Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Here Comes the Sun: Musings on Snow and Salutations

We've had a record amount of snow this year, something in the range of 200 cm, so well over 6 feet of the white stuff.  This is the view from my back step:

Morris is running out of places to do his thing:

Our resident bunny is still hanging in there:

Everyone has her own ideas about what will encourage warm weather to make its arrival. Heather taught the last class of winter in the studio last night; she teamed up with Ali, who taught the first class of spring this morning, to complete 108 cycles Surya Namaskara, or Sun Salutations.  Conventionally, Sun Salutations are done at the solstice; however, our teachers decided to celebrate both the passing of winter and the arrival of spring at the equinox.  Heather led us through 54 cycles of Salutations in the evening class.  If someone chose to do so, she could complete the cycles at the 6:15 am class today.  (No, I was not there.)

I struggle with Surya Namaskara.  The quicker pace of the cycles usually makes my asana practice rather sloppy and I have to be careful not to pinch muscles in my back.  I was a little hesitant about attending the evening class, especially after the challenges on the weekend, but I knew that no one would force me to do one cycle, let alone 54.  I decided to give it a shot.  13 students gathered for practice as Heather guided us through the asanas in 6 sections.  I didn't complete all 54 cycles; I managed to do 36, more than I've ever done at one time and without injury.

I wanted to participate in the full session, rather than watch from the sidelines, but I couldn't think of a way to do this.  An idea came to me just prior to class, at the end of the Breath and Meditation class:  when my body signalled that it was time for a break, I would sit out a section of the practice, but I would continue to participate by drawing stick figures for each asana.  As it happened, that practice was not as easy as I had anticipated.  the poses moved quickly; drawing even simple stick figures for each move proved challenging. Drawing Surya Namaskara stick figures turned out to be active, more than just sketching.  It took one full cycle of drawing before I found my rhythm, but eventually, things began to line up (literally):

The stacking of my little figures wasn't intentional, although I was aware of it at the time.  At the end of our class, I had completed 4 rounds of Salutations, physically, and completed 2 cycles of asanas by drawing figures.

When we're confronted with challenges, it helps to remember that there are many ways to meet them.  We can avoid them, push through them or find a way around them.  Any or all of those methods can be the right solution at a given time.  Sometimes, when we think we are missing out because we can't do things as expected, we discover that we have been given a new perspective.  With last night's practice, I not only had the opportunity to discover Surya Namaskara as physical practice, I received the gift of discovering a new way of exploring it as meditative practice.  Life is full and good.



  1. Life is full and good but would be fuller and better without snow. Just sayin'.

  2. Well, we can't say life's not full of snow around here!