Issue 5. Delight

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Venus Goddess Ritual for Nourishment

by Maria Borghoff (Photo by Charlie Watts)

“Her radiant light serves as a reminder to not to be swallowed up by the darkness, but rather to increase our capacity for goodness. Yielding to our desires, Venus is the incarnation of feminine strength. She calls us to awaken our intuition and respond to the divine calling that comes from within.”

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STANDING IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS, WHAT LIGHT ARE YOU SHARING WITH THE WORLD?

Basic Rules for Spell Casting

by Colleen Choate

“you don’t need to ask

permission

to lay in the grass

smell the mineral dirt

shake yourself out

the leaves ask

no one’s permission

to fall”

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My Wedding Vows

by Maria Borghoff

“Words are not enough to express my love for you.
But words are all I have.
And so here, I give you my word:

I promise to stand by your side.
To celebrate your triumphs,
And push you toward your dreams.

I promise to listen and share my heart fully.
To embrace you when I am angry,
And lean in closer when I want to run away.”

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Courage to Speak Up

by Sandy Agüero

Atlanta designer creates a daily gratitude practice to celebrate the gifts of life that are easily forgotten but when appreciated, will continue to lift us up. “For 5 minutes, I write a list of all the things I’m grateful for; big and small, good and bad, frivolous and extravagant. It is helping me to embrace acceptance of duality and realize the choice to emerge from doubtful thoughts. Through the midst of what we all have to handle in life, I’m choosing to see and feed the good. Radically accept and invite over what pisses me off over for tea and ask what its trying to teach me? And then take action accordingly.”

Follow her for the full series: @sandya.design #dailygratefuldesign

 

THE MOST THRILLING MOMENT IS THE DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT.

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The Key to Delight

by Laura Sofía Zepeda

“It is funny to be aware of the presence of the word ‘light’ in this synonym of pleasure. It is almost as if the word itself was built with delight and has a strong desire to prove it and make it so obvious it slaps you across the face. An urge to overindulge in it encompasses us every single day, and maybe it is exactly there that lies the irony of the ‘de’ that actually means to take away. In other words, to take away the light.”

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Mantra for Inspiration

“Venus is the planet of brilliant light and muse of creative expression” - Chanti Tacoronte-Perez of Yantra Wisdom.

To invoke Venus and draw upon clear forces of inspiration, begin by reflecting on the the obstacles that you have faced in the past 19 months. Observe these challenges without judgement and take a few moments to appreciate how they have served and empowered you. Then, chant aloud or mentally repeat the following mantra to call upon the brilliant light inside of you and all around.

“Om Shum Shukraya Namah”

Headstand for Immunity Boost

Sirasana (Headstand) has a remarkable ability to activate Agni (digestive flame) and your body’s source of protection. This asana requires a fair amount of strength in the torso, cervical spine (neck), and shoulder joints. As a balancing pose that demands strength and stability, Sirsasana is also an inversion - meaning that it reverses the blood flow in your body. The reversed circulation paired with the heat of muscular engagement all along the spine is a wonderful way to reset the nervous system and boost the immune system. Please practice with precaution, and know that you can gain nearly all the same benefits from practicing Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin Pose).

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Neti Pot for Sinus Cleansing

If seasonal allergies, sinus congestion or mucus buildup has crept into your life, try starting your morning with a Neti Pot Ritual. This nasal irrigation system is a brilliant way to hydrate and cleanse your sinuses - from your nostrils to the back of your throat. I boil the water, add a non-iodized salt mixture, and let rest at room temperature overnight. You can also follow up your Neti Ritual with a light touch of Nasya Oil to moisturize and protect the inside of your nostrils and ears from any excess Vata (cold air) or irritating pathogens.


“A gARDEN IS A DELIGHT TO THE EYE AND A SOLACE FOR THE SOUL.”

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Sushumna Pranayama for Balance

Sushumna Nadi is the central channel of energy that runs along your spinal column. It is a bridge of connection between the earth below and sky above. Just like your spine, Sushumna Nadi is a great source of mobility and strength. It enables you to harness all of the energy in your body and environment, acting as a reservoir for storing energetic power for when you need it most. The goal of all Yoga asana practice is to guide energy into Sushumna Nadi, so that we can find balance and awaken our highest potential.

To feel connected and revitalized in your whole body and mind, practice moving your awareness up and down the length of your spine in synchrony with your breath. Breathe naturally and allow your awareness to follow. Inhale - awareness moves upward from your coccyx (tailbone), up through your lower spine, ribcage, neck, and into your midbrain. Exhale - awareness travels downward from your midbrain, down through your neck, ribcage, lower spine, and into the tip of your tailbone. Repeat for 5-10 minutes. To deepen, move your awareness all the way down to the soles of your feet, and all the way up to the space just above the crown of your head.

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Muladhara Meditation for Stability

Muladhara is the Root Chakra, a wheel of energetic synapses located in your pelvic floor. Yoga wisdom tells us that Muladhara governs our basic survival instincts and primal sense of self-identity. It is responsible for attachment, fear and insecurities associated with being alive. While Muladhara is the seat of physical excretion and energetic elimination, it is also the body’s gateway to Mother Earth, having the capacity to open up, give, receive, and transform.

To feel grounded, supported and balanced in Muladhara, practice becoming aware of the muscles in your pelvic floor and soles of your feet. Wait for an opportunity/ invitation that initially provokes a sense of fear inside of you, then observe sensations in your pelvic floor and soles of your feet. Are you creating a sense of holding or gripping? Are you using your breath to feel supported in the midst of your fear? Can you stay with the sensations until they release or dissolve into something new?

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Mullein Smoke for Free Breathing

For many years, indigenous people have foraged and harvested medicinal plants to soothe physical ailments and emotional discomfort. Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a native Eurasian plant that was imported to the Americas in the 18th century, and now grows wild in the high country of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s thin, tall flowering stalks can be spotted covering the hillsides from the highway. Luckily, its abundance has found a purpose in treating respiratory ailments such as asthma, coughing, tuberculosis, and people in pulmonary distress.

Dried Mullein leaves can be made as tea, brewed into tincture, or smoked for expanded airways. It also produces a mild sedative, which aids in relaxation and parasympathetic nervous system activation to facilitate deeper breath and emotional relief. This kind of nature’s salve, though, must be used with mindfulness, because it is only a remedy for the symptoms and not a treatment of the cause.

Suggested Free Breathing Blend by Will’s Wild Herbs: Coltsfoot, Mullein, Smooth Sumac Leaves, Sweet Everlasting Flowers

Maria Borghoff