Another Kind of Holiday ;)

ARE YOU OKAY?! WHY aren’t you practicing?!
 
It’s okay everyone! No need to sound the alarm. I’m just on my period, or as Ashtangi’s call it “Lady’s Holiday.” I can usually tell when it’s getting close to a “moon day” or couple days leading up to it when practice gets SO slow and I give Jeb Bush a run for his low energy title. This month I knew it was on it’s way when I cried about the laundry.
 
I didn’t always respect these three days of glory. I would persist through practice OR I would try and do something else extreme like a HIIT workout because I am a STRONG DETERMINED WOMAN. Ummm calm down Mary-Margaret! You can be both. Stira, Sukha, what? Oh yes yes. Strength and ease. Opposing forces. #Respecttheforce
 
Why isn’t it suggested that you practice these three heaviest days of your cycle? Well, there is the natural fact that there is a downward flow of blood and energy that the body is expelling. In the asana practice we try to redirect energy with bandhas, and physically challenging postures. It is not recommended to invert during your period because don’t we want to have a shorter period? There’s only one exit…
 
For me, it comes down to the fact that I need to trust my body’s natural process and not get so worked up every time it happens. In “Yoga Sadhana for Mothers” there are many women who write about their cycle and how to use that time for rejuvenation. Many also talk about the ability to give up attachment to the practice during lady’s holiday as a preparatory practice to motherhood and the body’s natural fluctuating process. (Note: Mom, if you are reading this, just because I read a book that has “Mother” in the title does NOT mean I plan on becoming one yet! I know you’ve seen that Rocking Chair in the studio!)
 
What is something positive that I can do with the extra time I would normally have for practice? I can take more time to read, bake something, sleep more, eat more, write, shop etc. Oh I also like to watch something that makes me cry solely because it feels so damn good to. Like tears are pent up and hormones are waiting for the slightest chance to unleash the waterworks. Have you seen the t.v. series “This is Us” with Mandy Moore? I really didn’t like Mandy Moore before but now I have to say, she’s prettttyyyy wonderful. Tissues are a must!
 
IF YOU ARE A DUDE: Maybe you just support your partner or mat-mates during their holiday. You might think to yourself, how would I know? Oh, keep practicing and listening. You’ll pick up on it. Derek folded the laundry I cried about. (He’s a keeper.)
 
So unfortunately, we don’t get the whole three days to take a full vacation somewhere. What are some small things you can do for yourself that can embrace your femininity? You may find a well rested and respected body appreciates the practice more, like I have. Try it! I dare you :)

Xoxo
Maggie

On the Move!

Change is rarely seamless. The move to the new studio space at Faith Lutheran was DEFINITELY sudden. On Monday we ekam inhaled on Wilson Boulevard and Tuesday we dve exhaled on Arlington Boulevard. Typical Ashtangis (myself included) can exhibit a strong distaste for change. After all, we do the same postures, at the same time. We have a routine prior to practice that involves some fasting, coffee and bathroom time. Some of us even balk at the idea of setting up your mat on the other side of the room. Quelle Horreur!
 
You know though, that somehow within these same postures, practice is never identical. One humid Wednesday morning, those index fingers latch onto each other for a precious moment in Supta Kurmasana. You start gasping, sweating and wondering, “What changed?!” Well, YOU did somewhere along the way.  One day you smile at the person next to you whose dusty foot extends onto your tank top instead of panicking that you now have foot sweat up in your business.
 
Hey! I have news for you. The more pro-change you are the less suffering. Adapt or Cry! (I hope my husband doesn’t read this or he’s going to make me recite this every time we go camping.) Really though, even if you don’t like change you somehow knew it was the leafy greens for your mood because otherwise you wouldn’t be committed to this practice. Every time you inhale you have an opportunity to experience bliss (or suffering.)
 
Lucky for us, the space is the only big change. It is filled with the same warm group of crazy people that I love and recognize (even from upside down and in a twist.) We will continue to adapt as individuals in our behavior and develop as a troop.
 
This first month we have exciting events in our midst! First off is our Grand Opening Soiree next Friday, the 3rd at my house. Interact with your mat-mates and meet people from the morning and evening that you don’t know yet! Second, is that I am so tickled to host Jeff Lichty in the new space next month. I am rarely going to offer workshops and I am a little star-struck that this Canadian is coming to the nation. He has been to India over fifteen times and offers a practical approach to teaching. He will guide us through KEY topics like samastitihi in foundations, intermediate series highlights and sutra and pranayama discovery. Talk about learning some extra tools to change your practice! I hope you can join us for one or all of his workshops and take advantage of his time and experience.
 
I have never been happier, more energized (or caffeinated.) It is my utmost pleasure to see you every morning and evening in this new space changing alongside you.
 
Xoxo
Maggie