In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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The Yoga of Moving Forward and Letting Go

Today, I made it to Sunday yoga.  I even made it to the 8:30 meditation, barely.  I started my car, but forgot to turn on the defrost, so scraping was in serious order.  I do not like to enter the yoga room two minutes prior to class.  Heck, I don’t even like to enter the yoga room five minutes prior to class!  But it was OK, I made it and I needed it.

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Today was a special day.  One of my favorite local teachers (Beth) is opening a Yoga Education and Training Center (here in town) and I’m excited for her!  I’m also excited to help teach some of the training workshops as well.  Today was her last Sunday morning at our studio downtown.  We had a large crowd of fourteen.  Some of the regulars were not there this morning, so it had potential to have been a much larger class. 

Beth is a chanter and a good one.  So we opened up class with the 12 mantras for Surya Namaskar.  This was joyful and energetic and prepared some of us (including yours truly) for chanting on New Year’s Day at the Yoga Mala for charity.  We did a variety of sun salutations and I always dig the Jivamukti style salutes that she sometimes throws in.  The locking of the thumbs always makes me feel as though I’m in water.  Something that I truly love, being the avid swimmer that I once was!  And still am, when I get the chance, I’m just not on a team!

In celebration of moving forward to 2009, we focused on forward bends and some back bends.  Soft back bends, nothing too explosive.  She mentioned the back bending as a way of leaving stuff behind, because we all know if we don’t leave stuff behind, it’s hard to move (bend) forward.  So true.  I tend to carry around a lot of totally energy draining and useless information from my past at times, so I totally appreciated this class, on this very day!  Thankfully for yoga, I’ve been able to let go of a LOT of stuff that I’ve carried with me.  Even some of the stuff that I wanted to keep, but didn’t need to!

I will miss Beth’s Sunday class at our little studio.  She offered her teaching position to me.  It’s a great gig, good crowd, decent money, nice time slot.  But, I like attending the class on Sunday mornings, not teaching it.  As much as I could always use the money, I turned it down.   My friend Amanda, that took her first yoga class with me at the YMCA will be leading it.  I’m excited for her to have a studio class!  Beth will continue to teach on Sunday mornings at her new place and I’m sure I’ll drop in.  I will also be there to support Amanda, as a new studio teacher.  It’s nice to have cheerleaders (in a silent energy yoga code kind of way) in the room!

I left the yoga room today feeling much better about 2009.  Not that I was feeling necessarily bad about 2009 when I arrived, but………..yoga’s cool like that!


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Christmas Trees Around the World

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 The Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the ‘Pathway of Peace’ represent the 50 U.S. states.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gerrmany2‘Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree’: Even in its humblest attire, aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany‘s Karwendel mountains, a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 A token of gratitude for Britain‘s aid during World War II, the Christmas tree in London‘s Trafalgar Square has been the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol is dressed for a party. Madrid‘s two-week celebration makes
millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a lucky citizen will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world’s biggest lottery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost’s arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under  the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.

 

 

 

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 Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer Frankfurt‘s city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.

 

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Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic.  With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it’s no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

 

 

 

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The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall) can be found in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, PortugalThousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special enchantment of the city during the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

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Illuminating the Gothic facades of Prague’s Old Town Square, and casting its glow over the manger display of the famous Christmas market, is a grand tree cut in the Sumava mountains in the southern Czech Republic.

 

 

 

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Before the ball drops in Times Square, the Big Apple turns on its holiday charm with the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

 

 

 

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In addition to the Vatican‘s heavenly evergreen, St. Peter’s Square in Rome hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk.

 

 

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A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo‘s nighttime neon display is projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

 

 

 

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 Venice ‘s Murano Island renowned throughout the world for its quality glasswork is home to the tallest glass tree
in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.

 

 

 

 

 

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Against a backdrop of tall, shadowy firs, a rainbow trio of Christmas trees lights up the night (location unknown).


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12 Days of Christmas – A Little History

What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

 

This week, I found out.
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in
England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
 

 

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.


-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.


-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.


-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.


-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
  Faithfulness,  Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.


-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.


-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.


This knowledge was shared with me today thru an e-mail and I found it interesting and enlightening. 

Now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol…so pass it on if you wish.

Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths — some 5,000 — are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington,Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He’s done this since 1992. A wonderful guy. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state.
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