Happy Chinese New Year: Unleash the Horse Within

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This Chinese New Year, Unleash the Horse Within

Photo: Untether the horse within. Sweet surrender to the wind, Aswan, Upper Egypt.
All Rights Reserved Karina Al Piaro Ⓒ

I wrote last night, at the eve of the Chinese New Year:

“I enter the year of the horse
hair loose, heart singing,
wild imagination running
free with possibility…”

en Español (un traducción simple):

“Yo entro el año del caballo
pelo flojo, corazon cantando
imaginación salvage corre
libre con la posibilidad…”

I was going to start this post with Kung Hei Fat Choi, which loosely translates to “well wishes, may good fortune come your way,” which is the standard greeting during the Chinese New Year festivities. All well and good, but not actually what I want to say.

Whether you put any credence in Chinese Astrology or not, the horse is a rich archetype that has a deep resonance in many cultures around the world.

We think of the horse as strong, willful, loyal, courageous and fast. It can be gentle and it can also be dangerous.

Carl Jung identifies the horse archetype as our unconscious, animal side. This great beast symbolizing passion unbridled, the powerful forces buried deep within our psyche.

So, in this, the start of the Wood Horse Year, let’s celebrate the wild Earth spirit within us that wants to run free. Let us face this great beast of our own passions, of our hidden desires, of our hopes and our dreams with the same courageous spirit. Let us bridle it with great love, attention and tenderness; and ride! Ride with speed–finding the joyful “yoga,” or balance, between control and surrender.

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Resolution Starts with Practice

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Resolution Starts with Practice

So ends the first teaching week of the new year. Some folks are slow to restart their practice after the holidays, while others–like myself–want to get on with 2014 with guns blazing.

Whatever pace we begin with, one thing is certain: this fresh start has us making intentions, resolving to do this or to do that, to NOT do this or NOT do that. Maybe it’s to master a posture or, at the very least, perform it with some sort of adequacy. Maybe it’s to practice daily or twice, or thrice a week.

The thing is, when it comes to practice, you just need to practice. Show up–whether it’s on your own to self practice or to a mysore or led class with a teacher. Show up. Be present. And it simply starts.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said it best: “Practice, practice, all is coming…”

Feliz Fin de Semana a todo!/Happy Weekend to all! Fresh start again next week, hope you see yourself on your mat!

Photo: Pazzifica signage greeting students at the studio foyer. I am teaching here in Barcelona at Espacio Vacio in Yoga con Gracia till March 7. Monday to Friday morning mysore starts at 7am and finishes at 9:30am. Evenings are Mon/Wed 6-8pm, Tuesday/Thursday 6:30-8:30pm.

Playfulness

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It’s the new year–once again. And if you’re like me, you might be taking some time right about now, keenly surveying your particular patch of world.

As I look around, I can feel the pull towards the pensive, the serious…This photo taken today reminds me to approach this time of contemplation with a healthy amount of wonder and playfulness–for this, the present moment, is also our playground.

Photo: Ayesh Camp, El Ras, Naweiba.