A Time to Pause and Reflect

I am getting ready to go to the studio and set up for this afternoon’s Yoga Nidra class. Every New Year’s Eve I lead this deep guided meditation called Yoga Nidra, and then offer people the opportunity to stay afterwards and write a letter to themselves.

Here is what happens: Unlike my normal classes where people arrive and chat as they take off their coats and set up their mats, today they will be greeted with signs on the doors that read: Please Keep Noble Silence.

They will enter the warm yoga room, find a mat and settle in. There will be a bowl of stones outside the yoga room door and each person will be invited to take a stone as they enter just as a way of letting other people know how many spots are still left in the room as they arrive. This is a free class, but I only have room for 16 mats.

At each mat will be a piece of paper explaining what is going to happen in the next hour. There will be a half hour of Yoga Nidra which is like a guided savasana. At the end of the Yoga Nidra experience, I will ring the bowl 3 times and people are then free then to leave, still in silence.

I will then increase the light in the room and invite those who wish to stay to take paper, a pen and an envelope, and move to any place in the room, or even into the lounge, for the letter writing part of this experience.

People tend to be in a very introspective and open place in their bodies and their minds after the Yoga Nidra experience, so it is the perfect time for some deep listening.

I invite them to start their letters by writing on the paper: “Dear (their name)” and then write: “I have been waiting for this opportunity to talk to you for a long time. Here is what I want to tell you.”

And from there, to just let their inner voice speak.

When the letter is finished, they fold it, place it in the envelope, seal it, and address it to themselves and leave it with me. I will then mail it to them so that it arrives in their mailbox on the first day of spring.

I have done this for a number of years now, and I think it is both a beautiful and a fitting way to end the year that is passing, and begin the new one that is dawning.

Happy New Year everyone.

Namaste.

 

A Letter From My Self

This past New Year’s Eve I hosted a free Yoga Nidra class at my studio.  A whole bunch of cool people showed up, even though the day was bitter cold, and it had even snowed a few hours before, and the roads were very much less than ideal.  I remember I even thought of cancelling it at one point.

But I didn’t.

And all these cool people showed up: regulars, friends of regulars, and a guy I met in a store a few days before and invited.

After I guided them in, and then out of Yoga Nidra (which is a very deep relaxation, very trancey, very hypnogogic) I set them all up with pens, paper, envelopes, and lap desks and invited them to write a letter to themselves.

I asked them to channel their Inner Wisdom Guides, that voice inside them that has been with them since the day they were born.

That voice inside that knows why they were born, and what they were born to do, and is trying, desperately trying, to communicate that info, but can never get through because we are too busy, or distracted, or just stubbornly refuse to pay attention to it.

But now, in this slowed-down, trancey, receptive yoga nidra state, it might have a chance to be heard.

I told them to write, “Dear (their name here)” and let their IWG (Inner Wisdom Guide) take the pen.

When they were done, they were to fold their paper, put it in the envelope, seal it, address it to themselves, and give it to me and I would mail it to them on the first day of spring.

I did it too.

Yesterday, the first day of spring, my letter arrived.

First, I must say, it is very weird to get a letter from yourself.  There it is, this envelope among the other mail, and you recognize the handwriting immediately, (whaaa?), but it takes a few seconds to register, “Ahhhh,  the letter.”

I took mine to my Space Chair. As I opened it I could hear birds singing.  The night I wrote it, I heard nothing.  Maybe wind. Or cars driving slowly on snow.  What did I write that night?  I really couldn’t remember.  I was in a trance.

Here is part of my letter:

Dear Kath,

Think about your Commandments.  Not the “Thou shalt nots” but the the “Thou shalls.”

Thou shall be kind.

Thou shall look in the eyes of others and see there you own eyes.

Thou shall be focused of mind and strong of body.

Thou shall take care of yourself and of everyone you love.

Thou shall forgive.

Thou shall be patient.

Thou shall write thy book.

Thou shall write thy truth.

Thou shall create beauty and order in your surroundings.

Thou shall express gratitude daily.

Thou shall develop sweetness and kindness and focus and strength.

Thou shall practice incessantly, with reverence, for a long time.

Thou shall be an agent of change.

Thou shall expand the sphere of thy concerns.

Thou shall not worry about outer geography.

Thou shall travel deeply inward and that will take you everywhere you want to go.

Thou shall know thyself.

Thou shall be intense.

Thou shall be disciplined.

Thou shall pause often.

Thou shall love everything extravagantly!

I love you!

That’s what inspired me today.