The Mountains

Mountains

Classes this week are being inspired by a 5-day Dru meditation retreat that I’ve just experienced at Snowdonia Mountain Lodge in the heart of Snowdonia. I always benefit from the stillness of the Mountain pose (tadasana), but discovered a much deeper stillness when surrounded by the presence of the mountains. If you find it difficult to stand in the stillness of Mountain pose, try and visualise your favourite mountain, or find a photograph of one that you like. Imagine yourself standing in front of that mountain, feet firmly planted on the earth and breathe that stillness and stability of the mountain into yourself.

The Mountains

Heads in the clouds, the mountains stand guard.

High and tall.

Clouds constantly shifting, revealing, then hiding.
Croaks and cries of ravens and buzzards,
Slow wingbeats, barely perceptible against the mountains.

The mountains watch, immoveable.

A road winds through the mountains.
Tiny cars crawling, carrying tinier people.
The road a narrow scar on the mountains.

The mountains stand, impeturbable.

Solid and still.

Water off a mountain’s back.
Water refreshes the mountain.
Waterfalls tumble, cleansing and washing away the debris.

A sliver of silver moon rises behind the mountains.
Slowly revealing it’s fullness.
Ghostly shapes of sheep at the foot of the mountains,
White in the moonlight.

Protected by the mountains.

A hooting of the wise owls.
Blessed by the mountains.

The fading moon drops behind the mountains across the valley
As morning awakes.
The mountains awake to a sprinkling of snow
Scattered from the heavens.

The hearts of the mountains are peaceful.

Grounding

Columns in garden

that path is you
that is why it will never tire of waiting
whether it is covered with red dust,
autumn leaves,
or icy snow,
come back to the path.
you will be like the tree of life
your leaves, trunk, branches,
and the blossoms of your soul
will be fresh and beautiful,
once you enter the practice of Earth Touching

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Over the next few weeks, we are taking inspiration for classes from the five elements, beginning with the element of earth. We’ll be doing postures and sequences that help you feel grounded and strong.

Life can throw us in all directions at times and postures like tadasana (the mountain pose) help us regain a feeling of balance and centredness – of coming home.  We feel our own inner strength, standing immoveable like the mountain. Utthitta trikonasana (the extended triangle) gives us a feeling of stability with the wide triangle base and weight grounding down through both feet.

Dru yoga has a wonderful grounding and calming sequence called Prithvi Namaskara – the earth sequence, which combines flowing movements with the flowing breath. It reminds us of the endless cycles of the earth around the sun, and of how life is always changing. If we keep our feet firmly grounded on the earth, we can absorb strength and security from the earth beneath enabling us to cope with the ups and downs of life.