the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Monday, April 30, 2012

We are all unaware of most of what affects us, and in this mysterium we don't know how to be.

Because I think you can be healed. It is not that they you are not strong enough, or smart enough or logical enough to act better.

We have all patterned some painful ways to cope. We sometimes feed the things that hurt us, because they loudly beg for attention.

It is not because you are weak, needy or insecure.
We all have sick, potholed pathways in our minds, these negative trenches in our bodies. It takes a lot of help to build new roads.

It is not because people don't care enough or don't love enough.
These words forget that we are growing, painfully stretching into our form, learning to walk and stepping on each others toes.

It is not because you are hopelessly anxious or paranoid.
We live in a complicated world where so many have been hurt in the harshest of ways. Memory can be hard to step away from.

It is not because all options point to abyss.
When we hit the base of our heartstrings, it is hard to see a way out. A world with meaning seems far away, but much closer than we can imagine.

It is not because you are an addict.
It takes time and work and a healing village to build light. The change is slippery at first and comes in waves- sometimes you fall, need more support

When I was younger, I wanted to go into defense law. I was very good at defending people, I believed in this core innocence and I wanted to prove it. And it's still a noble pursuit, but I've found myself more specific. The majority of people do not need defending from a court. They need defending from themselves, from their greatest fears and doubts and self-loathing. From these elements that make up all humans, our dark sides that we run away from.

We live in with world of abuse, trauma and disorder. Our shadows plague us with pain and addiction, stress and worry.

When the greatest threat is the angry voice inside one's own head, teaching someone to accept and befriend themselves is the most formidable task of all.

But it is not because we are flawed. Yes, we have unworkable structures in our minds, yes, energy blockages in our bodies. Yet at our core is awareness and choice, and it is stronger than any paradigm.

We have opened the pandora's box of consciousness. Got hit with the responsibility of creating our own lives, and the difficulty there in. There's work to be done. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Flat out Feminist

Today I learned, I see women as marginalized beings.

To the extent that I am a rotating sphere mirror of all around me, scampering for consciousness and control of what circulates. And I've been orbiting in misogyny a while.

I disrespect them. I classify them into categories; the thick maternal figure (with no adventures of her own), the angelic waif (with no earthly concerns), the aggressive business woman (poor in compassion), the old knitting grandmother (snoozing on a pillow) or the frigid housewife (projecting her pain).

These people are not full and complete. They are part and portioned. Simply put, being a women seemed like more pain, responsibility, and trouble. Didn't seem like much fun.

I do not appreciate being female. I take issue with it. In my youth, the people I identified with most were mostly male. I rarely saw women that I wanted to be.

It was as if, in order to come into a full expression of my being, I need to become a person who happened to be female. I could not become a women, in my mind, because women were lacking in options.

Lucidity changed that. It may have started with Ruby, and others, calling me goddess. Goddess is a pretty empowering term. Goddesses can be anything, really.

I saw an acrobats I could not stop staring out for her splendor. She had curly hair, I think she was a size 6. I saw tiny caring women who wanted to feed the world, and businessmen that dressed up like wonderwoman. I saw yoga teachers who were scientists with navel rings, mothers who took their kids to music festivals. Brilliant women of all ages and walks of life, consciously embodying their true self.

...and to see about 1500 of that was pretty intense. People were treating each other as equals. It was pretty damn cool.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Studio U Pilates

I walked out with a tight coil in my belly, feeling fully alive and radiant.

This is my core. This is what I feel like when I'm power.

Debbie's class is like no other Pilates class I've experienced. Rooted in intelligence and specificity, it brings about profound, lasting change from within. This is no hour-long pump go-go routine. This is a brilliant change that Debbie creates within you. As she teaches, she is aware of every body part of each student. It's as if she has a barometer of muscular activation: she can tell exactly when you're fully present, and when you're not feeling the pull of an activity.

Debbie also identified exactly what muscular "crutches" I'm using that are keeping me away from an activated core. She showed me how to tuck my hips (I was always putting them in the wrong direction) and curl up my lower belly muscles. She showed me how to link together my upper abs like "zipping up a corset".

Studio U requires the focus and attention of a strong yoga practice, and it's making me think about fitness in a new way. I think that when I am "feeling the burn" of an ab exercise, that it's actually translating to flatter abs. But when I feel core activation, it's an aliveness like stored power in the belly. It's deeper than a "oh feel the burn" and more real and lasting. This place has actually changed the way I view my (flatter!) abs and how I engage them.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Layna Dakin: Hot 8 Yoga

I've been training to teach the Hot 8 Power Fusion classes, and I could not be more lucky. Southern California's warmth and lushness doesn't mandate heated yoga studios in the same way that the East Coast does. I remember winters when I spent the whole day just longing for that moment I stepped into the blessed heat.

How can I forget about the power of the heat? The heat detoxifies, increases our flexibility and brings us deeper into our practice. I remember Shiva's devotion that that sacred fire, heating practices. Many times we lose our fire, she said, through life changes or experiences...sometimes people's fires go out. But it's a precious thing to cherish and nourish.

The first few times I took Power Fusion, I experienced tremendous relief. Firstly, it's not Bikram. Although Hot 8 Yoga does hold traditional hot classes, the power fusion is a shoulder-friendly practice that combines the intensity and long holds of a hot class, with the flow of a vinyasa. It's the best of both worlds: intensity and fluidity. It's powerful, heating, difficult and detoxifying, but in my opinion, to a point of virtue not exhaustion. For this reason, I enjoyed the power fusion sequence in the morning.

I also particularly enjoyed Layna Dakin's style of teaching the class, smart, active and dedicated. Every motion a student makes in a Hot Power Fusion class is guided by Layna's gentle and inspirational suggestions. Knowledge comes in through every line. Watching her teach is an interesting experience itself. Her entire body leans in and participates with such intensity that you know she is one thousand percent present. This complete activation of the body is the concept present in the class, Layna always has a bit of advice of how to welcome in collarbones or fingertips into a movement. It's amazing how, in a fairly set structure, the individuality of a teacher's expression comes out fully through subtle cues.