Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The tree said...Let Go!

When summer comes to an end, do the trees struggle to release their leaves?  
When night comes, does the sun struggle against the darkness? 
Do the flowers, at the end of their time, struggle to hold on to their petals? 

At the end of the winter, does the ice resist melting into the soil? 
Does a seed hold tight and fight against the cracking open? 

The answers can be heard in the whispers of the wind through the tress. 

The tress do not struggle against the changing of the seasons.  At the end, the leaves 
are gracefully, effortless released from the tress.  The wise old tree knows that in order
for the new leaves to grow it must first release the old. 

 The moon doesn't fight the ever changing phases. The wise old moon knows that in order 
for it to be full again, it must first surrender to the darkness. 

The sun doesn't struggle against the darkness.  The wise old sun knows that in order to fully
appreciate the light we must first experience the darkness. 

Does the seed know that the trauma of cracking open is necessary in order to bloom into 
something beautiful?  Who can know for sure... Yet, still it surrenders it's form willingly. 
And in the surrender, beauty is born.

Does the little caterpillar know that in order to fly it must first die?  Who can know for sure...
Yet, still it surrenders it's form willingly.  And in the surrender it discovers it's wings to fly.

Do you know what beauty you were meant to bloom forth?  Who can know for sure.... 
Are you listening to the whispers in the wind?  Can you hear the message from the wise old tree.

It is in the darkness and surrender that beauty grows.  We must release what has come to it's 
natural end so that we can move gracefully into the next season of our life with the same gracefulness
as the leaves in the fall. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Food for the soul

I have so few childhood memories but the few I do have usually involve food. I remember one day coming out of kindergarten to find my father and my uncle Bob waiting for me. They walked me home from school. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Jenny had come for dinner. My mom was in the kitchen cooking. I can still smell the food. I climbed on a chair to help my mom bread the chicken cutlets.

This time of the year always reminds me of the ritual of making tomatoes sauce and roasting peppers and making pickled eggplants. These are my favorite childhood memories. My mom and my zia always cooking.

This past week-end I had the great privilege of co-facilitating a women's yoga retreat with a teacher who I love and respect. She introduced me to the Wise Earth Ayurveda sadhanas. These are beautiful spiritual practices that involve food and breath and sound. The blending of food and yoga has been a magical experience for me.

During our retreat, Padmashree introduced us to a mandala making sadhana. We used various grains and beans to create a mandala. Each of us added to the design, a few beans or grains at a time. While we chanted the vow of Ahimsa (non-harming) a beautiful image began to unfold. I was transported back to my childhood. The kitchen full of woman adding one ingredient at a time.

At the end of the sadhana we had collectively created a beautiful work of art. As we stepped back to admire the beautiful image it didn't matter who placed which beans where. It was through the effort of the collective working together that a beautiful work of art was created.

The practice had awakened in me that memory of my mom and my zia and even us kids cooking together and sharing a meal. All of us collectively, washing and cutting tomatoes. All of us collectively peeling peppers. All of us collectively preparing the food that would nourish us. When we sat down together at the table it didn't matter who added which ingredient or who made which part of the meal. The collective effort of the woman working together to create the beautiful meal nourished not only our physical bodies but also our souls.

I have so few childhood memories but the ones that I do hold on to usually involve food.  Food and a circle of women. The food always tasted so much better when it was prepared together and eaten together. It was infused with a little extra bit of love.

It is through the power of the collective working together, for the greater good, and without ego that beauty is created.

                                I take the vow of ahimsa
                     I make inner harmony my first priority

                               I take the vow of ahimsa
                        in my thoughts, speach and action