Finding the balance
A common theme that has been coming up in classes is the balance between softness and hardness and balancing that strong, supportive earth energy with the light bright energy above us. Thinking about a yoga pose like triangle pose, your feet are firmly planted on the ground, leg muscles stretching, strengthening and engaging with your tailbone. And then in your upper body your heart is open. The strength in your legs in your lower half allows your upper half to be soft to turn upwards. In a pose like pigeon which can feel tough, stretchy, tension-y, it’s important to soften where you can, your face, your heart, the palms of your hands, your belly. In mindful meditation practice with a focus on the breath, the trick is to see how soft you can be with yourself when your mind wanders. How soft you can gently guide your focus back to your breath without criticism or judgement. That moment in the guiding back to the breath is all that meditation really is. When you feel awful or down about yourself how soft can you be with yourself, with your feelings and situation? How much compassion can you give yourself? The hard strong powerful feeling in our legs, in our focus or anger isn’t bad and the soft, fuzzy gentleness isn’t bad either it’s just about balance between the two.
Thinking about this balance in terms of energy, below us the earth energy is subdued, slow, grounded, strong and fortifying. Connecting with the earth energy gives us strength, support and power. A clear foundation. If we don’t connect to the earth and aren’t grounded we might miss experiences, it might be harder to connect with other people, we could feel floaty and out of touch. Above us that energy just beyond our heads is light, bright, fuzzy and dreamy. We connect it with our destiny, purpose and faith. If we don’t connect with that energy we can feel lost, alone, and life can feel meaningless. The key is balancing the two. Balancing the forceful power with the lightness and the softness. In your body the two meet at your centre, at the spot just below your belly button and a few finger widths in. Connecting with this energy centre and being aware of your softness, your light and your strength and power is the heart of you.
New moon and foot baths
There is a new moon in leo greeting us early Sunday morning in New York. The period before this can feel heavy and draining so do nice, kind and gentle things for yourself.
A great, easy and restorative thing to do is to make yourself a hot foot bath. Grab a bucket or use your bath and add Epsom salts and some nice smelling essential oil to the hot water and soak for 20 minutes or more. It’s a great way to ground and take care of your feet. I’ve included a track of classical music that is great to relax and chill out to.