Hello and Happy Holidays,
It is getting cooler, the day shorter and the holiday season is upon us. Being part Jewish and part Catholic by upbringing, the holidays were always a bit complicated. Peter though plays a good Interfaith husband. Early in our friendship he crafted a menorah for me which we light every year much to my beloved Jewish’s grandmothers delight and his Catholic mother’s chagrin. He also enjoys Chanukah Radio (Ch 111 on SiriusXM begining on the 27th) and gives interesting Christmas gifts.
I mainly love the feeling of the season, particularly the waning of the Sun’s light and the beauty of ceremonial light. Privately we will soon light our menorah, decorate our Christmas bush, string LED lights on the house, and await Santa Pietro. Publicly I invite you to join me for the Circle of Light event December 2 and a Sunset Solstice event December 22. Meanwhile, if you want a good dose of planetary light, Jupiter is currently very bright in the early evening as the Sun sets. Jupiter in Sanskrit is called Guru the dispeller of darkness.
In my yoga practice, Fall has brought some deeper reflection. My back has been a bit off and I have had to listen more. Where is this coming from? What is my body telling me? What is the message here? My teacher Rama has always emphasized that the back represents our unconscious, our past; and Yoga is about linking the unconscious and the conscious, the past and present have to be integrated in order to transform our future. So in this light, I have been taking some time to feel back and process more. I am slowly coming into a new rhythm.
Next week many of us long time Rama students will gather in Albuquerque to be with Rama and her teaching colleagues Angela Farmer and Victor Van Kooten. They are pioneers in the modern development of yoga in the West and are now in their 70’s. While they are vital, there is also a sense of their handing over the torch. In fact, the image of a torch, or flame, is one of the great images of Yoga; symbolized in the heart chakra it is the seat of our intelligence, our soul, and our connection to the eternal truths that can never be corrupted or commodified.
In the middle of the heart is a great fire (Mahan Agni) that carries all light and looks to every side. It is the first eater and dwells apportioning our food, the undecaying seer. Narayana Sukta
Natasha Korshak is a long-time teacher and trainer of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and MBSR, and has been working in the field of integrative health and wellness her entire professional career. She is a graduate of the Interfaith Theological Seminary and an ordained Interfaith Minister specializing in contemplative practice, grief processing, and spiritual direction. Her study and training of mind/body/spirit methods is extensive and she has learned from many of the pioneers in their discipline. As the founder and director of the Sol Center she is well regarded for her depth, warmth, authenticity, and the smile in her voice.