Monday, December 8, 2014

The Light

Here in December, our winter season is fairly mild. We enjoy rain and cooler temperatures, and I might even break out the flannel sheets for our bed soon, but we typically miss the quiet of snow or drama of hail. My memory of past winters is a tableau of rain and dark nights, interrupted politely with colored lights.

A few years ago, while attending a silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, I decided to change how I saw this time of year. Instead of grieving the light, I decided to view the darkness as a time of creativity and growth, to feel heavy with anticipation and excitement, like when I was awaiting the birth of my children.

Sunset at Limekiln Beach near Big Sur photo by Lorien
What will this new year be like? 
What challenges and adventures will I meet? 
What actions can I take now, like planting seeds, that will grow and blossom and create the changes I wish to see in the world?

During the dark mornings and evenings, I sit and let my mind form these questions as I prepare for the coming year. I've taken some actions already, and I'm listening intently for more guidance. My yoga practice during this time reflects my need for this listening. In addition to my asanas for strength and mobility, I've added time to sit and breathe. Because time is always a factor, I allow my asana practice to be more about supporting longer sitting practices.

Our winter solstice, which includes the longest night, will be on Sunday, December 21 (for inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere).

As a celebration of the solstice, a way to let go of 2014 and move into the next chapter, I'll be teaching part of a Donation-Based Yoga Mala on Saturday, December 20 at 5:30pm at Breathe Los Gatos.

The celebration will be held on Saturday rather than Sunday so as not to disrupt the regular classes on Sunday. A mala is a set of 108 beads used for prayer or recital of mantra. A yoga mala is a practice of 108 rounds of Sun Salutations; the 108 will be broken into groups and we'll rest in between the groups.
We are asking for $20 donation to participate, which will go to the Family Giving Tree organization.

More information on Breathe's website...