Celebrate the Sun!

Celebrate the Sun!

by Cali Bowman

sunwarrior.jpeg

Yoga in sanskrit is defined as “union”.  The beginning of our practice is understanding this union through the connections of the body and breath; of meditation and clearing the mind; in health and happiness.     

Look deeper for this unification in everything and allow your gaze to lift to the sky.  All cultures, creatures, mountains and seasons on earth share this same larger connection- The Sun!  The sun shines upon all things… stimulating growth and power wherever it’s strong energy is absorbed.

Like everything in our ancient yogic tradition, this is old knowledge…Stonehenge and certain Egyptian pyramids were built to face the Summer Solstice setting sun.  Ancient Chinese cultures revered the Summer Solstice in loud and ecstatic celebrations.  Listen outside and you’ll hear the Mountain Chickadees singing louder and the Douglass Squirrels chittering in praise of the longest day of the year.

During Summer we have a chance to maximize our connection with the powerful sun. To build some awareness to the natural changes that occur with more sunshine try to….

  • Be more aware of the surge of solar energy and cultivate it to achieve great things physically and emotionally.  More sun means more power! 
  • Considered the most “yang” season, mirror the increased heat in your life and feel your heartbeat loudly, sing louder and express yourself to your fullest.
  • Fears naturally dissolve when we are full of the sun’s positive energy and we can literally see more clearly.  Accept challenges! 
  • Laugh often!  In Chinese tradition summer and laughter go hand in hand, so to laugh is to honor the sun.  *Note that sun helps the body release Serotonin, a mood enhancer.
  • Allow Spring’s plans to come into the fruition during Summer.  Mirror the plants surrounding you.
  • Eat vitamin D rich foods which are more easily synthesized by sunlight.  Vitamin D helps to maintain and enrich the immune and nervous systems. 
  • Blood vessels dilate under UV rays which can help lower blood pressure naturally.  Go out and feel how your circulatory system is reacting differently to the sun.
  • Face South for a moment of reverence to the sun each day.  Meditate or practice Sun Salutations to the South.
  • Wear the color red and enjoy fire!
  • Honor the Solar Plexus of the body located in the belly.  Take time to strengthen the stomach, eat clean & easily digestible foods and let your belly bathe in the sun!
  • Balance all this new solar energy by jumping in cold water = Lake time!

Let the sun guide us through our yoga practice and life’s journey, connecting us all along the way!    

Join me in celebration of the Sun on June 23 from 12-2pm at Tahoe Yoga Shala.  

In this workshop we honor the sun through stomach strengthening exercises and work to open this energy to the world through progressive back bending while meditating on the Solar Plexus.  

Our course will culminate with the creation of a Sun Mandala Mind Map while enjoying a cleansing tonic.  Finally a quick jaunt to the river for a cleansing dip to re-balance the inner fire.  Bring a bathing suit and hope to see you there!

REGISTER ONLINE

 

Spring Renewal

by Cali Bowman

Spring Renewal in Honor of the Spring Equinox

Spring is a time of renewal.  As the weather changes the snow melts into water and cleans away a layer of old, creating space for new growth.  Let us join in this natural process by gently cleansing the mind and body through attentive movement, meditation and eating habits.  I invite you to join me in spending a day or possibly even a few days cleansing. While cleansing, be attentive to your own body’s needs.  Add more foods or proteins if it feels necessary.  Make time for more rest and interact gently in your relationships and with the world.

Here are some practices to begin the process of renewal:

  • Cleanse your home.  Specifically removing, reducing or recycling any old and unnecessary clutter.  Dedicate a shelf or windowsill to defining beauty or simplicity in honor of renewal.
  • Reassess your products.  Observe if there are excessive chemicals, old make-up or unused products in your bathroom/shower.  This is the defined room for cleaning the body externally, so take sometime to make your bathroom a pure and cleansing space.
  • Spend some time de-cluttering your purse/backpack, car and even telephone.  Delete unnecessary messages and contacts. Disable unnecessary alerts, apps and other distractions.  Addressing the devices we use daily will aid in defining this as a time of complete renewal.
  • Cleanse your thoughts.  Note any recurrent self-talk and take the time to write down the most common statements you are making to yourself on a notepad throughout the day.  If these statements don’t serve you and are not moving you forward in life, than consider them toxic and make a point of gently sweeping them away whenever they arise. 
  • Drink several glasses of warm spring water throughout the day.  Occasionally add a wedge of lemon. Create a constant flowing river through the body for toxins to flush away.
  • While eating take a moment to settle in to the digestive process with silence and stillness.  Consider and taste all aspects of the food as you eat. Refrain from reading or watching TV.
  • When detoxifying the body opt for a vegetarian diet.  Reduce the consumption of processed foods and chemically treated foods.  Eat smaller portions, more often. If cleansing for multiple days try to maintain consistent eating times throughout the day.

Enjoy all the changes and feelings that arise during times of renewal.  Engage with any movement of energy by gifting yourself a peaceful bath or an elated walk when these shifts occur.

A sample meal plan for our day of cleansing.  

Early Morning Breakfast 6-8am

1 Grapefruit

  • option to add a drizzle of 1tsp Honey mixed with a pinch of Cardamom, Ground Ginger and Cayenne

Hot Tea- Nettle, Dandelion, Mint, Ginger

Brunch 8-10am

Quinoa or other grains such as Amaranth or Buckwheat

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Spring Water or Vegetable Broth

I cup Fresh Cilantro     

2 whole Limes

2 tbsp Fresh Mint

2 tbsp Coconut Oil, Olive Oil or Ghee

1/4 Red Onion

Mineral Salt and Pepper to taste

*Boil the quinoa in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes without stirring.  Chop onion and mint. Add all other ingredients and mix with quinoa. Serve immediately warm, or refrigerate for later.

Steamed Vegetables

Include a variety of roots, stems and greens and create a beautiful array of colors.  Choose the the freshest vegetables available such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, chard, cauliflower, carrots and yams.   

Season with turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  

*Save the vegetable water from the steamed vegetables and add sea salt or kelp.  

Early afternoon 3-5pm

Drink 2 cups of the vegetable broth created at lunch.

Dinner 5-6pm

Beet Soup

3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 cups Beets

2 cups cabbage

4 carrots

1 potato/yam

1/4 yellow onion

3/4 cup Dill

Mineral salt and pepper

2 tbsp sunflower oil

Fresh cilantro or mint to top

*Chop all vegetables and add ingredients into a pot.  Covering the ingredients with twice their height of fresh spring water.  Boil, than reduce to a simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Hot Tea- Nettle, Dandelion, Mint, Ginger

*option to add 1/2 lemon, a splash of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp honey

Click Here to Register for Cali's Spring Renewal Practice on March 20.