Ngā mihi o te tau hōu ki a koe! - Happy New Year to you!
And welcome to Kohitātea - or the eighth month ( January at the time of writing ) according to the maramataka māori.
The Maramataka is the moon phases that māori lived by pre-colonisation, and also today many māori and non- māori are turning back to it's wisdom, for planting crops, fishing and hunting, and doing other activities such as hui, or resting verses being active.
To me, as a wahine, it makes perfect sense to be in tune with the moons subtle yet powerful energy and flow. That energy which effects our environment, the oceans, the plants and animals, us, as we are a part of the environment, and so it is natural to be in rhythm and harmony with it.
So whether you consider it to be the 1st month of the year, or the eighth, a way that I like to combine the two systems (because we are all living within the Gregorian calendar too), is to think of this time as a time to take stock,...
I have often been asked what do I receive from my yoga practice? It's a great question because it reminds me of the reasons why I practice, and teach, so that others can also receive the gifts yoga has to offer.
Different people receive different gifts from their practice, but it is definitely worth reflecting and asking - what do you receive?
Over the years I have been teaching and sharing yoga, many people have experienced some form of healing through yoga. Sometimes subtle, sometimes profound, so it is not an easy question to answer, because it is different for many people.
I feel like there is always so much we are going through as human beings. And it can't be avoided if we are living, breathing, interacting, working, raising families, caring for ourselves and others.
We have had things happen to us throughout life, positive experiences and negative experiences, some that helped us to grow, some that...
"Hā ki Roto - Hā ki Waho" -" Breathe in - Breathe out"
Sometimes this simple instruction is all we can do in life and yoga!
"Don't forget to breathe", as a great teacher once told me many years ago.
Sounds simple, but it is the simplest things that can sometimes be the most profound, both in practice, and in practice off the mat- also known as - life!
A simple way to tell how you are doing in yoga is- to be aware of your breath.
āroa hā = breath awareness ( see how close this is to aro-ha )
In our classes the awareness of the breath, the Hā in Māori ( also sometimes known as hau, ngā , manawa and tā to name a few of the words to describe the breath ) is all important, as important as what you do with your body, if not more.
Hā also means your essence.
The breath is the bridge between our bodies and our mind in yoga. It contains the life force, and links us to our divine nature.