3/15/2023 0 Comments
Spring Equinox Rituals
As the winter chill fades away and nature begins to blossom, the spring equinox marks the start of a new season of growth, renewal, and transformation. For centuries, people around the world have celebrated this astronomical event with rituals and traditions that honor the changing of the seasons and connect them to the natural world. Whether practiced in groups, solo, or within cultural settings, spring equinox rituals offer a powerful opportunity to shed old habits and beliefs, set intentions, and invite new possibilities into our lives. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular spring equinox rituals and offer guidance on how to practice them in ways that resonate with your individual beliefs and needs.
108 Sun Salutations
The spring equinox ritual of 108 sun salutations is a powerful practice that honors the return of light and warmth to the earth. Sun salutations, or Surya Namaskar, are a series of yoga poses traditionally performed sequentially, accompanied by breath work. The practice of 108 sun salutations–a sacred number in Hinduism and in yoga. In yoga, the number 108 refers to spiritual completion, and completing them on the spring equinox is believed to bring about physical, mental, and spiritual renewal. This ritual can be practiced individually or in a group setting and can be adapted to meet different levels of physical ability. By engaging in this ancient ritual, we can connect to the rhythms of nature, honor the changing of the seasons, and cultivate a sense of inner strength and vitality.
Yin Class with Sound Healing
The spring equinox is a time of renewal and rebirth, and what better way to honor this season of growth than with a yin yoga class accompanied by sound healing? Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga that focuses on long-held poses that target the connective tissues of the body, allowing for deep relaxation and release. Combined with the therapeutic vibrations of sound healing, this practice creates a powerful space for transformation and healing.
During a yin yoga class with sound healing, participants will be guided through a series of poses that encourage deep stretching and release of tension. The gentle and meditative nature of yin yoga provides an opportunity to turn inward and connect with the body, while the soothing sounds of singing bowls or other instruments create a sense of relaxation and peace. This combination of practices is particularly well-suited for the spring equinox, as it allows for a release of stagnant energy and the opening of the body to welcome in new growth and possibility.
In addition to its physical benefits, yin yoga with sound healing can also have profound effects on mental and emotional well-being. The practice encourages a state of deep relaxation and mindfulness, allowing participants to quiet the mind and connect with their inner wisdom. This sense of inner peace and clarity can be especially helpful during times of transition, such as the spring equinox, when we may be called upon to release old patterns and embrace new beginnings. Overall, a yin yoga class with sound healing is a beautiful way to honor the changing seasons and cultivate a sense of inner peace and renewal.
One way to honor this seasonal shift is by creating personal rituals that support our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Bathing with fresh herbs like lavender and rosemary or adding a bundle of eucalyptus to the shower are simple yet powerful ways to connect with the energy of the spring equinox.
Lavender and rosemary are both herbs with powerful healing properties. Lavender is known for its calming and soothing effects on the body and mind, while rosemary is a natural stimulant that can help to invigorate the senses and improve mental clarity. Adding these herbs to a warm bath can create a peaceful and grounding experience, allowing us to release stress and tension and connect with our inner wisdom. Similarly, adding a bundle of eucalyptus to the shower can create a refreshing and invigorating experience, helping clear the sinuses and promote vitality and well-being.
In addition to their physical benefits, personal rituals can also have profound effects on our emotional and spiritual well-being. By taking the time to connect with our bodies and minds in this way, we create a sense of sacred space and cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness and presence. This can be especially helpful during times of transition, such as the spring equinox, when we may be called upon to let go of old patterns and embrace new possibilities. Overall, the spring equinox is the perfect time to practice personal rituals that support our well-being and connect us with the energies of the natural world.
Rituals Around the World
In Mexico, the ancient city of Teotihuacan hosts an annual event to celebrate the spring equinox. Known as the "Festival of the Sun," this event brings together people from all over the world to honor the changing of the seasons and connect with the ancient wisdom of the Aztec and pre-Aztec civilizations. Participants dress in white with red scarves and gather to dance, chant, and burn incense in honor of the sun and the natural world.
