Updated: Feb 19
On a journal of mine there is a sticker that reads: "Reminder: we are floating in space, and that's pretty miraculous." Stop for a moment & really think about that - the wonder of the solar system & everything within. We all have different beliefs about how humans came to be on this Earth. But what we can agree on is the fact that it IS a phenomenon.
Sadly, many of us live our lives in a very sad, busy, anxious space. We don't take time to think about the fact that we are floating in space.
Several years ago, I was in an anxious place 24/7. I searched & searched for ways to feel better, but I couldn't find anything. The constant anxiety led to a deep feeling of nothingness.
I didn't stop searching though. One of the things I found was yoga. Yoga helped me repair my relationship with myself, & the world.
Fast forward to today, I feel incredibly grounded & full of faith. I love melding together my knowledge of history, life, science, etc. It’s so beautiful to see how it all connects. It IS possible to be happy in this busy world. Read on.
The Sun, Moon, Stars & Human History
Humans have always looked to the sky in wonder. The Babylonians in 2,300 B.C.E. were the first to record their studies of the sky. From there, human curiosity only grew. Ancient civilizations created gods & goddesses associated with the sun & moon showcasing how important they were to their daily lives. You have likely heard that The Moon is associated with the feminine. I learned recently that is more the case for Western cultures. In Egypt & Japan, for example, The Moon was masculine & the sun feminine. No matter what, humans regarded The sun & Moon as important and unique entities working together.
Ok, cool, history teacher. Why should this matter to us?
Our ancestors didn't have all the cool things we have, but they DID have something we typically don't: a strong relationship with the earth & the larger system behind it. Somewhere along the way, humans got lost. Now people seem to be unhappier than ever, & growing more so everyday.
The question is, then, how can we strengthen our relationship with nature? How can we become happier by paying more attention to the sun, moon, & stars?
The sun is the center of our solar system. We revel in the beauty of the sunrise & sunset. It allows for growth, & the continuation of life on Earth. In the Chinese Taoist belief of Yin and Yang, The Sun is the Yang. It is the energy, the force, the push.
We begin our yoga practice with Sun Salutations everyday. The Sanksrit word is “Surya Namaskar” or, to bow/greet the sun. Our Sun Salutations show us the rise, the steady, the fall, the rise, steady, fall, over and over again.
How can we connect with the sun, the Yang of life?
Get outside for your dose of Vitamin D.
FEEL the sun - be present & mindful in the energy it provides.
Practice your Sun Salutations, even on days you can't do a full practice.
As the closest astronomical object to us, The Moon has always fascinated humans. The Earth is synced with The Moon in a predictable rhythm. From this sync, humans can predict the tides of the ocean & behaviors of animals.
The Moon is the Yin. It is the softness, the recharge, the calm glow. That is what a Yin yoga class is all about. It fuses the Taoist belief with yoga, providing us with a soft moon feeling each time we come.
How can we connect with The Moon, the Yin of life?
Get in sync with the phases of The Moon. See if you notice anything about your body & mind (I have the "Moon" app).
Find comfort in the changes of The Moon. Change happens - “It’s just a phase."
Consider setting goals during the New Moon, and reflecting on the Full Moon. There are ways you can make this into a fu