What is more fun than Halloween? Halloween yoga!
To give a little twist on Halloween festivities this year, each of my classes experienced this spooky, candy filled evening in a different light. Not only did we practice yoga in fun postures - acting like wolves as we howled at the moon – we also discussed the history of one of the many concurrent celebrations- El Dia de los Meurtos or Day of the Dead.
Day of the Dead traces back to indigenous observances in Mexico over 3,500 years ago. Scholars attribute this tradition to an Aztec festival that fell within the ninth month of the Atzec calendar dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. The intent of the modern day holiday is to encourage visits by the souls, so that the souls will hear the prayers and comments of the living directed to them. The celebrations can take on humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.
In class, we had our own mini-celebration of our ancestors by remembering those past in a meditation, then preparing our favorite food through postures, and enjoying them on our personalized “tables” on each other’s backs! Then, back to celebrating Halloween by walking our favorite monster walks and a closing meditation of fun ways to celebrate this night with our good friends.
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!
Elisha Fernandes Simpson RYT, aka laughing hearts yoga teaches prenatal, kids (ages 7 -18) yoga and organizes free weekly yoga classes for women with breast cancer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914 319 4010 for suggestions about her blog!