Wishing you a wonderful 2014 Year of the Horse. I suspect that most of you have already felt the quickening energy of this new year and are feeling an acceleration which, while fast, feels good after the slow, almost sluggish energetic of the past year. Between now and the next full moon on February 14th, is the traditional time of celebrating the Lunar New Year. The fifteen day Spring Festival is one of the times during the year when people all across China go home to be with family. The two weeks end with the Lantern Festival, which is also the first day of spring by the lunar calendar. Already the songbirds are heralding the arrival of spring, as the warming days arrive and the nights grow shorter!
Healthy ExerciseWith spring arriving and the results of our winter feasting and sleeping showing in the body, it is time to start pushing the physical and exercising more. The consolidation effect of winter has now set up a harmonious condition for the detoxification of the body through heating and energizing exercise. It is time to engage in more rigorous physical pursuits such as hard qigong, Tai Chi Qi Gong 18 part 2, bone stretching, running or brisk walking, laying qi gong, etc. In March I invite you to kick start your daily practice with a Spring Tune Up/ Create the Qi Gong Habit class: 24 classes over 28 days in which we will focus on cleansing hard qi gong, building core strength, and creating a healthy habit! Details to follow...
Healthy EatingIn the vegetarian diet that monks and priests in both the Taoist and Vedantic traditions follow we try to eat food that is full of life force. Beans and seeds are the most powerfully alive of foods: just think, simply by adding water, you can trigger their ability to grow a whole new plant! Roots and tubers such as potatoes, carrots, beets, and such are right up there with seeds in their ability to bring forth new life under the right conditions.
A challenge of this diet is ensuring the consumption of adequate protein. In particular, beans are a nourishing replacement for meat, cheese and eggs in the diet.
Read more and for this month's recipe
We create our reality constantly... What does this mean? Does it mean we create the external circumstances of our lives? Perhaps, but more to the point, we create our response to those circumstances. As conscious players on the stage of reality we get to choose much about the internal and mental unfolding of our days. Do we engage in drama or do we choose to step out of drama? Do we watch the news and get caught up in the tension and fear that the media promotes or do we choose to moderate our consumption of drama and turn the news off, listen to music, go for a walk, meditate, read enlivening material, take a hot soak, or engage in any of a thousand alternatives? In each moment we have choice: to engage or not, to flip the coin or not, to moderate our response to circumstances, to seek out the silver lining.
Breath, the foundation of continued life, is both a responsive force and a creative force of the body. Our breath responds to our emotional and physical states and our emotional and physical states respond to changes in our breath. When we are anxious or afraid we may hold our breath, when we sleep the breath slows and finds its own pace, when we run the breath accelerates.
When we regulate our breath, we use breath to moderate change in our physical and mental/emotional states. In meditation we begin by bringing our attention to the breath and lead the breath to a slow, deep, even, and gentle pace. As our breath slows and regulates, the body and mind follow suit. As the breath regulates, the body calms and the mind slows down. Any time we feel anxious or fearful or distressed, if we bring our attention to our breath and begin to regulate it, the body and mind will follow suit.
February Classes and Events
Tea Ceremony: Saturday February 15th, 2-5 pm Zen Tea Chamblee
Coming in March: Spring Tune Up/Create the Habit: March 3rd-March 29th (Monday-Saturday) 7:00-7:45 am. Please contact me if you are interested!
Please visit my calendar for class and location details.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
The Path to Health Begins With Essential Energy
SPECIAL NOTE: The material in this newsletter is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Corinne Chaves
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