Are You Ready to Harness the Energy of the Sun?

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Happy Solstice Day!

This is the ideal time to honor all of the light we have accumulated!

And, the perfect occasion to announce my next journey.

Over two years ago, I started this blog to stay connected with my students. My initial intention was to provide information to supplement our classes and create new challenges for building a steadier practice for myself and fellow yogis. This effort has lead to nearly 170 blog posts.

Now I am beginning a new adventure and a personal goal – to accumulate and condense all of the information I have created for this blog and turn it into a book. A book I hope students and teachers will use as a planning resource and a guide for building stimulating personal practices and classes. And because it is being generated from this blog, its title is “Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Practice One Week at a Time.”

As of today, I have finished assembling all of the research, experience and words of inspiration I have held near and dear to my heart over the past 25 years of practicing and teaching yoga. I have decided to format the book into a year of challenges based on the eight limbs of yoga – each limb being a “post” that will support a steady yoga practice. Therefore, the book will be comprehensive but digestible, practical but philosophical – a tool for many users.

What’s Next?

Continue reading “Are You Ready to Harness the Energy of the Sun?”

YOLY Challenge #51: Time For Solitude

stadium-165406__340As the summer solstice approaches, now is the perfect time for seeking solitude for yourself. Periodically remaining quiet increases your awareness and lets your mind rest.

Your challenge this week will be to receive solitude by spending time alone each day. Walking in nature or watching the sunset or sunrise are good ways to soak up some solo time. Also, consider your speech and how much you talk. Curtail your urge to speak a bit this week to bring more reflection and centeredness into your life.

Or, you can choose to be in solitude with others by practicing the concept of mouna or silence.  A good time for this is just prior to or following a meal. Another effective time is the first thing in the morning or the last thing before sleeping. If you live with others, make this “silent time” a period for eliminating the television, computer, or any other device that produces sound. For 10-15 minutes (and ear buds plugged in do not count), try to keep the silence with reading, drawing or writing. Eventually, slowly phase out these activities and find a comfortable place to just be still together. During this time, consider your thoughts and observe what surfaces. This is a great prelude to meditation.

Performed on a regular basis, mouna becomes an important tool for generating increased awareness. The yama of asteya or non-stealing in the form of words, can also be a consideration for keeping the virtue of silence. When you practice silence, your thoughts become quieter, and, ultimately, you will find that you are able to pacify your emotions and soften your personality.

Enjoy the stillness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Heart

This week marked two auspicious occasions – International Yoga Day and the Summer Solstice. In tribute, I offer these words:nature-670025__180

Ancient yogis believed that each of us is a replica of the world at large – that we embody the rivers, the seas, the mountains, the fields, the stars, the moon and the sun.

The sun is represented by the light and radiance of our hearts. Let us remember that our light is a reflection of the supreme brilliance that permeates the world. May our salutes to the sun echo around the earth so that our blessings can be received into the hearts of others.

YOLY Challenge #4: Stand in the Sun

Sol=sun

Stice=stand/still

This week’s YOLY Challenge is centered on the occasion of the summer solstice which is celebrated around the world beginning this week. The solstice is a unique time in our calendar when we specifically honor the sun and all of its significance. It is also a great opportunity to connect with our Year of Living Yogically Challenge. We can use the summer solstice tribute to shine more light onto our lives this week.

One way to celebrate this period is to literally salute the sun through a series of yoga poses. In Sanskrit this series is called Surya Namaskar. Translated, it means to bow to or adore the sun.

The diagram below will remind you of how the poses flow together. You can choose to incorporate all or some of these poses into your sequence. Traditionally, the sun salutation is repeated 12 times, however, you should decide for yourself how many sun salutations you’d like to undertake each day this week.

sun-salutations-illustrationConnecting with your breath is an important part of the sun salutations. Allow your exhalations to bring about a feeling of release each time you fold. Then, as you inhale, rise and receive all that is nurturing and life giving.

 

If you are unable to perform the sun salutation for whatever reason, you can substitute the asana sequence for another ritual – a special meal or gathering. You can also simply take some time each day this week to reflect on your radiance and how you can bring more light and joy to yourself and the world around you.

Here comes the sun…