Yoga and Snowsports as Movement Meditation Retreats 2015

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January 11, February 8 and March 15  9am – 5:30pm
The Mountain Club on Loon and Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, NH
for more information 603-568-5977 or deniseporterkemp@gmail.com
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Buy tickets for Yoga and Snowsports as Movement Meditation
Physical yoga is a mindfulness movement meditation, helping develop the capacity to recall effortless presence at will. On these one-day retreats we will utilize yoga both as a physical tune-up for snowsports and as a way to recognize the potential of mindfulness meditation in all our activities. Physical yoga is one way of experiencing the teachings of yoga, so that we can bring these teachings into the rest of our lives.
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We will begin with a morning pre-snowsports specific yoga practice to bring mobility to the joints and warm the muscles, activate effortless core strength and find our center of gravity and balance. By becoming present in the body, we also become aware with the body.
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After lunch, we head onto the mountain for a half day of snowsports, utilizing the physical practice of skiing or riding in the same way we could utilize the physical yoga practice – to intentionally and sometimes even methodically bring awareness into what we are doing while we are doing it. Once we have trained our mind and body to be focused and conscious, we can let go of some of the active effort, riding the mountain by responding to gravity and the contours of the land.
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I also have many possibilities for yoga in boots and right in skis and snowboards which I am happy to share with anyone interested, although no one is required to practice the yoga on snow! You are also welcome to ski or ride on your own at any time.
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After the lifts close, we return to the sanctuary of The Mountain Club to decompress with apres-ski specific yoga, holding longer postures to release tension and prepare the body for the next day with less soreness and fatigue.
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I will not be teaching snowsports per-se, participants need to be able to comfortably ski or ride blue runs. On each run I will offer subtle cues as focus points, and we can share our own tricks and methods with each other. You are welcome to ski with the group, and at any point, take some time on your own. I will share the way I utilize the practice of yoga to enhance my snowsports experience, to assist you in finding a practice that supports your own.
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There are three separate retreats ~ January 11, February 8 and March 15 ~ come to one or as many as time and interest allows. Space is limited and you need to pre-register to hold your spot.
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$100 each retreat, includes half-day lift ticket
$75 each, with your own lift ticket
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posts about snowsports and yoga…
Basic Snow Yoga
Sun Salutation On a Snowboard
Sun Salutation in Skis
One Foot Strapped in Snowboard Yoga
Dynamic Lunge Sequence for Before Snowsports
Meditative Hip Opening Apres-ski Video
…poems and other writings about snowsports…

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4 part tuning-in meditation

…can be used as a meditation, during yoga, and in the moment…

  1. Awareness inside your body – grounding yourself in your body.  Anyway that works.  Potentially – awareness radiating from the center of your body, just below your navel, all the way to the periphery of the skin – head, feet, hands, everywhere.  Simultaneously drawing awareness back from the periphery to hold the center.  Soften back into yourself.  It can go back and forth – outward, inward – and eventually, both at the same time.  Aliveness in the whole body.  Expansion and centeredness.  Balanced.
  2. Awareness of the room around you – the temperature, the atmosphere, anyone there with you.  Without having to engage or ignore, staying in your body and aware of what’s around you.
  3. Hear the sounds – without grasping to listen, let the sound come to you, in through your ears and translated on your eardrums.  Feel the sound in your body.
  4. Feel the breath breathing – as the breath comes in and fills you, you expand from the center of the chest, as the breath leaves, your body condenses back into the center of the chest.  As if you are breathed in and out of the heart, your whole body breathed like one giant lung.

All the while staying grounded in the body, eventually all four parts at the same time.  Whenever you find yourself distracted, just start over…

adapted from a practice by Parvathi Nanda Nath Sarasvati

waking up centered meditation

Take a few deep breaths, letting your belly expand on the inhale.  Bring your mind into a relaxed focus on your lower abdomen, as if your belly is filling with a warmth, or a light.  If you can, do this with your eyes closed for a few moments to be able to really turn inward into the sensation.  Once you get acclimated to the practice, you can do it anytime, eyes open or closed, with active deep breath or letting the breath breathe you automatically

Feel as if a warm river of sensation is moving down your legs into your feet, filling your body with the warmth, or the light, as if your body is coming back into color.  All the way down into the arches of your feet and each toe, a continuous river of warmth, of sensation, of aliveness, from your belly to your feet.  Your belly like a spring of warm water, the sensation flowing all the way up into your heart, take a few deep breaths swirling it here, and then bring the awareness up in to your face.  Softening the eye muscles, softening the jaw, allowing a very slight smile to come to the corners of the mouth.  Not as pretense, yet to relax the face.  Buddha smile.  Awareness like a warmth, a light, bathing your brain.  Awareness flowing like a warm river from the belly both into the feet and the head at the same time.  Some of the sensation flowing from your belly up into the heart pouring out through the shoulders and down the arms, through the pulse points of your inner elbows, of your wrists, and out into the sensitive palms of your hands and into each finger.  Relaxed focus grounded at the belly and lower back, the pulse of your breath expanding and contracting softly, a continuous stream of awareness flowing out into the soles of the feet, the center of your chest, the palms of the hands, the back of the neck, into the cheekbones and your eyes, the crown of the head.  Grounded at the center, whole body awake and alive with sensation.

If your eyes are closed, allow them to open on an inhale, playing with staying grounded in your body, especially with the relaxed focus at the lower abdomen, and looking out.  Rather than leaping out as you look out, staying grounded in yourself while aware of what is around you.  The lateral eye muscles, at the corners of your eyes, slightly drawing back into your face.  Mona Lisa smile.  Of inner knowing.  The sensation of looking out yet drawing back in.  As if the sight is coming forward to you.  Breath at the belly and heart.

Play with this when you first wake up in the morning while still lying in bed to awaken in every cell of your body, especially if you are still sleepy.  When you are starting or ending meditation or yoga, or any activity where it helps to be really alive and present in your body.  Play with this all of the time, when you remember.  When you feel scattered or off, ungrounded, whether from being uncomfortable and overwhelmed or when you’re feeling really, really good and starting to spin out.   Come back into yourself.  Experience it from the center.  And when you get off balance, just come back.  Over and over again.

Love.