I am Grateful for this Body and this Mind...
October 4, 2021
Welcome to Monday Morning Mettā
A new + beautiful way to experience Mondays.
I am grateful for this body and this mind.
Let’s get hot pink about it!
Today’s mettā is about love for the shell you find your home in: your body. It’s about love for the thoughts and feelings inside of that shell: your mind. It’s about non-judgement of and compassionate listening to both.
I hear all the time, from my friends, yoga students, and in my own head, that “my body is just… failing me today!” Sick before a big presentation, or a chronic injury is on its way back, with full force. Acne, somehow as a 40 year old, is coming in, or hair is falling out in small handfuls. Allergies, a cold, or worse. Too sore to do any movement, or too tired.
The body can only handle so much.
Your body isn’t failing you. You just aren’t listening to its signals.
When the body starts to grumble at you, in whatever small or large physical symptom, the mind is begging for a little ease. Feeling “run down” is a chance to rest. It’s a message to you: slow…down… s l o w… d o w n.
It sometimes feels impossible to take five minutes to close your eyes and breathe. It isn’t impossible. It’s necessary. Write in hot pink across your closed eyelids: I am grateful for my body and for my mind.
So glad you’re here.
Fun Tarot Card Reading!
Use your intuition to guide you to a specific card below. Choose the card with the crystal on it that calls to you.
At the end of this newsletter, you’ll see the cards flipped over, with a reading for each one. The card that you choose here will have your reading for the week.
Wait to scroll down to the bottom until you’ve chosen your card!
Card 1: Amethyst Choose this card if you need some help letting go of toxic people or situations.
Card 2: Hematite Choose this card if you are in need of grounding or as an antidote to worry.
Card 3: Dalmatian Jasper Choose this card if you need a positive spin on a negative pattern.
FREE breathing “retreat” tonight!
Settle in and get breathing. Tonight at 8:15, I’m offering my 30 minute breathing “retreat” for any and all.
Conscious breathing has been proven to lower negative stress levels, help with digestion, sleep, and mood, and can gently alter state of mind.
No need for the camera to be on, nothing fancy necessary, just come as you are and breathe.
For more on what to expect, and a little taste of conscious breathing, watch this video.
Class Schedule This Week:
Monday / Wednesday / Friday: 7:45-8:45am at Sruti Yoga Center.
Online: note the new days- this is set for the time being:
Tonight! FREE 1/2 hour breathing class! 8:15pm (eastern).
Tuesday: noon // 1 hour
Tuesday: 5:45pm // 45 minutes Yin Yoga
Thursday: noon // 45 minutes
visit my website for the Zoom link and connect with me for the password!
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin yoga is the holding of specific floor yoga poses (not standing) for 5+ minutes to lengthen and strengthen the connective tissue that holds our muscles and bones together, as well as affect our chi flow.
Historically and Contextually: Yin yoga comes from the Taoist and Buddhist traditions, and is connected with the ancient art and science of Chinese Medicine. The word "Yin" represents the softer, more receptive, lunar, introverted energies that we all have. It is the opposite of "Yang," which is radiant, solar, extroverted. The yoga we are all probably used to doing is mostly "Yang." It is energetic, movement based, repetitive. Other exercises you probably do are also "Yang:" hiking, running, swimming, "working out," etc. In fact, our Western ideology is very much Yang: we are constantly pushing forward, reaching for "what's next," collecting accomplishments, accolades, degrees. It's energetic and movement based. We don't do a lot of "Yin" in our daily lives (this is why meditation is so hard for most! It's a Yin activity in a Yang world.)
Physically: Yin yoga asks the practitioner to settle and hold certain yoga poses for long periods of time (3, 5, or sometimes 20 minutes.) By doing so, we are asking the muscles to relax, instead using the connective tissue around our joints (knees, hips, shoulders, spine) to become stronger. Fascia, or connective tissue, attracts water when it's used, and thus gets super hydrated. This hydration (and more, there's a lot more chemically that happens in a long-held yoga pose that I'm not getting into) breathes life into our joints and the muscles holding them together, helping us to move better (and younger!) in our daily lives.
Mentally: When we sit in a yoga post for an extended period of time, we get uncomfortable. It's natural. Our body and mind isn't used to stillness, and especially not used to stillness with discomfort. Unless you are experiencing sharp, shooting pain, this discomfort is normal and necessary. By training the mind to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, in a safe and supportive environment (the yoga class), you can take that training and practice to other areas of your life that are not quite ideal (sitting in traffic, stuck at an airport, or being homebound during a pandemic, just to name a few.)
Energetically: The Yin yoga I teach uses the foundations of Chinese Medicine to encourage and regulate the flow of chi (also known as Prana in Indian yoga traditions.) Certain poses correspond to specific organs in the body. Those organs correspond to the flow of chi. As my teacher, Sarah Powers says, "Yin yoga class is like needle-less acupuncture." By holding poses for an expended period of time, you are putting pressure on the meridians (chi points and highways) to balance your body, just like an acupuncturist does with their needles. Most bodies are imbalanced. Most bodies would do better with balance.
Emotionally: The five major Yin organs of the body are the kidneys (fear/wisdom), lungs (sorrow/courage), spleen (anxiety/equanimity), heart (hate/love), and liver (anger/compassion.) These organs, in Chinese Medicine, correspond with emotions as well as at the physical level. Holding Yin yoga poses for specific organs can help deal with an imbalance of one emotion over another. For example, if you notice you get defensive and irritable often, you might be due for a liver Yin session. Holding the poses regularly will balance your chi to help make your emotional reactions more safe and calm.
This is but a glimpse into the world of Yin yoga, Chinese Medicine, and mindfulness (the mental/emotional part of Yin yoga.) If you are interested in learning more, (and I always like to cite my sources), read Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers or Paul Grilley's book Yin Yoga, or, come to my classes on Tuesday nights!
Thank you for reading Monday Morning Mettā! It means so much to me to have this little community newsletter actually go somewhere. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in getting a little love in their inbox each week.
Your Tarot Reading, Revealed!
Your Tarot Reading, Explained!
Card 1: Amethyst Find your people. If you get that sinking feeling when you’re texting a friend, or if your energy is sapped at the end of a conversation, take note and change behavior. The people in your life should celebrate you, gather you up when you need gathering, and connect with you from a place of stability and love. Your sangha may be contain only a few, but they should be mighty. Quality over quantity, inner knowing over rote relationships, and as always, be your own best friend.
Card 2: Hematite Two things may be going on here. The first could be that you’re wavering, wishy-washy, unable to pin yourself down or make a decision. This indecision has you worried and questioning capabilities. Plant your feet firmly on the earth (literally), or eat some grounding foods (roots!). On the other hand, this card may be telling you to be open, curious, introspective and up for whatever your intuition tells you. Sit down, root inwards, and listen to that little voice that gives you great ideas and advice.
Card 3: Dalmatian Jasper Stop over intellectualizing! Everything in life can be seen as a “double edged sword,” with a positive and negative. Take both versions in, and trust your inner knowing/higher self to take you down the middle way— neither good nor bad, positive or negative. If something feels truly terrible, see if you can find a gleaming drop of light in it. If something feels “too good to be true,” enjoy it in the moment and know that ups and downs are part of life.