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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Whatcha Reading?

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Whatcha Reading?

Have a book you want to recommend? Send us a review at breatheyogacenter@gmail.com

I almost always have at least 3 books in progress. This month’s reads are:

Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD

It’s funny how reading a book for the second time can you give you a whole new perspective. I first read this book over 10 years ago before I had doubled the the size of my family and pursued a full-time career. Re-reading it I now find even more comfort in her stories which share common everyday concerns and family situations. It still drives home to me that we really can find the spiritual in everyday life off the mat, no headstand required. Bottom line: well-written fast read about common everyday life with simple solutions to living yoga off the mat.

Present Moment Wonderful Moment – Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment” (#14 – Following the Breath)

This collection of gathas (short verses recited during daily activities to help us return to the present moment and dwell in mindfulness) stays close to me and its worn cover and tattered pages are like the comfort of a childhood blanket. Remaining in the moment is an ongoing challenge; and in times when I can’t seem to find it on my own, I know I can find a verse to bring me back to the present moment. And if the present moment is not a ‘wonderful’ moment?

What if it is one of difficulty or hardship? Thay tells us that the phrase ‘wonderful moment’ does not translate to a “don’t worry, be happy” Pollyanna Principle. Rather, Thay reminds us that suffering can be transformed, that happiness is possible, and it is possible right here and now.

Bottom Line: one of the best “living in the moment” references out there.

Goddesses Never Age by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Unlike many of you, I am not familiar with Dr. Northrup’s works. This was a gift from a dear friend and I must say I am enjoying it immensely. I am only halfway through it, but I can tell you I love her unabashed ongoing proclamation that it is OK to live your joy; and that in fact, the secret to being ageless is to embrace it fully. This is a book for women about ageless living, which is what we experience when we engage life without fear. Bottom Line: it has inspired me to embrace my Alpha Goddess and reminds me that the saying is true: age is just a number.

The Fifth Season

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In the natural world, Late Summer, or Indian Summer,  is a time of transformation. In the garden, it’s ripening season– that window of time where the fruits are developed but still changing internally and transforming toward readiness. The green tomatoes and rose hips are blushing toward red, the apples and pears look ready but still taste starchy or sour. Their sweetness is still in the process of developing.

Late Summer is also associated with the process of transformation in your body as well as in your garden.  It relates to your digestion– the process of converting the goodness from your food into bio-available nutrients that can nourish and strengthen the cells of your body. A healthy digestive system is a foundation that enables us to feel vital, balanced, and able to efficiently restore our energy level. The two organs associated with Late Summer are the main digestive organs in Chinese medicine– the spleen and stomach. Your spleen is the source for building your energy up. In addition to digestive issues and fatigue, spleen-depletion can also trigger excess worry and anxiety.  Of course we can improve our digestive health any time of the year  but Late Summer is prime season for digestive healing because it’s the time when that process is especially supported by the momentum of the natural world. Endeavoring to improve our digestive health during this season is like riding the tide versus paddling against the current.

Late summer is the season associated with Earth element. Although our calendar does not inlcude a fifth season, we intuitively understand that this is a time that is distinct from both summer and autumn. The light is shifting, our attention is moving towards the future.This is a season of harvest.

In our body, as in nature, the Earth element is concerned with generating, nurturing, abundance and the ripening of the life force. On a mental or emotional level, Earth is in charge of ‘digesting’ our thinking and thoughts, and thus governs learning, thinking and analysis.  The goal of this season is to return to our central core, nourish, generate, and continue to ripen our life force or Qi, as the body at this time is most attuned with Earth. Take time to take care of yourself, nurture yourself, and remember what is important for you to stay balanced and grounded to Earth. Nurture others as well, but without over-extending your energy as your balanced health is most important. To rebuild and promote Stomach and Spleen Qi, be conscious about easing the work of your stomach in digestion. Soups and stews are gentler on your stomach and focus on vegetables orange or yellow in color during this season.

Late summer is a time of transition between the ascending, active, expansive yang of spring and summer and the contracting, descending, receptive yin principles of autumn and winter.  It is a relaxed, tranquil and flourishing time.  It is the sharing of joy and laughter and the celebration of the harvest.  It is connection: to self, others and the earth.  It’s a time to harmonize body, mind and spirit.

In peace, love, joy, and light,
Susan and the BYC Tribe

source material: Five Seasons Healing, Six Fishes, and Brenda Kaser

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