This month our theme at the studio is taking yoga off the mat and into our hearts and minds, focusing on the yamas & niyamas. This prompted Denise to reflect on how they are manifesting at present in her life and this is what channelled out of her.. I am so honoured that she shared this with us…
“In dwelling be close to the land
In meditation, go deep in the heart.”
Summer is the time that my yoga practice feels the most alive and vibrant. Rising from the tipi in the morning to do Sun Salutations with the first light coming through the cedar trees, squatting in malasana to place seeds in the ground, and lying in savasana between the rows of corn on a hot summer afternoon watching bees make pollen clouds—this is meditation when the body, mind and spirit are one. I call it green yoga, the yoga of growing good food and good relation with the Earth. It nourishes the soul at a very deep level.
Gardens can reflect very much our soul. My garden is lush, green, and an explosion of abundant food. Beautiful flowers mix with food crops, weeds such as dandelion hold important space bringing nutrients deep into the soil, grains such as amaranth, Ethiopian barley and blue corn continue ancient teachings from ancient cultures, and experimental fun crops such as Mouse melons and Beetberry all abound here. Gardening is a practice of patience, discipline and effort. Watching things grow is witnessing the generosity of the earth (asteya) and abundance of the earth (apatigraha). It can bring us to isvara-pranidhana- surrender to a higher power. One summer my 86 year old garden mentor and I stood under her sunflowers in total silence and awe, just marvelling.
When I hold seeds, I feel all the hands that have come before me, wrinkled, brown , dirt under their nails, generation after generation , hand to hand to pass onto me this gift of life. The history of squash seed, for example, dates back 12,000 years to Ecuador. It is like the mantra we use in Kundalini yoga, the Adi Mantra, which connects us to the golden chain of yoga teachers. The history of yoga has been just like the seeds, passed from teacher to student for thousands of years.
Living in a time when giant corporations such as Monsanto seek to buy and own the diversity of seeds, when science tampers with our food by injecting pesticides right into the seed (GMO’s) , when the nutritional value of over-processed foods leaves our bodies malnourished, growing our own food is a beautiful and peaceful form (ahimsa) of starting a revolution, of evolving into a culture of sustainability. It is the 0 Mile Diet, when you walk into your yard to prepare your dinner!
So the next time that you do malasana, appreciate it as a great way to keep you in fine form for being close to the Earth that feeds and supports you.
If you are interested in learning how to seed save, the Sechelt Public Library along with the Sunshine Coast Seed Collective is offering a free course on Thursday, September 4th at the Rockwood from 1 – 3.
Need fresh vegetables? Help yourself at the community garden boxes on Ocean Street in Sechelt. The vegetables are planted by the community for the community.
Want to learn to garden? Leave your name with One Straw for the garden mentor program that runs every spring. www.onestraw.ca
Want to tune in with the Adi Mantra, stay clear, strong, flexible, energetic and connected to spirit? Check out Kundalini yoga classes at Blissful Yoga this fall.
Sat nam and Green blessings