Just before class, I step outside to gather bits of nature, a last-minute inspiration. Red and orange zinnias, a few yellow birch leaves, wispy sprigs of cosmos. I spritz the clippings, place them in a bag, and to the bag I add a jar of acorn tops, candles, a collection of smooth rose quartz stones. It’s the Autumnal Equinox and I want to do something special for my students.
After sweeping the studio floor, after turning on the twinkle lights, after turning the music on low, I arrange a cream-colored cloth, create a nature mandala. It’s such a simple act, satisfying, pretty. It calms me to arrange the treasures in a (mostly) symmetrical way. I light the candles just before the students arrive and when they see the mandala, they’re surprised, a little delighted, they thank me.
I help them set up their bolsters and blankets and settle in, I dim the lights, I begin our yoga nidra meditation. Their eyes are closed throughout class, they’re deep in rest as the candles flicker, casting shadows on red and orange petals, on wispy greenery. The women don’t see the mandala as they rest but I’m sure they feel its sweetness, it fills the room. After class, we stand around the mandala, we talk of zinnias and monarch butterflies, of chrysalises and the fragility of nature.
This day of evenness, this equinox, this portal, this holy pause, Nature reminding us of balance and equanimity. We work so hard and we try so hard and sometimes we forget there’s an inner compass, a compass that guides us in navigating transition and change, guides us in welcoming ease and flow, an inner compass that levels us. This compass is one of trust — in the circularity of life, in the closing of eyes to rest, in the opening of eyes to see what there is to see, of stepping into the life that is ours and no one else’s. May we hold this compass with tender hands as we tread lightly on our path. May we trust in holy pauses. May we leave beauty in our wake.
You are walking this life. Make sure that you leave beautiful steps behind.
~ Morné Pretorius ~
P.S. Come write creative lists with us! Two weeks of thoughtful list making, pause, community.
Class meets October 10-21; registration closes October 6. Hop over here to join us…