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Shiva Rea: The Journey Of The Year

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Contemplate the mind-blowing journey that is before us all – our circumambulation around the great fireball of the sun which we have been circling for the last 4.5 billion years.
This year after 365 sunrises and sunsets, 26 new and full moons, 42 million or so heartbeats,and some 884,000 breaths, we have arrived at the turning point of the year – the winter Solstice-New Year.
At winter solstice, the darkest point of the year, light begins its journey of reemergence. This great cosmological reality synchs our biorhythms to the subtle flow of slowly increasing light. This biological and spiritual attunement to light is part of our creative legacy found in the many cosmological temples around the world linked to the solstice – from illuminated spiral of the earth mound of Newgrange in Ireland to 15,000 year old winter solstice cave paintings of the Chumash in the Santa Monica mountains. n the heart of fertile darkness at the end of the year
I created this mandala of the “Solar-Lunar Mandala of the Year” with designer Lisa Firefly to help visualize our journey around the sun in connection with the cycles of the moon so we can become more aware of the power of these macrocosmic forces particularly for potent times for retreat which is dissolving in the 24-7 modern cycle.
The twenty-six new and full moons, eight solar junctures and sunrise-sunset daily and weekly rhythms are heightened times to create community classes or to unplug yourself as a yoga teacher to tend your energy, and listen deeply.
shiva-rea-journey-year-2Living Vinyasa – Making space for Mini-Retreats
The natural waxing and waning of life offers all kinds of opportunities to create personal retreat time or special classes for your studio. You can create a mini-retreats at any given moment by honoring the breath, daily at sunrise or sunset, or during the cross-cultural holy days that are tied to the movements of the sun and moon through the wheel of the year.
There are three natural cycles within the pulse of life that we can emphasize during our retreat times:
Cycles of Initiating—Rhythms for Beginning Anew
Optimal times: On an inhale; at sunrise; during the new moon; during the wheel-of-the-year festivals of winter solstice, New Year’s Day, Imbolc, or spring equinox; any time you are initiating a new phase in your life, such as a project or a relationship.
Cycles of Sustaining the Peak—Honoring and Celebrating Fullness
Optimal times: On an inhale retention; at noon and sunset; during the full moon; at summer solstice; during waxing solar sandhyas (spring equinox or Beltane); any time you are sustaining a challenging project in your life.
Cycles of Letting Go—Honoring Completion, Death, and Shadow Work
Optimal times: On an exhale; at sunset and nighttime; during the waning period three days before the new moon; from Oct. 31st – Dec. 21st the last six weeks of the darkest part of the year; any time you are completing a process or working with shadow healing, death, or letting go.
This is the essence of “living vinyasa” in connection with the rhythm of life. As yoga tunes us to solar and lunar cycle, the new moon-full moon, solstices, equinoxes are natural times to have recharge as these are the macro-cycles of nature that are universal to all. While the outer world moves in a holiday flurry, dive into the deeper rhythm of inner renewal with the rebirth of the winter solstice light.

The oscillating rhythm of the heart knows there is

a time for activation and a time for regeneration

a time for quiet and a time for ecstasy

a time for clearing and a time for celebrating

a time for receiving and a time for giving

a time for igniting the fire

and a time for letting go into the fire.

~ Shiva Rea, prAna Ambassador, yogi & RYT500
Shiva Rea is the founder of Prana Flow –Energetic Vinyasa and Samudra Global School for Living Yoga offering retreats, teacher training and online programs around the world. Her upcoming book, “Tending the Heart Fire – Living in Flow with the Pulse of Life” (SoundsTrue) available January 1st everywhere.
Learn more about Shiva