peace.
But in the meantime, we relish the peace that comes easily. We sigh, take a deep breath, and give thanks.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GANESHA REMOVER OF OBSTACLES! GUEST BLOGGER RACHEL DEWAN
SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 FROM GUEST BLOGGER RACHEL DEWAN
Dear Peaceful Yoga Warriors,
It's Ganesh's birthday, so I hope you can join me on the mat this week to celebrate. Ganesh is the sweet, gentle elephant-headed deity of Hindu mythology. He is the bearer of auspicious beginnings, and he has much to teach us. Generally referred to as the "remover of obstacles" (join me in class to find out WHY...and how he got his elephant head!), the Tantric twist on the teaching is that he represents the obstacle itself. He is the reminder that challenges come up, that life is often hard, but that WE have the power to transcend and grow. When we actively engage with the challenges we face, rather than looking for someone (real or myth) to take them away, we live an awakened life of intention.
Join me 4:00pm Tuesday or 10:45am Friday for an empowering practice, facing our challenges head on with a little wisdom from our elephant-headed friend. Learn the story of Ganesh, delve into the iconography, do a little chanting (kind of like "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in sanskrit :-), and have an all around rockin' birthday party!
Kisses & blessings,
Rachel Dewan, ERYT and Anusara Inspired
MARCH 30, 2010: “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” -Dr. Seuss
Dr Seuss is a stud for sure. As you know I’ve been selling my house. I have bombarded myself with ever more complicated questions related to why no one comes to see my house, why I can’t sell it, why did I pour a gazillion extra dollars in this last year to prepare it, why did I list it lower than I wanted to…and on and on. Well bottom line is that complicating my life with too many why’s and questions is only hurting me. The answer here is simple.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci
I am now trying to learn from this whole thing as it has been a really challenging form of yoga for me. I have come to realize that just like collecting poses doesn’t make you happy, well collecting too many chairs, tables, and “stuff” hasn’t made me happy either. So now I am simplifying. I am learning what Vernon Howard means “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.”
On the mat we look for ways to conserve energy, to become more efficient and simple or subtle in the practice of asana. Therein lies its beauty or Shri. And the more we practice simplicity in class the more clear headed we become to recognize and seek that off the mat. We certainly don’t come to yoga to practice being more complicated! Which I looked up means Thorny, Dense, Convoluted, Intricate, Difficult, Problematic
Ugh. That’s not anything I want. I aspire to Lao Tzu description “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” That is true abundance.
The reality is that life is simple. We can see the Shri in the world around us more easily with less stuff in the way! So may we all be satiated with what we have, not over stuffed and with courage may we will simplify those areas of our lives that feel thorny, dense or difficult. Peace in all ways, Silvia
PS THE ANSWER? It is love.