I have always delighted in looking at this album cover art! The woman looks comfortable in her body, full of vitality and enjoying a Hot Summer Day (a great song on the album). She has an openness, her heart is exposed, unguarded. She is experiencing the breeze, the sun and life! She is wholly present in that moment!
Along the same lines;
I remember a scene in a visually stunning Chinese *movie. Many people were harvesting or tending rice, they were all bending forward, down. A breeze came up and one by one everyone stretched their backs (similar to the woman on the album cover). At one point all of them were in variations of this position. They were not rushed, they all seemed to be listening to their own bodies needs, stretching their spines as much and as long as each needed to before going back to work!
Think about this for a few minutes…visualize it…
(* I wish I had a clip or remembered the film’s title, if you know, Please comment below!)
…When do you enjoy a nice long stretch of your spine? When are you most comfortable in your body?
I often hear people saying “I don’t backbend” or “I can’t Backbend”, and I see some students struggle with the easiest “backbend” postures. I wonder how much of this has to do with our modern lifestyle and our mindset, and our emotional health (self love, acceptance), to to feel free and safe!
Do rounded shoulders and hunched backs reflect our wounds, our heartaches? Is it some kind of armor over our heart?
As a yogi, I say YES, it is our wounds and our armor both!
I and many people find emotions come up when backbending! Even gaining just a little new suppleness around the heart, has brought me to tears. This is not a bad thing! If I have grief or sadness, isn’t it best to acknowledge it, give it some space and time to release from my being?
“The deeper sorrow carves into our being the more joy it can contain” ~ Kahlil Gibran
I was recently at concerts where the music was amazing, yet few people were smiling and very few danced. I thought of this poem;
O wondrous creatures, By what strange miracle Do you so often Not smile?~ Hafiz
I simply wish for everyone to love being in their body, exactly as it is. To feel comfortable and have a sense of vitality, aliveness.
I wish for everyone to enjoy embodied movement, embodied rest, embodied closeness.
Wow it’s September already! Yoga Schedule the same..except….
Monday nights – At Stone Age Climbing Gym – 5 – 6 :30pm! Ashtanga Primary Lead.
– 4th Wednesday (8:30am) every month at Versatile Vitality will be Restorative – be guided and supported in Asanas were gravity and your breath do all the “work” (mostly release of tension) and move deeper into relaxation. Gain awareness of the subtitles, the subtle body!
There are openings for individual sessions in September- review your home practice, Reiki, Posture, Yoga, $70. *All classes and sessions are cash or check only.
“THE CUMULATIVE POWER OF YOGA
No yoga practice no benefits.
Practicing one day per week will produce very little benefit.
Practicing two days per week will maintain your present level of physical, mental and emotional fitness.
Practicing three days per week will incrementally advance your level of physical, mental and emotional fitness.
Practicing four days per week will make your body more flexible and your mind better focused.
Practicing five days per week will make you physically and mentally stronger. And much more emotionally balanced.
Practicing six day per week will unfold your very best in you.
The seventh day… one must rest to allow the body to digest the benefits accumulated during the week. …
Improve your practice!” Malaga, September, 2011
September is bring a friend for 1/2 price to all Albuquerque classes! That’s $6 at RGCSL and $4.50 at Versatile Vitality!
I praise the dance, for it frees people
from the heaviness of matter and binds the isolated to community.
I praise the dance, which demands everything:
health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.
Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,
who are in constant danger of becoming all brain, will, or feeling.
Dancing demands a whole person,
one who is firmly anchored in the center of his life,
who is not obsessed by lust for people and things
and the demon of isolation in his own ego.
Dancing demands a freed person,
one who vibrates with the equipoise of all his powers.
I praise the dance.
O man, learn to dance,
or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you.
by Saint Augustine
This Article by Madisyn Taylorof the Daily Om eloquently says everything you need to know about dance-
Our bodies were made to move and flow and within our movement we find a deeper connection to our bodies and the earth.
As children, most of us were encouraged to dance on a regular basis, freely and openly, in whatever way felt best. A few of us may have retained or regained our ability to engage in dancing unselfconsciously, but by the time we reach adulthood, many of us have stopped dancing altogether. We may have hang-ups about our bodies, or we may fear being judged. Then again, we may simply have fallen out of the habit for so long that we don‚t even realize we never dance anymore. Whatever the case, there‚s no time like now to rediscover the healing pleasure of moving your body to music˜alone, as part of a couple, or in a group. Opportunities to dance abound, once you start looking for them.
If you haven’t danced in a long time and feel too self-conscious to start in a public situation, find some time alone to reintroduce yourself to the joy of listening and responding to music with your body. Turn the lights down low and remember that it‚s much more fun when you‚re not thinking about what you look like. It won’t take long before your body remembers how much it loves to move. Feel the music in your soul, feel the vibrations healing your body. Treat the time like a meditation session in which you agree to allow yourself to fully inhabit your amazing body.
If you feel awkward, remember that every culture since time immemorial has celebrated life and the body with dance. All people carry the memory of dance in their blood and bones. In other words, you were born to do this, it is in you already; all you have to do is start moving. If you prefer more interaction, take a class one night a week. In most cities, you can find everything from modern dance to African dance to ballroom and salsa. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret choosing to rediscover your birthright˜the healing, joyful thrill of dancing.
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:… “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?” Gabrielle Roth
Focused Concentration and keen awareness of mind and body.
Control of the breath, Movement synchronized to the breath: Awareness with the breath.
Vinyasa– a flow through a series of movements – One breath to one movement. An example is sun salutations. Vinyasa warms the body from inside and increases meditative focus, and awareness of the breath.
Asana– (“poses” and also the movement into, with-in and out of them) which lead to doing more difficult Asanas, creating greater freedom of mind and body.
A process. Each movement towards, with-in and transition out of an Asana is a journey towards mind-body integration, flexibility and strength with-in that asana, the unique way you find it within your own body.
Everyone’s individual body structure means there is great variety in how a person gets into, and looks in any pose.
Yoga is complex. This is why it is a process! Often a slow process, even with diligent daily practice.
Always a whole being (body-mind-emotions) experience. Expect to change more than your body!
Physical asana is only one of the eight limbs of yoga Philosophy.
The goal of yoga is no less than Enlightenment -knowledge/understanding/insight which brings freedom. (Though better health or physical appearance are often the goal in the west)
The rewards are mastery over the mind and a strong, flexible, yet supple, body.
One theory of how physical Yoga was originally created is so that a person could remain in seated, still in meditation without being distracted by discomfort in the body.
Yoga has been attributed as great tools for religion, or spiritual growth, no matter what faith or philosophy a person believes. The practice of yoga as lifestyle is expanded understanding, compassion, inner peace and peaceful conduct, until eventually all of life becomes a moving meditation.
It is a philosophy. The branch of Yoga, Devotion, can be devotion in the religious sense, but this is a personal choice.
YOGA IS NOT:
Classes, (Just like any art form, you take classes but you practice on your own.)
Being a contortionists
A physical exercise class
A quick fix to anything
Something you master completely on any given day. (there is no finish line).
Know What you are getting into. Find the class(es) and teacher(s) right for you.