Tuesday, May 24, 2016
I always end my yoga and meditation classes with a blessing that was taught to me many years ago.
“May we all be safe.
May we all be healthy and strong.
May we all move through our day with ease and joy.”
I regularly contemplate the idea of moving with ease and joy. What does that mean? How does it look? How do I teach that? How do I embody that? Is it really possible? Is it even important? Does it make my life or the life of my students any better if they move with ease and joy? One of the things that I love about the yoga tradition is that teachers use all kinds of images in nature, and in life to help students experience their bodies and their lives in different ways. I recently did a yoga class with a teacher who had us imagining that we were marionettes who had strings coming out of our heads, shoulders, wrists etc. The strings were attached to the clouds and we were being lowered down onto the earth. We were connected and rooted to the earth, but at the same had a sense of lightness, ease, buoyancy and joy to our postures and to the way we moved in the class. Of course we practice being a marionette on the yoga mat and then we take the ideas and practice into the postures of our every day lives. You might notice me doing marionette yoga as I walk my dog every morning in the park. I invite lightness, ease, joy and beauty to start my day. I really like this image. I use it with all of my students when I teach – the young ones and the students who are young at heart. I’ve always been drawn to movement that is soft, flowing, organic and freeing. I’ve never thought postures or life should be rigid. And so I use the image of marionettes in my classes as people do standing, sitting, belly down and on their back postures. Everyone is encouraged to move with ease and joy even in the most difficult of postures or situations. And, I regularly pay attention to people who do marionette yoga all day ,every day, off of the yoga mat. Sylvia Holland is a perfect example. I have watched her work and live in this community since I moved up here 27 years ago. Every time I see her she lights up when she talks about her work at the spa, her life here in Haliburton, her husband and her friends. She is incredibly passionate, dedicated, hardworking and maintains a sense of lightness, ease, joy and love with everything she does. It’s probably why she has been able to stay in business so successfully for so many years. She is like an angel who has been lowered down onto the planet to do her good work and she is an inspiration to all of us. The beautiful thing about marionette yoga, is that it is all in your head. Anyone can do it anytime! You can bring a sense of lightness and ease when you are at work, riding a horse, playing with your kids or grandkids, gardening, playing the guitar, painting a picture, building a house and all the other postures of your life. It’s all about your intention to keep returning to a feeling or sense of ease and joy. I think it makes a big difference.