I was going to change the photo for March with some shots of flowers just blooming but keeping the current weather in mind, snow is still apropros.
I am still digging the Becoming Wise CDs and now am on my second round of listening to them. Krista Tippett's interview with Rachel Naomi Remen shares a story about the creation of the universe. I tried to find the story online but could not locate it. She refers to it as Tikkun Olam, Jewish teachings. Here is my best retelling of this incredible story.
We are all light bearers.
In the beginning, there was only holy darkness, the source of life, and then in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand thousand things emerged from the heart of holy darkness as a great ray of light. There was an accident, as there usually is in Jewish stories, and the vessels that contained the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world scattered into thousands and thousands fragments of light and they fell into all events and all people where they remained deeply hidden until this very day. The whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden way to lift the light up and make it visible again, and thereby, to restore the innate wholeness of the world.
The restoration of the world. A Collective task. It involves all people born, all present living and those to be born. It is not about healing the world, by making a huge difference, but by healing the world that touches you.
Props: block, blanket
Benefits: increases tolerance for lying on your back, helps align the curves of the back, relieves compression of the vertebral bodies, re-hydrates the discs between vertebrae, helps the back to relax.
Lie on your back, hips and knees bent, legs hip distance apart, feet flat on the floor (*Foot Triangle), with toes pointed straight ahead. Arms at your sides (10-12") away from the body, palms up. Lie in this position 5-15 minutes. May use a block between knees to keep legs apart.
Props: bolster, 2-4 blocks, 4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow
Extras: blanket for warmth
Benefits: Allows breath to come in to the rib cage and belly more freely. Detoxifying. Can reduce high blood pressure. Relieves fatigue and insomnia. Safe for a Prenatal twist.
This can be a very prop intensive pose but once you are in it, it is worth it. Begin with right side of body, place the bottom of your right foot against the wall with leg extended. Left leg is bent at a 90 deg. angle and propped up with two blocks and a bolster with maybe a blanket on top. at least two blankets, S-fold blankets, and/or pillows placed along spine for support, lengthwise. Extend your left arm out to the left side and lay it on a smaller stack of blankets either s-fold or triple-fold out to your side. Right arm extends out to the right. This means the left arm is at a higher elevation than right. Head can remain neutral to ceiling or turn to one side. Extra blankets can be placed in spaces that need more support. Neck roll for cervical spine and eye pillow.
Legs up the Wall
*we are digging placing the arms in Goddess pose (not pictured) so try that one out as well. Place blanket support under arms.
Props: 1-2 blankets, strap, eye pillow, blanket for warmth, neck roll, a bolster for behind legs
Benefits: increases circulation and helps venous and lymphatic flow from the lower body; relieves swelling and fatigue in the legs; helps relieve muscular skeletal stress in pelvis; quiets the mind and can help promote ease in meditation and sleep.
Begin with using a double-folded blanket to be placed right above sacrum (see photo), setting it approx. distance 6-8" from wall (adjust in pose). Sit down on the blanket with one hip pressed right up against the wall. As you lower down, swing your legs up the wall. Once in the pose, you can adjust distance to wall, angle of legs to all, blanket and placement of legs all for comfort. Hips and tailbone will be in space between wall and blanket. Arms rest by your side, palms face up or variation with Goddess arms (photo above).
Variations: To ground legs, blanket or sandbag to hang from soles of the feet. Strap can be placed around calves, so you lose the feeling of holding up legs. Tight hamstrings or really uncomfortable with legs directly up the wall? Try a bolster angled into the wall to rest legs on, add blankets for more support or move hips further from wall. Another variation is Legs up on a Chair or on a bolster with blankets on top to bring knees into a 90 degree angle.