One of the most iconic aspects of the Festival of the Sun is the tradition of climbing the Pyramid of the Sun at dawn and standing with arms outstretched, facing the rising sun. This ritual is believed to symbolize the rebirth of the sun and the renewal of life, and it creates a powerful sense of connection with the natural world and the energies of the cosmos. As participants stand atop the pyramid and witness the sunrise, they are filled with a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and power of the universe.
Overall, the Festival of the Sun is a beautiful example of how ancient wisdom and modern practices can come together to create a sense of connection and community. Through dance, music, and ritual, participants honor the cycles of nature and celebrate the return of light and warmth to the world. Whether attending in person or simply learning about the traditions from afar, the Festival of the Sun is a reminder of the power and beauty of the natural world and the importance of honoring its rhythms and cycles.
Spring equinox rituals provide us with a powerful opportunity to connect with the natural world and honor the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. Whether practiced in a group or solo, in a cultural or personal context, these rituals help us to cultivate a deeper sense of connection with ourselves, each other, and the world around us. From the simple act of bathing with fresh herbs to the awe-inspiring tradition of standing on top of a pyramid to witness the sunrise, these rituals remind us of the beauty and power of the natural world and our place within it. As we celebrate the arrival of spring and the return of light and warmth to the world, let us embrace these rituals and connect with the energy of renewal and possibility that this season brings.
In today's fast-paced and stressful world, losing sight of our true selves is easy. We get caught up in the daily grind, and before we know it, we're living our lives on autopilot. As a result, we forget to take care of ourselves and neglect our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. So if you're craving some "me time," A yoga retreat in San Miguel de Allende is the perfect way to reset, realign, and reconnect with your true self.
San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful colonial city located in the heart of Mexico. It is a vibrant and culturally rich city that has become a popular destination for tourists and expats alike. The city is known for its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and stunning architecture. It is also home to our yoga retreat, which offers various programs to help you relax, unwind, and rejuvenate.
Resetting Your Mind and Body
One of the main benefits of a yoga retreat in San Miguel de Allende is the opportunity to reset your mind and body. The retreats offer a break from the stress and chaos of everyday life, allowing you to slow down, breathe, and focus on your well-being. In addition, the daily yoga practice helps to release tension in your body and calm your mind, promoting relaxation and inner peace.
Our retreat is more than yoga, we have other activities that promote health and well-being, such as meditation, hiking, pickleball, and two healthy meals a day being offered. These activities help to detoxify your body and clear your mind, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Realignment with Your True Self
Our yoga retreat in San Miguel de Allende also offers the opportunity to realign with your true self. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to lose sight of who we really are and what's important to us. A retreat allows us to step back and reevaluate our lives, our goals, and our values.
During the retreat, you'll have time for self-reflection and introspection. You'll have the space and support to explore your inner world and connect with your intuition. This can be a powerful experience that helps you gain clarity and insight into your life's purpose and direction.
Reconnecting with Your Spirit
Finally, our yoga retreat in San Miguel de Allende offers the opportunity to reconnect with your spiritual side. The city has a rich history and is home to many sacred sites and traditions. It is a place where people from all over the world come to connect with their spirituality and explore their inner world.
Our retreat will incorporate rituals and ceremonies led by Leon Xochitl Coatl from Chiapas. He will be sharing the culture and heritage of his Mayan homeland and Toltec Wisdom teachings. These practices help to deepen your connection with yourself and others. They offer a sense of meaning and purpose, helping you to feel more grounded and centered in your life.
Choosing the Right Yoga Retreat in San Miguel de Allende
Choosing the Right Yoga Retreat in San Miguel de Allende
When choosing a yoga retreat in San Miguel de Allende, it's important to research and find a program that is right for you. There are many different types of retreats, each with its own focus and approach. Some are more focused on physical yoga practice, while others emphasize meditation and spiritual practices–ours offers both.
Before heading to the retreat, take some time to consider what you hope to gain from the experience. Do you want a more active, physically challenging retreat or a more relaxed, restorative program? Are you interested in exploring the culture of San Miguels roots , or do you want to focus on self-care and relaxation? Being aware of the type of experience your soul craves will help create an environment you thrive in.
