August 27, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
Dear All, Yesterday, as I was heading to Farmstead Creamery & Cafe to buy kale, I heard a cacophony of noise that could only be one thing: Sand hill Cranes moving through. This is another sign fall is in the air, although I don’t know if the cranes will know what lies ahead, post draught. In case you’ve never heard the sweet sound the cranes make, here is a YouTube video for you:
The have odd bodies, the cranes: long, stick legs supporting huge, oblong bodies. They’re actually quite funny looking, though I doubt they would refer to themselves in that manner, or compare themselves to one another, or to any other creature in the world, for that matter. They are probably content just being cranes and never giving a thought to their appearance. Perhaps they’re just grateful for their huge wing span, which allows them to migrate from Alaska and Canada down to the southern parts of this country.
I like to think nature has things to tell us. Obviously I’ve read too many poems by Mary Oliver, but still … nature does seem to have things to tell us about being happier humans. You can probably come up with a bunch of things on your own. For me, I’ve learned what I just referenced. My body is my body. What would be the point of comparing it to someone else’s body? It serves me well, my body. It allows me to run, to aerobically clean the house, to swim, to walk, to bike and to do my asana practice. My body allows me to hug, to give comfort, to smile, to laugh, to cry. I get all these things, and more, from my body, yet it has not occurred to me to be grateful for these things, for this body. Part of my practice today, and, I hope, for all the rest of the days of my life, will be to thank my body for all it does for me. To feed it well, to clean it, both inside and out, to honor it.
Today I begin the Niyamas. Here is the first one:
1. Sauca – Purity
The first niyama is sauca, meaning purity and cleanliness. Sauca has both an inner and an outer aspect. Outer cleanliness simply means keeping ourselves clean. Inner cleanliness has as much to do with the healthy, free functioning of our bodily organs as with the clarity of our mind. Practicing asanas or pranayama are essential means for attending to this inner sauca. Asanas tones the entire body and removes toxins while pranayama cleanses our lungs, oxygenates our blood and purifies our nerves. “But more important than the physical cleansing of the body is the cleansing of the mind of its disturbing emotions like hatred, passion, anger, lust, greed, delusion and pride.” vi ~ William J. D. Doran
Pranayama: Today I will do a Zen practice of meditation called Breath Counting. As usual, it can be found online if you’d like to try it.
Asana: I need to give the Wheel pose a rest. I feel called today to do a vata balancing series. It is a vinyasa flow. I will set up blocks at the ends of my mat in preparation for when I need support. Here it is:
Five pointed Star (which moves you to the other end of the mat)
High Lunge, etc.
then onto a shoulder stand, a twist, and finally sivasana.
IT’S A VERY SHORT DANCE. IT’S A VERY SHORT DANCE. IT’S A VERY SHORT DANCE. (THIS LIFE THING.)
with love & compassion for all, c