"Love is beautiful when it's professed, but it's only meaningful when it's practiced." - Brene Brown
I was given this orchid last year on my way back from a hospital visit. I'd felt sick and tired and so grateful for something beautiful to set in my window. It kept me company. A month later the blossoms slowly faded, wilted, and fell off. I was angry. How could it do this? Was it dying? Had I taken poor care of it? Didn't it realize it mattered to me, to wake and open my eyes and see it and be reminded of the care it represented? And if it could fade and die, I didn't want its reminder with me because I still wasn't feeling well myself.
But I decided I would dare to believe in its return. I kept it. I would nurse it - and me - back to blossoms.
And just this past week, we both did. The blossoms surprised me. I'd given up on it, but had come to love its glossy, thick leaves and tended it with the hope that someone would still care for me when I no longer offered blossoms but only leaves for company. And here it is. We didn't give up on each other.
This month is the month of the heart in our practice.
The courageous heart continues to believe when all logic points otherwise.
"Courage is like - it's a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It's like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging." - theologian Mary Daly
The mantra "SA TA NA MA" we use this month is the sound of a cycle: making, sustaining, destroying, returning. Or similarly: birth, life, death, rebirth. Accepting our part in this cycle is essential or we are always in pain - clinging to the good so it won't go away, numbing out the pain in case it stays. With this mantra we can find the center. Things will always arise, develop, fall away, and return, but we have the opportunity to remain in our center - in our hearts - as the rise and fall goes on around us. So, how can you keep practicing/learning that mantra? Well...
My courageous act this month is to announce that the video subscription I've worked on since March is finally available.
Each month the online sequence will match the studio class sequence. This way, on days you can't make it in, you can do all or some of it in your own home, or on the road. Maintain or deepen your practice, join in at the studio when you can.
Traditionally, a kriya would be done 40 days in a row to receive the full effect of the movements and breath, breaking old habits and patterns. This is our practice to share for each month, and once subscribed you may continue on your own for the full 40 days or beyond.
There is a document "Getting Started" that outlines what you need to start. And each month has a document to go with the sequence that offers more detail.
For $25* each month you have an online home practice from me to you.
*Included in that $25, $5 of each month will go towards the Nature Conservancy's program "Plant A Billion" where each dollar donated will plant a tree. Each month, each subscriber will be planting 5 trees as part of her/his practice. Seva, or selfless service, is an essential component of the yogic path and I look forward to the thought that each time we practice we are caring for the earth around us.