On this day of #samhain which is a day to celebrate and honor the dead. I find myself reflecting on my own death. The thought of my death used to conjure up feelings of anxiety & fear especially thinking about my kids not having a mom. But not thinking about my death can lead me to sleep walk through my life with no real urgency and take things for granted.
For over a year I have been mediating on my own death and connecting to the motivation that can come with the reminder of my death. I actually use an app called We Croak that sends me 5 reminders a day that I will die. In Bhutan they say contemplating death five times a day brings happiness. However there is a big difference between motivation which inspires us to act effectively and anxiety which stops us in our tracks or creates ineffective actions.
So on this day of Halloween and as we near winter solstice and the end of the year I encourage you to think about your death. Not as a way to scare you. But to remind you that we each only have so much time to live. From the moment we were born the clock of our life began to count down. Use this reminder to Wake up and live with purpose. Life is to short to be asleep at the wheel.
I heard Ram Dass say “you need a practice that wakes you up!” Like an alarm clock that at first could wake you up eventually you can learn to sleep through.
Let your contemplation on death help WAKE YOU UP to higher consciousness and motivate you to find something that keeps you waking up so you can live woke and with meaning during your short life.
I taught a class today on this theme. I talked about how our practice should help us wake up. Waking up is moving our body, mind and heart toward optimal alignment. As busy yogis I think we want to learn to wake up (find better alignment) quicker with more efficiency and be able to stay away (hold the alignment) longer. But this takes training. Training to not fall asleep/ into our habitual collapses. Sleeping walking through out life is living in our subconscious demoting tendencies. I wanted to focus on outer spiral. I talked about how the glutes often are a sleep and this can lead to low back and knee injuries.
Sun A 3x
In tadasana I explained where the attachments for the three gluteal muscles are and what the actions of each muscles do. How one attachment site stays static and the muscle contracts to pull the more mobile attachment site toward it. We were focusing on how the muscles create leg extension, abduction, spinal extension and rooting down the foot. We played around with these movements in tadasana and down dog. we did the full movement about 5x pulsed for 5x and held with a squeeze for 5 sec. Also for using the glutes we always did this order widen glute muscle (inner spiral) squeeze muscle, do action, squeeze muscle again at the top.
Ardha uttasanasa - tadasana hip hinging using the glutes
high runners lunge leaning forward hands on hips (like ardha utt)- L (same hip hinging action as before
w3- Tadasana balancing on one foot same hinging actions.
Lunge side stretch- then bend and hoover back knee (hello front glute)
w2 interlace hands above head side stretch in both directions forward and toward back of room- dancing warrior without using your hands (normally I dont like this variation but I do to emphasis the glute action)
dancing warrior with hands
w3- half moon no hands- rev warrior- wide leg forward fold
tree- half moon quad- standing pigeon
seated massage glute by rocking weight around on one side of body- pigeon- pigeon quad twist
supta pada a b c- mantra missile
this was a kick butt practice. Love challenging the students to work in new ways and really make them work. So their practice do not become alarms that used to wake them up but no longer do.
Hope this was helpful
Celebrating the HEART on this pulsating ride called life. Teaching Updates, Themes, Thoughts, and Experiences: on Life, Family, and Yoga. “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” ― Hafiz of Shiraz
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