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March: A fresh start

Kelly Major HeathVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyKelly Major Heath
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Well, my friends spring is really rearing its head! And it has such a way of awakening me. I feel the little pinpricks of excitement as I see the buds on the trees beginning to form, leaves starting to return, green poking its way through the

remnants of snow and ice. In that, I always find hope and inspiration hope for new beginnings, new opportunities; inspiration to be bold and begin anew, to see things in a new light. We can learn so much from nature and from the world around us. We can discover for ourselves so many ways to become inspired to grow, transform and evolve. Wherever, however that inspiration arrives, it has a profound effect on us. I have become very aware of just that over the past few months as we have really formed a kula-supportive community at Mountain Lotus. I have never been more proud, challenged and humbled to work with such a beautiful group of teachers as I have in the recent months. Rachel continues to be a bright, shining light for everyone around her. Mike really has stepped up to offer himself in his teaching and support the entire kula wherever he can. Kiara offers her lightness, commitment and amazing practice everywhere she goes. Cheryl supports the group through wisdom and beautiful expression of yoga. Eric is always the first to bear his soul on and off his mat. Jessa offers her unwavering commitment to yoga when life itself seems fickle at times. Heathers energy, love, support and enthusiasm are contagious! Despite some challenges in our group over the past year, we really have formed a beautiful kula of supporting, loving human beings. I realize just how much they have touched my life their determination, creativity, smiles, openness, willingness; in essence, their beautiful spirits. Its so easy sometimes to ignore or take for granted all of the beauty that surrounds us. Whether its other people, nature, animals, a book, a poem or a live performance, there is always something we can draw inspiration from. So in light of spring and community and all that they both have to offer, can we allow ourselves to stay open to the beauty? Can we give ourselves the time and the room to grow and explore, and can we offer back into the world all the joy and richness that whatever inspires us has brought us?Here are some words of wisdom and inspiration from Kiss the Earth, by Thich Nhat Hanh:Walk and touch peace every moment.Walk and touch happiness every moment.Each step brings a fresh breeze.Each step makes a flower bloom.Kiss the Earth with your feet.Bring the Earth your love and happiness.The Earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves.Find pauses throughout your day. Stop for about one minute three times a day to take notice of whats around you (the people you are with, the sights and smells that surround you, even the food you are eating). Notice how pausing affects your mood, your heart and your soul. Take time to look up when youre outside walking, and observe the magnificence of the mountains and trees how they bow in toward each other in great arcs of branches and leaves or how they reach tall to the heavens.

With the arrival of spring comes the age-old tradition of spring cleaning. And what better way to clean the home that is your body than with a twist. Twisting is a wonderful way to rid the body of toxins, bring flexibility not only to the spine but to the mind as well. Once the blocks that came about by twisting are removed, there is a change of perspective seeing from a new angle. (from Hatha Yoga the Hidden Language, by Swami Sivananda Radha).Start by sitting on the edge of a blanket with your legs outstretched in front of you. Feel your sitting bones snuggling together underneath and your tailbone rooting deep into the earth. Grow the spine long through the crown of your head. Flex through both feet and allow the thighs to roll gently in toward each other. Bend the right knee in, so the sole of the foot is on the earth and the knee is pointing toward the sky. Make sure the heel is in line with the right sitting bone (there will probably be a little space between your right foot and your left inner thigh). Walk your right hand as far behind you as feels comfortable, inhale and reach your left arm up into the sky to get long through the sides of the waist. From the back of the left side of your pelvis initiate the twist to the right, hugging your right knee with your left arm. Kelly Major Heath is the director of Moutain Lotus yoga in the Vail Athletic Club. She writes a monthly yoga column for the Vail Daily. Send comments about this column to cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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