“…tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present since it is in the present and only in the present that you live.” – Alan Watts
As we near to the end of 2018 it’s the time to take stock of the year that is almost past. This has been a monumental year in the 9 year history of Asheville Community Yoga. In 2018 we opened our donation based childcare program, we opened our sliding scale healing arts program, and we opened Karma Cafe, a full service restaurant. We now offer over 120 donation based classes per week, and we have over 80 volunteer teachers leading this community in practices of yoga, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, and dance. Something even more exciting than all of the growth we experienced this past year is settling into all of the new spaces we have created.
One of Patanjali’s yoga sutras speaks to the idea of settling in sutra 2.46 “Sthira-sukham asanam.” We find a steady and comfortable seat where we can remain. This can be considered in our physical asana practice, ensuring that we haven’t went too deeply into a pose, or it can be used in our day to day lives. After a time of great change, expansion, effort, and energy, settling into the changes and finding a steady and comfortable way to exist is the only way we can harmonize and come back into balance. The dawn of a near year is symbolically a time to look at the past and our hopes for the future to ensure our present moment remains in balance.
In terms of Ayurvedic wisdom we are moving into the season of stillness and comfort. This is the time of year to eat warm, cooked foods and drink warm beverages and teas to help our bodies take on the cold dark months ahead with vitality and strength.
December Journaling & Meditation Practice
As we move into the final month of the year consider what changes and evolutions you have been going through in your life. Find a place where you can sit & write, steady and comfortably.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Who made the biggest impact on you this year?
What are you most proud of from this year?
What do you wish you did less of this year?
What do you wish you did more of this year?
Sit in stillness after you answer these questions. Close your eyes. Imagine the sensation of gently pulling the reins back and bringing yourself into internal stillness, into the present moment, into now. Begin ujjayi breathing by tightening the back of your throat to begin making a gentle sound as you inhale and exhale, almost the sound of the ocean. Ujjayi breath is also called ocean breath or victorious breath. Listen to the sound of your breathing as you relax the muscles on your face, neck, arms, chest, belly and legs. Breathe slow and deep. Repeat this mantra to yourself “There is nothing to do, no place else to be. Just be”. Remain here for as long as you can be steady & comfortable.
Namaste, see you next year!