Tuesday Cat Stretch

Photo by Sarah DufresneRise and shine Tuesday morning!…..I find myself throwing on my sweatshirt and long socks, there is a chill across the hardwood floors.  Fall is slowly covering New England with cool mornings and brisk evenings.  I long for the humidity on this day.  I long to be held in each moment by the sunlight, humidity and thick air. This morning there is quiet in the house.  The dogs are asleep, nestled in their blankets and pillows, as the sunlight struggles to peek through the clouds outside.  As I stroll through the house preparing my morning tea I remain quiet, I enjoy the silence.  I grab my tea-cup and head outside as the puppies awaken.  I find my seat at the top of the stairs to my porch and watch the steam swirl off my tea-cup.  A pup hops up onto my lap as to perch herself overlooking the backyard and what little sunshine there is.  One of my favorite things to do for self-care is to sit or stand, and feel the sunlight on my face, and I find it all too funny that as my pup jumps onto my lap does she close her eyes and lift her head to the sky.  Self-care puppy style….oh life, so adorable.

Today’s cat stretch looks pretty simple.  Slivers of sunlight, swirling steam off the tea-cup and a pup on my lap.  I close my eyes and take in a deep breath.  I settle my shoulders, soften the rest of my body and listen to the sounds that surround me.  Breeze, birds, the jingle of my puppies collars,the world all a buzz around me and here I sit, quiet, still and at peace.  I struggle to find a comfortable seat in meditation.  I am often distracted, preoccupied and RESISTING meditation in its traditional form.  I know from experience that my meditation does not need to look a certain way.  I do not need to be still, silent, sitting tall with strong determination.  I know there is balance, seasons, change and other ways in which my meditation can be for me to feel its benefits.  Today there is acceptance.  I am not on a meditation cushion or blanket, my legs are not crossed nor am I alone or still…..this is all okay.  I can find the peace, the stillness in the movement, the recognition that the world is moving around me, all the while I close my eyes and soften…..and relax deeper into the awareness of the present moment.  When I relax, soften, surrender, only then am I able to accept the present moment, feel it fully in whatever way it looks like, release it and let it go.

Above is a picture a dear friend took of me meditating in the chasms near my home.  It was a brilliant spring day and the woods were all aflutter with children, hikers and nature.  I found this small pond to sit by and a few moments of quiet. The mantra above me is Om Namah Shivaya Guarave, which translates into ‘I offer myself to the Light, the Auspicious or Divine one, who is the true teacher within and without.’  Before I became a Kripalu yoga teacher I gravitated towards Anusara Yoga, a yoga about alignment, flow and action as well as attitude, a specific intention behind the asana.  At the beginning of each class we sang an invocation and this is the opening of that invocation.  Singing, chanting, reading and even writing this mantra enables me to feel connected to the energy in my body and surrounding me.  I carry it with me wherever I go.

As I move forward into this day whether I sit for a few seconds or my pup allows me to remain here for a few minutes, I know that I will carry this peace with me.  I know that at any time during my day I can close my eyes and return to this experience, softening and peace whenever I need to.  I treasure moments like these that I can reflect on and listen to the wisdom that is stored in my body and my experiences.

I offer myself to the Light, the Auspicious One,

Who is the True Teacher within and without

enjoy this day

~screaming gratitude

Anusara Invocation Video



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