Autumnal Greetings

Why doesn't constant trampling defeat the dandelion? The key to its strength is its long and sturdy root, which extends deep into the earth. The same principle applies to people. The true victors in life are those who, enduring repeated challenges and setbacks, have sent the roots of their being to such a depth that nothing can shake them - Daisaku Ikedae

 

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I love the wisdom and guidance of the dandelion.  During spring thaw, dandelions appear instantly with their mass of yellow florets and by summer they're ubiquitous and free covering lawns, prairies and any stretch of soil they can summon.  Dandelions possess a variety of healing properties, but unless we are in the habit of working with dandelions, we can easily forsake the powerful insight these healing plants (beings) can teach us about our own true nature and the greater rhythms of life.  After a few days in bloom the yellow flowers close (literally turning inward) preparing for their next transformation.  They emerge as a puffy bundle of seedlings eagerly awaiting the gentle winds of autumn to carry them away.  Accessing this wisdom from the land is a blessing.   This is indigenous land.  And there is so much this land can teach us to bring us closer to that which we seek; freedom, peace, and wellbeing.   As we embark on a new season pay close attention not just to the falling leaves, but everything around you changing, transforming, releasing.  We are not outside of this movement and transformation, but instead deeply interwoven (tantra) to these rhythms, they are within us.  

 

 serita colette

serita colette

What I love about my yoga and ayurvedic practices is the immediate recognition that I am connected to the earth, the dandelion, the water and the wind.   

 

How often are we aware of the fact that the earth is constantly supporting us even amidst transition?  Is it only when we set out into retreat or have you had this experience in the city?  What are you offering yourself and the planet right now?  I ask all of these questions from a place of love and healing justice. This is such an important time of year to commit radically to our dharmas, our life’s greatest purpose, our vitality, wellbeing and relationship to the earth.  Yoga (meditation) and Ayurveda are the oldest sciences in the world.  As a spiritual practice they allow us to see our vision, purpose and highest calling in life.   My highest calling is accessing these teachings from the rishis (the seers) my people’s tradition and my teachers and pass them onto others for the purpose of liberation, vitality and love.  When we go on retreat to study ourselves more closely we are given time and space to discern what we need to call in for more balance and steadiness in our lives.  Taking time away from daily life to call forth that which we seek is shakti, power and moksha freedom!  That is why I am beyond thrilled to announce that I will be a leading a once in a lifetime retreat: Rest and Liberation February 9th through the 16th in Troncones, Mexico!

http://www.seritayoga.com/feb2019retreat/

 

 Serita Yoga Troncones Mexico

Serita Yoga Troncones Mexico

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This immersion will include Dharma talks, two practices a day, time in nature (ocean and mountains) to unwind from the fullness of city life, warm weather and an ocean to indulge during Minnesota's crazy winter and coldest month of the year, AND the biggest part of all, practices with a teacher who has had years of experience and intuitive knowledge and insight from the ancestors, rishis, sages and teachers of the yogic and Ayurvedic traditions.   There will be a sacred circle to make our altar on opening night and we will close with a bonfire and ritual on our last night together to seal in this work with protection and shakti (power). 

Want more information?  Ready to save your spot!  Early registration discounts are now available starting today!  People are already calling, emailing and desiring to reserve their spot.  My intuition tells me this retreat WILL sell out so don't hesitate.  Click the link to reserve your spot:  RESERVE MY SPOT

International Womxn's Day

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget, -Arundhati Roy

 

 -Manjit Thapp

-Manjit Thapp




Namaskaram Dear Ones,

How are you rooting and blossoming into Kapha season?  Kapha is the Ayurvedic dosha that alongside pitta and vata governs all of life, but we feel it most in it's season, spring.  Kapha embodies the gross and subtle elements of earth and water.  As the earth becomes more damp, heavy and dense, these elements predominate overshadowing air, fire, and ether.  You can feel stuck, tired, sluggish in spring lacking inspiration and iccha shakti (will & determination).  The science of Ayurveda suggests we clear, energize and awaken.  Spring is a season to dust off the cobwebs, clean out closets, clear our minds of old habits that accumulate over time.

