In our beautiful Southern Hemisphere we are getting ready to shed the winter woolies, layer up the cottons and silks for spring and get moving.
Spring brings the beauty of blossoms with it. Flowers and trees blossom and flourish, the days become longer and there's a general feel of an upward swing in the air. This magical season coincides with a lead into many Christmas celebrations and get togethers, followed closely by New Year.. more good times!
To keep us steady, to keep what's top of the list at the top, I suggest weaving in some little practices and rituals to keep us aligned to our values and goals AKA "right side up". If we don't have these little practices in place we may easily be swept away by the many exciting and wonderful opportunities that await us over this next 4 months and could end up sick, exhausted, over committed and left with "no gas in the tank".
Steadiness, equanimity, evenness are our most likely friends and anchors in this time.
Did you know God inhabits the season of spring? ".. and of the seasons I am flower bearing spring". Bhagavad Gita 10.35. Whether you believe in God or not, I'm not sure. But I do love the Vedic Text, The Bhagavad Gita which discusses this and it makes sense to me that a God would prefer Spring! It's a not too cold, not too hot time of year and all the blossoms are beaming with fragrance and colour. Why wouldn't it be your favourite! Its certainly mine (& autumn).
Here are a few suggestions for springtime rituals to keep you steady and upright:
"We should learn to bring in and adorn our home with the beauty of nature" writes David Frawley. If you have any flowers blooming in your garden, bring some inside. You could put them in sweet little vases, your could place some in the bathrooms, even on bedside tables. I often put frangipanis beside my children's beds, the sweet scent filling their rooms. You could run a bath, place flowers in the bath, a few drops of your favourite calming essential oil, light some candles and play some sweet music (suggestions here are Essie Jain, East Forest.... probably not Rhianna or Hilltop Hoods but maybe Coldplay! LOL) Once they've bloomed, I often scout my street (which they should have called Frangipani Lane) and pick the flowers off the ground, take them to Yoga and place them on the steps up to Yoga, on the corner of students mats, on my own front steps. Emerson wrote "Earth laughs in flowers" so enjoy that laughter and joy with the spring blooms.
For a calming and nourishing home, many yogic texts suggest burning the incense of sandalwood, jasmine and rose in the home, or fragrant candles. If not everyone in your home likes incense (as is in my case) you may like to burn the incense outside. I like to light it in the morning, drink my tea and read something inspiring. It's a lovely way to set the mood for your day.. and as you know mornings really do set the tone for the day.
An altar is a place where you can simply be.
A place for tending to your highest self,
A place for connecting with your inner most self,
a reminder or an anchor for what you hold most dear.
Here are a few suggestions for an altar:
- The Location / find a spot in your home, perhaps your bedside table, a small tray in your living room or kitchen.
- The Items / place a candle, or some incense (or both), a flower or two & perhaps a photo of a family member or diety or Guru. This place becomes sacred and infused with good juju the more time you spend there. Tend to it, look after the items, clean them and keep it lovely and this will begin to feed and nourish you.
- The Practice / suggestions are meditation, journalling, mantra or chanting practice, maybe you have a favourite prayer or poem that you can recite there. Its your sacred place and it will work its magic the more time you spend there.
- Your Values / maybe write out 4 to 5 values that you hold dear, that are really true for you, sit this piece of paper on your altar. Each time you sit or walk past, you can say one to yourself and you may find it begins to become part of your thought process as you make plans in your day and life.
We are working on infusing your being with these practices and rituals. When we spend time on these parts of Yoga, we begin to soak up the feeling and take the residue of them into our day. This can change EVERYTHING.