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.

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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.

 

Turiya Yoga Spontaneous Movement and Dance Meditation at Unifier Festival 2016

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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

Just Enough and Not Too Much

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.
Love

Finding Your Own Practice Workshop

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Finding Your Own Practice
Saturday May 30, 2015
Insight Therapeutic Massage
Concord, NH
1 ~ 5pm
$50

Offering practical tools and support for developing and maintaining
a personal physical yoga and meditation practice.
~ practice and discussion ~

We will discuss and experience:
~ basic sequencing guidelines, transitions between postures and sun and moon salutation routines to utilize as starting points for coming up with your own intelligent flows
~ general alignment cues to help awaken and deepen a sense of intuitive alignment, both for the safety and effectiveness of your physical practice and as a focus point for mindfulness movement meditation
~ planned practices and spontaneous unwinding flows that adapt to fit the specifics of your ever-changing body, mind and situation
~ attitudes towards effort and ease/efficiency in posture and breath
~ breathing and meditation techniques and ways to vary and adapt them
~ techniques for staying focused in the practice itself, to cultivate the motivation to want to practice and if you set a resolve to do so, to maintain the discipline to practice regularly
~ how to make space/time to practice
~ ways of bringing both the practices themselves as well as the lessons they teach into everyday life

Come with questions, any areas you want to work on or feel unsure of and a new notebook/your computer to write down any ideas or insights you come up with during the practice and to continue to write in as you continue to develop your practice.

***I am considering offering a teacher training/deepening your practice extended study beginning later this year. This workshop is a good place to see what that may be like. Not only will you have a chance to experience my teaching and style in the area of developing a practice, part of the teacher training would include developing your own practice and keeping a journal of that experience***

Equinox Sunrise

For many years I taught yoga somewhere that was a 45 minute drive from my house and at certain times of the year I would leave in the dark and witness the sunrise. Often during class I would say, because for me it was true and because I had seen it happen so many times, that the awakenings come slow and steady like the sunrise, and then there are those moments like flashes of light when everything suddenly becomes brighter. When those shifts come, let it happen. Let yourself be transformed.

At some point I noticed that these sudden flashes happened especially at certain places along my drive, like when I drove north past exit 20 on I-93 in New Hampshire. Some of it was that the sun had risen higher and some of it was just that I had moved myself into a position where I could more clearly see the light.
Which really, is all the sunrise is, and the equinox, and the passing out of an eclipse. The sun is always shining. We just move into a position where we are in more in the light than in our own or something else’s shadow.