Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Summer Day

Hello Dear Yogis,
As we approach Summer Solstice, I've been enjoying these long days, with early mornings in the garden and sunset bike rides. To be honest, I've noticed that it's harder for me to keep my  motivation up to do sadhana indoors--expansive movement outdoors (hiking biking, running, swimming) is much more of a pull these days than doing asana practice with four walls around me. Have you noticed that, too?
But I find that when I do my asana practice, it helps my body more fully enjoy the outdoor exercise, as there's a sense of greater ease and openness in my physical body. And, the breathwork and prayerful focus helps my heart and mind be able to take in the beauty of the natural world with more attention, gratitude, and awe.
Taking a yoga class is the perfect way to keep your asana practice strong throughout all the lovely distractions of summertime. Sharing movement, deep breathing, chanting and deep silence with a community of yogis and yoginis is a gift--one I hope to be able to share with you this week.
The following poem by Mary Oliver speaks to that awe and wonder that yoga and meditation help to cultivate:

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--­
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down­--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 Mary Oliver

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