I just finished up a tele-class with Sheevs (my affectionate nick-name for the lovely teacher, Shiva Rea) which shook the mac ‘n cheese gook right out of my pores. You’ve gotta love technology! We were able to chant om together, have discussion in smaller groups, and connect with a community of yoga and householders from all over the world. I laid on my couch in my pj’s for the entire class.
What really surprised me most was how much the practice of yoga is really just taking the space to attune with the reality of the human drama, your own human drama. The last few weeks I have found myself a tad bit grumpy. I didn’t want to work, be social, cook for myself, let alone practice yoga and stick with my meditation. Then I got sick, and all I could do was sleep and watch my favorite teenage drama (which I shall not name). Maybe some of you felt this way. I know some of you have. But for some reason, knowing my nearest and dearest felt the winter forces as well didn’t help me release it, accept it, or like it. I think I was even wallowing in it. Yet, on this call today, when we were in our smaller groups being encouraged to share what’s up in our lives with complete strangers, hearing Sheevs say she has felt it too, I had a complete shift. Maybe it was the anonymity, maybe it was just my time to let my inner Oscar The Grouch go, but listening to other people be honest in this way, allowing myself to be vulnerable with these strangers, seemed to melt the funk off of me.
I wonder how much of the worlds problems could be released if we could just be there for each other in this way more often? Why did I need Sheevs to open this door for me? I wonder how many people dealing with depression, funky, grumpy, loneliness, insecurity, discomfort could just let it go if a random person smiled at them and said, share it my friend, let it go. In case you’re curious, that’s what a yoga teacher training is like. It’s like group therapy, with lots of yoga, sharing, talking, and it’s not annoying at all, it’s wonderful! Ahhhh, I’m getting so touchy, feely, softy in my old age. I’ve been away from Detroit too long.
Sheevs ended the call saying that feeling the shadow forces, self negating, holding us back kind of funk despite this joyous time of year is normal. The ritual of Christmas, the Yule Log/Candle, Santa Claus, Gift Giving, Feasting, all of it is part of the process of letting go of the dark and finding the space, joy, peace, and light with your closest friends and family. We were invited to create a solstice ritual of our own to connect with this auspicious time of year, which has me totally intrigued. Here are some tips if you are intrigued as well. I have always wanted to try 108 namaskars (sun salutations, i.e. a whole lot of yoga), maybe this is my time?
- Start at sunrise, noon, sunset, or moonrise
- Offer your ritual practice, be it meditation, chanting, movement, yoga, hiking, cycling, or fire poi
- Offer an intention
- Practice 9, 18, 27, 54 or a full japa 108 prostrations or namaskars