WHOA

WHOA. These images give me goosebumps. What resonates with you from the latest James Webb Space Telescope images?

Check out all the first images here: nasa.gov/webbfirstimages/

Presenting never-before-seen details of Stephan’s Quintet, an interacting group of galaxies.

This enormous mosaic of Stephan’s Quintet is the largest image to date from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, covering about one-fifth of the Moon’s diameter. It contains over 150 million pixels and is constructed from almost 1000 separate image files. The visual grouping of five galaxies was captured by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).
 A star is born!

Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these “Cosmic Cliffs” are previously hidden baby stars, now uncovered by Webb. We know — this is a show-stopper. Just take a second to admire the Carina Nebula in all its glory: nasa.gov/webbfirstimages/

Webb’s new view gives us a rare peek into stars in their earliest, rapid stages of formation. For an individual star, this period only lasts about 50,000 to 100,000 years.

Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

Lifelong Students

Grateful to be studying with these fantastic humans … 500-hour yoga teacher training at @hipyogapgh … THE BEST YTT around IMHO … comprehensive, broad AND deep, uplifting & challenging. Steeped in the Himalayan Tradition, passed along for centuries … AND conscientious of and adaptive to modern life!

📚 I’m about halfway through the 18-month program … It’s intense!

We are all in different paths in our yoga journeys. You may be on your 1,000th class, or you may be thinking about attending your first.

You may be sharing yoga practices for the first time, or be in your 20th year of teaching.

You may be into physical practice … or meditation … or studying ancient texts.

There are many ways to “practice” yoga that don’t involve making shapes with the body.

We are all students together. Let’s be dedicated ones.

What are you learning from your yoga practice these days?

#hathayoga #yogaeveryday #himalayantradition #teachertraining #deepenyourpractice #student #seeker

Growing vs. Getting Older

Morning walk … loved this sunshine through tree moment …

My friend Leann shared this quote on FB and it was perfect timing …

The fact of 48 years comes to mind often recently … doesn’t seem possible that I’m not perpetually 28 😉 … Yoga and Ayurveda seem to regard “aging” in a much different light than Western modern society. It’s a light I’m more deeply appreciating. While the body is inevitably deteriorating, there’s so much growth happening at the same time …

This is why “old people” have always fascinated me … I absolutely LOVE and am in awe of them … and it really irritates me when society dismisses them. (I’ve dismissed some of them too, which I’m not proud of) Who do we think got us here?! Who do we think holds the wisdom we can learn from and move forward toward a better future? Yeah, sure, previous generations have fucked some things up … and we are doing the same fucking some things up for the next generation. 💯

However, elders have also done enormous amounts of good, service, building, restoring, growing … both in their younger years AND ALSO RIGHT IN THIS MOMENT. I recently saw a meme that said something along the lines of, “I’m not interested in the 28-year-old who’s an overnight millionaire, or the 22-year-old start-up guru (kudos to y’all, tho, really). Tell me about the 52-year-old who got her book published, the 70–year-old who earned their college degree, the 82-year-old scientist discovering new species. THAT’S the stuff of perseverance, continued joy and curiosity in life.”

I hope I can be gentle with myself when I’m inundated with the societal conditioning that growing older is a slow walk toward irrelevance. I hope I can remember that, like that tree, I’m growing and gathering the wisdom of this place, and in turn sharing with those who come after. And also simply enjoying the gift of each age and stage of life to its fullest.

Keep growing, y’all. 🥰🌳

Irritated!

It’s okay, we all get irritable sometimes (or maybe a lot of the time) … what will we do or think or feel when we NOTICE that irritation?

Ayurveda & Yoga holistic sciences that have been around for millenia — and these systems have been empowering individuals like you & I to

PAUSE,

NOTICE,

DECIDE.

We can decide to IGNORE our body’s irritation, or our mind’s irritation … “power through” is the modern Western mantra … or numb the irritation with food, sleep, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, supplements, medication … and the irritation may or may not subside in the moment, only to revisit us with more force later on.

We can decide to AGGRAVATE our body or our mind’s irritation … more aggravating food because I love it! more anger! more hustling/doing/achieving!

