Thursday, April 28, 2011
At the start of a yoga class I've often been instructed to close my eyes and allow my whole body to soften and relax. The teacher will explain that when we soften our bodies and connect with our breath we become more sensitive to our body and to the environment around us. In the practice of yoga we want to get to know our bodies so carefully that we can then make the best choices that work for us. Becoming more sensitive to what is around us is a gift in the class - because we all become more sensitive to the goodness that each of us brings. Over time I think we all develop a deeper sensitivity to the natural world that is around us. At this time of year it is wonderful to pay attention to the birds and the peepers that are returning, the flowers that are poking up, the buds that are about to burst open, the lakes that are thawing out etc. It is a magical time of year.
Today while teaching a yoga class we had just finished a yang dragon series that is a fusion of martial arts and yoga. It is moving meditation where we twist and fly and stretch like dragons. We get really hot. During the second part of the class we slow the movements down and hold them for longer periods of time to build strength and endurance. We had just started the first pose of holding (imagining we were birds standing on the edge of dock - we were balancing on one foot) and we were all looking out the windows when a baby muskrat ran down the sidewalk - obviously on his/ her way into town for lunch! Without missing a beat we all stopped the pose and several of us ran outside to re-direct this little animal back to the river. As we ran around in bare feet, several men who were out walking also joined in to help. The traffic stopped and everyone was focused on helping the muskrat. We were laughing and trying several different strategies and all the cars waited patiently. The muskrat eventually turned around and headed back down to the river. Who knows whether s/he will stay there.... But I think we all felt like we did something to help support a fellow being on the planet. It's just like when we all stop to help the turtles cross the road in the spring, or we wait for the gaggle of geese to cross the highway. I have a good friend who even stops to help rattle snakes get across busy roads over by Honey Harbour.
One of the many gifts of living in Haliburton is that we get these close encounters with nature. Whether it is a moose standing at the post office or a deer in our front yard we are lucky. Tomorrow is Earth Day and we have so much beautiful earth to be thankful for up here. I hope you can find something to do outside that helps you feel connected to all the goodness we have.