October // New Moon Edition
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“I break all spells that keep me asleep to my own magic.”

Chani Nicholas

Hello my little pretties!
A new moon, a new Lumen Letter.
I hope everyone’s been enjoying the festivities of the season, however you choose to celebrate this time of year! This year, I dressed up as Goddess of the Hunt and co-hosted a pagan-inspired Feast of the Wild Hunt dinner party, equipped with a photo booth where the fun image above was captured. Disclaimer: I cannot make pumpkins levitate...yet. The flying pumpkin was a community effort - thanks Christian!

For me, Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays – it’s a time to be a little more mischievous and playful; a time for creativity and self-expression; a time when people embrace the darkness that balances out the light.
Over the past year, I’ve begun to unearth the spiritual practices of my ancestors and delve deeper into how their ancient wisdoms can inform my evolving sense of spirituality. Being my second year celebrating Samhain, this time of the year now holds a more sacred space in my life. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry…we’ll get into that a little later.
Chani Nicholas has a great write up about today’s new moon in Scorpio. With a new moon in Scorpio falling on the eve of Halloween, there’s an opportunity for each of us to honor what our ancestors left behind. 

Although it reached a high of 70 degrees here in NYC today, that doesn’t mean we won’t be experiencing some bone-chilling temperatures in the months ahead. To prepare for the unpredictable, yet likely pretty chilly NYC winter season that’s approaching us, I’m turning to the stresses of cold temperatures themselves to help me out. Cold Thermogenesis (CT), or cold water therapy, is a practice that is popular among many athletes and biohackers for the various performance and health benefits that occur from exposing our bodies to the healthy, natural stressor of cold temperatures.

In the summer of 2015, I began exploring this realm of cold water therapy by taking a few ice baths and doing cool rinses at the end of my showers. Last spring, I went even further into this exploration by taking a 21-day cold water challenge, working my way up to a 5 minute ice-cold shower throughout the 21-day period. This past summer, I plunged into several icy swimming holes and alpine lakes while on backpacking trips. Now, on November 1st, I will begin a 21-day cold water challenge, taking an ice-cold 5 minute shower each day for 21 days! November’s extended Lumen Letter will go more in depth about my experience with this practice.

Any brave souls want to take the challenge with me?!

Having taught yoga to toddlers at a Waldorf inspired play school for the past 2 years, I wasn’t surprised to hear that nature-based learning has been associated with improved cognitive functioning. A recent article by The Atlantic highlights these findings with a forest kindergarten in Finland, among other schools and studies. This sounds like a child's dream...and honestly, I know quite a few adults, including myself, who would love to learn while out in nature! 


So what is this Samhain I speak of?

Samhain (pronounced SAH - win) is the pagan Celtic holiday where Halloween originated from. Marking the halfway point betwen the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice, Samhain signifies a spiritual new year in the Celtic pagan traditions. Having Irish ancestry myself, I'm naturally drawn to the idea of celebrating the Celtic New Year, especially as I continue to develop a spiritual framework that more closely refelcts the cycles of the seasons. 

Last year, I particpiated in ritual to celebrate Samhain. This year, I'm taking a vow of silence in addition to ritual beginning at sundown. Besides teaching my 2 private clients tomorrow, I will not speak, write, or type anything as a way to honor this sacred time when the veil that keeps us separated from what is beyond our earthly existence is believed to be the thinnest. 

A new moon falling near the Celtic New Year. Whether you celebrate Samhain or not, you can use this time of transitions from light to dark as a chance to let go of what you wish not to bring into the darker days. We can all use a little more lightness in our lives as the days shorten.

Luminous love,
Yoga Therapeutics NYC Open House
November (Date/time TBD) 
Restore + Recharge: Yoga with Reiki
A donation based community event // Studio MAYA
Sunday November 13th 6 -7pm
Commit to making your life a little more luminous!
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