On a walk this morning, I saw the skeletal wintery wisteria has been newly adorned with young garlands. No leaves yet, really, but the soft purple flowers are opening. And so fragrant. To me, they smell like sugar.
The paperwhites on the hill rise through the pickleweed. Along the freeway, brilliant orange poppies unfurl like dervishes to mesmerize traffic.
Spring is springing!
As we move together into this time of renewal, it’s worthwhile to consider how we too spring. Consider… how do you continue to grow and what rebirth is on your horizon? You may also ask yourself… what seeds have I planted and which of them are worthy of tending?
Paying attention to the seeds we’ve gathered is important. Even more essential: recognizing the way we let them grow.
Let’s face it: it’s been a tough year. Many of us have experienced isolation, financial strain, illness anxiety, loss and the sad reality that we may not be able to connect with those who would mourn with us. Still, we’ve had so many opportunities for sublime lessons. We’ve had to learn how to nourish ourselves, to engage in new ways, to confront our loneliness. We’ve seen conditions around us shift and felt the instability. While life is always a game of calibrating our balance in response to change, this past year really wanted all of us to share the experience together.
Despite our very good efforts to maintain equilibirum through these times, we may have accumulated a few habits, discomforts, judgments, aversions. In truth, it may be the case that much of this accumulation is the result of our efforts to keep stable. So goodness bless it and now we choose whether we’d like to nourish all of it, some of it, none of it.
For example, maybe you started baking during your time at home. What a lovely new skill. Maybe you’ve also discovered that your sugar intake is higher than normal and you no longer go through a day without craving some sweets. Or maybe you started running. Maybe you’ve run so much that you feel aches and pains in your feet but you’re unwilling to slow down. Conversely, maybe you’re learning a new language and really want to remain committed.
The seeds are benign, gathered for our interest, but the way we grow them reflects our deeper patterns. When we learn to see clearly these seeds, their source and our attitudes toward both, we’re establishing a practice of equanimity. I think a beautiful word to describe equanimity is poise. We stand with grace and balance in the midst of all conditions. We maintain an even posture and attitude regardless of circumstances. This doesn’t mean we don’t cry or feel anger. It means we maintain our bearing as we welcome and allow emotions to move through us.
How do we establish our poise? How do we learn to offer equanimity? Through practice. Preferably, daily.
As we move into Spring, please join me and other friends to discuss, stragtegize and implement personal yoga practices to establish poise – both physically and mentally. To this end, I’m offering a three-week workshop series over three consecutive Saturdays: April 3, April 10 and April 17.
Let’s call it Yoga for Your Poise. This is a workshop for you to learn about yourself and respond to your personal needs so you can stand with strength and ease.
Week One: We’ll begin our work together with gentle breath-guided movement to familiarize ourselves with simple, restorative postures that we can weave into short personal practices to suit our goals. We’ll also discuss the ways we alleviate or strengthen certain energies so we can be attentive to our moods and habits. Students will receive sample practices to explore over the following week.
Week Two: We’ll return to our breath-guided movements and explore certain mantra or sounds in the practice. We’ll discuss how we might incorporate brief breathing practices to suit our energies. Students will explore patterns of breath over the following week.
Week Three: We’ll come together in breath-guided movement once again and incorporate short and sweet prompts to capture and hold our concentration for meditation and wonder.
All students are encouraged to schedule a 20-minute check-in with me so we can fine-tune the development of a personal practice. Ideally, this will be scheduled during the course of the three-week series or in the three weeks following. But whenever works too!
This will be an educational and practical workshop geared toward those who are ready to be guided and to guide themselves. Committing to all three sessions of this workshop is essential. Recordings will be available if you find yourself unable to attend but live attendance (online or in-person) is strongly encouraged.
- Date: Saturday, April 3, 10 and 17
- Time: 10am to Noon, Pacific Time
- Location: Online or in-person in San Diego, CA (zoom link and physical address provided upon signing up)
- Cost: $150 or as your heart desires