As we reach the end of summer our thoughts have turned to recreation–literally recreating oneself through exercise, rest and relaxation.

The term recreation appears to have been used first in English in the late 14th century meaning “refreshment or curing of a sick person.” The word is derived from the Latin word, creare meaning to “create, bring forth, beget.” Recreation, then, is really just a chance to recreate ourselves.

We have all experienced the way that unrelieved tension results in both mental disorders and physical ill health. This is not a modern phenomenon. In the centuries old Yoga Sutras the sage Patanjali attributed the causes of suffering to the ego, spiritual ignorance, desire, hatred of others and clinging to life. (Sutra  II.3) He called these the kleshas or sorrows and recommended the practice of yoga.

The practice of yoga and recreating have something in common.  Both are ways of healing and restoring the body and mind. There are differences as well. Whereas a vacation can be viewed as a brief pause before one is forced once again to deal with all the usual stresses of daily life, the practice of yoga is not limited by place and time. It can be taken up anytime and anyplace. The practice can be carried with you like well worn luggage everywhere you go.  A student recently shared with me her experience of savasana, the yoga posture practiced at the end of each class. “The way I feel in savasana reminds me of the time I spend on Eagle Island in the summer, how quiet it is and how peaceful I feel.”  We hope that you are able to take some time off to enjoy these last days of summer and that you find some peace and quiet while you are away from work,  We look forward to seeing you in September when we start up with classes again.

Quote of the month

“Breathing is the essence of yoga. Breathe naturally,  without forcing. No pressure, no disturbance, nothing should interfere with the simple tide-like movement of the lungs as we breath in and out.”Vanda Scarvavelli: Awakening the Spine, Harper Collins 1991