I hope you weathered Ida and are enjoying the glorious days that are following her cleansing rains as we move into the first of the holidays. Although I may have some thought-provoking questions about the historical basis for our Thanksgiving Day, I love taking the time as a society to get together to remember, to heal, and to share the abundance and give thanks for all that we have. For me, one of my greatest sources of gratitude is the practice of yoga and our wonderful community. Please join me for a gratitude-filled week of inner abundance:
Serenity Saturday: November 21st, 3pm-5pm at Capitol Hill Yoga
Oxfam Yoga Fundraiser: Thanksgiving morning, 10am-11:30am, at Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park
Class Schedule: All open classes will be held as usual Tuesday, November 24th at Wm. Penn House (6:30pm) and Saturday, November 28th (Level 2 at 8:30am, Gentle/Therapeutic at noon) at Willow Street, Takoma Park.
Regrets: No house group practice, Wednesday, November 25th.
I look forward to seeing you soon and sharing the joy of the holiday season.
Peace and light,
Jane asks in response to my pictures of the tropicals indoors, “[w]hat, if anything, do you do to avoid bringing unwanted outdoor things in with the plants?” I assume she means bugs of various kinds, though it could also mean weeds, or, quite frankly, baby rodents in my garden location. What works best for me is taking the time to properly tend the plants right before I bring them inside. I do not repot the orchids that are spiking or in bloom, but I do take ones that are struggling or ones which have only had new green growth for the year out of the pots, change or at least rearrange the potting medium, and snip off dead roots, branches, leaves, etc. I brush off the outsides of the pots. After I have done that, I give them a good watering with the hose, letting the excess water run off before bringing the plants inside. A moth or two always comes inside, a few ants, maybe a couple of flies and mosquitoes, but I think it is worth it.
The answer for me then is two-fold, as it would be with any “unwanted things” in life. I try to take appropriate, healthful efforts to purify and fortify so that the wanted things outshine the unwanted things and the unwanted are released. As that is a challenging process, I also have expanded my tolerance, by recognizing them as part of the whole, for the things I don’t want that come with those things that I do want . It’s these two practices together that have made it easier for me to appreciate and have beauty in my life.
My friend and former neighbor Robert shared with me his great love and knowledge of tropical plants. When he was still living in DC, he’d call me up and ask me whether I wanted to make a pilgrimage to the now gone Kensington Orchids. The lush beauty took my breath away, especially on a cold, winter day. I have my tropical plants indoors from October/November to April. (I have a very protected, sunny back yard and danger of last frost can be weeks earlier for me than neighbors just outside the District limits. For some, the time outdoors would be shorter.) When I first bring them inside, I get a burst of the tropics right when it is truly showing signs of late fall/early winter. When it is time, in the Spring to start shifting from winter-hardy greens to early planting of seedlings for summer harvest, I bring out the tropicals. My garden, then, is already lush by late April. My garden’s small size is an advantage here; a dozen tropical plants completely transforms the whole garden. I then have room to do Spring cleaning.
Although I generally try to follow the seasons, the use of tropical plants does seem to assist me in weathering the external diminishment of light and warmth in winter.
A couple of years ago, I took a brilliant class with Desiree Rumbaugh in which she used the theme of “getting out of our own way” to lead us to a place to better integrate our shoulders. As I was practicing with the Anusara principle of “thigh loop” this week, I was reminded of that class. We’ve all been in the situation where our habitual mindset, physical posture, life style, or emotions get in the way of our finding more freedom and happiness.
When our thigh bones move into the front plane of the body, the forward movement keeps us from opening our hips more fully and from getting into deeper and stronger poses that require our hips to be open (in fact, out of the way). When we take our thigh bones back, we physically have more freedom, more range of motion and are better able to access the deepest places of power and openness that allow us to soar on the mat. I’m working on it on the mat as a great reminder to get out of my own way off the mat.
Apparently it’s a phone company/DSL provider problem. But they won’t be sending a technician until next week. In the meantime, please expect only intermittent posts and responses to emails.
Today, when I was trying to burrow more deeply under the covers when invoked to wake by the usual sounds, I thought about the way young children or pets are eager to get out of bed and to get you out of bed, even if it is for nothing more than to say good morning or eat breakfast. The moment they open their eyes, the day looks promising. At what point does bed (even if we have had enough sleep) come to seem more desirable than getting up?
I am not particularly eager to go to work today — things are rather stressful at this juncture on my project. I do know, though, that sitting for meditation is always good. I also know that on the days I practice fully in the morning, my day is more enjoyable no matter what happens. Knowing that I have the time and space to practice if I wake timely is always a good reason to get out of bed and is what drew me out of the comfort of lying under the covers this morning.
Now that I am done with my practice, I can also enjoy what spectacular weather is on offer today. An added bonus.