We have a crazy little heat wave happening here in Los Angeles whilst the rest of the country is getting pummeled with snowballs and wind chills.
We're very blessed, being here in Southern California where the weathermen only come out of hiding during the two weeks of rain we see in 'our' winter.
But what kind of people would we be if we didn't have the weather to chat about? Even in Southern California, we can talk about the sunshine till we're blue in the skies.
It is a topic that joins us together at coffee shops and the post office; exchanging small unions of complaints in unpleasantness or wonder in crisp, clear mornings. It is...a form of yoga that binds us together. It is all around us.
Of course, there is nothing like having something to deflect from silence or our passion or being grounded then being lost in thoughts of the weather, the clouds rolling by or the snow/rain falling. It's a fantastic diversion, an easy dismissal, or a snow day, if you will, to place our attention outside of us, into...something else, anything else.
In wintertime, we tend to retreat. Sometimes we are literally forced to go indoors because there is four feet of snow outside, keeping us inside.
But if it's sunny outside, there is no excuse to stay in. In fact, speaking from experience, I often feel guilty if I stay inside on a sunny day watching Lifetime movies, when the ocean, sun and surf are shiny, happy, and begging to be experienced like a puppy needing to pee.
In NY, where I'm originally from, you always have an excuse to be miserable when it's cold, wet and crappy out. Secretly, I think we all like that excuse to be a little crabby. And we share that camaraderie with others. Yea, misery!
In Los Angeles, it's inexcusable. Excuse me, we live in paradise. Go out and glimmer on Sunset! Yes, it's a parking lot on the free way, but look up...can you not see the snow capped mountains in the distance above the Hollywood sign. Look back...can you not see the blinding sun reflecting off the Pacific? What the heck can you complain about?
We are blessed. We are in our nature as the NYers are in theirs. But it is nature as a people, as animals to hide away and store up energy in the winter. In So Cal we are left with our skin bare year round and exposed. But even the tube tops need to be shelved for a moment of reprieve.
To go inwards is a difficult task whatever the weather.
But I would like to suggest to anyone, no matter what the weather, to brave the storm and sun, shut the door to the outside, go inside and treat yourself to an inner hot cocoa.
Turn down the blinds and pretend you are unable to go outside.
Shut off the phones and disable your wireless.
You have been asked to evacuate and incubate.
Sit in the silent hum of your own abode and if you can't be still, move.
Move to the beat of your own inner Gaga and dance yourself to stillness.
Or, sit down and sing or talk yourself into quiet.
Do a sun or moon salute or sit cross-legged and sigh.
Breathe in and out and sip from the warm mug of your own body.
Sweet sunshine or blanket of snow is no reason or every reason to come inside for some self-nurturing.
I went to Trader Joe's today. I was behind a mom with her two beautiful kids. One of 'em was in her arm donning the cutest footy pajamas I've ever seen. I asked her if it might come in my size.
The clerk behind the counter said that it was pajama day at the school she worked at during the day. The mom said it was pajama day at the school her kid went to. I told her that one of my clients had pajama day at their school just yesterday. Three different schools, all wearing pajamas, all day, doing math or playing games. A brilliant parade of footies and onesies.
Fantastic. I'd like a side of nilla wafers and full fat milk with that please!
I have a student that works from home and says that sometimes she will work until two in the afternoon without ever changing out of her pj's or brushing her teeth. I didn't scoff at this. I thought, where could I apply for this job? Just kidding. I love my job. If you can label it such.
I wear mascara to teach.
I do. Hey, if you got'em, flaunt'em. I've got the lashes, so I play them up.
But, wouldn't it be fancy if we all had a day where we just stayed in our pj's and stayed in?
It should be a post office holiday. A hallmark holiday. A holiday where all you do is be with yourself and/or those you love and just be. Ok, no presents or cards, just what you have in the cupboards and CRAFTS! Remember those?
And if you can't or won't come to the mat just make it so in the mind. Even if you have never done yoga and can't touch your toes, let your mind wander and watch your body from the inside out, stretch, strengthen, renew and refresh. If you are breathing and present, you are doing yoga. If you are doing that and still can't touch your toes, you are still doing yoga. Don't let anyone tell you different.
It's great to use the weather as a reason and it's natural for us to come inside in winter, but you should always be able to find your winter retreat no matter what the news says.
You can find this in your yoga practice, whatever that is for you. Simply being within, footie pajamas, Lululemon pants or a suit, present with yourself, your mind - wherever it is on the map, your breath and your body - you are in union and in yoga. You are listening to the weather within and taking your umbrella or breaking out your sunscreen.
Coming inside, taking care, nurturing and warming, it's all in support of the continued goodness we can then share when we emerge to the outside. When we Spring.
It's nature. It's all around us and it's all within us.
Tomorrow, the news here says...
Sunny, warm and clear.
But what's your forecast?