A light unto oneself

It’s a wild, whirling, windy, summer solstice night! There are pockets here in the river bottom where the wind blows from the direction of Matilija Canyon with such fury that I feel like I’m walking into a powerful storm—a wonderful, cleansing, ecstatic cosmic storm. I don’t resist the power of the wind—just reach for my earlobes to make sure my earrings don’t blow away.

I turn my face toward the sky so I can feel the wind on my skin like a thousand kisses . . . I stretch my arms wide in all directions, breathe deep, spread my rib cage (the wings of the body), and open my chest to the full force of the wind.

When I turn around, I feel the force of the wind on my back and she pushes me home. Then I look up, and there is the feminine face of the Moon Goddess, the Mother of the Universe, smiling down on me. We might be tiny little human beings in a vast infinite universe, but women, through all the stages of life, are forever connected to the cycles of the moon.

And we might even say, since we’re aiming to balance the male and female (sun and moon) aspects of ourselves, that men, too, are attuned to the cycles of the moon.

All the while that I’m teaching my yoga classes, usually laughing as I encourage students to face the layers of hidden pain and stiffness buried in the body, I also try to convey that Hatha Yoga is not just physical Yoga. The Sanskrit word “ha” stands for the sun, and “tha” stands for the moon. . . The moon being the reflected light of the sun, consciousness (tha) is the reflected light of the soul. Knowing and realizing this for oneself is Hatha Yoga.

On this cosmic, windy night, that to me is the meaning of being a light unto oneself.

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