We can decide to LISTEN to our body’s irritation, or our mind’s irritation … for the lack of ease IS a message …

… and this message can provide us clues, along with our knowledge of our own rhythms & the rhythms of Nature, as to how to soothe, calm, and/or build … so that we can once again experience our natural state of balance. This is the practice of Ayurveda & Yoga.

Register for Yoga & Ayurveda for Balancing Digestion — a workshop at OMBody on April 24th at https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/LBLZ9R

Breakthrough

Check out The Awkward Yeti at https://theawkwardyeti.com.

Note to self: The traditional Yoga practices of relaxation (pratyahara) & meditation (dharana / dhyana) are

NOT about “blissing out” … these

p r a c t i c e s

support us in tuning in … to all the thoughts & feelings

begging for attention … & allow us

s p a c e

to choose what we keep & what we gently say “thank you” to

(those thoughts/feelings that were trying to keep us safe, for example)

& send along its way.

So when you meditate, you’re DOING MEDITATION JUST FINE when thoughts & feelings arise … you’re allowing space for whatever comes up, stuff that may’ve been buried for a while & finally gets listened to … & when it’s hard … WHEN it’s hard, not if … then love on yourself extra that day. You’ve had a breakthrough, & deserve rest, extra care & love.

The Yoga of Gratitude

I Am Thankful for… 

…the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

…the taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.

…the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

…my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

…a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means that I have a home.

…the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

…all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

…my huge heating bill because it means that I am warm.

…the lady behind me who sings off key because it means I can hear.

…the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.

…the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive.

…weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

– Det är aldrig kört, Kristina Reftel, 1999

No Energy Wasted

There’s a lot that goes around in the health & wellness world about how much one “should” be doing and what is enough “to get results.” Yoga invites us to see from a different perspective. 

Yoga is the science of self-realization — and it’s a unique science to each individual. What supports you in being your best self in the world will be different than what supports me, though there may be some overlap. Furthermore, what supports me NOW may not support me a few weeks, months or years from now. For example, my physical practice was consistently vigorous 13 years ago … that’s what I needed at the time. These days, I vary my pace, length & content of my personal practice according to the season, my current energy level, & my current mental state. My practice may be physical on a particular day, yet more often I focus on combining physical, breathwork, relaxation & meditation in equal measure. 

Many of you have cultivated a yoga practice over many years … how has your practice changed? What have you enjoyed about those changes, and what have you felt challenged by? 

You may be new to the yoga practices … what practices are calling to you right now? What excites you about practicing, either with others or on your own? No need to get technical or feel like “I should be doing x, y or z.” Just what makes your body & mind happy — that’s the self-realization right there.

No matter how often we practice, the length of time or specific content of our practice, know that none of your energy is wasted. ANY amount of time you put into your yoga practices is ALREADY reaping you benefits, whether you notice them like a big sign over your head, or simply feel a subtle feeling that “hey, this feels pretty good.”

I look forward to practicing with you this week! (or supporting you from afar in your own practice!)

as within, so without

As within, so without … & vice versa. In Ayurveda, the science of longevity & daily well-being, the season of winter ❄️ is of the elements Air & Ether.
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We may feel dry, cold, rough … We may feel our digestion is variable, or that our minds feel a little spacey … Nature, too, is showing us Her dry, cold, rough, mobile and light qualities.
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How can we find balance during this season? Nourishing, warm, simple foods … REST … warmth (especially around the throat, ears, and feet) … did I mention rest?
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Today I used a weighted blanket for my Yoga Nidra practice … Holy Groundedness, Batman! For me, totally countered the spacey, ungrounded feeling that winter sometimes evokes in my body/mind.
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The light, subtle properties of Winter can also allow us to dream more easily, access our creativity … so wrap yourself up & indulge in creative expression ! (Mine today was making EO sprays for clients & friends to welcome the new year ❤️)
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Want to learn more about how the seasons affect YOUR unique constitution? Join me on January 16th for the first session of Yoga & Ayurveda at OmBody Massage and Wellness. Register at 724.320.9386.
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Latest Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/ericaengel/hathayoga-01032022


#hathayoga #yogaeveryday #ayurveda #beginnersmind #wellness #longevity #youareworthit #winter #wintervibes