Sunday, November 23, 2008
To one who has been long in city pent
To one who has been long in city pent,
’Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with hearts content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet’s bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E’en like the passage of an angel’s tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.
John Keats (1795–1821).
The Poetical Works of John Keats. 1884.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Blessings and be well,
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Autumn is an excellent time to ground the body and gather strength for seasonal changes. These changes are numerous and can be difficult on the body. The weather turns colder, daylight saving leaves us with fewer sunlight hours and shifts our routine, and for many of us there is more time spent indoors, in a car commuting, increased obligation on a daily basis, and fewer opportunities to get outside and breathe the fresh air. This can leave many of us tired, fatigued and sluggish. Increased rest, a stable diet and setting a regular routine with an emphasis on slowing down, breathing and a mindful practice can help increase our stability and prana. A routine sleeping pattern is essential and will help increase our stamina and ward off change of season fatigue. I've often heard its good to try to get to sleep by 10 p.m. but alas this may not be possible for everyone. I suggest rolling up the sidewalks by 11 p.m. at the latest if you can manage it. Between 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. the liver is purifying while you’re sleeping. Cleansing the liver increases energy levels, detoxifies and cleanses the blood stream, reduces inflammation and degenerative diseases., helps facilitate a more efficient immune function, and helps with weight control.
Seated spinal twist in any variation is an excellent asana to incorporate into your Autumn practice. Sit on the floor with the legs extended straight out in front of you. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the floor on the outside of your left leg. So you are crossing the right over the left. You can stay here or you can bend the left knee and bring the left foot towards your buttocks. Bending the left knee can sometimes pull on the hips and back so use caution. With your left arm hug your right knee into your chest. Stretch your right arms out in front of you with the palm facing the floor. Sit up straight and on the exhale twist from your navel and look as far as you can over your right shoulder. Your right hand can be on or off the floor as long as you do not lean into the hand. With each inhale sit up straighter and on each inhale gently twist a bit more from the navel. Hold for five to ten deep breaths. Repeat other side. If sitting this way bothers your back try sitting on the edge of a cushion to lift your hips up higher then your knees. I suggest 30 seconds on each side.
Benefits of seated spinal twist are numerous; this asana stimulates the liver and kidneys. stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck , energizes the spine ,stimulates the digestive fire in the belly, relieves menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica, and backache and according to traditional texts awakens kundalini.
Peace to you all this weekend.