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Blessings into the New Year!
I learned a lot from a little girl at the grocery store on Sunday afternoon – she reminded the freedom of innocence and play. I celebrated my 40th journey around the Sun last week and I felt that I was finally coming into “adulthood” as there seems to be something monumental and powerful in the number 40 and beyond as opposed to the 30’s. It seemed as if I was entering into a more refined and mature sense of myself. Now I am not so sure. Standing at the check out line, I noticed these awesome sparkling red shoes (something like Dorothy would wear) under the shopping cart behind me and a woman smiling in the distance looking over toward my isle. Eventually, the red shoes peered around the side of the cart, revealing a little girl wearing fantastic bumble bee wings over her very normal attire beaming with joy as she helped her dad place the groceries on the conveyer belt. I smiled and admired her sense of courage and adventure to dress up for no reason other then pure joy because as a child you have complete permission to do this.
But then somewhere along the way we loose ourselves and become inhibited and discriminant about how we dress, behave and speak. We sensor ourselves to conform to how society expects us to act and live. Society would not accept me showing up to the grocery store in red sparkle shoes and bumble bee wings on my back. I was reminded that life can be as fun as I choose to make it and I can allow my mind to sensor my sense of play or fun as I turn 40 or take the opportunity to not become more mature but rather become more playful and spontaneous. To allow myself to let go to the paradigms I have created and boundaries the mind creates and rather let my heart guide the thinking, rationing mind to express myself freely and colorfully. Therefore, don’t be suprised if you see my showing up to teach with wings on my back ….
As you continue to initiate the path of 2011 for yourself and manifest your dreams, goals, and ideas may you grow in a way that embraces play and fun in life and dare yourself to find the inner child that has not been expressed and let him/her come out and play – even if just for one afternoon.
Retreat to India in 2011
I am thrilled beyond words to offer 4 retreats to the mother land next year which offer you an opportunity to choose as your life flow allows. As always I will be offering our 3rd Annual September Rishikesh Yoga Retreat along with an amazing and auspicious trek to Gomukh (the glacier source of the Ganga) and two new retreats to Badrinath and a special Diwali Rishikesh Retreat!
This year the trip to the source of the Ganga, Gomukh, has been modified to include what I consider a National Geographic style trek as we go up and over Asia’s largest glacier, Gomukh, to Tapovan and make our base camp for 3-days to explore the meadows and peaks of the Himalays (Mt. Meru, Mt. Shivling) were most of the Ancient sages lived and made their home to meditate and reach higher states of consciousness. Rishikesh as always offers you an true, multi-dimensional experience of India from daily Yoga and Meditation on the Ganga to sari shopping, various sacred temple tours, Indian mythology, cave meditations, white water rafting on the Ganga and much more.
And for the first time this year I am offering a special trip to Badrinath, one of the holiest temples in all of India, which I visited last year, offering you a chance to sip tea at the “last indian village” on the border of Tibet, meditate in the cave where Ganesha is said to have written the Mahabharate and the Vedas, celebrate Diwali and so much more.
Harmonize and Winterize | Ayurveda and Winter Part II
We are now in the middle of the Winter season bringing forth very cold, moist and heavy qualities associated with Kapha dosha. Depending upon where you live the severity of these qualities will vary from place to place. As Winter has settled in, many of you are beginning to feel this intiation inside your body and mind which will either create an imbalance or not. It is both typical and normal for our bodies to respond with increased appetite, a need for greater sleep and relaxation and a natural craving for warmer, pungent, and heavier foods. Ignoring this natural tendency or endulging too much in any of the above tendancies is what ultimately can create an imbalance in the Spring.
Therefore, this can be a critical time according to Ayurveda where we should honor balance to ensure that we don’t increase Kapha qualities causing accumulation and aggravation. What does this mean exactly? In simple terms, it means we should continue to eat heavy and nourishing foods but with an awareness to how our internal body responds so that if too much mucous or heaviness builds up then we’ve gone too far in that direction. In addition, allow yourslef to rest more, do less and relax in moderation balancing that with movement and acitvity that foster strength and endurance.
Fundraiser Report for Jagriti
On December 31 I had the great pleasure of delivering all of your wonderful contribution to the Jangriti School in Rishikesh, India. I am and all of the children will be forever and eternally grateful for all of your contributions which allowed me to donate over $1500 in addition to my personal contribution offering $1800 that will fund the school this year allowing them to purchase books, supplies and clothes and financial support to the poor families so that the children can continue to attend school and not be made to work to help support the family.
We celebrated with an end of the year party where the kids had the opportunity to show me several choreographed dances and poetry which boosts their confidence in public engagements and public speaking, they also shared their professional dreams and we all ended with dancing (until the power went out) and then by candle light ate cake, samosas and chai!
Upon leaving each student was given a writing journal and pen. They are all learning to read and write English at a very impressive fast rate. They were all able to communicate in English quite well.
Again, I bow to each of you for your giving heart and know that this money is going directly to fund programs so these children can thrive and learn. I will be returning in August with English workbooks and more fruits from a summer fundraiser.
Stay Tuned to YOGANONYMOUS for more updates from Maria!