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Make-It Magic October continues. Tonight I led 20 fabulous people into silence and stillness for several minutes. It may not sound sexy and it’s the antithesis of spectacular, but they went willingly.  We made it quiet on a level that rarely happens when people are gathered. These days, it’s probably rare to be that quiet even in solitude.

Silence calms the heart and the relaxes the nervous system. Don’t take my word for it – here’s the scientific evidence to back that claim: Larsen, P.D., & Galletly, D. C. (2006). The sound of silence is music to the heart. Heart, 92 (4), 433-434.

 

 

 

Grace Flow Yoga

Greetings Friends!

Naturally I’m all in favor of group exercise classes. The benefits are numerous. First off, they are a great way to meet new people who share your values (health, fitness, and fun!!) and who are likely to keep you motivated and inspired to meet your goals.  Practice time seems to go by a lot faster when you’re with a group.  Another advantage of group classes is consistency. Having a regularly scheduled class can help you develop a regular routine.  A third benefit is that instructors are generally trained to offer safe and effective exercise programming.  We take into consideration the need for warm-ups, cool-downs, focus on particular muscle groups, etc.  When we practice on our own, it’s human nature to skip poses that seem “boring” or to focus on our favorites.

All that said, sometimes we just have to practice on our own due to scheduling or logistics.  For that reason, I’ve compiled a few of…

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Dana of Zona Pellucida seduced me into making homemade sauerkraut recently.

It’s not entirely her fault.  The Angry Russian is also to blame.  To this day he raves about his dad’s homemade kraut, which was made in huge barrels with yellow apples.  When I started reading about candida, sugar,  the digestive system and probiotics, my kraut fate was sealed. I had to grow some bacteria myself.

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The other day I popped open the first jar. It bubbled and gurgled its fermented secrets at me.

It’s ALIVE!!!

I love having these sorts of mad-scientist moments with my food.  I’m pretty useless, even dangerous, when it comes to working the normal kitchen gadgetry (e.g., ovens, microwaves, knives, etc.), but I excel at stuff that takes days in dark places to transform (See Sprout it Out Loud for additional evidence of my culinary nerdiness).

So anyway, I shared a serving of the kraut with The Angry Russian. His rapt expression at first bite made all the trouble worth the while.  I have another jar still fermenting and I will definitely be making another batch.  Maybe with apples.

Health is the greatest wealth; the greatest happiness is peace.

–Yogi Hari

~~~~@~~~~

No excuses.

The body remembers. It does not lie. It will tell your story even when you do not:  the teeth straightened by braces, the crinkle of past smiles around your eyes and there too the shadows of lingering heartache, the first two fingers on your right hand yellowed from years holding a cigarette, the slant of your shoulders when you crack a particularly funny joke, a hint of grey roots beneath the dye job, the shuffle in your gait when you’re lost in thought. The faint scar above your knee marks the day you slipped when climbing a fence. The months spent carrying your child are recorded in tiger stripes across your belly. The years you spent fighting injustice show up in the way you dance.  Your habit of grasping and holding on for dear life is audible in your breath.  It’s all there – ingrained in the cell, remembered in the muscle, written in the skin.

Did you know you’ve always been beautiful?

Acknowledge yourself.

Listen to your body.

Cherish your temple.

You are a divine work of art crafted in love and situated in this time and place for a reason. Live your bliss.

The physical practice of yoga (i.e., hatha yoga) refines and purifies every system in the body – from the circulatory to urinary systems.  It is a moving meditation. It is a metaphor for the posturing, posing, and transitioning we make as we travel through life.  You can struggle and fight your way through it or relax, witness, and celebrate the dance.

Breathe in. Stretch. Create space that wasn’t there before. In that space lies the potential for greater growth and movement.

Seek alignment in your posture. Align the words of your story with the one your body tells. Allow its beauty to shine.

Breathe out. Let go. Surrender to what is.

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