"Where I come from we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm, and when we get out of rhythm, that’s when we get into trouble." -Babatunde Olatunji
Rhythm. It's been on my mind lately.
If I were to sum up much of what I see in the office, it's patients living out of biological flow. Mostly, that looks a whole lot like pushing even though the body is asking for stillness and calm.
I get it. The draw is always there. We are a society of "go, go, go!"
And yet. We've just passed the autumnal equinox and are officially heading into the shortest days of the year. Traditionally, this was the time to sllloooowwww down. Crops were in, storage was full, foul weather limited travel...but here we are, heading into the busiest time of the year, with seemingly more and more to do during these shorter days. No wonder people dread the dark.
What would happen if, instead, we embraced the underlying lull of it all? The Danish have a word for this - hygge - and the translation to English is challenging, in part because the very notion is foreign to so many of us. Coziness, togetherness, nourishment, and deep rest - these are all good and worthy pursuits, despite cultural pressures otherwise.
Want to learn more about syncing your rhythms? I have two workshops coming up to help you make your way through this season with more ease.
- Yoga for Seasonal Affective Disorder. October 15, 2:30-4:30PM
- Yoga for a Healthy Immune System. November 12, 2:30-4:30pm.
Both workshops will take place at Three Trees Yoga, in Federal Way. On a personal note, this upcoming weekend I'll be beginning a 2 year journey with this studio, to attain my advanced 500 hour yoga instruction certification. Three Trees holds a deep place in my heart - I did my 200 hour certification with them - and I am thrilled to be returning into this nourishing and supportive community.
All of this is well and good, I can hear you saying, but what does this actually look like?! How does one create stillness in a crazy, chaotic world?
Develop a habit. (You knew I would say that.) Here's one for you to try - easy, attainable, and so restorative. I do this twice daily, especially this time of year, a lovely bookend to my day.
Start simple, with your feet. Buy some (organic, if possible) sesame oil - plain sesame oil, not toasted sesame oil. The smell of plain sesame oil will dissipate - toasted sesame oil will leave you smelling like a stir fry for days. Warm some oil by gently rubbing it between your hands and apply a small amount to your feet. Get in there. Take just a minute or two per foot, with appreciation and gratitude, for the feet carry so much of the load. Try abhyanga first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, but do try it. Think of it as step one towards turning the heaviness of the dark into groundedness and equanimity. (Plus, come spring your feet will look great for sandals!)
All the best and happy oiling!
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