Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Honor the Dark, Renew Hope with the Light

Theme: honor the dark and celebrate the returning light. 
It is very important for me to I remember pulsation. I learn the beauty of pulsation from nature. For example it isn't always light and it isn't always dark. That this duality is a vital and beautiful part of life. Sometimes when I experience a darker feeling or shadow aspect of myself I feel like it will last forever! But just like in nature I remind myself that this too will pass. I remind myself this even when I am ecstatic and on top of the world, that yes this to will pass. This helps me not cling to or avoid feelings or situations because I know wonderful and challenging aspects of life are pulsating into and out of my experience always and I can be grateful for both. As cliche as it is, we can not have the light with out the dark. So on this day of Yule/ winter solstice when we are experiencing the darkest night we can honor the darkness and all that it brings and we can also celebrate the return of the light. 
Anecdote: winter solstice 
UPA: inner body bright 
Apex; visvamitrasana 
Heart quality: Hope 
Props: strap, 2 blocks, blanket 
This is an abbreviated excerpt of "A Celebration of Winter Solstice" from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr.
"There is a tendency to want to hurry from autumn to spring, to avoid the long dark days that winter brings. Many people do not like constant days bereft of light and months filled with colder temperatures. They struggle with the bleakness of land and the emptiness of trees. Their eyes and hearts seek color. Their spirits tire of tasting the endless gray skies. There is great rejoicing in the thought that light and warmth will soon be filling more and more of each new day.
"But winter darkness has a positive side to it. As we gather to celebrate the first turn from winter to spring, we are invited to recognize and honor the beauty in the often unwanted season of winter. Let us invite our hearts to be glad for the courage winter proclaims. Let us be grateful for the wisdom winter brings in teaching us about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. Let us also encourage our spirits as Earth prepares to come forth from this time of withdrawal into a season filled with light.
"The winter solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. Soon we will welcome the return of the sun and the coming of springtime. As we do so, let us remember and embrace the positive, enriching aspects of winter's darkness. Pause now to sit in silence in the darkness of this space. Let this space be a safe enclosure of creative gestation for you."
Warm up: 
Table jump rope spine 
Half moon side stretch 2x 

Sun b 3x 
Utkatasana twist- L twist- warrior 2- rev warrior - AMS- utt
Mod. Parsvak 
Dolphin- pincha manyurasana 

Lunge t arms twist- rev L- high runners lunge twist- Anjaneyasana twist with quad 
Pigeon quad 
Twisting pigeon quad 
Ardha hanumanasana with front foot wide- scandasana 

Double pigeon - compass 
Visvamitrasana mod. 

Cool down:
Parsva janusirsasana prep fold down middle 
Parsva janusirsasana strap 

Shavasana supported supta baddha konasana 

A Winter Solstice Prayer by Edward Hays from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim.
The dark shadow of space leans over us. . . . .
We are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred
also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.
As our ancestors feared death and evil and all the dark powers of winter,
we fear that the darkness of war, discrimination, and selfishness
may doom us and our planet to an eternal winter.
May we find hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night,
hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice
that spans the world.
In the heart of every person on this Earth
burns the spark of luminous goodness;
in no heart is there total darkness.
May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,
by our lives and service, by our prayers and love,
call forth from one another the light and the love
that is hidden in every heart.

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