It's Monday, the start of a new week and a continuation of the day before, yet each day is another chance to start again. It’s been a rollercoaster of a week or two and when I say that I've learnt a lot of lessons and come to see many blessings, I truly mean it. In this, I am grateful for my community and for the power within that the eye can’t see. I trust that this has been strengthened by my practice of Yoga over the years, to take time to process, reflect and trust the body, mind and spirit. Even when nothing makes sense in the practical world, even when it seems irrational, we trust.
I’d like to highlight the cyclical world, that this week is a time where we will see the Lunar Eclipse. This is the second full moon in January known as the Blue Moon. This giant “blue” supermoon will appear blood-red in the sky as Rahu, the hungry shadow demon, devours it in a total eclipse that will last for one hour and sixteen minutes.
It is a significant time that is said to shift consciousness and our core beliefs, helping us to transmute fears and reckon with the persistent demons of self-doubt. This often, reoccurring doubt is something I'm sure that arises for many of us, especially in challenging times, but maybe in day to day too.
There is a belief in Vedic astrology that there is a mysterious Kundalini snake that is represented in the stars. It is a fire-breathing snake that is said to slither through our subconscious minds and enter our dreams, asking us to look at who we really are. This snake is said to bring us altered states of perception and help to increase our awareness of our self. In Hindu mythology, naga snakes live in the earth’s core and stay connected to an infinite well of primordial wisdom. They are also capable of shape-shifting, and are said to hold great Tantric power.
Whether you believe in this Vedic Astrological story or the Hindu myths of snakes, it doesn't really matter, as to what this time holds is an opportunity, snake or not, to take a look at the self anyway. If you are a Yogi, you will already be doing this, time and time again, as you get to know yourself in meditation, through the breath and by moving the body... but are you fixed in your core beliefs and do you let doubt hinder your life choices?
Be aware that this moon brings with it sensitivity, you may feel more emotional and so we as yogis know the importance to return to our meditation practice in these times. I find that the week before a full moon, my sleep state is always altered. Also due to various personal matters, I haven't slept at all these last nights, but rather than fight it, I've taken the time to bathe in salt water in the early hours and to meditate a lot. I find reading and podcasts also help if the body is wishing to stay lying down. (Of course Yoga Nidra helps us to relax). But whilst sharing may help you to reaffirm your self worth when friends reflect back to you who they believe you to be in all your wonderful ways and to calm the doubt, ultimately, find the strength to call upon the support of yourself. Think about the wellbeing you can offer the self in hard times and take time to let whatever transformation is occurring, make the shift it needs so you can begin to celebrate the changes, even if they are heart wrenchingly painful.
In astrological beliefs, they say that Venus has a big influence this moon and may disrupt personal relationships so do check in with the Yamas and the Niyamas as you study the Yogic texts, to ensure your conduct and observances are the best they can be. It wouldn't hurt this week, to be sure that any conflict is managed by using honest communication, rather than suppressing feelings, so that healing can take place whilst you remain true to your self.
This snake, and hard times, we may fear but if the last several years have taught me anything, it is that allowing the fears and challenges to transform your core beliefs about what life is, how its gonna look, who you are, what your doing, who you love etc etc etc... is super necessary to do, to just face it all, eye-to-eye, cheek-to-cheek, and nose-to-nose as Rhianna sings. Even when you think you had found your California King! Let go. (It is hard but take time to access that inner wisdom and strength to ease the detachment).
Within a podcast I listened to at 3am on Sunday morning, I was reminded of this song by Nahko. It truly is medicine for the people. I have only discovered this band recently, thanks to a new friend and I am grateful for it and the beauty of new influences in my life that help me to let go of the things I really don't wish to let go of, that for whatever reason can't live on. The hardest is when you really don't want to detach and let them go, but you are left with no other choice. I know in my case, it is mostly the idea I was attached to, the love I had for those or that thing and the connection I had made that I wanted to last forever.
I trust good things are coming. "Take a vow in the moonlight"
Butterflies have come in to my day very consistently over the last couple of days and I am grateful for their presence as I know we are cared for, even when alone. Spread your wings, see your beauty, remove self-doubt and fly, trusting life’s way of teaching us to get to know ourselves more and more. No matter what, we have a responsibility to ourselves to do so. Be liberated while living, what else you gonna do?
In anatomical research, all our life experiences are known as Converging Histories, made up of a wide array of informational energies that absorbed by our system. They all have a certain energetic, physical and emotional quality that impact and become part of our physical body. From Human evolution, to our genetic history, learned parental behaviour, activities history, Injuries, Nutrition and not forgetting our spiritual history. Who we are, what we believe and how we live. As well as past lives, mental and emotional history, which massively plays a part in shaping how we view the world and ourselves. If we take a look at ourselves and those around us, we can see the product of these converging histories even if we don’t know the details.
I invite you to practice Yoga in a way that allows you in your self and in others to see beyond this. To actually see yourself as you are in the moment. This is the secret to being a good teacher too, to see the student beyond just their body, but to see them in the moment. Yet never to disregard the interconnection with all our parts both physically and spiritually, through our life experiences. We came from a sperm and an egg that fertilised to become one formation that split in to two cells and so on. Until here you are, you, a body, a mind and a spirit, trying to make sense of the world, to live, to be loved and to come closer to the gifts all around us.
Be thankful for the gifts you already have and say 'thanks'. To all those of you that are going through powerful times of change, I am with you and as you step on to your mats, or walk down your street, never forget we are all part of that same one supporting each other and offering love.
See you in class.