As a child I remember being so excited when Easter arrived, it meant that the dark, bleak silence of Winter was over, the trees would look so beautiful as the blossoms opened with the promise of Summer fruit, the Dawn chorus amplified and gardens would burst with the colour of Spring flowers.
During Easter holidays we would get more time to go out to play with our neighbourhood friends in the street and be over the Moon when we received gift of Easter eggs in brightly coloured packaging. There was always a competition between me and my brother as to who got the most chocolate eggs each year.
As I grew a little older, I became more aware that there was more to Easter than just chocolate egg and school holidays. The seasonal changes, new life, lighter, longer days and how my spirits lifted and filled me with hope for days to come.
Have you noticed that Easter falls on a different date every year? It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Full Moon, following the Spring Equinox, this in in line with the Pagan solar calendar and not the Gregorian Calendar.
Most of us who have grown up in the UK and in Europe are familiar with Easter traditions being the religious celebration of the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.
Did you know that Easter predates Christianity? There are records of the pagan Ostara celebrations, falling around the time of the Spring Equinox!
A monk called Venerable Bode, wrote about the Pagan Celebration, which was named after Eostre the Germanic Goddess of Dawn who represented renewal.
Ostermanod, was the German name for the Month of Easter.
When we look at the different ways that Easter has been celebrated over the centuries, the meaning behind the festivities can be observed as delivering the same message. This can also be said of the teachings of Yoga, a practice and philosophy that teaches us how to unite the body, mind and spirit, to release us from unhealthy patterns.
Yoga offers us an opportunity to start anew, the more we practice and study yoga and meditation, we begin to appreciate the vast benefits and we begin to develop new neural pathways to peace.
The journey of Yoga
Once bitten by the Yoga bug it becomes a journey, to calm the busy thought flow, observing our thoughts, words and actions.
I did not discover Yoga until my early 40’s, a pretty late Yoga bloomer!
I had enjoyed physical fitness and have worked my way through most fitness styles and trends over the decades but it wasn’t until I attended my first yoga class, I realised that the benefits I felt in that single practice could not be matched by any of the other fitness styles I tried before.
Yoga is not a physical fitness class, it is a way of life!
It was the way the body moved through the postures, the breathing practices, the Sanskrit words, the chants and the best part of all, was the relaxation at the end. I would walk out of the studio at the end of the class as if I was on cloud nine, totally blissed out.
This is why I became a yoga teacher, to serve others, because it felt vitally important to share the benefits of Yoga and how important it is to have a deeper understanding and compassion for all living things, Yoga teaches us to love ourselves and others without ego or agenda.
Want to know more?
If you are looking for a yoga practice that brings in a beautiful blend of philosophy, spirituality and deep peace, with poses adapted to suit all levels, I invite you to try one of my online classes that can be booked through my website, www.rekindlewellness.co.uk
I also offer 1-2-1 sessions, which at present are online only until Covid rules have been lifted. please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Whether you haven’t tried Yoga before or you already practice but are interested in Yoga for spirituality, deepening your understanding of the Yoga philosophy, here are some references that might appeal to you.
- The Hatha Yoga Pradipika
- The Bhagavad Gita
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
You can also listen to philosophy talks by the Oxford Hindu Centre on youtube or sign up for one of their online courses. I can recommend them as I studied a Yoga philosophy with them, if you have any questions about the course structure, feel free to message me by email.
With regular yoga practice we learn more about our true selves and we may find that those precious moments in the bliss state, become a little longer in duration.
We cultivate a better relationship with our higher selves so that we can navigate life and all it throws at us, with more ease, less inner struggle and an improved outlook.
Once we begin this journey and our perspective changes, we attract a flow of abundance, finding more pleasure in the simplest of things and feeling grateful for all the ups and downs, seasons and cycles of life as each one is a lesson of growth for the soul.
On the path of Yoga we can live the message of Easter, of renewal and rebirth, not just at Easter but every day.