At 6:00 the local newscaster said, "Winter began 21 minutes ago." I listen to these newscasts just before I get out of bed especially for pieces of information like that. I will forget where there was an auto accident and what some town's selectmen decided. But I want to know that winter just started. A few minutes later the other newscaster will tell me the weather (changable but okay through Christmas) the temperature in Boston and three or four other towns on the Cape and finally, "outside our backdoor" -- 36 -- which might as well be my backdoor as the broadcasting studio is only about six blocks away.
The 80+ little woman (with fanastic posture and great energy) who calls her class "Yoga"doesn't teach much yoga and always tells us about the moon phases and season changes. So this morning she told us that in Chinese medicine the emphasis moves from stomach and gut to kidney and liver and that our bodies will want more sleep than previously. The latter seems Darwinian and obivous -we want to conserve our energy and heat even though we are not a hibernating species. Actually I truly enjoy sleeping -- usually a simple 8 hours but I am aware of enjoying the coziness of lying in bed when the clock radio comes on, snuggling under the covers and against the pillow. But I do not stay in bed, I'm ready to get up.
So the majority of the class was spent doing a series of qi gong movements which are meditative and peaceful, very little foot movement, mostly arms making graceul gestures repeatedly. This is very much like the tai chi chih that I've had a few lessons in - the major difference being that the tai chi chih emphasises shifting weight from foot to foot while doing the hand gestures which are very similar. It's all from Chinese practices. We Americans cannot just leave good enough alone, we put our stamp on the Asian exercises thinking it's more appropriate for us. Maybe it is but I doubt it. I look at all those variations of yoga that have popped up all over the US, some even espoused by Indian gurus (they are nto averse to a money making idea).
The movements are paired with breathing -- obviously an important factor. At the end of today's class we did some alternate nostril breathing,which I learned long ago to call pranayama -- a "powerful"breathing exercise -- when done under the direction of a well versed, traditional yoga master. Peaceful when done as we did, at the end of an hour.
So winter is here. I'll definitely get my sleep. I'll learn more of the new version of tai chi and am enjoying a week of relative quiet before next week becomes a time of much family busy-ness. And I have both quilting and writing projects to work on.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!