I love celebrating July 4. I have gathered with my friend Lisa and her family at a party at their home for at least the past 40 years. Along the way I got married (ok there were some other boyfriends that may have attended the party before Pete), bringing my husband and later my children along. The families have become close, and the children have friendships amongst themselves apart from my friend and me! I love fireworks, being with family and friends, the warmth of summer and the delicious food that an outdoor gathering brings! That said, the holiday also invokes in me a sense of conflict. While I appreciate the freedom and opportunity that I have experienced in my life, I also reflect on the citizens of our country who are marginalized or have not experienced the opportunities that I have. The challenge to become independent if one is raised without access to adequate housing, nutritious food, and education is great. The challenge to being independent is harder if one experiences hatred for their beliefs or racism. So, I ask that as we come together in our community this week, we invoke in our practice what should be the true spirit of the holiday, celebrating the Independence Day of our great country while meditating on how we can do our small part to help bring full independence to all of our fellow Americans. Happy Fourth!
Our Practice - What Poses Make You Feel Free?
This week our country celebrates freedom and independence. What is our yoga practice if it does not help us feel strong and independent? As we move through our practice, we focus inward on our breath and movement; and while we often practice as a community, our practice is an independent expression of self. As we move through our practice, feeling strong, calm or joyful, yoga can help us develop a strong sense of freedom (from stress, pain, tension or just the thoughts of the day). As we practice fully in the present, feelings of freedom and independence are likely to develop. There are times when a practice just lights us up, calls to us, feeds us; the joy from that practice is not unlike fireworks! So, I challenge you, what poses bring you those feelings of freedom and independence? I would love to hear from you! This has changed for me since my surgery, while two years ago I was focused on crow and dancer pose, this summer I am feeling strong and independent when I can balance in tree pose or Warrior 3. I encourage you to find a few poses that embody this for you and practice those in celebration of the fourth!
(Tree Pose, Beatles Ashram, Rishikesh India)
Meditation on Independence and Freedom
Let’s meditate with gratitude on the freedom and independence that we have and how we help that be a reality for all of our fellow Americans.
“Freedom is knowledge, peace, and bliss. Consciously or unconsciously, wittingly, or unwittingly, all are attempting for this freedom. In every heart, there is desire for freedom, this all-consuming passion for liberty.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nurturing Through Food – Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
I cannot help but repeat this recipe for a summer staple at our house this holiday weekend!
During the summer of 1998 my husband and I lived in my old duplex while we were renovating what has now become our home, Rockbriar Farm. Every weekend we worked at the Charlestown house and then dragged ourselves back to Wood River Junction, ravenous and on a strict “no going out” budget. We had a tiny hibachi grill on our deck and based on what we had on hand, Peter came up with these sandwiches. Whether I was just so hungry from all the work, I can still remember eating these for the first time and thinking they were one of the most delicious things I had ever eaten. He has tweaked the recipe over the past 25 years, still one of my favorites.
See you on the mat