I thought I would share this as maybe it will help you clear your mind and body before you sleep. It is not really a video but a guided meditation, but so far with what I know a video is easier to share than audio. It is raw, not perfected or polished. I blow my nose, I have a cold, I sit up in a wonky way. It is taken from the end of a online Zoom yoga session with a private client. I have been wanting to share some guided meditations, when I teach it is pretty much all guided movement and stillness meditation. I don’t have a plan or use a script. I tried recording some with a script I wrote, and while I like what I said, it sounded like I was reading from a script. In this what I say is not exactly right, yet it sounds, at least to me, more authentic, albeit a little slow and with a stuffy nosed voice. I like it better than the script though. In 14 years of teaching it is the first time I have recorded myself and listened to the recording as a meditation for myself…I tend to be more ephemeral than documenting. I think it will help me get better at this to do this, record myself in real time rather than scripted and then experience myself as a student. It is fascinating. I am different on the outside than I am inside of me, it seems so far, and as I watch myself I have extreme compassion for this little woman that I am, in the same way I have compassion for you when I see you in real life. I will likely record a similar guided meditation and at that point perhaps delete this. Yet in the interim I am sharing what I have available and maybe it will be of interest to you.
at The Viaggio Spa and Wellness Center
in The Mountain Club on Loon
on Loon Mountain Resort
with Denise Porter Kemp
Yoga Playshops for Kids
Sunday, February 17
•9:30am – 10:00am 7-11 years $10
•10:30am – 11:00am – 3-6 years, Mommy or Daddy & Me $10
•3:30pm – 4:15pm – 11-15 years $15
We will utilize yoga postures, movement, dance and storytelling to engage our minds and bodies through the art of conscious play. These age groups are guidelines not boundaries, inquire if you have questions. In all cases we will explore yoga teachings through postures and movement translated to the maturity level of the group.
Yoga Refresh Mini-Retreat
Wednesday, February 20
$45, member price $35
A half day of retreat of flowing postural yoga, breathwork practices to relax and energize, seated meditation techniques and guided yoga nidra/conscious-rest meditation catered to the specifics of the group. Combine with a half day on the mountain, exploring the forests surrounding the resort or pampering yourself with the many amenities and services available at the Viaggio Spa for a full day retreat experience, just the way you like it.
Yoga and Snowshoe Meditation Hike
Saturday, February 23
$60 bring your own snowshoes, $75 with snowshoe rental, member price $50 or $65 with snowshoes
Yoga inside the warm sanctuary of The Mountain Club before and after as well as outside during a snowshoe meditation hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
•Mondays 5:30-7:00 Meditative Flow yoga class
•Private individual and group yoga and Thai yoga sessions available by request
mural and photo credit ~ Christopher Oktavec of Okto Ink
with editing and support by Taniya Toomey
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 ~
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.
I am generally not into slogans, although there is a Buddhist one I have heard that I think of a lot – just enough and not too much. It is kind of a Goldilocks approach to life 🙂
Practicing yoga helps me experiment with this balance on a physical, experiential level, balancing how much weight forward, how much back, where do I lift from, where do I contract, when I shift one aspect of the posture how does that affect the rest, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some of it is mental, I remember the ways I have played with the posture before and cues other teachers and students have suggested to me, yet it is not only a mental thinking it out. It includes body memory and develops an awareness beyond just the thinking of the mind, beyond just the discursive thought or continuous defining of the mind, it becomes a direct felt experience of the balance that integrates and grows with me.
I am also finding this true with my experience of the continuous learning curve of skiing and snowboarding, dynamic practices of the subtleties of the shifts of weight and posture responding to the shape of the skis or board, the texture of the snow and the contours of the mountain. The practice of yoga does help support the sport in that it can be cross training to warm up and bring awareness into the body and center the mind before going on the mountain and decompressing to unwind tension, reduce soreness and recovery time and prepare the body for the next day. Yet there is also potential for utilizing yoga to refine sensitivity to the effects of stance and the subtle shift of weight in any posture and especially in ones that directly inform the body of movements used in skiing and riding, teaching our bodies how to efficiently perform these movements and giving ourself practice both on and off the hill. Perhaps beginning with mental inquiry and developing into experiential wisdom.
