Monday, June 28, 2010

From Anna: Variations on Inspiration

I finally had a chance to listen to the Gil Fronsdal meditation this morning and found it to be as illuminating, freeing, and lovely as you suggested it would be. These discoveries you have made and in turn recommended to me, give new meaning to 'guided meditation'.

Stimulating in a very different but equally lovely way is this. I have always been captivated by the many varieties of modern dance and this is no exception. At times, it does get a bit... gymnasticsy.... but you can certainly see the asana inspiration woven throughout the piece. It's enchanting in a 'how did they actually figure out that they could DO that?' sort of way. At times, they look like more like one body with 8 limbs than 2 people dancing together. Lydia Walker was a professional ballerina, Phillip Askew teaches yoga in NY, and adding to the excitement, the accompaniment is improvised by none other than Jonah Rank who sometimes goes by his Jewish Gangsta name - J Rizzle. No, seriously.

Possible weekend activity for you and Humble Husband: Put the little one down for a nap and try some of these moves, particularly the prasarita-esque liftoff at the 4.30 min mark! If I had a nickel for every time I've seen people pull that off, I would have exactly 5 cents.....

Monday, June 14, 2010

From Liz: Meditating Myself Into the Ground.

Sorry for the silence. I've gone soft at the center for a while. Meaning: I've gone off the rails with practice, with discipline, with keeping my shit generally together--the center cannot hold. I'm well, overall. I'm exercising, so am physically strong enough. And I'm happy with the direction that my family is going. Onward and upward, etc. But that happiness has taken the urgency out of practice and mediation, so I've gotten sloppy. I need to start getting up early again. I need to reconnect with that sense of radicalism, because I'm feeling quite average. (I have good friends who have three daughters. The middle child coined the term "middlest" to describe herself. The other girls had "oldest" and "youngest" cornered, so she wanted something as extreme, a word that put her as much at the periphery as the other two. It's a good word, and is how I have been feeling.) Right now, I'm just your average yogini, with my middlest practice. I've been doing a lot of yin yoga, acting like I'm doing myself the service of stillness. Really, I'm just too lackadaisical to focus on flow, to keep light in my extremities and float through an ashtanga practice.

I guess the creative spark is lacking. At least, it was, until I chanced upon this bit of psycho-spiritual gold. In a nutshell, it suggest the when you meditate, you just think of it as the act of sitting and just being yourself. Allow yourself to bubbled up like a hidden spring. Don't try to achieve anything. The soft center seems to firm up when you tap in that way. It makes me feel a little wide-eyed and vibrant. Sitting here, with my breath, just being me. There is something revolutionary in not striving. Incidentally, in all of this, it does occur to me how privileged I am to have the time/space to undertake this radical sitting.

I'm glad that your scalene is teaching you some lessons. Apparently my right knee has decided to be my guru for a while. Lesson: "chill out with all of the lunges, you vain silly thing." My right knee doesn't know about skinny jeans.