Wow, when I was in second grade as the new kid at South Road Elementary (stuck with the old box of crayons by the way), never could I have imagined that some 50 plus years later I would be with the same friends celebrating the marriage of one of our children. I am thinking about that. A lot. At the wedding, I turned to my friend Debbie during the evening and said, “when did we turn into the old people at the wedding?”. In reply she said (as the DJ played Thriller), “I wonder if they know they weren’t even born when this song was big?” 😊
The friends that we played kickball and ate paste together grew into the ones that road in cars with boys and drank Ripple together and stretched the phone cords into our rooms so that we could chat in private. Years later we called or wrote letters (yes on paper) to each other in college, were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings (yes, we were the young ones at those), celebrated births and and also mourned the passing of loved ones. Now we watch the next generation of children grow into adults and the cycle continues. Meanwhile, we can still get together, play those 70’s and 80’s songs and dance and sing, WE know all of the words!
So, this week, let’s continue the spirit of cultivating and nurturing friendships with special reflection on those long term ones and celebrate the importance of those relationships!
Our Practice – Rocking Boat (Navasana)
When I reflect on these relationships it is often with a serious tone, talking about being there for each other during the darker times. When I am with my oldest friends, however, we often become silly. Today I was thinking about the times that make me smile, the times that we channel our much younger selves and let our inhibitions down.
What yoga poses invoke silliness or laughter? While I know some of my students will think I look for reasons to do more navasana (boats), I really think this is fun!
Start in Boat pose, bringing your legs apart so that you can reach the outside of your shins, ankles or grab the big toes with your peace fingers.
Rock back and balance on your sit bones, sitting tall and straightening your spine. Legs can be bent.
Inhaling in to stay upright and then on an exhale, draw your belly in, round your spine and rock back to your shoulder blades. Inhale, rock back up to seated. Try to put on the (core) brakes and balance.
Try several rounds, maybe doing this with a friend, it will certainly make you laugh as you rock and roll together (maybe play a little 70’s rock while you are at it)!
I found an article in Yoga International that gave me some inspiration on several poses to invoke laughter and silliness, see below.
Meditation – Celebrating the Silliness in Friendships
As we move our practice off the mat, it is important to carry it with us throughout the day. One way to do this is to invoke laughter and silliness, maintaining a sense of humor!!!
It seems that even Charles Dickens understood the aspect of silliness and friendship when he said,
“Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.” –
Staying with the literary inspiration, Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
And finally, one I know I have used before but just love by Groucho Marx,
“When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, damn, that was fun.”
Nurturing with Food – Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Most of my friends like dessert better than I do, I do not have much of a sweet tooth. My friend Dot loves pie. She has brought me around to the joys of a well-made fruit pie and over the years I think I have perfected the perfect crust with significant inspiration from her and from my grandmother who also made great pie.
Below is a recipe that I have shared before for strawberry rhubarb pie, however, the combinations of other fruits (raspberry, peach, blueberry) in roughly the same quantity can be used, just adjust the sugar for the fruit’s sweetness and your taste.
See you on the mat!