imbolc

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Upcoming Appearances, Workshops, etc

Published November 20, 2014 by ireneglasse

The cold wind blows, but light and warmth glow brightly within!  I have a few upcoming events you should know about, all available to brighten the long, cold darkness of winter.

Wednesday, November 26th (Thanksgiving Eve), 7 pm
Harmonious Healing at Ananda Shala Yoga and Pilates Studio

Relax and Re-Center before the Holiday Weekend with a special offering from studio owner Aimee McBride! Harmonious Healing incorporates Yoga Nidra, Somatic Yoga and Reiki (provided by Reiki Master Irene Jericho during the class). Find release in mind, body and spirit as Aimee guides you through gentle movement and meditation while you receive light healing energy work. Yoga Nidra, or ‘yogi sleep’ is among the deepest possible states of relaxation one can attain while still maintaining full consciousness. Lucid dreaming is the Western term used to denote a practice similar to yoga nidra. Somatic Yoga offers exercises that reprogram muscles to dissolve chronic pain, dramatically improve flexibility, regain strength, and leave you with an overall sense of peace and wellbeing. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by a laying on of hands. A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats body, emotions, mind and spirit. creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.  Facebook event here.
 Cost: $20, click here to register
Saturday, November 29th, 9 am and 11 am
Thanksgiving Recovery Yoga at Ananda Shala Yoga and Pilates Studio
Come work off the calories and release any stress from Thanksgiving and Black Friday!  The 9 am class is an All Levels Prana Flow Yoga Class lasting an hour and a half.  I plan to do a lot of detox-supporting asana to help return our bodies to homeostasis after the Thanksgiving feasting.  The 11 am class is a Level One–perfect for those beginning their practice or simply looking for a more gentle flow.
Click here to register
Sunday, December 7th at 7 pm
Full Moon Labyrinth Walk at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick
Need a chance to recenter in the midst of the holiday crush?  Come enjoy the beauty and peace of the Labyrinth by the light of the full moon! The labyrinth will be illuminated from 7:00 pm till 9:00 pm. Everyone is welcome. During the cooler months, we take our Labyrinth practice indoors, and will be walking the Rainbow Seed Labyrinth, a canvas Classical-pattern Labyrinth. Please remember clean socks or slippers to walk the Labyrinth in.  If you haven’t walked a Labyrinth before, there is no ceremony or ritual. We put out the little flickering LED tealights and just keep the space open 🙂  Please bring a small contribution for the UUCF.  Facebook event here.
Friday, December 12th, 7 pm
Mala Circle/Mala Making Workshop at Ananda Shala Yoga and Pilates Studio
The yogic answer to the Stitch’n’Bitch!  Join our Mala Circle to learn and relax while you create your very own mala!  Free for those who already  know how to make a mala and bring their own supplies, $20 for those needing the workshop instruction. Ananda Shala Instructor Irene Jericho will share her method for creating a Mala, a strand of 108 beads used for meditation.Create one for yourself or as a beautiful gift for a special person in your life.  A mala is a necklace of 108 beads commonly worn and used by yogis for for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra. This practice is known in Sanskrit as “japa.” Malas are as personal as the yogis who wear them–let your creativity shine in this fun, interactive workshop. Irene will provide good beading thread to string your mala, instruction, a handout detailing the technique we will use, examples of mantras, and other tips and tricks for getting the most out of your mala.  Facebook event and supply list here, click here to register if you plan to take the workshop portion.
Thursday, January 1st, 7 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick
New Year’s Day Purification Ritual
Enter 2015 from a centered place of peace. Release the energies of the last year, and set a harmonious tone for the year to come. Sacred Space will be held from 7 to 9 pm in the Sanctuary of the UUCF.  Attendees are invited to move through the Elements, releasing the shadows of 2014 as they go. Elemental Guides will be available at each Quarter to offer a way to move into the energy of a new year. End your Purification journey with a walk to the center of the Labyrinth to receive any messages for the new year. All are welcome to attend.  Free will donations are welcome.
Friday, January 16th, 7 pm
Darkest Yoga at Ananda Shala Yoga and Pilates Studio
Inspired by Black Yo)))ga in Pittsburgh and Tough Love Yoga in Atlanta while paying homage to our area’s own Darkest Hour, Darkest Yoga combines flow yoga and atmospheric heavy metal to serve the greater Washington, D.C. community.  Irene Jericho (RYT 200) will be guiding you through your 75-minute moving meditation with some killer tunes over the PA. Enjoy a stripped-down, alignment-focused, no-fluffy-stuff yoga class with Ananda Shala’s own Heavy Metal Yogini.  Cost: $15 in advance/ $20 at the door
Sunday, February 1st, 7 pm
Kindling the Fire Within: An Imbolc Yoga Practice at Ananda Shala Yoga and Pilates Studio
Winter’s darkness lingers with us still. Naked branches scrape the sky and night falls early. We crave the warmth of summer while we navigate an often snow-covered landscape. Yet in the midst of night, there is a glimmer of brightness–a tangible reminder of the sun-filled days yet to come. This light in the cold winter stillness is Imbolc. The word Imbolc is derived from the Gaelic word “oimelc” which means “ewes milk”. Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or are expecting new life very soon. Join Irene Jericho for a transformative Imbolc yoga practice as we ignite the fire within and find warmth from the heart out. Live hand drumming will accompany the journey from darkness to light, from stillness to asana, from silence to music. Ignite your own Winter Fire, and allow the light to carry your practice into spring.  Participants are encouraged to wear white or light-colored clothing to practice in.  Cost: $20
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The Light of Imbolc

