Leo New Moon 2022
THE HEART OF SUMMER
I hope this finds you all doing well. I'm not sure about you but June seemed to come and go like quicksilver. Between summer camps, swimming, and studio renovations, and daily life, there seemed to be a need to constantly "go". However, there were also moments we were all able to sink into—the ones where there is a noticeable pause and appreciation for what is precisely in that moment.
In my classes with mamas and their littles, the topic of the paradox of parenting has come up more than once. The way we look at photos of our little ones a few months ago, thinking how small they seem, then when they wake up they look like they grew an inch. The days are long but the years are short, and it's a difficult concept to constantly hold that the moment we're living in now will become our memory in the future. I will look back on my 12 and 8-year-olds, thinking they seem small, innocent, and still so new.
It's hard to appreciate each moment as it passes. Perhaps part of this journey is accepting how time steadily moves us from one phase to another, that it is impossible to appreciate every single moment, but when we can be aware enough to notice a good one as it happens... allowing that to fill our whole being. Allowing it to permeate to the bones and cells of our bodies, with the intention of accessing it as a visceral memory in the future.
I'm lucky to spend time with people of all ages, in so many different phases of life, seeking to connect both inwardly and with others. I'm often weaving ideas between summer camps, yin yoga, teen yoga to crawlers & toddlers; from my perspective, they each inform the other.
In Yin Yoga classes, we are embarking on our journey through Summer. I am so grateful for this practice and its flow with the seasons. To attune to the ebb and flow of each through the study of meridians, fascia, energy, and spirit is a gift. In this season, we look to support the Heart and the Small Intestine. The Heart is the yin organ, working in tandem with the Small Intestine; but it is also the Empress of the system. It is said to be the seat of the soul and spirit. Fittingly, the emotion of Summer – according to Traditional Chinese Medicine – is Joy. When I reflect on this, I find it so remarkable. The other seasonal emotions seem to be more difficult and challenging, such as Fear in Winter and Anger in Spring. This idea of Joy – how it is something we desire, but is often elusive in our adult lives, in these current times. I listened to a monk with the Self-Realization Fellowship who noted that only when we move through suffering it can lead us to expanded consciousness, which leads to wisdom, which leads to joy. So maybe this seat of the soul, in the Heart, the capacity for it to hold joy is only as deep as the hole suffering initially carved. The ability to go in and feel, accept, and experience all of it leads to a depth of true joy that is unavailable in any other way.
As I type this, I'm actually reminded of watching kids in camp this week. The way they can access joy and friendship and play so easily is a miracle. To play as an adult takes effort – at least, it does for me. Some might find that odd, coming from a kids yoga teacher; but play can be work. What I've learned in my years doing this is that when I can get really present, set my agenda aside, see the child & spirit in front of me, and allow myself to be in the world they create and welcome me into – I get a peek of the joy within them, which fills me up in return. The effort it takes in removing my layers of other "stuff" is so worth it. So, I challenge each person reading to take time to be silly, to laugh, to bark in Down Dog, whether you're present with your child, or the child within.