Winter Solstice Ceremonial Nourishment: Food, Fire & Yoga

December 21, 2019 3:00 pm
December 21, 2019 8:00 pm
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271 Poplar Rd, Bolinas, CA, United States, 94924

Honoring the solstice by bowing to the balance of cycles within and without.

Winter Solstice
The winter solstice occurs annually on the 21st or 22cd of December. It is the time of the year when the days(light) are shortest and nights (dark) are longest. This time of year nature turns within; hibernating, germinating, incubating etc, until he return of the light. In this unique and encompassing evening we will do the same.

We will be embracing the dark (yin) side and allowing ourselves to unfold into the mystery of simply being.  A focus on replenishment will flow, blocking our constant questing as we come home to ourselves, resting in quietude, while we step into the darkness where we rest in the void where we create spaciousness within.   Taking time to reflect, gain clarity and open ourselves up to the receptivity of the oncoming light.

*As a seed rests beneath the winter ground, it is covered in darkness.  Only if it is undisturbed will it spring forth, growing evenly towards the light and rooting into the earth.

Winter Yoga
Yoga is an ancient science, dating back thousands of years and practiced to shift the energies in the body, promoting peace and grace. Our yoga practice on this evening will be devoted to clearing blockages in the body and creating space for new light.

A slow hatha-flow begins and evolves we settle into a calming yin, lit by candles and intentions.  Our practice will encourage us to slow down, bow to inner knowing while exploring physical boundaries

Living in a society that focuses largely on the qualities of yang or light (energetic, productive, outgoing), we seldom give ourselves space to lean into the qualities of yin or darkness (quiet, receptive, intuitive).    In this nourishing practice we will shed the layers of activity, moving with an openness and curiosity as we explore within our bodies and open towards the darkness and the intuition that comes out of the void.

*Appropriate for all levels.

Homa/Ceremonial Bonfire
Homa is the Sanskrit word that refers to a ceremonial ritual of making an offering into a fire.  Rituals are an opportunity to connect across time and space.   When we preform rituals, we connect with our ancestors, relatives, and beings who have performed the ritual before or alongside us.

We will  burn our “yule log”, offering it into the fire with prayers and blessings, a ritual with pagan originals dating back to prehistoric Europe and still practiced throughout. Gathering near our ceremonial fire a sense of reverence and reflection will be invoked. We will experience how deeply restorative the simple practice of staring into a fire can be; providing us warmth against the cold and light amidst the dark. The fire will represent transformation, as it releases physical matter into ethereal matter.

We will experience the Hindu practice of a fire puja- a ceremony preformed to make offerings and release blockages. It is said that as the fire transforms our offerings to smoke, the smoke fills in the spaces that we missed with the rest of our practice.  The fire illuminates’ places that we may not even know were in the dark, and the smoke penetrates areas that our minds may not.  Our fire will also represent the re-emergence of coming light.  As the winter solstice is longest night of the year, it marks the turning point where the sun begins to re-emerge and climb higher into the sky.

*We will seal our practice with the emergence of light, as we make offerings into the fire, igniting our intentions and releasing obstacles.

Winter Solstice Nourishment (The Food)
Preparing and sharing a seasonal meal is the perfect way to celebrate the solstice and nourish our bodies and honor the Earth.  During the slow feminine energy (yin) of the winter our gardens are limited by the light, yet there is still abundance, if we look closely.

On this solstice we will celebrate the bounty of our local Bolinas darkness by preparing a simple and therapeutically healing meal, using seasonal fruits and vegetables of West Marin. Incorporating Ayurveda’s ancient mind-body philosophies in our dishes to aid in strengthening the digestive and immune systems as well as contributing a general well-being and restored balance that we crave deep in the winter season.

Not only will the menu have a rooted focus on yin foods nourishing the feminine energy within us, but a Winter Kitchari , made with local vegetables, will be the main menu event. Kitchari is good for all constitutions ) vata, pitta and kapha and is easy to digest, light yet nourishing and promotes gentle detox in our bodies. The spice combination we will use will be mild and class participants will get to leave with a satchel of the house made magic.

The cooking portion of the class will be a combination of partial hands on and group effort cooking. There is plenty of cooking works for all to share and yet the pace is mellow enough so that participants absorb the cooking lessons. (All recipes are also provided on-line)

*The menu will featuring all local, organic, sustainable and/or fairly traded goods

Solstice Menu
Fresh Herb & Spice Tea Ritual (Mindful Tea Practice), Winter Herbal Wellness Infusions: Winter Citrus & Anise Hyssop Water, Grapefruit Tarragon Sparkling Water, Celery Leaf Lemon Water Nourishment: Beet, Orange and Black Lentil Salad,  Winter Red Lentil Carrot & “Kitchri,  Winter Sleep Elixir

*Sliding scale tickets are possible by request.

Angela Sterpka

is the creator of DNA yoga.  She has led yoga retreats and classes in ashrams, studios, and forests locally and worldwide.  She has a B.A. in psychology, is a 500 hr RYT, and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist Find her at
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Nissa Pierson

is noted herb expert, culinary educator, food writer and recipe developer. She is the founder of Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center & My Herbal-Roots. She travels the globe as a small business consultant  in search of food and cultural knowledge, while working with small local, organic, sustainable and fairtrade farmers.  You can also find her Under The Mango Tree.
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