Shavasana is not for napping, only

yogaTuesday’s, I find are an easy day to wake up and be awesome. Primarily because I have a morning yin/yang yoga class. First, that is fun to say, yin/yang yoga. I love alliteration. It appeals to my appreciation of rhythm and poetry.

But, back to Tuesday and waking up awesome. I am lucky to have a yoga studio across the street from my home. Provemont Community Center is a ‘gathering place for wellness and fitness’ and host to the Tuesday morning yin/yang yoga class lead by, instructor Michelle Bordeaux. She guides us through a meditative practice of holding poses to really allow deep stretching and relaxation of the muscles and then into a gentle flow of poses that heat the body up. It is relaxing, restorative and energizing all in one. I love it! I often wish I could start each day with this class. I am supposed to be practicing on my own. I intend to practice, each day on my own. The trouble is, my daily practice often turns into a nap. I mean I am laying on the ground, hugging my knees and rocking and stretching and then there is the bit in between the stretching and rocking were I lay still, palms open, legs stretched out. It is called, Shavasana, or The Corpse Pose or as I like to think, Nap Time. At least, when I am home and not prompted to move into another position. Shavasana feels really good and some times I linger and that is where practice becomes snoozing.

Thankfully the word ‘practice’ reminds me that I am working towards something, again to be a beginner, learning, not a master but a student. I start out simply with the intention to remain awake during my at home practice and then to be ok if I really just need to rest. And when Tuesday comes around, I am so happy to be led through the work and Be Awake. Thank you, Michelle, your class is a lovely space in my week.

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Starlings

I am sitting in the wonderful, warm comfort of the second floor of our Northern Michigan home watching the Starlings huddle on a branch outside the window. It is 7* out there, 7*. They are usually a flocking, moving, busy crowd, the Starlings. They will come into our garden as a group at certain times to hit the feeder and then continue on. But, today, with the awful cold weather, they are just sitting on the branches, fluffing up their feathers, hanging out on the protected side of the house and waiting for things to warm up- or as I am seeing it, get better, waiting for things to get better.

As with the creatures of nature, it is also a time of retreat for me. The stillness and harshness of a winter’s day like this urges me to stay indoors with a blanket, book and cup of tea. It feels right to stay indoors. The birds are coping by fluffing up their feathers, huddling together and staying close to the feeder. (It is especially important to keep the feeders full as sources for food in nature can become scarce in the cold, snowy days of winter.) I think that I will take my cue from them. Cardigan, hot cocoa and slippers- here I come. I’m going to get cozy and enjoy this quiet winter’s day at home. And wait for things to get warmer.

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New Year, New Leaf

IMG_1956Well, New Year and ┬átime for promises and resolutions right? The list of things I’m definitely not doing this year and the things I must do. It all seems so punishing and doomed for failure. Thoughts lead actions this is true enough and making clear statements about intention is a strong tool. But, what if we are perfect as we are and there is nothing to improve, only acceptance of our wonderful, unique flawed selves and all the coolness around us? I have no grand gestures for this year, only the wish to greet and accept the experiences and great gifts that will be with open arms. I may give a nod to forgiveness of self and work on being kinder about my mistakes. I am certainly going to take more naps, because they are just good. But, of course I will have lapses in my nap goal and have to forgive myself for being hard on myself and so I think my resolution for 2013 will be cultivating my imperfection. At this, I can not fail. Here is a nice little editorial piece re-printed in the Chicago Tribune, from Boston Globe writer, Ellen Goodman on cultivating imperfection in the garden. I love the parallels.