Sunflower Mandala

Louise’s Blog

Rainy Days and Glorious Grays

 

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Rainy days can be dreary and make us feel weary, but I often find solace in the muted gray calm and the rhythmic sound of raindrops tap dancing on windows. A lazy rolling rumble of thunder in the distance only adds another tune to nature’s soundtrack of serenity.

For the earth and its habitants, regular rainfall offers a bounty of benefits. The water nurtures plants, trees, and crops; nourishes the soil; and combats drought. In addition, the rain gives us the gift of rainbows, and even cleans our cars for free!

Rainy day yoga . . . go with the flow

Rainy days offer a backdrop of soothing sound that lets us tune in to the tasks at hand. With our focus fixed, the workday slips by seamlessly. Creativity flows. Rainy days are perfect days to write in a journal, read a book, clean out a closet, sip some soup. Walking in the rain–with or without the one you love–can feel peaceful or exhilarating, depending on your mood. No wonder rain shower strolls have been immortalized in music and art. rain days

I love to hear the rhythmic voice of rainfall when I am on my yoga mat. As the water flows, so does the body, moving fluidly from posture to posture, as natural as the rain. I might begin with Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), some simple stretches, and a reclining twist on my mat, followed by Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) with heart-opening Crescent Lunges (Anjaneyasana). A series of strengthening standing postures such as Tree (Vrksasana), Warrior I and II (Virabhadrasana), Triangle (Trikonasana, shown at right), and Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) might follow, all the better if the rain is flowing fiercely.

After more mat work, my rainy day yoga routine would end with deep relaxation (Savasana) in a reclining restorative pose, soothed into stillness by the sweet murmur of raindrops whispering at my window.

Soothing shades of gray

On Tuesday evenings I teach a yoga class near my home in Yonkers, and the students and I joke that if it’s dreamstime_xs_45416275raining, it must be Tuesday, because rain showers and gray skies seem to favor our practice time. I recently reminded my students that there are many delightful shades of gray that are not the least bit dreary. The vast Benjamin Moore gray color palette includes some yummy-sounding ones: Full Moon, Mineral Ice, Deep Space. To these I would add my own “custom” favorites: Fluffy Bunny Gray and Wolf Pup Gray.

One of the friendliest visitors to our backyard, the Gray Catbird (shown at left), offers a soothing spectrum of gray shades, from powder to slate, in its feathers. And our cat IMG_1309Selene, the sweetest cat I have ever known, is fur-coated in her own personalized shade, Loving Kitty Gray. We named Selene after the Greek goddess of the moon (hence all those e’s) when we adopted her because our son Harrison (then eleven years old) said that the irregular pattern of her silky gray and white fur reminded him of the dimpled silvery surface of the moon. (Her full name is Selene Moonbeam.) Selene is shown at right in one of her favorite yoga poses, Donut-Shaped Kitty Savasana. She is an expert at it!

What say you: yeah or nay for rain? When it’s raining, do you prefer to play indoors or outside? Do you have a favorite rainy day yoga pose or pranayama? And what are your favorite shades of gray?

 

Photo credits: Rain Pouring Off Roof ©Peshkova|Dreamstime.com; Louise in Triangle ©YogaBright; Gray Catbird ©Brian Kushner|Dreamstime.com; Selene in Savasana ©YogaBright.

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