Happy 2014 Winter Solstice Everyone!

HappySolstice

Happy 2014 Winter Solstice Everyone!

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the
religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . .

and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2014, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped
make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only “AMERICA” in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or
sexual preference of the wishee.

(By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for
her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent  holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)

Tommy

When I moved a few months back Tommy was the first person I met. Very gregarious, I soon got in the habit of petting him.

I asked a fellow tenant about him. She said that he has been around for many years, that other neighbors told her that he used to wear a collar, and that they think someone left him behind when they moved. She added that she was told someone in a neighboring building let him inside during the winter. He looked well fed, people in my town like “sharing cats” and taking turns taking care of them.

A few months later I saw a guy walking some dogs and Tommy approached them. I told the guy he wasn’t my cat, but that he was friendly. He said he knew, that Tommy was his cat, that he was an “outdoor cat”, that he got him his shots, that neighborhood children gave him treats, and that he didn’t mind.

I started buying cat treats for Tommy, but I didn’t want to leave the food outside where it might attract rats. So, I started inviting Tommy inside to give him his treats. Usually he leaves after a few minutes, but sometimes he hangs around.

Here is he making himself at home.

Goodbye B.K.S. Iyengar

B. K. S. Iyengar, Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West, Dies at 95

His book “Light On Yoga” ( unabridged ) was and probably is still the most comprehensive book on yoga in the English language. About two inches thick, super precise description of postures pages long in excruciating detail, hundreds of pictures showing the smallest of variations, a substantial introduction to the philosophy in the front, a do it yourself practice guide spanning several years in the back, and even a guide for which postures to use for which physical issues.

I discovered yoga and his fantastic book when I was teenager. I would spend hours with it every day after school, bending in odd positions while dripping sweat on the book and reading all of those detailed directions.

It was one of my first, best, introductions to Eastern thought that led to many of the things I am still into today.

I can’t find a way to say adequately how much I got out Iyengars fantastic book. I think it is a crime against humanity that newer editions were later abridged. A

All those hours of enjoyment, education, and funky experiences, during a time of discovery for me.

In the early 00’s I finally had a chance to to take yoga classes that taught his style. I remember seeing a poster of him bending over backwards and touching the floor behind him. He was 75 years old at the time. When I got into all of that stuff I remember high school friends telling me how the time spent on yoga, diet, health etc detracted from the joy in life. Aside from the fact that those things are ends in themselves as joyful things to do, BKS Iyengar was doing hand stands at an age where many people are dying and struggling just to do basic daily things.

Age can be a time of the coming together of wisdom bringing great opportunities. What a gift to have a few more years and a few more quality years, to get the most out of it.

Iyengar made it to 95 and was still highly functional almost up to his demise. I knew very little about him aside from his thoughts in “Light On Yoga”. This article was a very interesting summary of his life, and after all these years I found out what the “B.K.S.” stand for.