Juicy Lazy Days of August

August Offerings from Karusia Nirmala
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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
~ Rumi

Greetings Dear Reader!

This month’s theme is about relaxing with what is, and how to not be afraid of fear.

Okay, hmmm...how do you fit those two ideas together?
When we see things as they truly are, we tap into the natural flow of the world. We can then stop struggling against this flow, which is a big relief! In this world view, there is no longer anything to fear because we understand that fear has a positive function in the natural order.

What got you thinking about this?
I spent last month immersed in sharing the healing arts of yoga. My students and my ongoing research always teach me so much! An article came my way; it was about the positive aspects of anxiety and fear. They are part of our inner guidance system and they serve as life-saving instincts. My mind expanded, and I saw that I had become prejudiced against these instincts; I had been painting them as undesirable, as something to be overcome rather than embraced. The concept of listening to the underlying message intrigued me.

How does one embrace fear and anxiety?
Our nervous systems are very kind. They are designed to rev up when actions are required, and to dial down when we need to rest or regroup. Life is a dance of both. We live in very stimulating times where the prevailing trend is to reward a go-go-go attitude, leaving so many of us feeling stressed and overwhelmed so much of the time. We seem to be fighting and resisting.

If we can wrap our heads around the fact that fear and anxiety are early warning signals that arise in order to help us, then we can appreciate their value and be grateful for them. They are friends rather than foes.

What if we were to slow down and examine the underlying message? The we could re-calibrate accordingly, and could take action steps to meet the challenges or to side-step them.

What about the negative effects of fear and anxiety? Don't they wear us down?
This is so true, especially in regards to long term chronic stress. It helps me to think of the wisdom of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: "not too much, not too little, just right". If we stay mired in fear and anxiety, we steal vitality from other systems in our bodies. Digestion, Immune response and fertility are impacted, to name a few. I think we need to learn to flow with the natural ups and downs of arousal and relaxation, and make sure we balance them with skill. It is very wise to schedule rest and integration into our lives. It is also wise to find healthy ways to discharge pent-up energy.

So, one way of letting go of fear is to change our head space about it?
Yes! In yoga, we have a name for this: pratipaksham bhavanam. It means looking at a situation from another point of view that frees and opens us. Knowing that these emotions have a positive role shifts our perception. I know it shifted mine! Focusing on the natural blessings of life rather than the difficulties helps us feel lighter.

Is there anything else we can do to help ourselves?
Yes, here are a few ideas to spark your own creative juices:
  1. Schedule fewer things for yourself. Don't overdo; say no more often.
  2. Eat well. Take advantage of the wonderful farmers' markets happening right now.
  3. Value sleep. Get more! Try naps.
  4. Feed your Joy Body. Spend time with people you love, and involve yourself with things you are passionate about.
  5. Spend time in Nature, with animals, with young children.
  6. Exercise, practise Yoga, play QiGong, meditate and/or pray.
  7. Volunteer. Helping others is a win-win arrangement.
  8. Smile more. Be gentle with yourself and with others.
And now, please plan a visit to that field beyond right and wrong. Why not pack a picnic? I'll see you there. ~ KN

art credit: Alice Mason
August Public Classes

All classes held in the Amenity Room at 21 Nassau St., unless otherwise indicated. Please enter through garden pathway west of main doors.

Hatha Yoga 5:30-6:45pm. By donation.
Women's QiGong  7-8:15pm. $15.
~ NOTE: August 7, Simcoe Day: there will be a Hatha Yoga class, but no QiGong ~

Yoga Nidra 7-8:15pm. $20.
Classes on August 3, 10, 17 & 24. No class August 31.

Sunday August 20, 2-4pm. Pranayama Party! See details below.

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I will be on a teaching break from Aug. 30 until Sept. 10. Fall classes resume Sept. 11.

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Private classes, Yoga Therapy & Tarot available by appointment. Summer Tarot Special: $50 for one hour, $25 for 1/2 hour during August!
Pranayama Party!
Sunday August 20 from 2-4pm. $40.
21 Nassau St.

Please join me for a light-hearted introduction and consolidation of the breathwork practices that make up the Four Purifications. My guru, Baba Hari Dass, created this flow to balance all the energies in our bodies in a safe and accessible way. Meditation follows naturally. I have been practising this system since 1998 and can wholeheartedly vouch for its elegance and wisdom.

The practices will be interspersed with simple and fun dance movement flows that complement each compnent. Handouts and light refreshments will be provided.

Registration required, RSVP to karusia@shaktiflow.com

Yoga Alliance CEU's available.

art credit: Freydoon Rassouli

Tarot: Princess of Swords

You are receiving some fresh, clear and incisive information, either from within or possibly through contact with someone with youthful energy in your circle. It is waking up your mental clarity. Contemplate and digest your new outlook, while staying in touch with your emotions, feelings and duties. You are involved in a balancing act! A light and gentle touch will nurture your equipoise.  

Card from Stella Tarot
Tarot communicates through a language of image, symbol, colour and feeling. It awakens our intuition and opens us up to new possibilities and potentials that lie just outside our usual patterns. Consider a reading if you would like a fresh outlook on any aspect of your life; the cards are very loving and direct in their guidance. Contact me if you are called to experience a reading in person, by Skype or by email.
Beaming Love and Light to you right now, Dear Reader!
May your Joy body be filled with summer softness.

Karusia Nirmala
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