Monday, March 28, 2016

Audio Yoga Sequences

I once had a dearly beloved student who asked me to record a yoga practice for her.  She had tried to practice from books, from Yoga Journal, the magazine on the mat.... She tried having her husband read the instructions to her, but then she'd get mad at him and that wasn't conducive.... So, I got a computer, a microphone, even a stand for the microphone,... I tried a few times to record podcasts, but got bogged down at the step where I was supposed to figure out a way to make the recordings readily available...and I put the microphone away neatly in the closet.  She and I worked together in person twice a week in her home for years and somehow I never got to making the audio version for her.  She passed away three years ago and I miss her every single day.

So it is in honor of Joan Parker that I inaugurate the first of an ongoing series of downloadable recorded yoga practices. Joan I wish you were still here with us.

The following short yoga sequence is meant to be doable in 15-25 minutes or so.  You can pause the recording to slow it down and hold a pose or stretch longer, or keep it going and get through it faster.  If there are any poses or stretches that cause joint pain, sharp pain or otherwise NOT GOOD pain, leave them out!  If you are inspired to add a few poses, go for it!  My hope is that you can use these audio sequences to enhance/jump start your home practice. So start by "Throwing your mat on the floor," as Karin Stephan suggests for Step One to a home practice.  Then turn on your recording.... et Voilà!

Visit my website to listen; where a link will take you to Soundcloud. For now, until we redesign the website, the only way to access my podcasts is via this link. Once you've visited, you can bookmark my podcast or the Soundcloud page for repeat listening.

Warmest Wishes,

Monday, March 7, 2016

This being human is a guest house...

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

   Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

I often wish that the (very) short meditation at the close of class could go on and on, or at least for about 20 minutes!  I relish so much that short pause when the class is done but we haven’t yet begun what’s next. After we have worked the body, maybe rebalanced, enervated, stretched and otherwise gotten the bodily fluids moving as well as the breath.  Sitting in meditation in this state is such a completely different experience to sitting down “Cold.” I find that I am able to observe what ever is happening with a quieter detachment. This poem popped into my mind during this pause at the end of class this morning and if I could recite it from memory I would have.  Barring that, here it is!  Enjoy!