Happy Easter, Passover and Ramadan, or as my Dad, a lapsed Catholic and Jew at birth and heritage would say, “Happy Day of the God of Nature”. He was not religious in the sense of organized religion later in life, but very spiritual.
I was lacking in inspiration thinking about the blog, until I heard a story on NPR about how all the aforementioned major holidays are arriving at the same time this year and it made me think, yet again, about the power of consensus, finding common ground, rather than focusing on the differences. Especially now, with all that is happening in the world, especially in the Ukraine.
Many of you know my husband is Jewish, my Dad was Jewish (and later Catholic), my Mom is Catholic, my sons are Catholic. When my husband and I got engaged, people asked, how are you going to navigate the whole religion thing? I told them that we did not consider it a big deal at all, both of us feel strongly about our faiths, and we agree on pretty much everything “except the Jesus thing”. I would go on to explain that both Judaism and Catholicism (and other religions) would teach my children “to be good boys”. That may sound glib, but truly, all organized religion focuses very much on being a kind and selfless person, and living your life as (Jesus, Mohammed, Elohim, Jehovah) would. Yes, we can debate the whole savior topic and all the differences and why one religion is the “right” one. I do not believe that.
What I believe, however, is if the world could come together, engage in productive discourse, celebrating commonality and respecting differences, it would be a good start. So, instead of waiting for our world leaders to do this, let’s step our on this special day and recognize we are all celebrating, in one way or another our efforts at “being good boys”.
For more on this topic, here is the link to the NPR piece and a powerful poem by Sister Margaret Guider of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
Our Practice – Spring Has Sprung – Child’s Pose – Balasana
Lots of times yoga teachers talk about twisting poses in relation to spring. My blog from March, 21 of 2021 talks about this and the whole idea of twisting out the winter, detoxing and rebirth. In that blog, I also talk about spring as a time for planting. Staying with the idea of spring and planting, I suggest we focus on balasana, child’s pose.
I was reading an article on the Chopra website that suggests as we come into this pose, we can imagine ourselves as a small seed. Author, Louise L. Hay, suggests that the “soil you plant in is your subconscious mind. The seed is the new affirmation. The whole new experience is in this tiny seed. You water it with affirmations. You let the sunshine of positive thoughts beam on it. You weed the garden by pulling out negative thoughts that come up…. Then you watch it grow and become your desire in manifestation.”
For more on yoga poses that invoke spring, here is the link to that article.
For a reminder on child’s pose, balasana, and some reflections on it, here is the link to the January blog that also featured child’s pose.
Meditation – Spring – Planting and….Daffodils
There are daffodils everywhere it seems this year, or maybe I was more ready to notice them after a long, cold winter. Instead of a traditional yogic reading, I am enjoying remembering William Wordsworth poem, Daffodils. My Dad, an English professor, would likely appreciate the intersection, for me, of yoga and literature.
by William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced, but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not be but gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed'and gazed'but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
Nurturing with Food – Rustic Fruit Tart
I have been making this fruit tart for many years, slight tweaks, and variations over time, but the basic premise remains. Use whatever berries or stone fruits you have on hand. I use a stand mixer but not necessary, the crust can also be made the traditional way. Really delicious, easy to make, and looks beautiful. The recipe is adapted from several including one in Country Living magazine and one on food.com. Serve with some (non dairy) ice cream!
See you on the mat!