Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Yoga+ Spooky Links!

I heart Halloween.... very much. I always have, it's my absolute favourite holiday of the entire year. I'm not exactly sure why, and over the past few years attributed my love for Halloween to my recent discovery of my pagan leanings. After going through my childhood books I realized that even as a child I had disproportionately quite a few of Halloween, magic-y books. So... guess I've always loved Halloween.

An awesome pumpkin we saw last year on Halloween

It really has nothing to do with dressing up and getting candy; it has been about 10 years since I've lived somewhere that could receive trick or treaters (they are SO cute though!) or mummers (something that does happen off and on in rural Nova Scotia, but at Halloween not Christmas). I haven't gone out trick or treating since a teenager. I also despise dressing up in costume and am usually the "woodland pixie" or some ridiculousness.

Nope, Halloween is more than that for me. It truly is a magical time where briefly in our adult lives we celebrate all that is whimsical, otherworldly, magical and possible. It's a time to honour those who have passed and meditate on our past, present and future paths. In a time when it has been years since we believed in "make believe", Halloween allows a short period of reality suspension.

For myself, yoga practice really fits into this concept of the magical, the "other" as I spend my practice trying to connect with something invisible and abstract.

Thoughts on yoga practice during Halloween:

I do believe it is essential, if not any other time of the year but around Halloween, to create a sacred space. This doesn't necessarily have to involve lighting candles and invoking the elements, it could be something as simple as lighting one candle in memory of specific passed on loved ones and mindfully sweeping and tidying your chosen space.

Or, if you'd like to honour the four elements and Spirit, carefully set up five candles, one at each direction representing Earth, Fire, Water, Air and one in the centre to honour Spirit (after you've tidied your space). As you light each candle quietly thank the assigned element as you inhale and ground your body into this space and life. Upon lighting the final candle in the middle, thank Spirit for those who were a part of your life, sending Light and Love their way.

After a few moments, carefully thank each element and sending the energy out with each exhale as you blow out each candle, ending with Spirit. You are now ready for a Halloween Yoga practice!

Choosing the sequence that will help you focus your mind and body (whether this a flow or yin practice- choosing what is best for you) choosing to dedicate your practice to those that have gone and those who remain. It's best if you practice sans dvd or external voice as quiet will help your mind focus inward. When you're finished your practice, take a moment to again thank Spirit for your practice. Halloween Yoga Success!

Thoughts on Halloween and the Environment:

Sadly, as with all other holidays, Halloween comes with a ridiculous amount of marketing, consumerism, plastic plastic plastic. Ick. I would say that Halloween is probably the only holiday where I look at the cheesy, plastic crap decorations wistfully. If I didn't give a rats bum about the environment I would be the weirdo lady with sparkly black skulls, blinking orange and black lights and boo-ing ghosts strung up from every wall and ceiling space.
 My "lazy costume": eyeliner and makeup+ sash and green dress=crazy woodland

This year Andrew and I have decided on hosting a Halloween "gathering" since party-ing is a bit too much after the wedding. It's especially fun since my birthday was just on October 25th and no actual party was had. Since I hate dressing up and refuse to "create" a costume (cuz I'm lazy and not crafty) and can't just buy a bunch of cool ready made sparkly decorations- I needed something special. Determined not to spend any money, I've plans to transform saved boxes and styrofoam into tombstones and creepy objects along with left over candles and tarot readings! Halloween eco-fun, here we come!

A few bloggy-peeps have been writing fabulous posts recently about different ideas for a compassionate, plastic-free Halloween. My favourites are:

A Green Spell's Two Parter "Establishing Family-Focused, Compassionate Halloween Traditions". In these posts you'll find ideas about nourishing family traditions such as watching fun Halloween movies (I love Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic) and a fantastic account of how to honour those passed by making a "dumb supper".

I'm also enjoying homemade decorations such as My World Edenwild's twig broom and Fake Plastic Fish's plastic-free options!

Face Paint and Halloween by Domestic Witch has some pretty scary facts combined with a fantastic eco-friendly alternative! Yay!

I love this post on "The Secret Life of an American Witch"'s blog about the week before Halloween and her weekly tarot card- Temperance.

This guest post over at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom (awesome blog btw) by Herb Mother provides great info on herbs and the Day of the Dead, November 1st (and a really fun herb-bread combination!).

I hope this All Hallow's Eve finds you all well and connected with our Planet my EcoYogi(ni)s!

article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. This reminds me so much of me - I always had a huge collection of Halloween and witch books when I was little. My siblings and I used to set up a haunted house in our room on a regular basis - we turned out all the lights and set up flashlights everywhere, and hid our CBs (does anyone have those anymore?) behind pillows, turned on all the way so the static would sound like a storm. We'd have our parents walk through and try to scare them! this post! Did I mention that? Love Practical Magic! Yay! I'm like you - I pretty much only have one costume (a witch), though last year, inspired by my trip to France, I was Madeleine - most of the same items I wear for my witch costume, but with different shoes, knee socks, an old wig, and my beret! LOL.

    I saw most of those posts and loved them - can't wait to check out the ones I haven't seen!

  2. So much to love here, my goddess sister! I too wish I could have a houseful of Halloween knickknacks, but I content myself with a fiberglass skull (his name is Horatio) I rescued from a shopping cart outside my old apartment and a few other things. Halloween/Samhain is such a beautiful, reflective time, and every year I wish I could mark it in some big flashy ritual way. But maybe the quieter celebrations are better. We'll get a few trick-or-treaters (my husband hopes for fewer so he can keep the candy), and I believe you may have inspired me to start working with my Tarot cards again! Blessed be!

  3. Mummers on halloween? Interesting.
    We have the same tradition in Newfoundland but at Christmas time as you pointed out. Do they come seeking candy or a bit of the drink?

  4. Great info in this post. I love Halloween too, but I love dressing up (becoming someone else for a bit). I love the fantasy and I love the fun the kids have. I too don't like to buy ready made costumes, but do like to be creative with things we already have at home. My daughter is the Mad Hatter this year and all we bought was the hat (pic on FB soon). Have a lovely party! What a celebration . . . birthday, wedding, Halloween! Fun!

  5. i love this post. i'm also a big fan of halloween, and usually i'm all about dressing up and partying. this year, however, i'm feeling more introverted and my friends are actually concerned that i don't feel like going dancing all night or doing the time warp, again.

    but your post helped me identify that i'm in the mood to meditate on those who have passed and think about my own future path. i also want to tap into the magic of this time of year, and to create a sacred space that is meaningful to me.

    i also feel like baking pumpkin cupcakes and nurturing myself by reflecting and planning. i don't feel like dressing up and becoming something else because i actually feel like turning inside and delving into myself, and honouring my own darkness.

    thanks for the inspiration, and for the opportunity to clarify what i'm looking for. happy belated birthday and i hope you enjoy your gathering!


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