Rockbriar Farm is hosting a bridal shower this weekend for one of my besties and fellow yogis, Paula's daughter, Taylor.
Some of you may recall the picture of us paddle boarding in Florida and trying out our practice!
As I was walking around the property, inspecting for weeds and misplaced garden tools, I was struck by how far we have come since buying the property, condemned, and foreclosed upon, back in 1997. My Dad said, “run away” and my husband, Peter, said “honey, can’t we buy a house we can live in?”. They indulged my wish and very quickly embraced the project. My Dad, now passed, constructed the shoot that we used to remove the demolition from the upper floors and my family and many of my friends pitched in on demolition and clearing brush. Peter will tell the story about the day I decided that he should hammer the concrete off a beautiful foundation stone carved with the date of 1863 on it – a sunny August 100 degree day! Twenty-five years later there are still projects, but our grounds and home have become the tranquil oasis that we once envisioned. 🌹💮🌼🌻
As I thought about this history, I realized that I really need to heed my own advice, appreciate the moment, enjoy the present, instead of focusing on the next “project”. I need to focus on the beauty that we, along with nature, have created, instead of zeroing in on that peeling windowsill or lone weed in the flower bed. 🌿🌿
If you were ever curious about the name Rockbriar Farm, it was coined during the early months of the project. Each time we would attempt to dig a hole to plant we would hit a rock (later used for a third side to a stone wall) or be scratched by the thickets of wild roses and bull briars. The photo above, which i use as our logo, demonstrates what I am talking about!
Stop where you are this week, smell the roses versus cursing their thorns; Thank your friends and family for supporting your dreams rather than nagging them to clean off the work bench and appreciate the moment. I will join you in trying!
Our Practice – Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
As we focus on living in the moment this week, I revisit tadasana, mountain pose. Seemingly simple and yet so complex! I love that the posture helps promote stillness, strength, relaxed power and stability that we associate with mountains. According to Alanna Kaivalya, author of Myths of the Asanas who explains the inseparable relationship between mountains and rivers, both represented by the Indian god Himavat, who represents the Himalayas and is also considered the father of Ganga Devi, the goddess of the Ganges, India’s most sacred river.
“When we stand in tadasana, the head, being nearest to heaven, is where we receive the blessings that flow through the rest of our body like a river,” she says. The even stance of Mountain Pose—the lengthened spine and steady base—sets the tone for practice.
This picture is one taken from my yoga teacher training. Mountain pose may seem simple, but it is far from it. I was talking to a fellow yoga teacher and consultant who I hope to work with, Michael Jay from @yogabizchamp and he mentioned that he can take a whole class to talk about neutral pelvis and tadasana. I was heartened as I often digress in class and talk about this for what may seem interminable to some of my students. One of my students, Sara, is known in our practice for her beautiful cueing of this pose!
1. Stand with the feel parallel, about hips width apart, or slightly less if it feels better.
2. Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly back down on the floor. Move your body side to side and back and forth finding your center. Slow your movement coming to a standstill with your weight evenly balanced.
3. Stand tall, ankles, knees, hips stacked. Spine is long, chin is not jutting forward, core is engaged. Allow your shoulder blades to draw toward each other and down the back, away from the ears.
4. Let your arms relax beside your torso, palms facing where they naturally fall.
5. Balance the crown of your head directly over the center of your neutral pelvis with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor. Breathe!
For a link to more on this pose, see the article below from the Yoga Sanctuary:
Meditation – On Living in the Moment
“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” - Thich Nhat Hanh.
For those of you who are not familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh, he was ordained as a monk in Vietnam at age 16.. He envisioned a kind of Buddhism that would respond directly to the needs of society. He was a teacher and social activist in his home country before finding himself exiled for calling for peace. In 2019 he was the first recipient of the Gandhi Mandela Peace Medal. He died this past January at the age of 95 but his legacy is wonderfully inspirational. For more on him, his work for peace and his teachings on mindfulness visit his website at:
Nurturing with Food – Nana’s Cucumber Salad
We are in midst of cucumber season here at Rockbriar Farm. This means tabouli, sliced cukes for snacks and this salad which I remember my grandmother making all summer. I know I posted it recently, but I cannot get enough of it this time of year. Take it to the beach!
See you on the mat!