A New Day

I have been sleeping with my head in the same direction on my bed for many years now. Last night I was sitting on my bed in the evening and felt compelled to put my head down in a totally different position, so I did. I slept like I was in another world.

I had many dreams about doing things differently than I have done before and spending time with new people I hadn’t met yet or didn’t know all that well. I was really enjoying it and learning a lot, but I was also very concerned that the new ways were going to disrupt the old ways, familiar consistent habitual ways that I thought I needed to maintain in order to be okay.

And disrupt they did. In a way that showed me the old patterns were not as stable or supportive of me as I had imagined. I was angry and hurt at first. Then I began to recognize. I was also freed.

Even my breathing pattern changed as I made this shift. I started to notice that although there were things that were passing there were also aspects that seemed to thrive in the space that was freed by putting myself in new positions, by moving in new directions. There had been no time or room to grow being stuck repeating the same old things, even if before it had felt familiar and therefore safe.

As I woke my perspective was quite different, literally and figuratively. My cat was really happy to get to lie in the spot I usually lie in that at times we fight over. As my granny used to say, “It’s a new day Neissy.”

Can’t hold on to the old day.
May as well face the dawn.

I mentioned to my son last night I was going to sleep in a new direction and he said he changes the direction he puts his head all the time and encouraged it.
Evolution.

I awaken with the resolve to keep stepping forward into the reorganization with less fear of the accompanying dissolution. To just keep going, see how it grows.

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Snowsports Conditioning Dynamic Balance Sequence 1

The first snow on Mount Washington, Mount Mansfield, at Jay Peak ResortStowe Mountain ResortSmugglers’ Notch ResortSugarbush ResortKillington Resort and Cannon Mountain (did I miss anyone?) inspires me to prepare myself for the upcoming snowsports season.
As skiing and snowboarding are dynamic balance practices, flow yoga and fluid movement meditation practices are useful and fun conditioning for pre-season and throughout the whole year.
This sequence is one potential of many.
If you have interest in working one-on-one or hiring me to lead a snowsports specific group yoga class, send me a message and check out the services section of this website to see some of what I have to offer.
Once again, sorry for the technology and cropping! I am working with what I have and learning as I go.

Eagle Progression Sequence to Release Shoulder Tension

Good morning!
Are your arms, shoulders, neck, back and hips a bit tired and sore from Autumn activities like raking leaves, chopping wood and harvesting the bounty from the garden? On this rainy morning when maybe you are finding a moment of respite I wanted to share a possible eagle posture progression sequence designed to release some of this accumulated tension, perhaps allowing you to harvest the energy that was stuck in the tension back into the body to rejuvenate where you are depleted and prepare you to keep going with more ease in whatever activities you engage in next.
I often teach this progression in a chair to make it more restorative and accessible to every body, although the full pose is done standing. While this video is primarily focused on the seated posture I briefly show the standing potential as well.
Once again I apologize for the technology, and the video is not perfect…
But it works for now and I hope comes to you at a time when it is useful.
Enjoy!

Advanced Sun Salutation 1

Postural meditation is part of how I remind myself of my strength in the face of adversity, part of how I attune to grace and agility in the midst of whatever else life is giving. I am grateful for the ability and the continued perseverance that allows me to do this. This was some of my practice today.
Essentially I am pretty private, and I like to present postural meditation practices in a way that makes them accessible to everyone. As a result I don’t tend to share posts like this. While gymnastic movement meditation practices can be intimidating, they can also be inspiring. It is in this vein that I share this sun salutation possibility, for those it may inspire.
I don’t often have the opportunity to teach people this kind of practice, but I would like to more. I tend to offer puzzle pieces of movement in simpler postures and then as ability allows put the pieces together into more complex possibilities so that by the time we get to the challenging posture you are already oriented to the parts that will make up the whole. If doing this kind of movement comes easy to you, I tend to break it down into pieces to bring in precision of alignment and body awareness into what you are already doing.
I do lead group classes yet find one-on-one instruction is a particular strength, especially for others who generally practice on their own rather than in a group led setting. If you are interested, be in touch. I’ll put a link the comments to my website for more information.
I apologize for the cropping, I am a bit limited in the technology department… I am working with what I currently have and learning as I go.

From the Inside, Looking Out: Simple Embodiment Guided Meditation

Overwhelmed? Maybe this will help. Not so much as an escape, for as tempting as that seems, hiding doesn’t make it all go away and can have a rebound effect. Yet as respite. A grounding in yourself. To calm the intensity and restore clear thinking. To help reorient in the face of the disorientation, whatever the specifics of that may be for you right now. A potential for self-support to keep going.
It is a simple guided meditation. Once you listen to it you can practice it yourself anytime. It is tactile, you can let go of the words and feel it. And bring yourself back. It can be done in any position, at anytime, even in the midst of action and intensity. No one will even know you are doing it.
You can take in this recipe and let it distill inside of you…this current speaking of it is a continuously evolving variation that has been inspired by many techniques and teachers and holds the quality of each as well as has become something personal inside of me.
It helps me come home to myself.
I share as maybe it will be useful for you too.

I tried to record a variation of this yesterday but there was a fly in the background…
So I opened the front door to try recording it outside and this photo is what I saw!
I sat down to record again today and this is the first track, unedited. I may record it over again, perhaps utilizing another method, but this works for now.

