[Just added photos today, March 12: #1 is Sabine, Brigid, and Sarah P-C at Georgie's Stillpoint party; #2 is Georgie blowing out candles around her pumpkin cake; #3 is most everyone sitting around the shala kitchen table having dinner - before the cake; #4 are birds (including one standing on only one foot) at the Kaiteriteri beach; and #5 is the sign telling Bela and I we were in Kaiteriteri.]
Yoga Mala today - 108 sun salutations. Why 108? 108 is a sacred number, for many, many reasons. You could google 108 and auspicious or "sacred number," and I'm sure you'll come up with many links. I once found a list online of many reasons for the sacredness of 108, including that it is 4 full cycles of the moon (4x27). Also, depending on how you count them, some say there are 108 upanishads (sacred texts).
Go ahead, google it! : )
Anyway, after last night's fun party at Georgie's house, watching her husband dance with the kids, we had a peaceful drive home under the stars, and then we all enjoyed a good night's sleep.
We gathered in the lounge of the shala around 8 AM, and in the studio at 8:30 AM. After some discussion, we began: 108 Surya Namaskar A (sun salutation A) without holding the downward dog position. It's an incredible practice. The most distracting thing I found during the practice was that my pingala nadi (right nostril) running. It gradually got better throughout the practice, and it was a constant reminder to get back to the breath and the count (9 vinyasa count for a sun salutation A).
The time flew for me... later, when we discussed the practice (John suggested waiting at least 30 minutes to an hour to talk about it; we all waited even longer than that), it seems that the time didn't go so fast for everyone... and it was interesting to hear how everyone experienced it.
Btw, John practiced it with us, and he used 27 stones to keep track. Between sapta (7) and asto (8), he'd quickly pick up one stone and place it on the opposite side of the front of his mat. Once all 27 were on the opposite side, he'd start placing them on the other side. 4X27, and then one extra sun salute for Stillpoint, and we were done with that part of the practice.
We followed the sun salutations with the shoulderstand and headstand sequence, ending with padmasana, yoga mudra, and utplithi (25 breaths, not too fast), planting the seed for the next practice. Resting pose felt so restorative and rest-full.
I'd made porridge (!- using the New Zealand term - oatmeal in the U.S.) for breakfast which several of us enjoyed afterward.
The excursion of the day was a trip to Kaiteriteri (just south of Marahau, at the bottom of Abel Tasman National Park) with Bela... though we went a little further than we expected, and actually ended up IN Marahau. We saw all of the tractors taking the water taxis out to the sea, and then headed back to the main Kaiteriteri beach, which was stunningly beautiful. The water was quite cold, but after walking in for a few minutes, your legs got used to it. Lots of people were fully swimming, but we just waded.
Before leaving Kaiteriteri, we sat outside at a cafe enjoying flat whites, and Bela also bought a Phoenix organic soda with lemon and bitters. (Mom - thought of you and how you like bitters, but in some kind of drink, right?)
We headed back through Motueka to pick up a few items, including the movie Once, which I'd looked for in Nelson but couldn't find there. The movie had come up in conversation, and so we got it to leave at Stillpoint for all to enjoy. Hopefully, we'll watch it together this week some time. If you haven't seen it, rent it. It's well worth it.
Tim and I went to see Swell Season (the guy and girl in the movie) in concert last year, and it was brilliant (to use a more English or Irish term).
Back at Stillpoint, Evelyn had made a gluten-free pumpkin cake for Georgie's birthday (Brigid can't eat wheat or gluten at all, and we wanted her to be able to enjoy it), and with the rest of the pumpkin, I made gluten-free pumpkin muffins (including quinoa flour for more protein). The kitchen still smells wonderful.
Several others began chopping up lots of veggies and root veggies for dinner, and Amanda and I went out to get a bottle of wine for Georgie's birthday... sadly, Kahurangi winery was closed, so we went to the Upper Moutere store, which had a large selection of local wines. We chose a few, including a Gerwurztraminer from Kahurangi. It'll go nicely with diner, though I think only a few of us drink wine.
I think one of these days I'll not "do" so much... just rest, relax, and read. Been going out and about a lot, which is fine, as I feel quite full of energy, but I know I'd enjoy some time to just be quiet, too.