Showing posts from November, 2008

Hatha for the Holidays

As the days begin to shorten, and the cold is deepening, we enter the resting phase of the ecological year. Most plants have shed their leaves and scattered seeds for next year, and many colors have faded in the landscape. However, bright evergreens begin to make their presence known as they stand out quietly, and crisp air clarifies each breath we draw. We may find ourselves staying inside more often, and the holidays begin to enter the scene. This is a time to reconnect with family and friends and enjoy a few precious days "off". In our society that considers work such a central identity-defining thing, we may feel a bit adrift during this time. The fact is, many people experience difficulty during this season, but truly it is a chance for us to rest and find stillness, just as nature does.

The Mayo Clinic web page offers 12 helpful suggestions for coping below. And don't forget to consider yoga as suggestion 13, courtesy of yours truly!

12 tips to prevent holiday stress…

Moon Flowers

The photo at the top of this blog is a true Moon Flower (ipomoea alba) that I grew! I began this vine from seed starting late last winter in a sunny window in the front of my house. I transplanted it outside and watched over the months as healthy heart-shaped leaves grew and it twirled up a trellis. Each vine tendril would reach out bravely, searching to rise ever taller. I am amazing by these lovely and fragrant flowers that briskly whirl open just as dusk arrives. They are strong yet fragile, and allow their delicate sweet scent to waft through the evening air. I will definitely grow them again, maybe planting several to wind in various areas of the garden. If you would like to see a movie of one opening, click here.

In yoga, we often incorporate moon flowers into our practice, sometimes as we transition. This standing pose is quite active, involving muscles of the legs and arms, while gently opening the hips and shoulders. Just as much as this flower holds potential as it waits for …