Sunday, September 25, 2011

Soundtrack of my life... or at least from a yoga class

Here's one of the playlists from teaching at Wild Rose Yoga Studio this summer in Thailand: From the Elephant Journal Article, (please read and comment on the EJ page, your fav songs... from the soundtrack of yoUr life). Enjoy! 

Had a few requests for playlists... here's just one from a class I taught at the Wild Rose Yoga Studio
(Song, artist, album title, my comments):

Green Quiet Mountain, Dean Evenson and Li Xiangting, At Ease 2 -- lovely, great instrumental to start
Narayana/For Your Love, Krishna Das, Yoga Revolution World-- Krisna Das, need I say more?
The Only One, The Black Keys, Brothers (Deluxe)- next best thing to their concert? Rocking Sun salutes to them
One Day Like This, Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid- this song just makes me smile. it's that simple.
You Make Me Smile, Aloe Blacc,  one from Rose
Keep Ya Head Up, 2Pac-  for a sweet friend Sienna... queen of gangsta yoga 
Gloria, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Sound Of Sunshine-- featured on cover of Origin Magazine
Rise, Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild-- love this one & his newer songs where he plays the ukulele
Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show-- for PJ who makes the most amazing Lanna Rollers.. ahhh
I Am, Guru Singh with Seal & Friends,  The Sounds of Yogi Tea - i dream of Seal singing in my class for savasana one day
Amazing, One eskimO
Om Namah Shivaya, Steve Gold, So Much Magnificence - bliss
Sri Krishna Arati, Bhagavan Das
Horizon Of Gold, Ben Leinbach
Breathe, Alexi Murdoch, Time Without Consequence- if you don't know this one: something beautiful, you should.
The Moon, The Swell Season, Dear John (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Be Here Now, Ray LaMontagne, Till The Sun Turns Black- dreamy
Concerto in D II. Largo, Parkening Plays Vivaldi, Warlock, & Praetorius
All Is Well, Ollabelle, Ollabelle- Love this because it's true, all is well. All will be well. All is well.
Thoughts of You, Michael Hoppe/Martin Tillman/Tim Wheater, Afterglow- a grammy winning composer, beautiful.

Have a favorite?

pictured: beautiful rose & nanci 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Postcard: California

To change your life: Start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions.” ― William Jones 
A 5 day Acro Yoga Immersion will do that. My first time to base and fly a hand to hand, hand to foot and oh so much more. Thank you to Jeremy, Jenny, Jason, Vanessa  of Acro Yoga and Chelsea & Jason of yoga slackers and Shira & crew of the  Athletic Playground... Gratitude to my lovely roommates, Joe & hostess with the mostest, Denise. AND, my sweet partners: clowns & pineapples & elves. oh my!

Now back to Texas yoga kula, kids, carpools..."After enlightenment, comes the laundry" ~zen proverb

Full photo album: Click here. 

you-are-beautiful-yes-im-talkin-to-you MANTRA

photo taken by the beautiful
Jodie Smith
Anyone willing to go back to their teen years for a do-over? I didn't think so. Those junior high and high school days for me were challenging as I tried to navigate the popularity food chain, figure out if I was good enough to make "this" team or fit in with "that" group. I put on a confident front but inside, I was often filled with self doubt. I think most kids (and adults) are like that, afraid to step out and rock the boat, be unique or a leader.  One thing that was a constant growing up: I had someone in my life who told me repeatedly, almost daily, how beautiful I was and how I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. 
My 3rd season with a group of high schoolers to train and mentor them through yoga brings another opportunity to hold up a mirror for them to see how beautiful they already are. These special kids each with their own unique set of hardships...
Read more on the OMazing Yoginos for Youth Blog...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Postcard: Thailand

The depth of things to explore in Chiang Mai were beyond what I was able to do within 6 weeks. Hardly venturing out of the 4 walls of the inner city, I road via motor bike just one hour on the outskirts to the most beautiful hidden cove where a lone weathered cottage sat on stilts in the water. The woven hut held an eclectic clan of 11, all in need of nurturing, rest, and soul to soul time together. We played on the wake boards, swam, jumped off "cliffs" (ok, just 10 feet or so but it felt high!), shared meals and local fruits, gave and received Thai massage, sang "Wagon Wheel" by bonfire, and enjoyed what nature had to offer sans any electronics other than our music. This might be the very definition of bliss. Bliss.

I'll be taking an intimate group of 5 or so to Chiang Mai, Thailand June 9-20, 2012 for a yoga retreat. Grace Yoga Retreats.. is born. Email for more details and pricing. 

Postcards, a new series I'm starting on the blog.. just a little of this and that from life... telling the story behind the lens. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Making Meaning from Sound, better known as, Listening.

Yesterday, my son, took my face in his hands and said, "Mom, are you listening?"
Listening closer....I hear the noise.
Unless you're outside in nature reading this blog , most of us are sitting in front of our computer, and likely, we're surrounded by a symphony of sounds....
in a coffee shop (espresso machine steaming, women gossiping, people chatting on their cell phones, children whining for a treat, the latest Adele song blaring in a speaker near you, or click click click... no one talking, everyone typing with headphones on); 
or at home (itunes playing, cell phone or text messages buzzing, the ding ding of incoming emails at five (or more likely) one minute intervals, the water running , tap tap tap of your fingers typing on the computer, sip slurp of coffee or water or whatever gets you through the day); 
or at work (co-workers muffled conversations over the cubicles, the buzz of the computer's CPU or printer, maybe NPR or Pandora streaming radio played at a drone so not to disturb your neighbors).

As I turn off whatever I can. Anything I can find running. And try to remember and feel what's it like to just be still.
This morning, I tried mediation before the kids got up. I even tried after they left but found myself so distracted and tired that I couldn't sit still 10 seconds let alone a few minutes.
Trying again.
Now I'm listening more closely as my thoughts whirl.
Trying to hear my breath. Trying... it feels so full of effort.
I turned to my son and away from the computer and, said, yes. Yes! YES! I am listening. Now, tell me again what you just said?

I feel like I've jumped back into a life of immersion or total absorption into this crazy, "I have to be doing multiple things at once in order to be successful" mentality. A friend actually suggested that we postpone a project we're working on together simply "because". Well, "just because it can wait". But, it's on my life list, I exclaimed! I need to accomplish THE life list. Need and want are very fuzzy distinctions these days.
The blooming emergence of my life over the past 2 months still feels powerful and real. The patience, renewed joy, and a peace like I have not felt in years aren't just memories, they are part of me. But, it's clearly taking action on my part. Hitting the reset button every day on what I build up in my mind as the ingredients for success, is required.
I'd rather be transformed by emersion than by the predicable immersion of the culture that surrounds me. Listening consciously in order to understand to what my mind, body and soul need to be nourished and fulfilled.
One of the most positive tools of communication and influence (in my humble opinion) that has come out (via the Internet) lately are TED talks. I'm impressed by them and this one, by Julian Treasure, spurred me to listen with intension. One of the most powerful statements I heard was, "we are losing our listening. How can we instead, live to listen?" In case you'd rather not "listen" and just move away from the computer, here's a summary of the talk using the acronym, "RASA", which means essence or essential element of any work of art in Sanskrit.
Recieve (what's being said)
Appreciate (what's being said)
Summarize (what's being said)
Ask (about what's being said)
Creates Connection, Understanding, and Peace.

Right now, I hear the mundane sounds of life as "a hidden choir" and smile, knowing I am listening. fully.