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Older than Christmas: Another Holiday Celebration

Metta Yosemite, the newly-opened Oakhurst boutique offering a wide array of classes in yoga, meditation, sound therapy as well as a selection of gift and personal care items, has drawn its essence from diverse traditions. A special offering this year is a Winter Solstice Celebration for women of all ages, led by yogini Camella Nair.  The event occurs at Metta Yosemite, 40359 Highway 41, Oakhurst, on Wednesday, December 21 from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Camella Nair. Photo courtesy of Camella Nair.

Camella Nair has a delightful British accent, resulting from her youth in the United Kingdom. Although she has been a California resident for 28 years, from the time her eldest son was eight weeks old, she’s only lived in Oakhurst for about four months, relocating from the Bay Area. “I chose Oakhurst because it was a small mountain community that is a ‘go to’ destination, and more affordable than being by the ocean which is where I was initially looking. Being in nature is important to me at this point in my life . . . “

She brings to Oakhurst her decades of formal yoga training. She was initiated as a Swami in an unbroken lineage which, she says, “kind of puts me on a teaching track. This is what keeps the oral tradition of yoga alive.”

Why a Winter Solstice celebration? Winter Solstice occurs twice yearly—once in each hemisphere. In ours, the northern hemisphere, the exact time of solstice this year is 7:58 am. This marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, a perfect portal of time to reflect upon the year past and to make conscious choices and changes as the world moves toward greater light. Camella reflects, “I love the quietude at this time of year but with consumerism, the holidays are so much about getting more ‘stuff’ rather than improving ourselves. Coming together to honor this time has become one of my favorite times of the year. When the inner ritual is over, we can enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer with family and friends.“

For thousands of years, before formal religion, well before the first Christmas, people have honored the cycles in nature. The winter and summer solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes comprise one such yearly cycle.

Why women only? Camella says, “I was lucky to have a very wise guru who in his final years instructed his female students to share knowledge and help women of all backgrounds in particular to become more balanced. The patriarchy has not done a great job for humanity or our planet, and the tide is turning back to the divine feminine (which is an aspect of every man and woman). The feminine principle is one that is linked to the moon and more introspective. Some say the way to know oneself is to turn around in consciousness, away from the masculine. logical, linear mind and work on the more inner aspect of our being that is feminine and intuitive in nature.”

The event is for women of all ages and backgrounds.

An earlier Winter Solstice gathering, in the Bay Area. Photo courtesy of Camella Nair.

 

Although this is her first Winter Solstice in Oakhurst, she has led many previous celebrations in the Bay Area and would love to see it become a tradition here in Oakhurst. On previous occasions three generations of women have celebrated together which is a very special dynamic. It may be a young girl’s first taste of a conscious women’s circle and serves as encouragement for them to create their own groups as they navigate their education and support each other.

The first hour is when celebrants gather, so it is more social. Women love to talk! We invite them to chat and sup on mulled cider and cookies while making a simple craft, an ice breaker to allow people to make new friends. After that, things get a bit more formal. Participants set their intention for the event, utilizing music, song, meditation and soft gentle dance moves. “By the end of the evening we have cast aside that which no longer serves us,” Camella states, “and hopefully become inspired and excited for that which flows into our life as the sun begins its ascent on Christmas day.”

There is no set dress code, but participants tend to wear light colors or white to symbolize winter, simplicity, purity and light. Lots of women love to add sparkle too and that makes the group look even more magical. This is important as the mind understands symbols.

Camella encourages early registration to ensure provision for sufficient craft and cookie supplies. To sign up, click here. Space is limited. Cost is $35.00 per person for women 18 and older, $10.00 for girls 9 to 17. For questions visit MettaYosemite.com, email hi@mettayosemite.com or call 559/683-9200.

Resources:          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice
https://www.rd.com/list/winter-solstice-traditions/

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