Tuesday, June 04, 2013

flower havan

1008 rose and camellia petals

A havan is a purifying fire ritual originating from India. An ancient practice, it is performed to invoke positive energy into our lives and the ether.


During the havan a mantra is chanted in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Between each round the word swaha is spoken, and either earth, ghee, grains or herbs are thrown into the fire, along with an intention or affirmation. Swaha translates to mean I make this offering of my self. 108 mantras are chanted before the havan closes with a resounding ((((((((((((om))))))))))))))


But fire havans aren't particularly suited to indoors which is when a large glass bowl of water becomes the fire and flower petals become offerings. On Monday morning I walked into the yoga studio to find the remnants of a flower havan performed the night before. I was teaching a prenatal class and so it was apt that we practiced around this floral heart/blossoming womb. Before class began we each took a handful of petals, held them close to the heart and mentally repeated our intention or sankalpa (positive affirmation). We then threw the petals into the bowl, sending our good intention out into the universe; letting go and subsequently experiencing a sense of healing and calm.



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My own yoga practice has taken a backseat in the last few years; a common experience for a mother. Lately I've been thinking about priorities, recognising that nourishing my self is actually nourishing my whole family. My body is a little sore and my mind a little cloudy and I wholeheartedly believe that it's not a result of diet. I know I just need to stretch and bend and flow in a space where I am largely anonymous; where I am Jodi and not Mum - if only for 90minutes. 

I'm wondering, what are your priorities right now?


28 COMMENTS

  1. My head is so clouded with everyone else's priorities at the moment. You're right yoga is just the thing I need to make time for, to benifit me and my whole family..x

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  2. A really timely post!
    I was lead through a breathing and relaxing exercise yesterday and when it was over I felt so much more calm and stable, I realized how much I missed yoga.
    But while finding time to attend a class is difficult, finding a confident instructor that won't panic about my body anomalies (cervical ribs, disc bulges, very low blood pressure ) or put me in a corner with a book (which happened last time I did non post-natal yoga) is my main obstacle.

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  3. beautiful images and perfect post. i really need to do this!
    kw ladies in navy

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  4. love this beautiful line: "We then threw the petals into the bowl, sending our good intention out into the universe; letting go." it is in the letting go that we find so much inner clarity and calm. and I can only imagine how this positive light and energy reverberated around the room and out into the world.

    I am working on my priorities. working and working. working on letting go of things that can no longer be written, as well as figuring out who I am past my children: what defines me, as a woman. thank you for the reminder to return to the gentle movement of the body as well as the soul. movement of my core, of my physical self helps me let go of the worries and day-to-day trappings of life as a mother. xo

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  5. Tilling up land. Taming the wild, rolling field that is our backyard--a current haven for snakes and mice. Building the garden. Unpacking boxes. Getting back into some semblance of a routine. Maybe even having a moment to really visit the blogs I enjoy so much. A moment to read a book. It's been a wonderfully busy last few weeks and I am ready for peace and quiet in my day to day.

    Jo Farmer


    P.S. Oh, how I love this space where you write.

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  6. What a beautiful photo!

    My priorities right now would be to keep this baby in until at least 34 weeks! I'm only 28 weeks and she's already showing signs of wanting to come out much sooner than planned. *crosses fingers*

    Wishing you and your family a lovely week :)

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  7. I love the idea of a havan. And my priorities are becoming more balanced again with two children now aged 7 and 4. I exercise and stretch every morning, and that time is sacred. It puts me on the right foot in the morning, especially with some meditation during my stretches. I think it centers me and makes me a better, we everything. Beautiful post Jodi.

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  8. I am cluttered with words and ideas as I write my final assignments for this semester, and then I'll be out walking during the day, enjoying the winter and finally allowing myself to read from the pile of books I haven't touched during the semester.

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  9. University commitments add stress to my life. Exams tomorrow, assignments due and the annoying feeling that studying is too much to cope with in my daily life that is brimming with full time work and other projects. Important projects. Those that can't wait whilst I complete another degree. My priorities are and have always been my family. I wonder how many others out there add unnecessary stress to their lives? Do we do it to challenge ourselves?
    Bella @ Sea and Salt xx

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  10. I actually just started yoga two weeks ago for the sole purpose of creating space and time for myself to recharge. I've also put in to place at least one other morning a week that is for me to be alone so that I can keep up with my study.
    These things really do help feed our souls so we can be strong enough to support others.

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  11. Jodi I hear you! No matter how well one is eating, if you're not moving, bending, flowing freely, it's difficult to be balanced. I spend too much time sitting at the moment and I can feel my body aching and calling out to move and be stretched. Priority- to find more time to move and stretch. Small steps first. Natalie x

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  12. I usually run to get in balance - always works for me. :-)

    http://tinajoathome.com/

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  13. Hello Jodi!

