It was a beautiful autumn evening, supporting a group of veterinarians to enjoy the benefits of Yoga Nidra at the magical Cotswold Barn. A truly magical evening was had as we allowed ourselves to ‘fall’ back and down into spacious awareness, letting go of stories that no longer serve us and breathing in new energy and new intentions.
Tonight’s practice took the form of Yoga Nidra a form of guided meditation also known as “yogic sleep” or “effortless relaxation”. We focused our attention on the Autumn season and “letting go” of the things that no longer serve us
The practice draws our attention inwards, and we learn to surf between the states of wakefulness and sleep, where our body finds its natural state of equilibrium, the breath balances and becomes quiet, unconscious and conscious aspects of the mind reveal themselves, and we fall into an innate state of deep, blissful awareness.
This practice of Yoga Nidra takes us effortlessly into a state of harmonious, restful being. From here, we can be healed, restored and awakened to our deepest, all-knowing, all-welcoming self.
It’s that time of year when the fair comes to town. Like clockwork it comes every year at the start of October, it’s an assault on the senses and the mind.
There is a time and place for speeding up (and feeling the buzz from high octane activity) and for slowing down. Autumn is that time, a period of transition, its a time for self-nourishment and reflection.
The season of autumn invites us to explore an inward and introspective energy both on and off our yoga mats. This is a time of year where we slow down, contemplate, and experience gratitude, abundance, and letting go. Just as we might surrender to seasonal shifts, eat according to the season and find the best teas to warm you we may also try to surrender just a little more in our practice by slowing down our Asana, and perhaps we take a few extra deliberate slow breaths. Yoga happens when we take the time to be present with the practices and with our life.
Ganesh the elephant-headed god is generous, clever and enjoys everything sweet. Despite his love of sugary foods, he is also a master of yoga, taking after his Father Shiva. Ganesh knows how to balance indulgences and austerities.
On one of Ganesh’s exploits he consumed so many sweet cakes that his belly was full to bursting. He headed home on a tiny mouse. Practicing extraordinary balance. Suddenly a cobra slithered onto their path and frightened the mouse. Ganesh fell, when he hit the ground, his overstuffed belly exploded and sweet cakes rained everywhere.
The moon, Chandra, who was watching the burst into laughter. Ganesh was very upset to be the object of Chandra’s laughter and in a fit of anger broke off his right tusk and hurled it at the moon. Chandra’s light went out. With no night, no dawn and no dusk, love was lost to the world. There was unhappiness.
Ganesh, later convinced by the people, allowed the moon to shine once more, but it would be required to wax and to wane, shining its full potential only once every four weeks. This would be a permanent lesson for the moon.
The moral of which is learning to find the joy in the shade and lunar parts of our life as well as the joy in the brighter parts of our existence.