Hello My Friends,
What a beauty of a week Mother Nature has graced us with. After the storms, the cold snap, the collapse of a major highway artery into and out of your city, and the relative space of Spring breakers being somewhere else, we needed this like nobody’s business. We needed these warm days, cool nights, and the abundant Full Moon energy to pause and reflect. It seems to be all part of a Divine Dance, a cleansing, maybe a bit of chaos before the calm so to speak.
I feel like it’s always this way in the days prior to Easter week. Maybe it’s because if you observe the Forty Days of Lent, you are about to lose it with the Good behavior “give up something” thing. It’s so like the New Year’s resolution that goes out the window after a few weeks… we can only change so much, aren’t we already as good as we can be!! We are yogis after all!!
So I wanted to unite in my somewhat overactive mind the energies of Passover, Easter and Yoga. Without going into a long dissertation in comparative religion, although great fun and somewhat scholarly, I came up with the following.
Easter represents salvation, love, and triumph through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was a Jew and celebrated Passover Seder, some Biblical experts claim that the Last Supper was indeed a Passover meal. Passover and Easter symbolize liberation from slavery and sin with a promise of redemption. It is a Spring time of liberation in both Jewish and Christian faiths. It is a cleansing , clearing energy that carries the spirit of the season, full of hope, faith, and renewal.
The practice of Yoga can be a wonderful way to unify and celebrate these time-honored traditions revolving around both Passover and Easter. Both Asana and Pranayama are great ways to experience these expanding energies and emerge in a new space physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Here are a few ways to enjoy a Yoga Easter Passover Practice.
If it’s warm, take your practice outside. Spring here is a treat, get it while you can! Enjoy the beauty all around, give thanks, and inhale slowly and completely, exhale the same…emerge. Feel and see the miracle called Earth. This is your home, cherish it.
Start in child’s pose, it’s sort of egg shaped, right? The egg is a symbol full of tradition. The Christians decorated Easter eggs to represent the confines of Christ’s tomb. The egg is also a symbol of new life, a new energy rising out of the dark into the new. What part of you do you want to crack open or resurrect?
The Divine dance of Yoga allows us to root deeply into our inner being – to gain strength and rise up, to emerge from the Dark to the Light. Using our steady muscular energy we stretch upward yet stay rooted, grounded, calm.
After child’s pose, try 3 round of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations. These are warming and centering. Be sensitive to your breath, not pushing it but letting it lead you as you move into and out of these positions.
Add in a few standing poses for strength and stability like the Warrior poses or triangle. Use prayer hands as often as you can. Create a sense of Sacred reverence in all your offerings. Use twists as a great way to get rid of old energy and arise refreshed and renewed.
I also love the actions and forms of backbends to keep deep roots in the legs and feet yet open the space around the heart. Sprinkle in hip openers to release old tension patterns and feel a Spring in your step.
Finally, stand in Mountain pose, clasp your hands behind your back and fold forward. Allow in some space, light, and breath. Feel any sadness, uncertainty, tightness move away…cracking the shell…let it dissolve into tiny pieces.
Lastly, take a long rest-filled Savasana. Allow yourself time to feel what you feel, go through it, not around it. This is the essence of these lovely celebrations with family and friends. We go through pain sometimes, we suffer, we try, we fail, we try again, we grow… we evolve We emerge with hope, ready to move out into the World.
May we do this with as much love as possible.
Okay, gotta find my Easter basket…if you put one out it will get filled!! With warmest of Heart always,