 

February 14, 2018

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On this day when many people are basking in the bliss of romantic love or lamenting that they are not, I would like to offer another perspective for those of us who are not partnered. Many times I have felt very sorry for myself that I don’t seem to get to have what other people seem to have and so many songs and stories say is the ultimate experience that everyone wants, the companionship of mutual romantic love. There are myriad reasons why some of us don’t find this, or perhaps don’t have it currently, and while having it can certainly be lovely, finding romantic love does not necessarily make or break a fulfilling, vibrant life. Many people hold on to relationships that have expired or perhaps were never even all that good to begin with in order to avoid the seemingly horrific potential of life without a romantic partner. Sometimes we put ourselves into situations that are not viable and at times even dangerous because we are more afraid that we need to be held in order to be okay. And many, myself included at times, miss seeing the beauty that’s right in front of us in pining for something that we imagine would make us complete and can’t seem to find. I have been without romantic relationship for many years now, with only very few unsuccessful attempts along the way. In each case we would have likely benefited each other much more to have related as friends instead. While I still get caught up in the desire for that at times, and am not closed to the possibility that at some point I may find mutual romantic love, I have also found great peace in letting go of needing to have it, in being complete in myself.

Some of the benefits for me have been: I am very comfortable going almost anywhere alone and enjoy my own company, whether or not I engage with other people on my journeys. I have come to often prefer it, especially the ability to come and go as I please without having to compromise with someone else’s desires (other than my son, but that is another situation, and also part of why I deeply appreciate my times of pure freedom). I am pretty capable of doing most things on my own, and when I’m not, I am becoming adept at finding ways to support myself to get those things done too. I am not resentful and waiting for someone else to do their part to balance the tally, I just get it done or not. I relate well with men and women and value them as beings worthy in themselves, not so dominated by the tension of being potential sexual partners or not. I am becoming more comfortable walking away when this is not respected, and am able to take it less personally through time and practice. This helps me feel safer and more comfortable in my own skin, and in my own integrity, and sometimes wakes people up to how they are limiting the ways we may be able to relate by fixating on sexuality and romantic love. I experience the transmutation of sexual energy into vitality and creative inspiration, and sexual attraction into appreciation and connection beyond just that initial potential interest. I am often able to desire without having to obtain the object of desire and enjoy the beautiful experience of the desire in itself. Which…is freedom. My identity is not confined to being a partner and I am able to relate with whoever I want, however I want, as long as it is agreeable with the person I am relating with, and perhaps their partners  I continuously discover what I think and enjoy without the influence of others defining what is possible or valid. I have come to trust myself and am my own validation.

I’m not saying these things can’t be found in the context of a romantic relationship, monogamous or otherwise, I’m just sharing that life can be beautiful and satisfying even if you don’t find romantic love. Even if that’s not what we’re conditioned to believe, and even on a day like today. If you’re feeling alone, just know you’re not alone in being alone. And that being solo doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. There are many ways to have companionship, including the companionship of your own heart.

On this and everyday.
Love

Turiya Yoga Spontaneous Movement and Dance Meditation at Unifier Festival 2016

Photo Jul 24, 5 53 00 PM

Unifier Transformational Healing & Expressive Arts Festival
Camp Timber Trails, Tolland, MA
June 17-20, 2016

In this workshop we will utilize guided meditative yoga, mindfulness movement exercises and spontaneous freeform dance meditation as experiential metaphor for resetting unconscious yet familiar patterns; in the way we approach our yoga practice, in the way we move when we dance and in how we relate to the unique circumstances of our lives. Noticing how the forces of momentum, conditioned habits, preconceptions, our own will, each other, the environment around us and even the music direct our movement, we will experiment with consciously unhooking ourselves from following this momentum. In the space of the pause we can potentially tap into the experiencing witness state of turiya, pure aware consciousness underlying all other states of consciousness – the silence ever-present behind the sound, the spaciousness inside our form and the stillness of each moment within the movement – and allow fresh insight and creative possibilities to arise. Instead of repeating pattern or even identifying as the “dancer” and moving by our own will alone, the dance takes form through us. Informed yet not defined, limited or controlled by everything we have experienced so far in our lives.
All levels welcome, no prior experience necessary. I will offer variations to suit every body.

Accompanied with live improvisational sound and music by Kālidāsa Joseph Getter.

For more information go to deniseporterkemp.com/events/tandava/

Denise Porter Kemp makes yoga practice accessible to the uniqueness of every body while expressing the deeper teachings of yoga through the experiential practice of the physical form. Based in the forests of New Hampshire, she brings her traveling yoga school ~ Turiya Yoga ~ to private homes, offices at lunchtime, ski mountains, addiction recovery centers, yoga studios and music festivals all along the east coast. Certified at the 500 hour level in the Shakti Flow Vinyasa style of yoga by Asa Dustin of At OM Yoga, Level 1 in Thai Yoga by Shai Plonski of Still Light Center and initiated into the Kaula lineage of Kashmir Shaivism by Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati, Denise has studied with many teachers and learns from everyone who comes her way. She has been teaching yoga since 2005 and offering Thai Yoga since 2011.

~ body geometry, pure aware consciousness ~
deniseporterkemp.com

Kālidāsa Joseph Getter is a creative world musician whose transcendent sounds awaken the mind and open the heart. He leads kirtan sessions, composes and performs for dance and theater, crafts soundscapes for yoga, and plays experimental and free improvisation music. Kālidāsa is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, specializing in the bamboo flute of South India and gamelan music of Java. He is on the faculty of several music schools, leads the Wesleyan Youth Gamelan program, and is music director for ArtFarm theater of Middletown, Connecticut.

https://www.facebook.com/kalidasakirtan