Happy Lunar New Year! Today, February 5, marks the first day of Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year. Accordingly, we welcome the year of the pig, as the year of the dog finishes.
I’m excited about this new cycle, beginning with yesterday’s new moon. It is a fantastic moment to reevaluate projects that got shuffled away in the thrill of the Solar New Year, or to let go (Marie Kondo style) of projects and plans that no longer spark joy.
In the lineage of Ashtanga yoga, those who practice asana (yoga postures; the third limb of the eight limbs of yoga), take rest on each new moon and full moon. For those of us who practice Vinyasa, on these moon centered days, it remains important to tune deeply into our internal teacher, to listen proactively to our bodies, and to take extra care to attend to our instincts. In other words, on moon days we pay more attention than usual to inward reflection, and we move with care. WIthout getting too “woo” about it, I think about the moon’s power to orchestrate the ocean tides. Then, I consider that the adult human is up to 60% water. How much smaller we are than the oceans. And yet, if the moon moves the tide, it must move us too.
I hope your February is sparkling with joy already!
In the days that mark the end of a year and the beginning of a new one, I find myself taking stock of the last twelve months, letting go of what hasn’t served me, and envisioning better futures. I began 2018 in Red Yoga’s Teacher Training, as the studio was shifting locations, with 15 fierce students who would become kin. Without a home studio, I learned quickly how it felt to walk into yoga studios as an outsider and as a beginner.
When our new space opened, I was excited to begin teaching and holding space for Community Accountable Yoga on Saturday nights-- a free class open to all. And, in the last three months of 2018, parts of my past travelled to Ann Arbor to stalk, trouble, and haunt me, causing me to retreat from teaching and seek safe harbor away from my home. The last three months have been more difficult than I would wish on those who have harmed me. I have used all of my tools to make it to the end of the year. Lots of yoga, breathing, therapy.
As 2018 closes, I am surrounded by loved ones away from home on purpose, and ready to return to teaching. I’ll be writing monthly for Red; something like this with a little preamble and some guiding questions to follow. Happy 2019!
I’m beginning 2019 changed. It is common to be changed. Change is the only constant.
We say this over and over. Let it be. Trust the moment. Breathe. Begin again.
Here are the questions I am asking myself in the new year, if you’d like to do something similar: