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Appreciation is the Vibration

May 8th, 2024 oddfam Blog, Community, Education, Practice

Although the shift from winter to spring is filled with vital energy, unbridled excitement, and the renewed spirit of adventure, it's easy to get swept up in the excitement and burnt out before our warm weather adventures truly begin. Let's take a collective breath – siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh – and ground ourselves in appreciation for the gifts of spring. When we focus on appreciation, we protect ourselves from overreaching – from using the vibrancy of the season to justify doing and wanting more. You already have everything you need. Think of Spring not as a busy season, but as the time when you amplify your appreciation for the life we're given. To help you foster appreciation for this community of weirdos and the world beyond the mat, we've put together just the right vibes at just the right times:

  • The second monthly Awesome Hour event, at which you can sip, snack, and talk astrology with fellow classmates. Join us in Echo Park from 5:15-7:15p on May 10 or in East Hollywood and Eagle Rock from 5:15-7:15p on May 18.
  • Intro to Qigong | Physical Poetry [5/19]– a unique workshop wherein Sarah Helt will lead you through a generating flow that is rooted in an Ancient Chinese system of life force movement. The workshop explores our full range of motion and unity with the universe to unlock a symphony of body wisdom, healing, human potential, and the poetry of nature.
  • AAPI Community Flow [5/26]– a pay what you can class for members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community to flow together with Rae during AAPI Heritage Month.
  • more vibes linked below!

To appreciate the life we're given, let's begin by honoring the mothers and mother figures who create and nurture new life. It's no coincidence that they get their flowers in May, when Mother Nature is doing the same. Deepen your appreciation or soundtrack your Mother's Day brunch with the mother of all playlists, featuring tunes that love on all maternal figures, from actual mothers to Mother Monster.

P.S. If you're looking for a thoughtful Mother's Day gift, all regular-priced items in our yoga + fitness apparel, gear, and accessory shop are 20% off from May 10 to May 12 in-studio and online.

P.P.S. If Mom's love language is activities, join our Mother's-Day-Adjacent Monthly Community Hike at 11am on Sunday, May 18 led by our very own ODD Mama, Jessica!

Listen to 'Mom (Pronounced Like Om)' on Spotify >>

 

Next up on the appreciation checklist is your inner Goddess. If you're not invoking the spirit of  your most powerful female icons while a yoga teacher is making you pulse in Goddess, then you're probably deceased. If you managed to live through Goddess pose on tip toes, you'll notice these benefits:

  • opens and stretches hips, groin, shoulders, and chest
  • strengthens the core, quads, and inner thighs
  • improves balance, coordination, mobility, and flexibility
  • enhances focus, concentration, and relaxation

Here's a quick guide to getting into utkata konasana:

  1. Firmly plant your feet a little wider than hips' width distance and turn your toes to a 45 degree angle.
  2. Bend at the knees, squatting as low as is comfortable, ensuring your kneecaps are aligned with your toes and your spine is upright and neutral.
  3. Raise your arms to 90 degree angles or "goal post" arms.
  4. Sink in and breathe 3 to 5 cycles.

 

Our favorite way to show someone appreciation is to moon them 🌕 with a "moon piercing" breath that both soothes and enlivens our lunar or "feminine" subtle body energy pathway. By engaging with our lunar side, we enhance our empathy, intuition, creativity, nurturing, sensitivity, receptivity, and collectivism. Although underappreciated in modern society, these qualities are much appreciated in yoga and balance our solar instincts, like motivation, enthusiasm, and action. As with Nadi Shodanah, you'll begin in a relaxing and comfortable seat or Sukhasana and close your left nostril with your ring and pinky fingers and right nostril with your thumb, placing the remaining fingers on your 3rd eye or between the eyebrows. Release your fingers from the left nostril, exhale completely, then inhale through the same nostril. Repeat inhaling through your left nostril and exhaling through your right nostril for a few rounds.


Last month, we discussed the foundational "Niyamas" or attitudes toward ourselves and how they support playfulness in our practice. It will come as no surprise that the "Yamas" or attitudes toward our environment and others will help to frame our appreciative mindset. They are basically rules for appreciating the world outside our bodies. When followed, they lead to a clarity of mind that allows us to comprehend situations without misapprehension.

  1. Ahimsa (non-violence)
  2. Satya (truthfulness)
  3. Asteya (non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (moderation of the senses or right use of energy)
  5. Aparigraha (non-greed)

 

If you've made it this far, you know what's coming – a not-so-suprising surprise journal prompt!

Choose one Yama and reflect on a situation wherein you did not abide by Patanjali's wisdom. Would the result have changed if you approached the situation with clarity and appreciation for our environment and others?

 

 

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