I just had to share how beautiful the kayaking it is here. See how calm the water is? It’s almost ALWAYS like this on the North Fork or Long Long Island’s East End. I had to spend two days in the city to work with Steve Goodman, my business partner, and meet some truly wonderful people making some truly exciting and wonderful products ( hint: GORGEOUS eco yoga clothing!) So while I was doing my city thing, Liv ( our newest staff member: you’ll be reading some great blogs from her in upcoming weeks) and, Annette, a regular juice faster, and raw foodist in training– discovered this great spot to drop the kayaks and bliss out with nature. Charles was on hand to snap these beautiful pictures. Maybe soon we will take videos to share wtih you while on these beautiful and fun moments. Annette thought this was a very good way to spend an afternoon in between juices! Hope you can come hohm soon and float along with us sometime this summer!
Category Archives: Travels
Seems around the world we COLLECTIVELY AGREE that a pause to acknowledge and celebrate and touch down with our loved ones and our earth during the winter months- wether for Christmas, Hanucka, Soltice, Kwanza, or just hibernation, Here is some interesting information about why.
The Earth is actually nearer the sun in January than it is in June — by three million miles. Pretty much irrelevant to our planet. What causes the seasons is something completely different. The Earth leans slightly on its axis like a spinning top frozen in one off-kilter position. Astronomers have even pinpointed the precise angle of the tilt. It’s 23 degrees and 27 minutes off the perpendicular to the plane of orbit. This planetary pose is what causes all the variety of our climate; all the drama and poetry of our seasons, since it determines how many hours and minutes each hemisphere receives precious sunlight.
4,000 Years of Christmas, puts its theory right up in the title. The Mesopotamians were first, it claims, with a 12-day festival of renewal, designed to help the god Marduk tame the monsters of chaos for one more year.
Winter solstice in many cultures.
Native Americans had winter solstice rites. The sun images at right are from rock paintings of the Chumash, who occupied coastal California for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. Solstices were tremendously important to them, and the winter solstice celebration lasted several days.
And what of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights that occurs around this time every year? Is it related to other celebrations of the season?
The placement of Hanukkah is tied to both the lunar and solar calendars. It begins on the 25th of Kislev, three days before the new moon closest to the Winter Solstice. In fact, this year, the first night of Hanukkah occurs on Winter Solstice!
As a symbolic celebration of growing light and as a commemoration of spiritual rebirth, it also seems closely related to other observances.
A time of magic.
In many cultures, customs practiced at Christmas go back to pre-Christian times. Many involve divination–foretelling the future at a magic time: the season turning of solstice.
In Russia, there’s a Christmas divination that involves candles. A girl would sit in a darkened room, with two lighted candles and two mirrors, pointed so that one reflects the candlelight into the other. The viewer would seek the seventh reflection, then look until her future would be seen.
The early Germans built a stone altar to Hertha, or Bertha, goddess of domesticity and the home, during winter solstice. With a fire of fir boughs stoked on the altar, Hertha was able to descend through the smoke and guide those who were wise in Saga lore to foretell the fortunes of those at the feast.
In Spain, there’s an old custom that is a holdover from Roman days. The urn of fate is a large bowl containing slips of paper on which are written all the names of those at a family get-togehter. The slips of paper are drawn out two at a time. Those whose names are so joined are to be devoted friends for the year. Apparently, there’s often a little finagling to help matchmaking along, as well.
In Scandinavia, some families place all their shoes together, as this will cause them to live in harmony throughout the year.
And in many, many cultures, it’s considered bad luck for a fire or a candle to go out on Christmas Day. So keep those candles burning!
Great site where I found much of these excerpts: http://www.candlegrove.com and Earl Count’s “4000 years of Christmas”
Juice Cleansing is really something we do when we are about to change, transform something or everything about our lives. So doing new things, or just the urge to do them happens. We have guests that set up easels around the house to paint, some that knit by the fire and produce an entire project over the course of a juice fast, some that do things they have never done before such as our recent guest Jenny who had so much energy she learned how to kayak, and to horseback ride! Even thought it is DECEMBER upon us, just this past week juice cleanse retreat guest enjoyed a day of kayaking ( wow LOVED this! We just bundled up in a parka and even felt HOT while paddling) one day and took english saddle riding lessons for the two days following. This group was taking a class, learning about water, juice smoothies to maintain the restoration acheived during a five day juice cleanse.
This absolutely gorgeous picture is composite of three different pictures, of “Helix Nebula” and color enhanced. Affectionatly known as “The Eye of God” this composite is so well done, really beautiful work of art: both human and divine, and as art, just purely divine. The beauty we have in the sea below and the cosmos above that we have to fly and dive to see!
The picture is of the beautiful Helix Nebula, which is a star at the end of it’s life cycle. IT is what our own sun will look like one day a few millenia from now. It is thought to be visible only once every 3,000 years, but it has always been there and always is visible, and that is a lovely thing: we have been “gazed upon” always and forever.. Its a beautiful universe however you look at it.
We had decided two years ago that we would always close for Thanksgiving and Winter holidays, to give ourselves a chance to change our pace to a carefree unscheduled bit of time, possibly to travel to our families and enjoy their company. We were looking forward to a Thanksgiving break, and then I recieved a few calls from people asking if we would be open. In the past we were normally alone on holidays, no one wanting to go on a juice cleansing retreat during a holiday! But to our surprise we are needed and wanted this year. We are glad to be staying hohm, and glad we are going to be welcoming home our some of our wonderful past clients. Grateful to be of service and be here to provide refuge, retreat, nourishment, and friendship to those who seek it.
My favorite holiday with my favorite people: my guests and students and certain members of my family too will be here. All of us happy to be sharing some gratitude, and bask in the presence of all this benevolence.
So I’m getting the menu settled now, and will let you know how we decide!
Banana Goji ice ‘cream” deserts are in the picture though 🙂
Twee Merrigan came hohm as promised and shared a truly refreshing weekend here at American Yogini. We have had a steady stream of juice cleansers here at our American Yogini HOhm, so I rarely have the pleasure of preparing and enjoying vegan food, both cooked and uncooked with my friends. We invited guests into the kitchen to help prepare raw zuchinni blossoms stuffed with parsnip cashew puree, thai spring rolls made by our newest juice fast coach, Shawn Williams ( picture coming soon!), vegan strawberry ice cream parfaits ( local, organic, yummmmm), frozen raw chocolate mouse, corn salad, guacamole, oh my so much more. it was amazing and Charles and I are still enjoying the leftovers ( when our juice guests are not looking of course!).
And then there was….Twee. Well this sweeeeeet yogini master, yoga journal cover girl ( December 2007) and Yoga Journal Calendar model, and world tour teacher graciously and incredibly stopped when passing through New York on her “Soul Connections Tour”. Her two hour classes poolside were so refreshing, and we all basked in her clear benevolent energy. The vibe was so chill, all our guests the kindest souls on the planet. Saturday night, after dinner we sat around the fire outside and guess what????? Oh, we layed our heads back upon the pool lounges and looked up at the starry sky to catch…..a METEOR SHOWER! No kidding! Shooting star’s every where I looked! The weekend could not have been any more magical. Just what we needed. Oh and the new zen garden was completed the day before Twee arrived. That itself was miraculous, the work of Super Man Charles Wildbank, of course!
Gratitude! So much Gratitude! I have some very exciting news to reveal to you soon! Stay tuned!
love and hugs,