Spring, with all of its abundant energy has arrived! In my garden, the magnificent cherry tree is in bloom, a rascally baby dear eats the tender flower buds, and there are still fall leaves and debris to clean up.
Internally, I’m feeling the same patterns that I see in the natural world. There is excitement for the new growth in my life, an over-active mind that can lead to mischief, and finally, there are old patterns ready to be discarded.
With so much going on, even the beauty and abundance all around us can feel overwhelming and chaotic. As always, I find guidance and inspiration from the wisdom teachings of Yoga.
I have been blessed to attend the yearlong teacher training offered here at Dayaalu with Reema Datta. Focused on yoga for emotional healing, the work is inviting me to deepen my connection with the moral teachings of the Yamas and Niyamas through a daily reflection practice. To my surprise, the teaching of Brahmacharya has inspired me most.
Traditionally, this Yama is interpreted as celibacy or responsible sexual behavior. But, it can also be defined as non-excess, mindful use of energy, and honoring our commitments. When life is teeming with energy, how can I mindfully direct it in a way that is true to my values? This practice has helped me to become aware of how I give and receive—the inhale and exhale of life’s current—and to notice how I expend my energy unnecessarily or block support. Like the hungry deer, I must ask myself, “do I cut off vital energy just as it is about to bloom?”
To explore how we use our energy and find balance between ease and effort, strength and flexibility, we are playing with Goddess pose in our yoga classes this month. This pose starts standing like a 5-pointed star. With legs and arms extended, inhale down into your feet to get grounded and exhale a lift from root, then low belly, and all the way to the crown of your head to create a strong and aligned core. Next, slowly bend your knees right over your feet while you exhale the upward lift through your core.
For this pose, I love the imagery of being an elevator shaft. As you bend your legs to sink into Goddess your body is going down while your breath and energy is going up. This way of focusing your energy on both core and breath allows the pose to feel strong and flexible. The simultaneity of power and ease comes from opening to the earth and sky energy from our ultimate goddess, mother earth herself. There is so much we can learn from how our earth gives and receives with each breath. Gracefully she composts the old to nurture new growth.
I am in awe of all the ways we get to tend our personal gardens at Dayaalu. What a treasure to share this journey with you!