This is part 3 of my blog experience here. Scroll to the end of this blog for 3 accessible parts of my routine for daily calm.
As I write, and I'm sure you're well aware of, we are 3 months into a global pandemic - coincidentally this is exactly the amount of time I have spent living at Yasodhara Ashram (I snuck in to Canada the week before the borders closed). Currently, I am working 6 days a week as a Karma Yogi at Yasodhara Ashram.
This past month in the garden, we have moved from a time of creating new projects to maintenance of the work we have done. Most of the new seedlings (from cabbage to beans) are in the ground; the beds have been created and composted; the greenhouses - 'hoophouses' in Canada - are ready for new transplants and the sun is shining most days.
I have been reflecting on the fact that maintaining a garden is akin to meditation practice: each day the sun rises on the beds and if we water, feed and tend to these beds, we will see germination of our crops, an analogy that is true if I show up for myself every day on my mediation mat. We have even started harvesting some of the baby lettuce mix, which we are seeding successively to have a constant fresh supply.
May is an exciting time in the preserving kitchen too, where I have learnt the ancient art of canning in the 'summer kitchen' (see picture). The first thing we canned was Asparagus, which is grown down the road from the Ashram in Creston. Since the season is so short, we pickle some to keep the community going through the non-growing season.
Canning (which uses glass bottles rather than tin) means that the produce can be kept out of the fridge for up to 2 years. This age-old process involves sanitising all components, filling the jars with desired produce and submerging and boiling them for up to 30 minutes. Again, this process is teaching me a lot of patience - if lowered in too quickly, asparagus jars are liable to crack when boiled in the pressure cooker! A few jars have been lost this way...
As many of your know, I have been writing about and filming my experiences of the Ashram during this time. As a yoga teacher, I have also been sharing some practices for you to do at home on my Youtube. I have felt it is a really important time to develop and refine my personal practice too, to give my body and mind space at this present moment in global history.
So to finish, I thought I'd share 3 parts of my routine that are accessible, grounding and powerful to incorporate into yours, if you so wish:
1. Breathing: Try 5 minutes of slow, steady breathing when you wake up to directly calm the nervous system. Or try my guided breathing here.
2. Journal: During the day, set aside time to ask yourself 'where am I right now?'. See what comes up and answer honestly. If you can, share with someone else!
3. Yoga Nidra: Such a powerful practice. If you're not sleeping well, try a yogic sleep before bed here.
I hope these practices help you as much as they have helped me. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me.