This full moon is both the one called by some “guru purnima“–with rituals to honor the teacher–and also the relatively rare blue moon. I’ve been seeing lots of postings on social media about guru purnima by my friends who are engaged in the practice, study, and teaching of yoga. The variations in the postings about guru purnima are as wide as what the person believes is the guru–from recognition of a person who has been named a guru; to teachers, recognized as such; to simply the invocation of our own teacher within. Suggestions for ritual range from specific puja to just an invitation to think about the concept and to recognize those who have imparted wisdom to us that has enhanced our lives (even if we have to do a lot of work to know that).
I’ve never personally been called to have a guru (among other things, it is too counter to my unprogrammed Quaker upbringing). I do, though, have many teachers, some more formally serving in that role than others and I cheerfully honor them today.
I invite you to think about what it means to have teachers, i.e., to be a true student. How we might be living if we consciously interrelate with all around us, human and not, as both a student and teacher all of the time? What quality of listening and openness would that require? What might we be learning? What might we teach?
Yesterday, I had the good fortune to be able to attend a workshop with Desiree Rumbaugh at Dig Yoga.
Desiree asked what inspires our commitment to practice. For me, it is that practicing consistently helps me feel better in this embodiment and puts me into a space from which I can better face what comes. What keeps you committed to your practice, whatever that practice might be?
It was really quite beautiful when I took a break from my work computer to go outside and shovel.
My nearly 90-year old neighbor, Mrs. G., was also out shoveling, though no one else on our side of the street had made any effort either this snow or the last to clear their sidewalk.
When I was mostly finished, I went to say hello and to tell her, though we have never really socialized, how much I love and appreciate having her as a neighbor. She thanked me for saying so and said she has always tried to be a good neighbor.
I asked if I could give her a hug. She hugged me and then asked rhetorically when that had last happened. Her doctor. Before Christmas. Gave her a hug. “It’s always good to hear,” she said, “that you are appreciated.”
I offer my appreciation to you for reading and for how much so many of you enrich my life.
My apologies for being so long in sending a proper newsletter. 2014 was a challenging year for me. I started the year sick, ended the year sick, and was limited by injuries for several months out of the year. Work was intensely challenging on just about every level, day after day, week after week, and it continues to be so. And then there’s concern about the state of society and the planet and trying to figure out what I, honoring my capacity and limits, can do to do more good and less harm (I’ll never get this sent if I get side-tracked in that direction).
I also had some great adventures, including a major home renovation and an extraordinary trip to Cuba, but then was working too hard in between to appreciate and integrate fully my experiences (which is a yoga lesson in itself–addressing whether we need more stimulation when we haven’t had time to address/process previous experiences whether delights or challenges to mind, body, emotions, creativity).
Yes, I’m still teaching, even though working as much as I am these days. You can find me leading an all levels group practice with a wonderful group of people on Tuesday nights from 6:30pm -7:45pm at William Penn House in Capitol Hill. 100% of the proceeds (pay what you can; suggested donation $12-15) support the work camp program at William Penn House. There’s also a weekly group practice for more advanced students on Wednesday nights. Email if you are interested in the Wednesday night practice. More info on classes on my rose garden yoga website.
Yes, for those of you who don’t subscribe, I’m still blogging. With the help of wonderful web designer, friend, neighbor, and fellow yogi, Jess C, I just updated the look of the website. I hope to find time to blog about the many layers of meaning that went into the new design, which has the colors of Kali (goddess of sequencing); the murtis are Dakshinamurti (Siva as teacher) and Saraswati (goddess of learning, the arts, etc.); the books are a small, but important to me as yogini, portion of my library.
If you’re in town, join me for practice one of these weeks or perhaps we’ll run into each other another class or workshop. Please let me know how you are. Best way to be in regular touch are to subscribe to the blog. When there isn’t an interval between working and living and loving, and all the rest, to share more detailed written contemplations about living yoga,I’ll share the signs and exhortations I see around town and remind myself and anyone else who wants the reminder that no matter what is going on, there’s always a moment to appreciate a little beauty–perhaps to notice a heart-shaped cloud in the sky.
Feel free also to friend me or like “Rose Garden Yoga” on Facebook. Instagram possibly coming soon in my copious free time. Ha.
Peace, love, and light,