Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Read this, listen to that...

Yesterday, someone asked how long I had been offering Thai (massage/bodywork) at the gym. "It's been a year," I replied. It's also precisely how long I have been away from this page.

One bit to share: a book club before our Wednesday evening practice. We're reading The Inner Tradition of Yoga (Michael Stone).

After a few weeks, one reader/attendee commented that she had been doing yoga "all wrong." She didn't realize the philosophical/psychological branches. All we get are the poses -- and here in the States, the grander the pose, the better YOU are at yoga. Bullshit. I mean that academically. 

In this respect the word "bullshit" is identical to the word "lie," for when we speak of a lie we speak, implicitly, of the action that brought the lie into being: Somebody lied (T. Noah).
It is at least a misdirectionthat the more tricked-out your body, the more happiness you experience. It's akin to the lie that being really fit = health. One can be of excellent health without the commitment required to compete in marathons, duathalons, etc.

Achievement for the sake of earning your worth is a cover-up. You don't think you earn it by being here. Do another round of Suryanamaskar and see if that helps. You are deceived. Your happiness can never be a function of doing. That's a treadmill. Your being aware of the treadmill = happiness. You step on, step off, unplug the damn thing if you want.

Another excellent find that complements Stone's book is hearing Brene Brown on NPR. She calls out our human tendency to tamp down vulnerability. We store shame in the cellars of every addiction. We armor ourselves with status, with image, with a flippant attitude. Every layer of protection buries our ability to connect, she says. This connection -- this vulnerability-- is required for true courage and growth. You can't really love wearing all that armor.

My poses aren't so different than a year ago. My mind is getting a good stretch, though.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thai Yoga Bodywork @ Health TRAC

New service available at Health TRAC -- Thai Yoga Bodywork.

It's a blend of yoga-like poses with rhythmic pressure and stretching. You'll feel like you've had a workout but won't sweat a bit. I do all the work.

Scheduling sessions for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Call Health TRAC for scheduling: 278-8722.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter: open up, bend back.

December means winter practice.

To invigorate in the darkest days, to counter the inward pull of cold --necessary to do, but draining to stay down too long or too much-- we do backbends.

This posture is foreign to those inexperienced with yoga (or gymnastics or dance). It doesn't take much to feel the effects. Even a supported backbend counts!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blooming in your practice

I have not been here in a while.

There was illness, a death, and a birth. There's been a lot of assessing and sorting.

I'm back.

It isMay, and the best time to live in Michigan--in my opinion--next to October. The emphasis in spring is twisting, and that will continue through May.

There's a possibility of doing Paddle Board Yoga on the lake again this summer.

Further, I'm reading a book about the arrival of tantra yoga to America (based in the physical rather than just the spiritual):

The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America, by Robert Love. It's scandalous and fascinating. I have always been more into finding balance through the body than with the unseen/unknown. The body is here; it's how we navigate this world.

Getting the body and breath to feel their best is the closest thing to divine we can prove. I'm content with making this life the pinnacle of humanity.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Flow '13

Last February, we focused practice on flow yoga, a style that uses continual movement and repeating sequences. It received good reviews, so it's time to flow freely in February '13.

This is different from the usually long-held "Power" poses I favor. It helps you feel loosened up and warm. Considering Real Winter seems at last upon us, what better time than now to unthaw your body?

I emphasize using props. If you have tender wrists or tight hips, for instance, reaching for the floor may hinder your fluidity. Reach instead for a chair seat or blocks.