Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring!

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.
Bern Williams

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

(Lismore, Irleand )

An Irish Toast
"May we be alive at this same time again."
Irish: Go mbeirimíd beo ar an am seo arís

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Women's History Month

Inez Milholland poster
"I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights."
Inez Milholland, 1909
March is here and that means it’s time to celebrate the incredible women who have shaped our lives and made the everyday experience a better place for all. This year the NEHP theme is, Our History is Our Strength. “This theme pays tribute to the millions of women who have taken action to help create a better world for the times in which they lived, as well as for future generations. In keeping with this years theme I would like to review the life and work of Inez Milholland (Boissevain) an American suffrage, early feminist and activist for the disenfranchised.

Known as the poster or face for the suffrage movement she is best known for donning a white hose, draped in a long white flowing cape, leading a major demonstration right down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue to secure the women’s right to vote. “On Monday, March 3, 1913, lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain, clad in a white cape and riding a white horse, led the great women's suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital. Behind her stretched a long procession, including nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, more than 20 floats and more than 5,000 marchers. Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession. Then came the "pioneers" who had struggled for so many decades to secure women's right to vote. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wore appropriate garb -- nurses in uniform, woman farmers, homemakers, woman doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians -- Harriet Hifton of the Library of Congress's Copyright Division led the librarians' contingent -- and college women in academic gowns. Next came the state delegations and, finally, the separate section for male supporters of woman suffrage. According to the official program of the suffrage procession, all had come from around the country "to march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.” (Harvey S, Library of Congress)

Involved in a great many projects Milholland worked tirelessly not only for women but all Americans marginalized by circumstance and place. A charismatic speaker she was said to electrify crowds. By 1916 she was a popular figurehead and speaker for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. While giving a speech in Los Angeles, Inez Milholland collapsed was hospitalized and died 10 weeks later from pernicious anemia. Her death sent shock waves through the movement and she became a martyr for the cause. Alice Paul organized Milholland's memorial service, which was held in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol building on Christmas Day, 1916.
Iron Jawed Angels, a movie released to critical acclaim is a portrayal of Millholland and the suffrage struggle.

So shine on sisters, shine on!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mud Season Blues

Mud Season in all its glory

Mud season is not a good time. In my estimation the only good part of mud season is the fact it's short lived and when it over the weather is glorious. Coming off a long hard winter this grimy pre-spring period does not inspire flights of fancy and a free spirit. Personally, my energy is low, I'm missing my father, and slogging through this crap is just another daily reminder of how grey my mood. I know its time to switch up my yoga routine and include some asana that provides an extra release of endorphins.

Endorphins are "feel good" chemicals that are known to be released during physical activity.
There are three different types of endorphins produced within the body, two of which are distributed throughout the central nervous system and one that is found within the pituitary gland. Practicing yoga can diversify your brain chemistry. Some yoga positions in particular are sufficient in stimulating the pituitary gland to release endorphins and to reduce the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) and help relieve the blues.

Inverted poses are an excellent little pick me up, emotionally, they guide the energy of the pelvis toward the heart center, enabling self-exploration and inner growth. Physically, they stimulate the immune and endocrine systems, thereby invigorating and nourishing the brain and the organs.
The following is a series of inverted poses with the exception of bridge. These should give a little boost if your feeling stuck in the mud mentally and physically. Stay in each pose for about 30 seconds, then rest in shivansana before trying the next one. I would like to add a small but important note here. If you are not familiar with headstand, have weakness in the neck or shoulders, do not include headstand in your regular practice, or need a spot to safely assume the asana DO NOT attempt headstand.

Yoga sequence to increase endorphins and banish the blues
Headstand ( sirshasana)
Be well, smile a little, and let the sun shine in.
Miss. S