Yoga Reflections and more. 

Tina Lear, E-RYT200, RYT500

YOGA REFLECTIONS:
Day of the Dead Regrets

Years ago, doing yoga every day sounded like an unhealthy obsession to me. It was for crazy people. I hadn’t yet experienced the emotional balance, the spiritual grounding or the simple joy of getting on my mat every day. But when I tried it–when I got on my mat once a day, every day, and started feeling the effects–I never looked back.
Till I was in my 20s, my experience of cemeteries had always been tightlipped and somber. All the unwound knots remained tangled in my belly, and if you spoke, you spoke in whispers.
So imagine my happy disorientation when friends brought me to my first Italian cemetery on November 1st, 1975, All Saints Day. When I walked through the gates of their Camaiore cemetery, my jaw literally dropped. It was a celebration! A wild, exuberant, joyful riot of flowers and family full of love and respect for their dead.
For the past two and a half decades, yoga has deepened me in countless ways. One of those ways is that am less held hostage by my regrets and more present for my Now. This has brought me much peace, to the extent that I can actually do it. So as I think back on the Italian cemetery, it dawned on me: why not celebrate the Day of the Dead not only for those who have passed, but for my past itself, especially past regrets. A Day of the Dead Regrets.
 red-flower
Think about it. We spend so much time wringing our hands over mistakes we made, or yearning for our former strengths. One valid response is, “Be here now.” Yeah, nice bumper sticker. But so much harder to actually do.
Here’s an idea: What if we could buy a gorgeous bouquet and offer it to the gravesite of our past? What if we laid lilies of gratitude, respect, honor and love on the graves of everything we messed up? Everything we did right, but can’t do anymore? What if we bowed with reverence to everything without exception in our past…and acknowledged the ways in which all those things pointed us more clearly toward home? Honoring our big mistakes and faded triumphs like we honor our dead.
Today, I turn November 1 into the Day of the Dead Regrets. I honor my living beings who have passed, and with them, my past strengths and failures as well. I invoke that Italian cemetery, brimming with beauty, joy and community, and love every single thing that I’ve been through. I bow, and leave my flowers there…
Happy Day of the Dead Regrets.
Tina Lear teaches at YPC in Om Studio on Mondays (7:30pm), Wednesdays (7:15pm) and Thursdays (7:00pm). She also writes a blog (www.tinalearyoga.com/blog) and can be reached at 516-331-2332 or [email protected]


Anu1

Anu Butani, Ayurvedic Practitioner, E-RYT500; Ayurvedic Practitioner, Reiki Level 2

AYURVEDA ABHYANGA (OIL MASSAGE)

The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries or strenuous work.  By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”
Charaka Samhita Vol. 1. V: 88-89
(One of the great Ancient texts of Ayurveda)
It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love.  Like the experience of being loved.  Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth. There is no expression of self-love than lovingly anointing ourselves from head to toe with warm oil…this practice is called Abhyanga. A daily Abhyanga practice restores the balance of the Doshas and enhances well-being and longevity.   Regular Abhyanga is specially grounding and relaxing for Vata Dosha imbalances, but everyone else can also benefit from it.
 oilmassage
BENEFITS OF ABHYANGA:
  1. Lubricates the joints
  2. Calms the nerves
  3. Benefits sleep-better, deeper sleep
  4. Enhances vision
  5. Makes hair (scalp) grow luxuriantly, thick and soft
  6. Softens and smoothens skin, wrinkles are reduced & disappear
  7. Stimulates the internal organs of the body
  8. Imparts a firmness to the limbs
  9. Nourishes the entire body-decreases the effects of aging
  10. Increases circulation
  11. Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification
  12. Assists in elimination of impurities from the body
  13. Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha Doshas
ABHYANGA ROUTINE AND OILS
Massage the body with care and patience for 15-20 minutes daily:
Vata Dosha:  4-5 times a week using sesame, almond or Vata balancing oil.
Pitta Dosha:  3-4 times a week using coconut, sunflower or a Pitta balancing oil.
Kapha Dosha: 2-3 times a week using Safflower or Kapha-balancing oil
STEPS TO FOLLOW FOR SELF-MASSAGE:
  • Warm the oil (1/4 cup) Test the temperature by putting a drop on your inner wrist.
  • Sit or stand in a warm room.  Be comfortable
  • Apply oil first to the crown of your head and work slowly out from there in circular strokes.
  • Face: Massage in circular motion on the forehead, temples, jaws, cheeks.  Massage your ears and the ear-lobes.
  • On your limbs use long strokes and circular on the joints (elbows and knees).
  • Massage towards the direction of the heart.
  • Then massage the abdomen and chest in clockwise circular motion.
  • Massage the legs from the hips down to the ankles, and knees in circular motion
  • Massage your feet by spending some time on them.  Feet are a very important part of the body with the nerve ending of essential organs and vital marma points.
  • Sit with the oil for 5-15 minutes if you can so that it can be absorbed.
  • Then shower in warm water.  Mild soap to be used and do not rub vigorously.
  • Towel dry gently.
Feel nourished and invigorated all day in the body, mind and spirit!
Disclaimer: This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not to be considered medical advice. Always first seek the consultation of your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen
Anu Butani
E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Reiki Level 2 Practitioner
Visit her website, or Contact Anu at [email protected], or 516-521-1779