    My priorities are to cycle (with my son) twice a week and swim (alone) once a week... when our busy family schedule allows! I cannot stress enough how free and upbeat I feel after physical exercise. It's heavenly :-)

    My other priority is to continue creating and sharing my creations with others.

    Warmest wishes,

    Stephanie

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  14. This year I have made yoga and exercise a priority. I have been extremely fortunate to find a yoga class where I can bring my 2 yr old. At first I thought it may have been too distracting but all the kids usually play nicely together for the hour. It feels so good to do something for myself after many years of being solely devoted to my little ones!

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  15. This was a nice post to read before bed. My priority right now is to get some more sleep. I'll miss my time on the couch tonight, talking with my husband about our day but with an active toddler and a teething baby, sleep is everything. I can't believe it is only 7:20pm but i'm off to bed. Goodnight everyone. Sweet dreams.

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    1. Sleep is a good priority to have, especially when you have a teething baby. Have you read my post about my bedtime ritual? It may be something you could consider, on those night when time and baby allows -http://cheandfidel.blogspot.com/2013/03/tick-tock.html

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    2. Thanks Jodi. I will check it out right now. x

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  16. :-*) just exactly what I have been thinking... Even if it is just once a week... even if it is to spend the whole 90min in child's pose and fall asleep at the end... Bliss... a l o n e !

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  17. Love the colour in this post.

    Love the focus at the end as well. My priorities right now are to "slow it all down". Specifically, I'm trying to slow my kidlets down after dinner - to try and switch the non-stop enthusiastic squealing, tumbling and running, for calm, slow, quiet. A warm bath, snuggles and books, quiet-time together around a candle and a prayer before goodnight lullabies. Slowing it down for all of us.

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  18. I know exactly what you mean! Before I had my son, I used to have a religious morning practice 5 days a week. Now, I go into the studio 3 times a week, and at first I felt a bit guilty about taking so much time out for myself but I quickly realised that I NEED that time to function properly and be a better wife/mum. And also to re-connect with my old self again too:) And if on the other days I manage to squeeze in some yoga before my son wakes or during his naps, then that's a bonus...but if it doesn't happen, then I try not to beat myself up about it either! It's all about that perfect balance...a bit of give but a bit of take too.

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  19. The Chinese doctor that I see gave me some good advice when it comes to being a mum and prioritising self-care (or anything for that matter) ...have your ideal and then do what is possible or realistic for you in this moment of your life. For me going to two yoga classes a week would be ideal, what is realistic is doing a 10-15 minute practice at home most mornings. Even doing two poses and being fully in those moments just for myself sets me up well for the day. Good luck finding that space just for you x

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    1. Thanks for this comment - it is spot on for me.

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  20. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

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  21. hello lovely, a year or so ago, both Scott and I got to a point where things just felt more difficult than they should be, we were eating well, being attentive parents, friends, workers but things kept slipping a bit. After a few chats we looked back on years before children and gleamed a little from there, we have now both prioritised yoga in our lives for some genuine down time, to align our bodies and our emotions and then Scott prioritised music dates with friends and i chose dance at a co-op. We are lucky to be able to squeeze these things in around our lives but luckily we both work from home so it's possible. We feel like better humans, parents and partners when we allow ourselves to be prioritised occasionally (our cups are filled).xxxx

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  22. my priorities are to get enough sleep each night, to allow myself time to relax and breath deeply in a hot epsom salt bath a couple of times a week and to get a brisk walk in a few times a week (alone), as well as eating plenty of nourishing, warm food. my priority this winter and spring is to nurture myself thoroughly in preparation for some big changes come summer time. now is the time for me to put myself first (as much as is possible anyway) x

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  23. My priorities are to nourish the little one growing in me while nourishing the two little whirling dervishes I have already grown. That does involve some "me" time whether it's getting to a pilates and yoga class or just sitting in the sun having a slow cuppa. The housework can wait, the washing will still be there tomorrow and we have a lifetime to finish our renovations. All in good time my darlings, all in good time...

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  24. wow i love this, i have started running again, i get lost in the rhythm of my feet padding along, i could run forever! before kids i ran over 50 miles every week and raced...these days i am clawing my way back to fitness but it's freeing and quiet and makes me feel alive! also i have set up an art studio again and am currently adding more rails to the spare room for clothes....i am giving myself permission to be the clothes junkie i am and giving this passion some room! i always used to feel guilty for buying thrifted clothes and getting such a kick from it...but not now, it's a passion! xxxx

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  25. what a beautiful way to start class. i'm still bummed i didn't make it to one of your prenatal classes while i was pregnant. oh well,next time... ha! and now, 5 weeks after giving birth, i am so ready to get back to the studio. i miss moving my body! x

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