As we enter the month of May, the collective sigh of relief is palpable!
Bealtaine is the ancient celtic festival, celebrating the end of the dark Winter, and the movement into Spring - or the light. The word Bealtaine originates from the old Irish word "bright fire". The festival was marked all over Ireland, with fires and rituals celebrating the beginning of the bright part of the year.
While these ancient celebrations and rituals may be forgotten in our modern world, we can honour this important transition into the light in our own way. By simply paying attention to the changes in nature, the abundance around us, the sharpness of the light and through the enjoyment of the rays of the sun on our face. We may also feel some subtle changes in how we feel - physically as well as mentally. It's generally a time of greater optimism and lighter energy. It's a natural time of awakening, renewal and new beginnings.
In terms of Yoga philosophy, the light energy of the Spring is as necessary as the dark energy of the Winter. The aim of Yoga is to bring balance to the "sun" and "moon" energies of ourselves. Basically, the two opposing qualities of ourselves. The sun representing the “masculine” aspect of ourselves – this can be felt as our more extrovert, dynamic and energetic side. The moon represents our “feminine” aspect – the quieter, intuitive and more yielding side. The same wisdom is applied in Traditional Chinese Medicine through the concept of Yin / Yang - yin is the quiet, darker energy of the Winter, yang is the brighter, warmer energy of the Summer.
Our bodies and minds are constantly striving to find balance in every way. When we feel balanced, we feel good. When we feel out of balance, we just feel out of sorts.
Nature’s way is to re-adjust to find balance. However, due to many factors including stress, diet and emotional state, this can be a real challenge!
Some practices that we can do to help us find balance originate from the east, such as Yoga and Shiatsu. Shiatsu has it’s origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine, like acupuncture.
Spring is a natural time to "shed our layers" so to speak. We can help this process in a physical way through eating lighter, natural and more seasonal foods. We may be more encouraged to get out into the fresh air and exercise. Yoga and Shiatsu can help us to find balance not only our physical bodies but also our mental and spiritual.
Both Yoga and Shiatsu can provide simple yet effective tools to help you get back to balance:
Try this self-Shiatsu point when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed:
Measure 3 fingers width from the inside of your wrist crease. You are right in the centre of your wrist.
The point is where your 3rd finger is, right in between the 2 wrist tendons.
Using your thumb, exert a firm pressure here.
Hold for between 3 and 5 full breaths. (One inhale, one exhale is one breath).
Repeat on the other side.
Even if you’re in a meeting, or having a challenging conversation with someone, you can still press this point and see if it helps you feel better!
Wishing you health and balance for your week ahead!
Kerry, Kerry Wellbeing