So, are you ready to escape the stress and chaos of daily life and reconnect with your true self? Our San Miguel de Allende yoga retreat is the perfect way to do just that. Located in the heart of Mexico, this vibrant and culturally rich city offers the perfect setting for a transformative yoga experience that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and reconnected with your body, mind, and spirit. So why wait? Join us on this journey to cultivate connection in the heart of Mexcio and book your spot today! Learn more about our yoga retreat in San Miguel de Allende HERE.
Car Altars at Oceanside Celebration. Check out the food left for loved ones. My Alter complete w/bread from Mexican Bakery
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos by honoring its Cultural Roots
A few years ago I decided to begin to honor the Mexican tradition of building an altar on my dining room table in observance of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). As most of you know, I lost my mom when she was only 56 to cancer and have since formed a non-profit called Be Well that provides free/donation based yoga classes, etc. for cancer survivors. My altar includes family members (we lost Kent's parents within a year of one another 2 years ago), friends, and Be Well students. The first year my altar was a simple, small altar with a few pictures, some painted rocks and candles. I hadn't done much, if any, research on what the actual traditional observance meant. Basically, I looked at a few pictures on Pinterest and threw it together.
Last year Kent and I walked to downtown Oceanside's celebration of Dia de los Muertos and I realized it was much more than a few photos, candles and painted rocks. The Mexican community in Oceanside showed their tradition to me by building altars in the trunks of their cars parked along the street. Looking at their altars made me wonder about a few things (like why did they include food?), so I decided to educate myself.
Here's a link to a great blog to learn more about the holiday by Grace Sesma. She can also be followed on Facebook- CuranderismoHealing:
This past Sunday, it was again Oceanside's Dia de los Metros festival. We went again and enjoyed seeing the different altars that were built honoring the departed. I bought my Marigolds, special bread from a Mexican bakery and came home and built my altar. See above photos for some of the altars at the event and the one that I built.
I had such a lovely time working on it, remembering each person as I placed them at my altar. Maybe you'd like to build a remembrance for your departed? Click Here for a great article written by Lesley Téllez explaining why food, water and marigolds are typically included in a Dia de los Muertos altar:
If you love Mexico, have been thinking about attending a yoga retreat, and have heard great things about the town San Miguel de Allende, which is knows widely for its celebration of Mexico's rich cultural heritage, then join me NEXT November 11-17, (2023) for our Cultivate Connection in the Heart of Mexico Retreat. Watch for details coming in my next email!
Namaste and Adios!
8/19/2014 0 Comments
May 31, 2013
I've been doing a lot of "de-cluttering" in my home due to my daughter moving home. The reason for this was to make space in my office closet for my yoga clothes they had previously been in my daughter's bedrooms closet. It forced me to clean out a closet that hadn't been touched since we began our remodel (4 years ago!!). Oh the stuff that was "stuffed" in there! Why do we hold on to things that we don't need and aren't using?
Boxes of CD's, DVD's, and framed pictures that haven't been missed in 4 years. Time to let them go. Once the space was cleaned out, there was ample room for not only my clothes but also for other teaching related items to be stored. My office is now truely my office! This is a big deal because I spend a good majority of time in it. My husband also put a nice sounding water feature right outside the french doors - it brings tranquilty into the space.
Think about doing some "de-cluttering" in your home. Maybe it's a drawer or a closet that you've been thinking about for a while. I challenge you to not put it off any longer and "just do it". Maybe even burn some sage in the space afterwards to free up any negative energy that may be lurking there. By de-cluttering your home you de-clutter your life :)
8/19/2014 0 Comments
What is MELT?
What is MELT? Good Question! Do you ever wake up in the morning with your body feeling stiff? Do you stand up with your tension in your feet and your joints feeling tight? The answer for most of us is “yes!” No, this isn’t because you haven’t had your morning coffee, it is because your connective tissue is dehydrated from your everyday lifestyle. Do you notice how after a few steps or several shoulder rolls those tired feet and joints start to wake up and loosen up? This is your connective tissue being rehydrated. This is what MELT aims to do.
The tightness we feel comes from “stuck stress” or dehydrated connective tissue, and those signs are precursors for chronic pain! When your connective tissue is dehydrated, the nervous system cannot send a clear signal. MELT, or Myofascial Energetic Length Technique, is a self-treatment for the connective tissue. It utilizes a soft foam roller that has a massaging affect when you glide your body on it (opposed to hard Styrofoam rollers that can cause your muscles to tense up and become tighter). MELT also has specialized balls that are used on the hands and feet, which work like reflexology and follow the same meridians as acupuncture.
