Tag: Personal Commitment

Hot Yoga: First Step

Although I’ve been practising hatha yoga for a few years, my relationship just got serious.


Unlimited hot yoga, you say?!?

I’ve committed to one month of unlimited hot yoga. I’ve already started sweating just thinking about the commitment this represents (and potential wasted dollars if I don’t follow through). Pressure cooker!

In order to take full advantage of this membership, I’ve decided to pre-register to a few classes this week. There’s nothing like putting something in your schedule in order to carve out time to get it done. I’m also writing about it because, well, if you put it out there, people will ask you. I’ve decided that when it comes to my physical health, just as with other aspects of my well-being, it’s time to take mindful action.

For some, a team sport would be the best choice for exercise and present awareness. For an introvert like me, yoga is the best group-activity-that-does-not-require-socializing-or-competition. Essentially, it meets my needs for stillness, body awareness and self-care. My other discipline, dance, fulfills a completely different emotional and social need. Right now, my life needs a bit of dance and a LOT of yoga.

My first experience with hot room was an adaptation. The room was full of alone-together people. In that regard, I fit right in! The heat was another story. As I lay in savasana, waiting for my quirky zen instructor (picture a hipster buddha with a kind smile and a laughing voice), I felt my face tingle as though I was on the beach. Except the beach was less like warm sand and a lot like my hard, damp bathroom floor. I was sweating. It was going to be a long class. It turned out the pace of yin suited me perfectly. It’s a good thing because all my focus was on regulating my body temperature and listening to my body, in order to ensure I was not overdoing it.

Source: unknown

Source: unknown

Another observation was that I was the curviest person there and my dance fit days were a distant memory. I could compare myself or I could turn my gaze inward. I chose to be there for myself and leave judgment. What? I couldn’t bend this way anymore? Hmm. Oh wait, what is happening? I was learning about my today-limits. I was leaning about my today-best. I was learning to relax into poses in a way that was different from other yin classes. I learned to recenter myself and take the inventory of my own journey.

I’ve heard so much about the benefits of hot yoga, but I think that with any physical activity, fitness or meditation, personal experience is the surest way to *knowing* yourself. You may think about an experience, you may have read the figures and studies, but what is it like for you? Present awareness is key.

I’ll be posting updates on my journey, as I learn about my body and about the practice.

How will you challenge your mind-body-heart? What will you commit to for your well-being?

Rite of the Womb

As part of my journey reconnecting with my Native roots, I discover many beautiful ceremonies, rites and practices, which I’m invited to participate in.

My friend, Little Deer Fairy Child, is studying to work energetically with people who wish to heal themselves iSacral-chakran body, mind and spirit. Many call this work “shamanic”. Few people call themselves shamans because it implies years of apprenticeship, some gifts and a community recognition. That being said, shamanic practices are available to all who are interested in learning. It has everything to do with a holistic approach to heal and spirituality.

Little Deer Fairy Child was initiated in the 13th Rite of the Munay-Ki, a ceremony which empowers women to heal their wombs (and their sacral chakra, for those who are familiar the chakra system). My friend has graciously initiated me into the 13th Rite of the Munay-Ki: the Rite of the Womb.I couldn’t be more grateful for the beautiful ceremony, the recognition of my feminine identity and the awakening of another centre of my personal power.

In the practice, you ground yourself and connect to the grandmothers and women who came before you. A Womb Keeper calls upon this wisdom and healing energy and asks to be a channel to pass this on to the woman (or women) before her. A thoughtful and symbolic altar or bundle is set out with 13 candles (for the 13 grandmothers and 13 moons), a bowl of water, objects that convey femininity for the participants and flowers. By placing hands from her womb to another’s, the Womb Keeper passes on the Rite and connects us in the Great Sisterhood. The Rite cannot be staged and must be passed on by a Keeper. Men are welcome guests who hold sacred space for us as lovers, family, friends, supporters and figurative protectors. The men who participate are also welcome, as are the participating women, to blow positive intentions into petals that are placed into the water, ultimately to be given back to Mother Earth.

Keeper of the Womb

I had a wonderful experience receiving the Rite, as I felt my growing connection to strong, nurturing energy from women Petals waterpast, present and future. I felt closer to my friend. I felt clearer on who I was and on simply “being woman”. I felt warmth rushing to my womb. It was as much a physical experience for me as it was an emotional and spiritual one. I was blessed to have my partner hold space for me. Even though he is unfamiliar with Native American practices and customs (and I’m new to them myself), he sat with us, peacefully, attentive. He kept an open mind. He helped light candles. When his turn came, he took a petal in which to blow an intention. And when I was overcome with emotion, he took me in his arms and told me he loved me. I felt how much I loved him at that moment too.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

The Rite is not simply for women who wish to bear children or for women who’ve been victims of abuse. The Rite of the Womb, as it’s also called, is meant to help women bring awareness to their centre of creativity and personal power. We hold much of our pain and fear in the womb, finding ourselves paralyzed from making self-honouring decisions. The womb is the centre of our ability to make art, to find solutions that ring true for us and a healthy womb allows us to cleanse ourselves (physically and energetically) in order to embrace life’s cycles. In very practical terms, the Rite of the Womb helps alleviate period symptoms and soothe pain in the general area of reproductive organs. The womb is like a micro version of the Earth Mother. So a rite that honours the womb also helps us nourish our relationship with the Earth.

Although some people have noticed incredible, noticeable changes in their reproductive health, it is not advised to forego medical counsel from a trusted physician when it comes to illnesses and disorders. Now, I’m a firm believer that health is a three-part organism: body, mind and soul. If you nourish your mind and your soul, you acknowledge your feelings (emotional body) and sensations (physical body), then you’re on your way to create an ideal recovery scenario.

As most rites, the Rite of the Womb is a personal commitment you make to yourself and as such, it is considered a responsibility. Because of its shamanic, South-American heritage, it is a free practice in the spirit of healing the world, one woman at a time. You can see it as the responsibility you owe yourself and other women is your payment for receiving such a gift. You also owe it to your fellow sisters to share the Rite with any one of them who wish to receive it, in full understanding of what it represents. I invite you to visit The Rite of the Womb website, to view the beautiful video on the ceremony and to read on the intention of the practice. The testimonies are very touching and special as well.

If you are interested in receiving the Rite of the Womb and would like more information, do get in touch! It would be my pleasure to help you on your journey…

flowers and candle

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