Published February 1, 2013 by ireneglasse

I’ll tell you a story today.  I’ve only told a couple other people this particular one, because I feel self-conscious when I try to explain.  Some things are harder to put into words than others.

I don’t really remember how old I was when it happened.  I was little, probably under age 10.  The television was on, and a commercial began to run.  I think it was for jeans, of all things.  The part that struck me was the music.  It was a version of ‘this little light of mine,’ a rendition that began with the refrain whispered, then grew in volume and enthusiasm.  It was well done–inspiring, empowering.  And it made something click inside my head.  I started to pray.  To beg with all my will to the big, nebulous idea of God I had at the time, to make me a bearer of light.  I swore that I would do whatever I was asked, whatever was needed, if I could just carry light.  I would do anything.  I would serve that light forever.

Maybe I made that promise into air and nothingness.  Maybe I made it to my higher self.  Or maybe some One heard me, and answered.

I’m human, of course.  Flawed as we all are.  But I have tried my best to keep my word.  When I was a teenager, I wrote rituals for our little group of Pagan teens.  When I was in the military, one of my nicknames was Mother Goose.  If someone was having a meltdown in the middle of the night, I was the one that the Duty came and woke up.  As a musician, my lyrics carry messages.  Most of them are some form of ‘wake UP, the world needs you.’  I taught Paganism for years.  I’ve run festivals for the community.  I’m now in school to teach yoga.  The light, you see.  However I find it, I try to serve it.  It also lives within me.  In a very real way, the Gods kept their promise, too.  My sense of connection to the Powers is a feeling of a light glowing inside my chest.  Some of my friends see more than just the physical surface of things, and they can gauge my mood based on how brightly that light is shining.

And perhaps that’s why Imbolc is my favorite holiday of the year.  It is a celebration of light – the time when we really, truly begin to feel the return of the sun.  The very first stirrings of the coming spring can be found, and we notice that the days are a little longer than they were.  Imbolc is a time of purification.  It’s the deep breath before we sing, the tilled earth before we plant.  It’s a time to plan, to dream, to prepare.  It’s a time to cultivate our connection.  To strengthen ourselves for the warm time of the year, when our energy will be going in myriad directions, often at breakneck pace.

Imbolc is also sacred to the Goddess Brigid.  In a simple definition, she’s the goddess of Healing, Smithcraft and the Arts.  She is a source of light, particularly in the midst of darkness.  Some of her devotees keep a lamp always lit in her honor (the Sacred Flame of St Brigid in Kildare, Ireland, is often the origination point–St Brigid and the Goddess Brigid long ago merged together in myth).  In a very real way, Brigid *is* the light.  In years past, I ran a Pagan music festival called Brigid’s Faire–a burst of light, sound, art and warmth in the midst of winter.  More than any other named Goddess, I serve Brigid.

Between Yule and Imbolc, I braid my hair every day and wear a pendant with a picture of BrigidIrene on it.  The braids are an offering, an observance.  A time every morning when I remember the light within me, what it means, and what I promised in that long ago prayer.  As ever, I strive to serve the light.  I keep the oath I swore.

I wish you joy and light this Imbolc.  I wish you love and purification.  I wish you peace and blessings.

And if all goes according to plan, I’ll be giving you a gift fashioned of light and life tomorrow.

Blessed Imbolc, my friends.