When I ski and ride it is very much a physical yoga practice in that I start with a variety of cues in myself that gradually build – just enough and not too much, a little bit of this and a little bit of that – until it all flows together and I am not thinking out the skiing, all my awarenesses are coming together and the skiing is happening right through me. It is kind of a sahaja approach to life, the sahaja the purely spontaneous being who has trained their body and mind to instead of compulsively react to phenomena, appropriately respond to the specifics of each situation. In the case of your sport or your art this plays out as learning and practicing the form first so then the creativity can unfold and grow through that structure. If you never learned some of the building blocks, through a teacher and/or your own mindful practice, in snowsports you’d likely just fall down the hill. Yet with practice and experiential awareness of your posture, how to read the terrain and the conditions and how subtle shifts of weight drive the edges of your equipment, the falling down the hill can become a graceful and efficient dance of balance. Just enough and not too much.
This is what I am currently into 🙂 If you’d like to play with me with it come to The Mountain Club on Loon at Loon Mountain Resort on Sunday March 13, 2016 for Yoga and Snowsports as Movement Meditation 3/13/16 or be in touch and we can do a private with snowsports or just physical yoga – and develop a practice to support whatever sport or art you are currently into.
When I say that I am not “strict” in a cleanse, what I mean is that I don’t tell myself I “can’t” have anything. Or that I “have” to do things a certain way. Instead I become really sensitive and notice the effects of my choices. And let myself resonate with what I gain by not eating the whole block of cheese just because I want it, rather than that I can’t. Because I can eat it, I’m just choosing not to, for now. And seeing what that is like. For now.
It is an interesting freedom to feel desire and not have to react. As the tantric adage says – nothing is forbidden, nothing is advised. However we act has consequences…it is up to us to discern through time and practice which way we choose to go in any circumstance. And that may vary according to the situation.
I’ve been feeling it coming on gradually and now it appears it is here, the spontaneous spring cleanse. I have been eating a pretty steady diet of gluten-free bread toasted cheese and avocado sandwiches at home and fully glutenized mini pizzas after snowboarding at the mountain for awhile now, as I have been so busy and they are freaking delicious, and balancing it out with a pretty heavy dose of caffeine to get me through seasonal lethargy. The tide is turning (weather is shifting, lift service is done at the mountain) and I’m ready to trade my warm winter weight for the sensitivity of the internal spring cleanse.
I don’t tend to start out strict, for me a cleanse is not about adapting a regime and sticking to it, but answering the awakening call of springtime. It is intuitive rather than forced. Deep listening. And I adapt as I go. Who knows, I could make another toasted cheese tonight 🙂
Currently I’m making carrot beet juice and putting the grounds on a mixed green salad with avocado and lemon, after eating a bunch of steamed broccoli and drinking hot water with a splash of apple cider vinegar, while a cauliflower roasts in the oven. Often I like a pureed food cleanse. I’m feeling drawn to warm soups.
Share your favorite spring cleaning rituals! Let’s inspire each other.
Ooo and I’m going to add some fresh chives to the salad…
For me, snowboarding is physical yoga practice, asana ~ moving meditation, becoming comfortable and articulate in my body and in relation with the physical world. As I ride I gradually tune in to the subtleties of my movement, awakening presence in my entire body. I don’t have to try so much anymore, it just starts to happen. The movement becomes efficient, somewhat effortless. Grounded in my body, I become aware not only of my body, but with my body ~ my movement responding to the contours of the mountain, the crisp scent of the air and the temperature on my skin, the sounds of my board against the texture of the snow and the wind all around me. Everything becomes more vibrant. There’s nowhere to go and nothing else to do but to be right here, completely open to the moment. It refreshes me, brings me back to center.
I used to get pretty sad at the end of the season, as I thought I depended on this activity to do all this for me. Without it I would feel flat, empty, dull…or so I feared. Through time I realize that these activities that have the potential to revitalize us and bring us spontaneously into the moment remind us that this is possible. We don’t have to become attached to the catalyst, there are many ways to do it. Breathe in, feel yourself in your entire body. Hear the sounds. Right now.
I will miss you, my beloved mountain, my mermaid~tail serpentine snow dance. Another season has come and is passing and I have again learned so much from you.
Until the next time we meet dear friend, the love I tap into when I’m with you lives inside of me.
(yeah, yeah I know kinda sappy. And I mean it 🙂 )