Happy Winter Solstice ~ Holy Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice beckons us in closer to the hearth, closer to the family as well as closer to our most inner self.

The year has been spent, for better or worse, we have sowed and reaped. Now feels like a time of caring for our deepest selves, our soul selves. It is nice to put some portion of the day towards tending and nourishing the well from which we drink. Regardless of the weather, I always like to spend some time outside on this day. Nature is the ultimate cathedral in which to worship. Incidentally, the custom of bringing evergreens into the home comes from long ago when people wished to signify to the nature spirits that they were welcome, that safe shelter from the cold and dark outside could be found in a home so decorated. This tradition of welcoming the nature spirits and being in relationship with earth is in disrepair and we can see the impact of this all around us.

If you only manage one small ritual today, let it be a prayer for earth, a renewal of your connection with the wild and true home of all life.

As I am writing this morning, it is raining in buckets where I live – so, it appears that I won’t get to do one of my cherished solstice rituals which is to look for my shadow as the longest shadow you can cast is at noon on the winter solstice. Instead, I’ll connect with the shadow within, recognizing the dark as well as the light that we all hold.

When I meditate on the energy of winter solstice, I feel all the seeds snug in their earthen beds, deep below a shimmering blanket of fresh snow. Solstice at winter also feels like the pause at the bottom of the exhale, the ultimate exhale, really. Winter solstice is that moment –that precise moment before we begin to inhale, before the light begins to grow again. It is worth noting that some of the most profound healing in yoga happens in the pause between the breaths.

Today is the Winter Solstice. We are always blessed, each with Winter Solstice, with the Ursids – the meteor showers that begin in mid-December and run through the 26th. These showers are named for the radiant point which is located in the constellation Ursa Minor- the little bear.

The sky reminds us each year of the medicine of Bear, introspection and intuition blended with instinct. Bear medicine is about awakening the unconscious, like yoga. And, bear medicine is the power to restore harmony and balance – to heal. As we awaken and come to terms with the extent of Climate Change and so many living systems in disrepair and on the brink – remember the power we have to restore harmony and balance. It will take all of us, deeply committed to this aspect of our being, to begin and carry the great shift that is calling us.

And the moon is almost full. In Cancer, the sign of nurturing and home.

It’s magic y’all. Magic. There is no greater magic than being awake to the gift of Earth, her offerings, her beauty. Once you truly realize the magic of being on a small spinning blue and green ball, in a vast jeweled infinite sky – how can you not do everything in your power to protect this home, this life?

I am wishing you a happy Winter Solstice. I am wishing you a holy Winter Solstice. I am wishing you some time to tend your soul, tend your patch of Earth, your family, your community.

Awake to the magic and give thanks.

उपकारज्ञता : Upakārajñatā (grateful)

“Every human being needs loftiness, exaltedness, self-confidence, and appreciation to be grateful that we are alive at this moment and we are alive together. It's like stars in the sky on the same night. Some are big. Some are small. Some are shining. Some come late. Some come earlier. But in the brim of night, all are lit on the axle. On their orbit, they exist. That is the condition of every human.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Earth is just so gorgeous, so giving, so profoundly nourishing of the body, mind and senses in late autumn/ early winter.

The air is so fresh, prana is so abundant! With the cold as well as the shortening days and impending holidays, we are called inside – to both gather with friends and family as well as to look within and find some time for reflection.

Many traditional and medicinal cultures witness this time as a time to work on the lung meridian, the large intestine and to work with the energy of letting go.

We’ll be doing all of those things in the next few weeks in yoga as well as allowing the energy of gratitude to infuse all that we do, each breath, each action. Gratitude is a profound state of being – scientifically good for our body, mind & spirit.

My teacher once said that “an attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga”.

I think that you will love these next few weeks of yoga and find them to be a nourishing and uplifting antidote to the business of the season. I do hope you will join me.

Classes open to all are offered on Mondays at 10:00 am at Asheville Yoga Center, Thursdays at 7:00 pm at Asheville Yoga Center

11/19 Attitude of Gratitude

11/26, 29 Prana-full

12/3, 6 Abundance and the green energy Anahata

12/10, 13 And what of letting go?

12/17, 20 If you don’t go within, you go without

12/24, 27 The soul and the body

12/31,1/2, 3 New Again

1/7, 9, 10 Balancing the Sage & the Warrior

1/14, 16, 17 Winter love ~

Come or don’t come : no need to RSVP : there is always room for you, always space held with love. It is an honor & a privilege to experience the teachings together.

Always with so much love, Sierra

community sadhana

hello beautiful friends ~

the 5 day immersion starts this wednesday and i am so excited! we go deep, deep into this practice that we all love : kundalini

as part of our 5 day immersion, we have two sadhanas and these sadhanas are open to all, to the community.

you do not have to be part of the 5 day immersion to come and share in community sadhana with us and you can bring a friend.

on friday morning (3.9.18) we will be doing the aquarian sadhana, beginning at 5:00 am and finishing at 7:30 am

on saturday morning (3.10.18) we will be doing long ek ong kars, beginning at 5:00 am and finishing at 7:30 am

we would love to have you join us

if you feel called, please arrive to the teacher training studio behind the main asheville yoga center studio building. this is the same building that the boutique is located in. the address is 62 orange street, asheville, nc 28801

please arrive by 4:45 am and bring a head covering for yourself

this is a magical gift for your soul and your journey

there is no cost

i hope to see you

love, always love, sierra