March 2017 ~ FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
I am sending you all love from the jungles of Costa Rica. We come here every year to host our Tropical Teacher Training immersion, and to re-charge and unplug from the intensity of urban life. March is a pivotal month. It is the time to begin our transition from the darkness of winter to the light of spring. We will celebrate daylight savings time on March 12, the spring equinox on March 20th, and Navaratri the Hindu festival of the Goddess on March 28 thru April 5th.
At the end of our time in the jungle, we always do a sacred fire ceremony. This year it occurred on the eve of the new moon - in complete darkness. It was so dark that when you walk down the jungle trail at night you cannot see more than 6 inches in front of you without a light. It is in that darkness that we are confronted with our fears, our regrets, our trauma, our feelings of loss, of worry, of never.
Our primal brains are designed to survive and they are constantly searching for danger. When we turn out the lights, both inner and outer, we are often faced with the intensity of those feelings that sit under the surface waiting to emerge.
During the fire ceremony we don’t turn away from that darkness, we move into it. We literally go into the fire. We crack open, we cry, we release, and we let go. And then just as nature does her beautiful shift, we somehow find ourselves slowly being steered back towards the light.
Both the shift from the new moon to the full moon and the transition from the winter solstice to the summer solstice mirror that transition that is constantly moving through our emotions.
Nature is such a powerful teacher. We can see how she moves gracefully from the darkness into the light. This time of transition is a sacred time to shed the layers of darkness and to open to manifesting the light within. Take your time to marinate in the last 20 official days of winter. Be in the darkness open to whatever it holds for you. Stay steady and allow yourself to surrender.
Spring is coming; she will carry you on her back from that place of darkness to light. Each time we move through this cycle, we grow closer to our spiritual awakening. Trust in the process. Allow it to unfold and be present in each and every moment.
My dear teacher Amrit Desai used to say to us "learn to experience all sensations as if they are one.” I still ponder these words to this day. I know that life shifts and changes, and that nature is our guide. I thank the universe that I have the tools of my Yoga practice to keep me safe and steady as I allow my life to unfold.
Try this simple version of Nadi Shodhana pranayama technique to keep your nervous system in balance during this time of transition.
SIMPLE NADI SHODHANA PRANAYAMA: Please find your seat, and work with the pranayama exercises as outlined below:
- Simple Alternate Nostril Breathing: Begin with your palms resting open upward facing on the top of your thighs. As you inhale spread and expand your fingers, as you exhale gently close your fist. Inhale expand the fingers, exhale contract into a gentle fist. Create a vinyasa linking your breath to your movement. Breathe slowly and purposefully. Allow the mind to empty. Repeat for 9 to 18 rounds.
Begin the alternate nostril technique. Rest your palms open on your thighs. Close the right fist but keep the left fist open. Inhale through the left nostril and gently close the left fist, pause the breath with both fists closed. Open the right fist releasing the breath out. In hale through the right as you close the right fist. Pause the breath with both fists closed. Exhale through the left nostril as you open the left fist. Repeat for 9 – 18 rounds. As long as it is comfortable begin to rest in the pause & observe. Find a comfortable rhythm with no strain or discomfort. Relax into the breath.
I’m so excited to be back teaching at Sonic at the end of the month for our Shakti Sadhana Prenatal training weekend. Please drop into the open classes for the Goddess. Celebrate abundance with Ma Lakshmi 3/31 at 9am, Creativity with Ma Saraswati 3/31 at 4:30pm and Power with Ma Durga, 4/1 at 9am
Sending you warmth and love, Lauren