MELT was composed and perfected by manual therapist Sue Hitzmann, whose methods have been highlighted on a number of health outlets including Dr. Oz. MELT’s broad spectrum of benefits including flexibility, posture, improved exercise, help with sleep and digestion have lead to its overwhelming approval among both experts and everyday people who are trying to improve their health.
Whether you have chronic pain, pre-pain symptoms (stiff joints, sore muscles, fatigue, or headaches), you’re sedentary or you’re an elite athlete, MELT can make a dramatic difference in your life. This unique practice aims to alleviate a broad spectrum of pains through a natural method, opposed to resorting to medication and surgery. MELT provides the way for your body to heal itself, release tension, and return to balance.
Additionally, MELT Strength is the “add-on” to a regular MELT (Length) practice. Through Strength you will repattern mechanizing muscles of the shoulder and pelvic girdle as well as the deep core muscles teaching them to fire first instead of the big muscles movers (i.e. biceps, hamstring, etc.). By doing so you will strengthen those muscles to prevent injury or help to your body to recover from injuries all ready in place.
8/19/2014 1 Comment
Following my Path- Dharma
A question asked by Deepak Chopra in his 21-day meditation challenge was to ask yourself, "who am I?” What an interesting question. I had some very interesting answers to that question come up for me while meditating at an acupuncture session a few months back. Deepak says to ask and then ask again (and again) and then listen. I did just that. The first thing that I heard was, "I am a healer". Huh? Wasn't sure what that meant….so I asked again and this time the answer was, "I am a teacher". Yep, I'm a yoga and MELT instructor. Ask again…"I am a friend", I agree, I have lots of friends. The last time I asked the answer was "I am a pilgrim"….what??
As my session came to a close, Dr. Randall, my acupuncturist and wise friend entered the room and I shared with him what was revealed to me during meditation. I asked, “What the heck about the healer and pilgrim?” He smiled and said, “You are a healer. You help people heal with both yoga and MELT and you are definitely a pilgrim. You are one of the first instructors teaching the MELT modality”. Yes, those answers worked for me.
Several weeks later I left for 10 days of intense training (100 hours to be exact) in Joshua Tree from Nischala Joy Devi. The training is called "Yoga of the Heart" and it is a specialized certification to work with people with cancer and heart disease. I had known that I wanted to follow down this path with my yoga training from the very beginning and it was time to make the pilgrimage. Lucky for me, my good friend Mary Baker shared this same strong desire. She and I share the common bond of losing parents to cancer. We embraced the long hours: starting with a 6:30 a.m. yoga practice, lectures during the day, guided classes in the afternoon and then practice with partners until about 9:00 p.m. We persevered. Focusing in, and soaking up all the new knowledge Nischala lovingly shared with us.
On the trip home Mary and I decided that we absolutely had to share this precious gift of "self-healing" with others. Sad with the knowledge that we were not equipped with these skills in time to help our parents, we became even more resolved to share it now so that others can benefit. Having these new loving skills to share now with the world brought comfort to us and a certain added sweetness to our memories of our parents. We knew this was our dharma, to share this knowledge that we had received.
One definition of dharma is "a unique gift that we can do better then anyone else on the planet. One clue that we’ve discovered our dharma is that we lose track of time and experience timeless awareness whenever we’re doing that particular thing. We enter a state of bliss." This is how I feel when I am helping others. I often loose track of time during classes and/ or private sessions because time ceases to matter. What I am doing is what I love and the clock is just a time piece.
Mary and I have since started a business called Be Well. We help people to reduce stress in their lives through gentle yoga practice, deep relaxation, meditation and guided imagery. We specialize in helping those with cancer and heart disease. Who am I? I am a healer. I help people through the techniques I have learned to self heal. Who am I? I am a teacher. I teach and guide people to self-heal and to learn self- love. Who am I? I am a friend; a friend to those that need a friend. Who am I? I am a pilgrim. With my partner Mary, I am venturing into a new area of alternate care for those living with disease and I am following my dharma, what I believe I was put on this earth to do.