The River is Frozen and Yoga Ruminations

I am not sure when I visited the river last. This morning the temperature registered 12 degrees F - which for this area - is pretty darn cold! I decided to pay it a brief visit.

I began the morning as I do often on Fridays, by going to McDonald's. Yes - I know some of you will be appalled. But I love their breakfast burrito for a buck, and their coffee. But mostly, I go - because there is a beautiful, middle aged woman who always waits on me. I cannot quite place her accent - I think she might be from the Middle East - but she has the most wonderful smile, disposition, and generosity of spirit. She always gives me my coffee at the "senior citizen" rate, which makes it extra special.

This morning we bantered about the weather, and how cold it was. The next moment, she had taken my hands in hers, and lovingly rubbed them to make them warm again! We just never know where we will meet an angel! I wonder how many people she has touched, by just being present and smiling to them. I look forward to getting to know her better in the future...

I thought of this, and several other things when I visited the river briefly this morning. The whole launch area was iced over, as were the rocks. I actually stepped onto the edge of the ice along the riverbank - I know - not smart - and I cracked the ice and got my foot wet. Then I walked along the launch area, gingerly stepping on the ice here and there, listening to parts of it crack as the sun shone down on it...

After breakfast, but before visiting the river, I went to the studio to handle the new registrations. I talked to my friend AJ, who teaches the Friday morning class for a bit. She was tired, and asked if she could have a sip of my coffee. Instead I told her to take it. I could tell she needed my "senior" coffee more than I did this morning...She lit up like a bright star and was all smiles! I sure got a lot of mileage out of all the love that coffee generated this morning!

At the river, I pondered the experiences we have and the gifts we receive - from so many sources, often unexpected...

Yesterday, I drove out to the other side of the river to take my new yoga class. For the first time in three years, I was going to a new class with a new teacher. It truly felt like the first day of school!

Suzie Hurley is the owner and director of Willow Street Yoga Center, and my new teacher. She began by setting an overall theme for the session, and one for the class as well. She spoke of making a promise to ourselves, as opposed to making a resolution. She shared insights she had gleaned by a wonderful newsletter by Noah Maze, an Anusara Yoga Certified Teacher.

The theme for the class was: "Yes, we can!" This mantra, repeated by President-Elect Obama, was invoked several times as she led us through a wonderful sequence of poses, so very well paced, and was just what the doctor ordered! I left her class infected by her joy, openness, acceptance, and enthusiasm. I know she will play an exquisite role in this next phase of my journey.

I conclude this entry with some excerpts from Noah's newsletter:

"I love how transitions - the setting of 2008 or the dawn of 2009 - offer natural pauses for reflection. These are opportunities to envision the future, and recommit powerfully to the present...

A promise draws us into the experience of the three dimensions of time, AND presents the possibility of the timeless...One wouldn't make a promise that wasn't rooted in good reason, and in the past. A promise exists in the present. It is only as good as it is kept. And a promise exists in the future, because you would not make a promise if it did not have promise. Thus, a promise draws us into the fullness of our being; into the past, into the present, into the future, ALL at the same time - into timelessness.

Yoga is the promise you make to yourself. You go to the yoga mat because of all the things you have ever been, and the experiences that shape who you are and who you want to become. You come to the mat every day to keep your promise to yoga, and in keeping that promise, you infuse the future with hope...You have whatever you need for your own fulfillment. Whatever you have (even the unpleasant baggage and issues) you need. At least for now. But as years change, needs change. Yoga, then, is cultivating and optimizing what you have been given - figuring out how to optimize what's good - get rid of the things you can be lighter without. And so grows inner sweetness (madhurya), intoxication (saumya), and beauty (saundarya).

Yoga is the promise we make to each other. 'You have my back, I have yours.' We are in this together...This demands that we bring our individual transformation back into something we can share...Who will you align with and why?

Always, the universe will give you what you ask for. So seek the highest, in every moment. Sometimes change happens in leaps and bounds, but most of the time, it is a step-by-step process of cultivation and growth..."

For information on Noah Maze, visit:
And for information on Willow Street Yoga Center:


yogainthegarden said…
Wonderful post today. Just what I needed...
Olga Rasmussen said…
So glad to hear! Writing it warmed my day!


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