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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


The Power of My Mat: Part II

Oct 01, 2020 09:52AM ● By Nicole Zornitzer

Last evening I sheared all of my mother’s hair 

As we watched the clumps fall to the floor, we cried a river of tears

We watched the stripping of her dignity fall with each strand that left her body

I embraced the naked body of the woman who birthed me and showed me all of the goodness in the world

We made tea, we snuggled, and I assured her she looked even more beautiful than before

In Ayurveda the action of shearing the hair has been a Vedic tradition from the beginning of time. Removal of the hair stimulates the central nervous system and renews bone marrow tissue, allowing the body to revive itself. Shearing the hair renews the body/mind and spirit. This also signifies lightening one’s burdens, eliminating attachment to the material world. Hair carries the experiences of our lives and its removal means much more than hair being removed. A naked head makes it easier to face the pure and unadorned spirit of self so that we come to terms with its truth and esteem it for what it truly is. I explained this to my mom as she listened to the wisdom, I can bestow upon her during her struggle with cancer.

I became her light as she rested on my breast

For many years I have educated practitioners about the POWER of the yoga mat; this morning I am a living example of such.  

I arrive

I practice

I release my own sorrows as I move through this meditation

My mat is my safe haven, my place of grounding, my time to reconnect with who I am

My mat knows me better than any human

As I wipe the salty tears off of my face, I gather the energy to begin again

Each breath, each movement is me; finding me

I am more than just my mother’s light; I share my authentic self with all whom practice with me

It is not easy, but it is my calling

I arrive

I breath 

I move

I let go

I move forward, if for no other reason but for her

Life is most definitely not fair; however it has been said that through struggle we find ourselves

I have struggled many times; I have shown resilience and I encourage all of you to do the same

Get on your mat, even during the darkest of times

Just arrive

And I will be there to catch you, that is my promise to you

Excerpt from The Surrender, N. Zornitzer, December 2019. 

Nicole Zornitzer, ERYT 1000, yoga therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Shala, located in Randolph, New Jersey, and Upper Lake Mohawk in Sparta, New Jersey.

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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