The spring is a powerful time of year. We watch in awe as green sprouts out of the ground and buds burst on spring-blooming trees. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spring is governed by the Liver and Gallbladder. The Liver is our decision maker. If the Liver is not functioning well, we lack the ability to make clear decisions. In TCM, the eyes are the external organ of the Liver, so we might encounter vision problems, if our Liver is out of order. The Liver is not only related to our physical vision, but also our metaphorical vision.
What a year it is has been! On SO many levels. I have so much to write about and yet so much is still percolating. One item that I do want to mention is that this year marks the 20th year since I started practicing Iyengar Yoga! I lucked into a 5 day workshop during my travels in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A friend recommended the course as I had already been practicing yoga on my own, with books and classes at the Y in college. Even though no one else signed up for the Intermediate course that week, the teacher taught me privately for 5 hours per day!
We just passed through the first New Moon of the New Year. New Moons are always potent times to set intentions, but particularly the first New Moon of the New Year. This past year felt particularly destabilizing and I have absolutely cherished my yoga practice, as it keeps me steady, clear and grounded in the present. I pay fairly close attention to what is going on around me, but as a yoga practitioner, one of the disciplines of the practice is to not get pulled into the drama - the ups and downs of everyday human existence.
In the yoga sutras, Patanjali talks about effortless effort - "Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached." - Light on the Yoga Sutras, BKS Iyengar
Perfection is connected to the metal element present at the end of this season - the need to be perfect, valuing oneself, the need to have shiny material possessions and conversely, the exact opposite - not valuing oneself or not believing oneself worthy of respect. It is something well worth examining as we close out this year.
As we mentioned last month, we are in the season of the Lungs and Large Intestine. It is the time of year to whittle, to hone, and to refine. These are two of our organs of letting go. I am finding time this week to reflect on what I was able to accomplish this year and letting go of what's left. It is a time of resetting and putting things to rest.
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"Grief, expressed out loud, whether in or out of character, unchoreographed and honest, for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses.” - Martin Prectel
I have to admit, I was dragging my feet on sharing a monthly newsletter, which we have done monthly since we launched over a dozen years ago! It happens sometimes, writer's block sets in, and in my experience, I just have to push through it. To be honest to some degree, I have not felt much like sharing on social media at all since the pandemic started. Mostly, because everything feels so uncomfortable, unusual & unsettled during this time.
It is a systemic method of inducing complete mental, emotional and physical relaxation.
Yoga Nidra is the cleaning process occurs on multi level of our existence.
Conditions in which Yoga Nidra is helpful:
• For preliminary relaxation of the physical body.
• For Visualization.
• For preliminary adjustments of the body.
• For preliminary relaxation of mind.
• For rotation of awareness through different body parts.
• To retain external awareness.
• For reflection awareness.
As we have talked about in previous articles, summer is represented by the Fire element which is our passion, joy, creativity and the quality of our relationships. This period of time of social distancing makes some of these aspects of summer challenging but we must keep these important qualities at the forefront during these fleeting months.