This month we continue our study of the chakras, as well as the Karma Yoga path. You are welcome to join us at any time, and can utilize archived material for deeper understanding.
We are feeling the energy of a new season.The positive or rajasic response is excitement for something new to focus on that might enhance our life. The negative or tamasic response is anxiety about the unknown, or difficulty adjusting to change. Both reactions are stressful and may contribute to the increase in illness we often see in the transition between seasons. The remedy in yoga, also reinforced by the message of Fall, Labor Day, a New Moon and the wisdom of the squirrel, is to conserve our energies. In a nutshell, don't forget to lay down and rest.
Like many, the excitement of this time of year caused my more masculine qualities to surface. What shall I start? What shall I do? What can I improve and change? Honestly I felt stuck and anxious. The answer I received while on my walk in the woods, an ever humbling practice, called me yet again out of my head and down into my body, specifically to where my feet met the earth.
I shouldn't have been surprised considering the discussions of our yoga community in the past few months. As the world is ever changing we find that a connection to our root chakra is the first step to balance and healing, a powerful practice that returns our attention to the oneness of source, the meaning of yoga (union). On the karma yoga path our actions are inspired by this oneness, enact this oneness and result in oneness. As mentioned in our Guiding Theme newsletter last month, a lack of oneness, or absence of unconditional love for self and others, is a redirection to start over in the root.
After reuniting with my body and my feet upon the ground, I began to notice the greater amount of debris lying in the path including leaves, twigs, pine needles, acorns, and pieces of mushroom and moss. The earth was reminding me of what I was noticing in myself and our community. There was more debris to attend to. Even the renewed anxiety about COVID, division and unrest in the world is a reminder that release and healing continues to need our focus of attention. Gratefully, as in nature, when we let go of what is no longer serving us, this very debris creates the soil of new growth.
As my contemplative walk continued, I slipped on a mossy rock and fell down. I was not hurt, and it caused me to laugh. What clearer instruction could I be given to “Lay down!” than literally pulling my feet out from under me. After my usual, "Ok, ok, I'm listening", I recognized that perhaps the best action I could take amidst the current unknown was to stay down low, to take care of my body, tuck in my gardens, clean up my home--all extensions of the root chakra. I relaxed into the idea of doing less, not more, and to slow down, conserve, save, simplify, and focus on the most essential physical needs.
I've discovered that once an “aha” moment actually gets through to me, it is as though the universe cheers and celebrates, showering me with affirmation that I'm on the right path. It didn't take long to realize that our upcoming observation of Labor Day contains the same message. We recognize the value and importance of all who work hard by inviting a day of rest, for too much work can be harmful if not in balance with our other basic needs. As we will continue to see in our study of Karma Yoga, when we are unable to stop working, whether for financial reasons or caring for family members, we can bring the attitude of rest to our work.
If this was not convincing enough, I recognized that the day after Labor Day is a New Moon. This phase of the moon’s cycle is one of darkness, calling us back into stillness, to become empty, receptive, reflective, to receive and prepare the seeds of potential that will later take root. In resonance with this energy, the squirrels are now gathering up acorns so they may conserve food for the winter. My kids and I have been laughing about their crazy activity around our house, driving our dog Rosie bonkers as they chase each other here and there. Are you a frenzied squirrel or are you taking good care of yourself and conserving your energy? The squirrel reminds us that the choice is ours.
Though September calls us back to school, work, or a new routine, we tend to forget that the energy of the earth contains a very different sort of activity...one of falling, releasing, gathering, storing and conserving. This month we will continue to study this energy and support one another on the path. Next week's Yoga Philosophy newsletter will continue a deeper dive into Karma Yoga and its guidance for how to bring the idea of rest and peace into our work and to perceive our work and actions as a spiritual practice. Our Yoga Nature newsletter will share the universal intelligence contained in the essence of the squirrel to assist us in understanding how the laws of manifestation and abundance work. Our Yoga Therapy newsletter will offer a guided relaxation to integrate these themes and prepare us for seeding new realities on our unique and beautiful path of a lifetime.
Please feel free to share this message with a friend and invite them to join for one or two months, or become a monthly supporter of this work. Each month stands on its own, and yet also builds on past months as our yoga community evolves together.
With Great Love,
Content related to this months theme:
Guiding Theme | Issue #116 | Lay Down and Rest
Yoga Philosophy | Issue #117 | Karma Yoga: Good Indeed (upgraded subscription)
Our Yoga Nature | Issue #118 | Coming September 18
Yoga Therapy Practice | Issue #119 | Coming September 25 (upgraded subscription)
To access all of the archived content please click here.