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October Moga Newsletter
Happy October, friends! I don’t know about you, but October is one of my favs. The leaves are starting to change, the breeze has a crisp bite to it, and all my favorite flavors, textures, and colors are back in season. I find myself sprinkling cardamom and cinnamon on everything (have you ever tried cinnamon in chili?? - so good!).
I also find myself panicking a little. How will I survive another New England winter?? I don’t know about you, but winters bring me anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good snowstorm. I really love shoveling, too. But the dark, long nights really get to me. It’s one of the reasons I started hosting Bedtime Yoga. Selfishly, I was searching for a way to stay connected with others and build a practice that would force me to slow down and embrace the darkness. I looked forward to that once a week tradition, but I found myself needing more.
If you think about it, woodland animals know how to do winter right. They sense the change in season, and they prepare and gather. And then they rest. They slow way down. Some don’t even emerge until it’s all over. And yet, we’re still trudging along. We’re fighting against our instincts. We still wake up at the same time to the sound of our alarm, ushering in another day of work and the modern busyness that we’ve become accustomed to.
I brought this up to my dear friend Rachel the other day, and she could relate. In fact, like our woodland friends, she had already started planning. We spent the next hour on our walk coming up with a game plan. How can we embrace this season of change with open arms and open hearts? We discussed lighting candles, taking warm baths, and maybe even taking up a new hobby, like embroidery. The overall theme: honor our instinctual urge to slow down and engage in practices that feed our soul with what it needs.
I’m not going to tell you what that should be because we are all different beings and all need different things. So, I invite you to use the changing seasons as a signal to pause and think about this: What does your body and mind need during this time of change? What will fuel your body and mind until spring?
And if more moga is it, then I invite you to attend Bedtime Yoga this Monday, October 2 at 8pm. I’m looking forward to connecting with you all again.
Love Letters From Nature
A few years ago I took a year off from work to re-evaluate things and to take care of my mental health. During that time I walked a lot. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but this was the first time in my life that I ever walked by myself in nature. The first few times I was terrified, but very quickly I started to look around and notice the beauty all around me. Little love letters from nature, telling me that everything was going to be OK. Nature really knows how to live fully.
A few weeks ago, I took a snapshot of this little love letter. It was still warm and very much summer, but there were a few leaves beginning to change. I keep thinking of this love letter when I begin to worry about winter. For now, I’m not going to worry about that. I’m going to welcome fall with open arms and let nature do its thing. I’ll be here to watch in awe as it does. <3
After receiving my Little Flower Yoga certification this summer, I’ve been busy planning lots of kid and teen moga programming. The feedback I’m receiving is exciting and energizing, and I can’t wait to introduce moga to more kids. The theme for my classes has been building self-awareness and personal power, with the hopes that the practices on the mat can and will transfer to their outside-the-moga-space lives. I can only speak for myself, but I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had learned these practices when I was a kid. I spent much of my life worrying that something was wrong with me. Turns out, I’m just human!
For those of you who are parents or teachers, here’s a simple practice you can do to help kids (or yourself!) become aware of our breath (one of the greatest tools we have!) and to learn how to use it to create some calm.
Heart and Belly Breath
First, notice that you are breathing. We don’t often notice this. Pay attention to where you feel your breath in your body. Do you feel it moving in and out of your nose? In the rise and fall of your chest? Your stomach? Just notice.
If you feel comfortable, bring one hand to your belly and one hand to your heart (this can feel uncomfortable and “silly” at first - it’s OK to practice this without touching your body). If you feel comfortable, close your eyes or you can keep your eyes open and just lower your gaze. You can do this practice sitting up or laying down.
Begin to slow your breath down, and make your breath steady and even, so that your inhale and exhale are the same length. Breathe in and out through your nose.*
Can you feel your breath moving through your body? Notice any sensations. When your mind wanders away, notice it, and then return your attention to the sensation of your breath. Do this for a few breaths.
(Start small here. A few seconds, a minute or more, anything is better than nothing!)
* This can be tricky at first. If it helps, counting your inhale and exhale can help. Inhale in for 1, 2, 3, and exhale out for 1, 2, 3, etc. Learn more about why breathing through your nose is better for you and your health.
Recipes from a Mindful Mama Bear
After reading this newsletter draft to my little editor, Griff, he recommended that I share our “warm milk” recipe with you all. I’m no expert cook, as many of you may know, but every now and then I channel my inner Joanna Gaines and I try to create something that not only tastes good but looks good, too (enter the cinnamon stick to the recipe below). I love thinking about how I can make or recreate my favorite meals using real ingredients and loads of love.
This warm milk tradition started with a childhood memory, courtesy of my mom. In the chilly winter months, she would make me and my brother warm cereal and milk before bed. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it! She’d gently warm the milk and then sprinkle in rice crispy cereal. I can still vividly recall placing my ear near the bowl to listen to the snap, crackle, and pop before savoring each bite. The warm milk filled my stomach and almost always made me feel ready for bed. Griff reports that after drinking his cup of warm milk, his legs “feel tired and weak” and he’s ready for sleep. Give it a try and see for yourself!
Little G’s Warm Milk
1 cup of whole organic milk (substitute with any dairy free milk alternative)
1 small spoonful of local honey
1 cinnamon stick
Sprinkle of warm spices (choose your own adventure style - we like to use cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a bit of ginger)
In a small saucepan, add milk and heat on low. Add cinnamon stick. Once milk is warm, add honey and spices. Use a small whisk to mix. When milk is at the ideal temperature, pour into a mug and serve before bedtime.
Virtual Bedtime Yoga, Mondays at 8pm, Starting October 2
I’m also available for private virtual or in-person moga sessions. Email me for more information at email@example.com.
I’d be so appreciative if you forward this email to anyone who you think would be interested in learning more about Daley Moga.
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