  In the yogic tradition it is said that we have 72,000 nadis in our bodies, rivers that direct to the central channel, the Maha Nadi or greatest river, Sushumna Nadi governing the chakras and kundalini, the serpent snake of awakening.  These channels get blocked by life.  Adding too much to your plate, over-working, spending too much time out of the service of your dharma or simply not receiving enough rest.  The Spring Equinox is a great time to reorient oneself toward goals of holistic wellbeing.

My work lies in liberation and rest.  What does that mean?  It means that in spring we go outside for more walks, spend more time outdoors and less time on screens even when the body is feeling the sluggishness of kapha season.  It's a great time to consider our current distractions and let them go for a period of time, a renunciation practice!  Many religions practice this around the spring equinox.  I encourage you to consider what you could give up this spring.  I've chosen all social media platforms.  I said to my students last week, as a woman of color it's difficult to find promotional support for the work that I do, but I've found again and again the use of social media comes at a cost.  The deeper I get into bodywork, (marma chikitsa and biodynamic craniosacral therapy), yoga and Ayurveda the less time I can spend in front of a screen.  It's created a bit of despondency and dulled my creative energies.  I gave it up and replaced it with more abhyangha (self massage with oils), walks outside, books, meditation, guided relaxation & nidra, music.  Make a small revolution for yourself this spring.  A clearing practice to energize your mind, fuel your body and feed your spirit!  

Vata Season

 

How are you doing?  Have you checked in with your heart and spirit?  Have you offered up words of thoughtfulness to self as you navigate the day?

How much multitasking and conquering are you enduring at this moment in time?  There are ways in which many of us are trying to conquer life right now.  Conquer goals, conquer capitalism, conquer racism, sexism, homophobia, unsettled relationships, jobs, changing tides which we cannot control.  Recognize the ways in which this desire to conquer forsakes your time to hold and love on self day by day.  As always, recognize this without judgement.  Self-judgement does not reside from our innate being, but from taking in ideologies that are not innately ours and placing them on our personhood as if they were...creating dissonance, dissatisfaction, and even disease.

As we shift into the cooler, dryer season of Vata it is incredibly important we make time for stillness, and quiet.  I'm feeling the shifts of season, policy, organizations, communities, climate this month and noticing how vital this act of stillness is to the nervous system, to the core of our being, and to our communities at large.

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 One way of seating ourselves within the revolution is by setting aside at least 30 minutes to be still, quiet, collected.  Maybe you're on the road a lot, so you take 30 minutes before bed and rub oils from the extremities of your body to your heart center, (abhyanga).  The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth. -Sandhiya Ramaswamy

  Maybe you're engaged in a number of projects so you light a candle three feet from your body after you rise and stare at the flame for 15 minutes in stillness, reflecting on the flames center with buddha like eyes, (Trataka Mudra).  Maybe you are experiencing something out of your control right now like climate change and feeling helpless, anger, exhaustion, so you take a walk under moonlight or rest alongside a still lake.  Take time for repose and reflection.  This is not a time to ask what can I do.  That will come when we give ourselves space to be.  We also have to pull ourselves out of the western idea that these ancient methodologies have to look and sound glamorous.  Do this without having to prove you've done it, and without a desire for more.   Be right where you are.  Simplicity and trust is power.

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  As we gather ourselves into this process, the unsettled mind absolves itself from the daily on-goings of the outer world resting in a place of clarity, illumination and quietude.  This place may feel new, but it is a familiar place.  You've been here before, perhaps many times in this lifetime or the last.  Honor this practice as a journey.  One cannot simply desire to be a rising first chair violinist without serious practice, dedication, separating self from attachment to the outcome.  In the same way, remember that this revolutionary practice comes with patience, love at the heart center and dedication- all innate within you.

Coming Soon!

Reflections on teaching and practicing in the yoga world, activism, wellbeing, and navigating all things as a woman of color and wellness leader in the community.