Looking for blank paper this morning, I opened one of the discarded and half-used notebooks I keep in a back drawer and saw written in beautiful little boy script:
#1. Is the purpose of life just to die? …
Whoa. Good question, son. This one’s got my wheels turning too. I’m not sure. But you’re right, these bodies we inhabit are at some point going to become lifeless. Empty of breath and spirit.
Scary thought, isn’t it?
Yep, but an appropriate one to contemplate as Halloween, All Saints Day and my personal favorite, Day of the Dead, are just around the corner.
Halloween is a day of costume, candy and occasional gore. All Saint’s Day seems to mean going to mass. But Día de los muertos, as I remember from living in Mexico, is a vibrant CELEBRATION.
It is pulsing with life and activity as celebrants seek to connect with friends and relatives no longer walking this dimension. Revelers eat the departed’s favorite foods, drink tequila and nibble on ornate candy skulls made of sugar. They build ofrenda alters adorned with marigolds and make fiestas at the cemetery. Most importantly, they send prayers and well-wishes to help support their loved ones’ spiritual journey in the after life.
This year I get to celebrate Día de los muertos not by participating in parades of painted faces and drinking tequila, but by leading yoga in a brand new space, and this act feels just as sacred and just as much a reason for celebration. On November 1, instead of looking to connect with the spirits of souls now passed, I will gather with others looking to connect with the living spirit of breath. We will celebrate breath, the ever-constant companion in our journey from birth to death, and we will use it as a metronome as we move our bodies. We will move and breathe in a new space created with the vision of healing mind and body by invoking the spirit.
I am excited to be joining Great Plains Mental Health as they expand their therapeutic offerings, and I invite friends, family and friends of my friends and family to join me next week as we christen the space with our yoga practice, connecting spirit, mind and body. We will end class on Día de los muertos, like we do in each and every class, reverently honoring the sacred practice of rest and the inevitable death of the body, as we lie down to rest in savasana, corpse pose, and let the resin of our practice soak into the cells of our living and breathing bodies. And perhaps, through continued practice and contemplation we will come closer to answering the ageless question about the purpose of life.
I’d be honored to have you join me on the mat:
Wednesday, Nov. 1 12:00 noon
Saturday, Nov. 4 9:30 a.m.
Monday Nov. 6 6:00 p.m.
First class free.
Happy Halloween, feliz Día de los muertos and namaste,