Simplicity, Poetry, and Nature

Good morning Yogis! We are taking a quick break from our exploration of various styles of Yoga, and celebrating Simplicity Day, in honor of the Poet and Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and have visited Walden Pond, which so inspired much of his work. Thoreau seems to have some Yogi tendencies himself, with his love of nature, isolated journey of self-discovery, and quotes like  “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” I believe this simplicity practice ties in with both Santosha/Contentment and Asteya/Non-Stealing. Please see the bottom of this post for one of my favorite Thoreau poems, and links to more!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to embrace simplicity. This can be big or small. Many sources hint that a key to true happiness is living in the now, and getting out in nature is a great way to do this. So, perhaps go for a walk around or sit quietly by a lake or pond in honor of Thoreau, or get outside in another way that is meaningful for you. Tomorrow is Amazon’s Prime Day – so let’s all try not to put in any online orders today.. is there anything that really cannot wait one more day? If you are up for a challenge, take a look at your life and surroundings, and see what things you can do without to simplify your life or space. Whatever practice of simplicity resonates with you, try for more physical or mental simplicity today.

new england fall foliage pond
Fall in New England

I Am The Autumnal Sun

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter’s moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief….

Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
— not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


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Please comment and share your experience! How did you simplify your day or life? Were you able to avoid putting in an Amazon order for the day? Always remember, be kind!