Ostara: Finding equilibrium in the extremes By Mandi Garrison

Ostara: Finding equilibrium in the extremes By Mandi Garrison

 

Have you noticed the uptick in anxious energy? Most places I go seem hurried, dry, ready to break. People are noticeably rushed, and there are extremes of emotional responses and angry outbursts. Does this sound like your world lately? Even the weather is extreme, with the pendulum swinging from 70 degrees to snow. Just as we start to get excited about spring, we wake up with a nor’easter outside.

It isn’t all bad. Really. We tend to live in a world of extremes, and when the pendulum swings one way, it naturally swings to the other side. But we have the choice to remain in a neutral place. Michael Singer said to stop the pendulum from swinging to the extremes, simply let it go. “Don’t participate in [the extremes], and the pendulum will naturally come to the center. As it comes to the center, you will get filled with energy.”

This is our opportunity during the Spring Equinox, or Ostara, on March 20. I know it isn’t an easy thing to do. When we spend months hiding in the shadow of winter, with more dark than light, in the comfort of our warm homes—the shifting balance of light and dark can feel like being pulled out of the metaphorical womb, and tossed into the real world. When we enter the Spring Equinox, we cross from the dreamy, creative, and watery sign of Pisces to the fast, energetic, fiery energy of Aries. We cross through the threshold to the beginning of the astrological wheel where anything is possible. Aries is cardinal fire—the fire starter. Aries energy is a necessity for every new endeavor, and it’s not surprising that you’ll find many Aries business owners and entrepreneurs. The season of work, action, and REBIRTH is beginning, and the energy can feel intense.

Our challenge is to find the equilibrium in these extremes. The equinox marks a time of equal night and day. The light only gets more expansive as the days get longer, and the shadow becomes a distant memory. We have the opportunity in this short window to integrate both. At some point, our dual natures, the light and the shadow, have to be integrated into the best and truest versions of who we are. This union, this coming together of our true nature, is (I believe) the real work of yoga.

When you can come to the center and embrace the energy of the Equinox, you will see the innocence to this time, and the opening. Ostara is the maiden goddess, and she brings so much fertile energy for new projects, creativity, and necessary shifts. So use this opportunity to bask in the beauty and innocence of it all. LET GO of anything you don’t need to be dragging with you into this new cycle. Write it down and burn it. Send love and compassion to people who are struggling and aren’t sure how to act. We’ve all been there.

Most of all, BREATHE. Ostara corresponds with the element of air, the element of new beginnings. Every breath we take is a new start. Every breath feeds us a little bit more. Every breath could be a new idea, a new perspective, a new shift. Breathe a little bit deeper, a little fuller. Send your breath to every corner of your body. Let the breath, the air, carry you into this next cycle. There is so much joy ahead of us on the Wheel of the Year.
“The swirl of life draws its energy from the center and the center draws its energy from the swirl of life. All these laws are the same—in weather, in nature, and in every aspect of your life.” – Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

 

Practice: Ostara Ritual
Think of something you want to let go of in this new cycle. It could be anything—a negative influence, a bad habit, etc. Write it down. Then, visualize the positive changes that could occur if you were able to release this energy. Once you have that image in your mind, take the paper you wrote on, and toss it in a fire. (Please be safe when burning objects.)

 

Practice: Pranayama, Sama Vritti
Very simple. Sama Vritti is a calming breath practice that utilizes equal inhales and exhales. Simply inhale for a count of 5, exhale for a count of 5. The count could be anything, 2, 3 7, etc. (I just chose 5, because it’s a number of change.) Sama Vritti is a great practice to help shift your thoughts and meditate on the breath. It is my favorite breath practice for finding internal equilibrium.

 

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