If you read my article on Halloween you will know that it originated as a celebration of the cycles of life, a festival held as the seasons move from the warmer months into the cooler months of winter. Over the centuries the origin of Halloween changed to be symbolic of community and a coming together of people in cohesive union. Halloween became that opportunity for people to be neighbourly, to feel involved in something fun and friendly and to see community as somewhere safe for children to play.
When I first started practicing yoga one of my greatest desires for teaching was to build community. I have been teaching yoga since 2010 and I initially started in an adult community group. I even wrote articles on the importance of bringing community to a yoga class that were published in small newsletters for various organisations such as the PCYC and adult education groups. Then last year I explored the concept of community and yoga again in my article Sangha and Yoga. In fact the more I look back the more I see how this concept of community has stayed with me throughout the last 7 years. Community is the grass roots of my yoga teaching journey.
I must also be a very slow learner to pick up on my own innate ability to ebb and flow with the cycles of life around and within me. For the last decade I made it my personal desire to use yoga to connect with the cycles of my body and in the last few years to connect with the seasonal cycles of nature. I have been practicing Moon Yoga since 2011 after I had my first miscarriage and decided IVF was screwing with my body. I made sure to journal and understand my menstrual cycle and ultimately to connect to the phases of the moon. Such to the point I can almost pinpoint the exact time I ovulate and when my flow is due. I used yoga to assist in this connection. I have only felt comfortable talking about my Moon Yoga journey just recently and have even designed a Moon Journal for women to help them connect with their cycle.
Then more recently I have started to understand the impact of movement and the seasons. How important it is to rest and meditate more at certain times of the day, month and year. How the seasons impacts how we feel and how particular movement can enhance understanding why we feel the way we feel. It’s one of the many reasons I practice Yin Yoga and Shiatsu. Back in 2015 I wrote about the impact of moving with the cycles of life.
All of this connection to the cycle of life comes back to that inner knowing of nature and ourselves but also to the conscious collective and the connection to other people. Yoga has certainly help me appreciate the changing cycles of life around and within me. In fact I have learned to accept change around me by observing change within myself. This is how yoga has helped me accept the changing nature of the world, people and even community.
Yoga and Halloween does have much in common. Yoga connects us to the cycles of life within and around us. Halloween is a cyclic celebration. Yoga brings people together in community. Yoga is also fun. I certainly laugh in yoga. Halloween is about having fun. Yoga teaches us to accept change. Halloween celebrates the changing seasons.
To me its these reasons that bring Yoga and Halloween together. So lets come together as community next week and dress up with the kids and have some fun as we Downward Facing Dog and ride a broom stick.