Framing

Thoughts upon awakening:

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I do not want to allow challenges from the past to negatively define how I envision my potential moving forward. I want to utilize the perspective and wisdom I learn through all my experiences to inspire me to be adaptive and resilient, to inform me of ways I can continue to grow with discernment, empathy and grace.

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How we perceive things is greatly dependent upon the frame we see it through.

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Every experience relevant, a springboard for the alchemy of transformation.

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Planting seeds, observing how they grow, refining as I go.

Beyond Repetition

When I am feeling stuck in my mind and in the physical world I find it helpful to offer myself a pattern interruption by practicing doing things with my non-dominant side. Movement meditations like postural yoga and snowboarding are great for this.

With yoga, postures are typically practiced back and forth, stimulating and developing agility on both sides of the body, balancing out the dominance of either side. This can increase and reorganize the potential ways we habitually act and respond to circumstance. Instead of always repeating the pattern in one direction, we can move through it in the other direction too, adapting our prior experience to fit the specifics of the new situation.

It is beyond just being the opposite, as we are not fully symmetrical. In many ways the second side is like learning a separate yet related thing.

While snowboarding tends to be a one-sided activity, we can bring in this balancing, like a yoga practice, by switching back and forth which foot we have forward. At first the non-dominant side feels awkward, as we’’re doing something familiar but in a different way. Which potentially makes it feel even harder at moments then if we didn’t already know how to do it before, because we are expecting it to be the same.

It can take a bit of unhooking ourselves from trying to recreate the same experience on the second side, for although we already know how to do it on the dominant side, the second side has its own variables. When I let go of trying to make it the same, I can learn about what it actually is, and respond to that.

This can be practiced with any typically one sided activity, or any activity at all.

As we break our attachments to the familiar, creating a pattern interruption in the momentum of habitual repetition, we can learn to sense the nuances of each situation we encounter. Each moment informed yet not defined by our experiences of the past.

February Workshops at The Mountain Club on Loon Mountain Resort

February Workshops
at The Viaggio Spa and Wellness Center
in The Mountain Club on Loon
on Loon Mountain Resort
with Denise Porter Kemp
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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.
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Yoga Refresh Mini-Retreat
Wednesday, February 20
9:30am-12:30pm
$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.
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Yoga and Snowshoe Meditation Hike
Saturday, February 23
9:30am-1:30pm
$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.
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Ongoing:
•Mondays 5:30-7:00 Meditative Flow yoga class
•Private individual and group yoga and Thai yoga sessions available by request

For more information visit the event pages or message me. To register contact The Viaggio Spa at spa@mtnclub.com or 800-229-7829.

mural and photo credit ~ Christopher Oktavec of Okto Ink
with editing and support by Taniya Toomey

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.

catalyst

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  🙂 )

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North Peak

It is raining in the valley and
The snow pack melts into clear pools and rivulets
That soak deep into wooden frames of homes and bones and
Everything is damp and cold and rotting.

Above the town
A belt of clouds encircles the waists of mountains and
Hugs the moisture into the hillside.
Above there still
The sky breaks clear and
It’s windy and brisk with aliveness.

I alone contemplate
The vast expanse of spreading white
A scar torn from the arms of forests and descending
Carve serpentine curls through beads of frosted ice and snow
Molded through freeze and thaw into
Tiny grains of crystalline sand. And

Higher still towards the sky
Clouds cling to conical boughs of pine trees
Snagged like strands of cotton webbing slowly spreading and
Holding the cold silent stillness in
To feminine contours of distant mountaintops
Soft fresh cloudsnow deposited in their wake.

It is still winter here. 

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