Groundhog day…

Izzy and the Groundhog
Izzy and the Groundhog in the South. This is NOT  New England in February with those flowers! Or… we have a bigger climate change problem than we knew!

Izzy escaped the winter and went south to work on her art for a bit. However, she did her part for those us up North,  found the local Groundhog…and asked…  6 more weeks or not? 

Info from National Geographic- Groundhog…. click here

“The groundhog, or woodchuck, is one of 14 species of marmots. These rodents live a feast-or-famine lifestyle and gorge themselves all summer to build up plentiful reserves of fat. After the first frost, they retreat to their underground burrows and snooze until spring, drawing their sustenance from body fat. (Maybe they have it all figured out? Eat eat eat, hide, dissolve the fat and reappear! ) While hibernating, the animal’s heart rate plunges, and its body temperature is not much warmer than the temperature inside its burrow.

Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year. Tradition dictates that if a groundhog sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter, though such a prediction seems a sure bet over much of the groundhog’s North American range.

In the spring, females welcome a litter of perhaps a half-dozen newborns, which stay with their mother for several months.

Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family. Though they are usually seen on the ground, they can climb trees and are also capable swimmers. These rodents frequent the areas where woodlands meet open spaces, like fields, roads, or streams. Here they eat grasses and plants as well as fruits and tree bark. Groundhogs are the bane of many a gardener. They can decimate a plot while voraciously feeding during the summer and fall seasons.” –Info from National Geographic- Groundhog…. click here

 

The Wisdom of an open palm, in Yoga and life.

Sunday mornings I often have a small argument with myself, there are three parts to this “conversations.” The first part is: I am most likely lying in bed, snug and comfortable, and since it’s winter the outside is cold and my bed is warm. Leaving it seems silly.  The second part is from my body:  It is often just plain old tired and going back to sleep is pretty much always tempting. The third part is my mind: You see, the ideal, and the goal is, to get up, get moving, and go to Sunday morning yoga class. The mind says: Go- you will be glad you did…Go-it is always a good idea to go to yoga …Go-you will learn something new, whether it be a corrected pose or a thought. … Go- it’s exercise and stretching, and especially in the winter it’s important to keep the body moving! … Go-you love it when you do. Go-you feel better after class/practice. Go-its self kindness. Im glad to say the mind usually wins these days, and I do get up and go!

This past Sunday my teacher brought  up a topic she has mentioned a few times lately. It’s the wisdom of an open palm. Birdelini and I love this and keep thinking about it.  Read on and we think you will too.

Lets try something. Stop reading for about 30 seconds and make two tight fists. Clamp your hands as hard as you can. Breathe in and out. Hold another bit. Now think about that for a moment. It doesn’t feel very good, your muscles tend to tense up, you may have even scrunched up your face muscles. Did you feel the tension that came with that? Thats a fist that lets nothing in! Now, just put your hands out and open your palms up to the ceiling. …. Breathe in and out. Stay there another bit….Kind of amazing the difference in feelings! One is tight, controlling and stressful to hold. The other is almost relaxing! That’s the beauty of open palm living! An open palm, lets the day take its course it doesn’t need to control everything, for an open palm is open for giving and receiving. “Often we are focused on what we can get for ourselves out of the fear that if we don’t get all we can then someone else will get it and we will be missing out.  We clench our fist and hold on tight.  The Open Palm knows that there is much for everyone…” –http://www.balancedlifeyoga.ca/the-wisdom-of-an-open-palm-finding-balance/.  Open palm living lets it “be” – ebbing and flowing, giving and taking in an open manner.

Birdelini and I continue in our yoga practice….we’re loving the open palm thoughts, and trying to be open to all that comes our way. How about you?

Birdelini Yoga Warrior Pose
open palms here…

camel pose
camel pose-Heart Opening – relieve tension and stress.