On my jog this morning, the road ahead was dark and narrow until I turned the corner. Suddenly, the landscape became light and the horizon expansive. In a matter of seconds the images (and emotions that embodied them), came into balance. The path that seemed sunless and restrictive suddenly appeared energetic and open much like the transition from the winter season to spring. With this experience, I thought: ahh!, the equinox.
Not only does February mark the celebration of Valentine’s Day, it also commences the Chinese New Year. In Chinese astrology, this year is the year of the Fire Monkey. According to Narrye Caldwell, a Doctor of Chinese medicine and Chinese astrologer, “Fire brings forth the rose, lays the paint on the canvas, and gives voice to the song that’s been forming in the depths of your heart.” In yoga, Hanuman, who is the monkey hero, brings forth the rose and gives voice to the song of your heart. He is the quintessential Valentine and bhakti yogi.
Our one day of devotional love is fast approaching. On Valentine’s Day, people will show their love and affection for others with cards, chocolates, flowers and gifts from the heart. “On Valentine’s Day, we pay special attention to those important to us, acting in some way to show our loving dedication,” says Molly Davidson, Purple Yoga instructor. “In the Bhakti Yoga tradition, every day is Valentine’s Day.”
If you enjoy indoor cycling, Purple Pedal is the studio for your spin workout. Purple Pedal provides a fun, healthy environment with innovative equipment, amenities and design to support your indoor cycling practice and encourage a strong cycling community.
After completing Purple Yoga’s teacher training, Pedal’s Danny Strain decided, with a little encouragement from Joe Vogt, owner of Purple, to get certified as an indoor cycling instructor, too. He teaches indoor cycling and yoga for Purple and has earned the honor of Teacher of the Month.
The fall and winter seasons are busy. Although the fall symbolizes the season of gratitude, in which we acknowledge our blessings and joys, and winter symbolizes the season of inward contemplation, in which we quiet the mind and soul, we often lose connection with our appreciations and inner-directed thoughts in the traffic of holiday festivities. Parties are great. Joining with family and friends is even better. However, it is always a great idea to retreat: to take a break from the hustle of everyday life—holiday season, or otherwise, action packed and eventful.
On the mat, yogis easily practice gratitude. The traditional Namaste at the end of class thanks the teacher and even the practitioner by honoring the “yogi” in everyone. Gratitude off the mat sometimes presents a difficult challenge because life happens—disagreements with others, stress at work, and responsibilities to relationships and family are some of the challenges. The trouble is that when life challenges arise, it is harder to practice gratitude.
Pema Chodron states that one way to Live Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Chaos is to ask: “How can I be of service?” (72). This is Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the path of selfless service. It involves supporting and giving back to others without regard of attachment or personal gain.
On Saturday, October 24th from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Long Beach Museum of Art, Purple Yoga will host Hatha for Hunger Halloween Gala. The event supports No Kid Hungry, an organization that prioritizes ending child hunger in America.
1 in 5 U.S. kids don’t get the nutritious food they need, which takes a toll on their health and development. Poor health and development threaten the child’s, but also the nation’s future in profound ways.
Put on your selfless service costume and join the fun. Alex, Sean and special guest instructor Scott Winslow will teach an Outdoor Sunset Flow overlooking the ocean. Kim, Ace and special guest instructor Sandra Winslow will teach an Indoor Chill Flow with the intention of bringing relaxation and tranquility.
Karma Yoga and selfless service include making friends with your Self. There will also be music, free food, vegetable crudité, coffee, tea and water, and an open bar with tequila tasting. So enjoy the spirits. Spirits unite the soul and the divine, and are fated to achieve liberation.
For more information about Hatha for Hunger Halloween Gala, visit the events link: http://purpleyoga.org/workshopsretreats.
Direct donations to No Kid Hungry can be made at: www.nokidhungry.org/donate
The autumn equinox celebrates the final sun cycle of the year. It marks a time of change (not only in focus, but also in direction). From the autumn equinox, literally, the nights start to grow longer and the days shorten. Symbolically, as the hours of daylight change, our awareness moves slowly inward.
Each time I visit India, I'm like a fish in water. Why do I perk up, feel lighter, better in my body, and smile more? The past few weeks, I've realized why: in the parts of India I visit, the culture is fundamentally more satisfying than what I experience in the West. In Western culture, we often fail to see ourselves as souls, much less other people, or animals, rivers or mountains. With this mentality, we are able to exploit. But, as we practice yoga or sit in meditation, a new perspective comes. We learn to still the mind, and subsequently something mysterious comes into focus- a profound consciousness and capability for love that simply can’t be only complex brain functioning. We realize we are a soul. From this, we deduce that others are also souls.