This is my perfect kind of day. It’s raining outside and all the windows and doors are open so the sounds of rain and soft thunder fill up the house and play melodies to Matt’s acoustic. It’s too wet outside to fuss with the chickens and the sun is begging me to stay inside.
I have such a sense of peace, that I haven’t felt in a very long time.
I had plans to go the Mutt Strut this morning, which is always such a fun event, but I woke up stiff and the sounds of rain called me back to bed. I especially wanted to go this year because it also happens to be my first day to change my organization from Peace Learning Center to an animal rescue foundation. I however, just couldn’t do it. I think what Indy Humane does for our city animals is absolutely incredible and I love it so much that Indianapolis is SUCH a dog friendly city! People here LOVE their pets and there is a sort of “code” between animal lovers that I think is really sweet and pure. Not that you have to have a pet to be an animal lover, but there is just something so special about having pets.
Not pushing myself out of the house however, allowed me to have the entire day to absorb these past couple weeks and last night’s sun salutation and catch up from the busyness of this past month.
As I was thinking of how I was going to write my blog post earlier today, I thought about just calling it an “intimate” occasion and not admitting that only one person showed up. I wasn’t disappointed in the least to be sharing this practice with one of my absolute soul sisters, I was however expecting more people and as always – the universe (or someone) had a different idea.
My entire purpose of sharing the practice was to create an experience. I started the first 10-15 minutes with a calming Yin practice, holding 3 separate poses for 2-5 minutes and then started introducing body movement with breath. I lead through pratyahara, the fifth limb of yoga, which is sensory withdrawal. Focusing our dristi, or eye gaze, toward our nose, navel and big toes, were we..
“(are) able to concentrate the prana in the body, whereas it is usually scattered”. – A.G. Mohan, translator of the Yoga Yajnavalkya
Prana is the sanskrit word for life-force or breath.
For instance, when coming into paschimottanasana (forward fold), grabbing on to our big toes with peace fingers will give us “lightness” that will help you come into the pose with more ease. Pretty cool, huh?
Taking those few extra minutes to not only adequately warm up the body, but also focus the mind – helps to keep intentions for the practice in line with the movements of the body and help keep the body safe from injury.
… doing 108 Sun Salutations continuously can be challenging and requires stamina, physical fitness and above all mental resolve and discipline. – Dr. Sejal Shah, National Coordinator for Art of Living Yoga (India)
Once we were sufficiently warmed up, we started the flow. I lead through variations of Surya Namaskar A and B and made sure to take time in between rounds to focus our mind back on our intention and take notice of the breath. The entire practice went a little quicker than I had anticipated, but this probably had to do with the fact that I was leading a private session and at one point – we were free flowing and it was beautiful.
Our breath became one, but our movements were our own. That’s the beauty of doing these 108 sun salutations with people, it creates a sort of energy that is palpable. While last night was more perfect than I could have imagined, I am looking forward to sharing this practice with a group of people, radiating their energy out into the universe, creating space for light and warmth within.
Man, I am in a dreamy state of mind today!
After a very satisfying svasana of essential oils, eye pillows and warm blankets; we threw everything into my car as fast as we could and raced towards the gates hoping to not get locked in at the 8:30 closing time! Then we went out for margaritas.
I’m sure that is not what we were suppose to do, but they were delicious and much needed after both our weeks! Good life decisions were made last night.
While I was expecting the class to be bigger, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen and this resulted in a really beautiful quiet evening of aligning our breath to our movements, manifesting powerful energy and sweating our asses off.
Afterward, Denise wrote me the sweetest message that she agreed to share with you,
For a dynamic, uplifting, and important private session. From the challenging flow to your nurturing Shavasana, I am honored to have participated in your milestone day. Thank you for sharing your passion, your tenderness, and yourself. I love you.
While I really enjoy leading classes and having that sense of community, private sessions are my jam! That connection of being there for that person for the benefit of creating wellness and being able to help facilitate is one of the greatest honors. Last night was a perfect example.
I am very much looking forward to leading other 108 Sun Salute Celebrations throughout this campaign and would love to create this same magic in a room full of yogis. Can you imagine the ENERGY!!
Today, I’m a little sore. My shoulders and lower back are more sore than they have ever been during this campaign. While I still have plenty of sun salutations to do, I know they will get done. I’ve gotten them done every day and while some days are a struggle to complete, they are beginning to feel like an extension of me. I didn’t come close to my goal of raising $4000 in the first 36 days but I choose not to place too much focus on this. I started this campaign as a means to be authentic and genuine in my story and my purpose and if I focus on the end result and do not take pause on the journey, I will certainly miss out on priceless gifts.
Put in effort and then LET GO and enjoy the stretch.