Snow Days

Be Well Be Happy
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Snow days are a blessing for some, and yet for others a curse, when you have to trek to work or worst yet, if you don’t have heat. Delays, cancellations, etc. are extremely frustrating and difficult to deal with in a blizzard. Having a house full of young children can also be tough. Putting things in perspective is everything. Making the best of a bad situation is what we do.  We are lucky enough to have a warm, comfortable home to bunker down in. Not everyone is as comfortable today. I am so sorry for those less fortunate. May you find shelter from the storm and be safe. I can’t even imagine being outside in this frigid weather and yet so many are out there. Especially the FDNY, NYPD, Sanitation, mail carriers, crossing guards, EMTs, etc. Thank you for your service and dedication. It is you who keeps our city up and running.

We, at Ocean Bliss Yoga, knew the evening before the storm, we would have to cancel classes on Thursday for the safety of our students and others on the road. So, the email went out and we sent out a home practice for our students to do.

If you come to class regularly, you know how to do your own home practice and on days like this, you need to stay home. It’s simple, just roll out your mat and begin by sitting in meditation or perhaps start with sun salutations to wake up and warm the body. I started my day sleeping in, followed by a delicious espresso with our new Christmas espresso maker. Perfect start. Then I light my candles because I love light and the aromas of my winter evergreen candles. I gather my props such as blocks, tennis balls, blankets, roller, strap and mat.

I place a candle at the top of my mat and begin. A one-hour practice brings me home to myself. The wind and snow do not exist on my mat. I pray for all those suffering and hope they find comfort. I am in a place of safety, warmth and connection. My practice feels like a prayer radiating to all beings everywhere. The message on my new calendar, “Today I do something kind for myself as a special gift. I am lovable and valuable.”

Sometimes there is a plan and other times we create and improvise. I encourage each and every one to have a home practice. Movement is the most organic thing to do. It feels great to lubricate the joints and muscles with breath awareness. On days like today, whether you have a house full of children or are traveling to work, there is a practice for you. Pay attention to your breath. It is your life force. Take a slow deep breath and gently let it go. Allow the next breath to breathe into your body slowly and feel the expansion. When you exhale, the belly will relax. Your body and mind will begin to soften and rest with each mindful breath. I beg you to try it, it works.

I imagine many snowbirds got stuck in New York but by now are long gone in sunny Florida or some other warm destination. Good for you. One day I hope to meet you down there, but for now I love my snowy days in New York and my cozy home. Call me crazy, but I feel strong and resilient in the cold weather. By next year I might have a totally different viewpoint. As Walt Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

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