Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sat Nam.
I thought I'd share with you a sequence that just keeps coming up for me. This has been my practice pretty much through the month of June. Sometimes I do it in two pieces, but sometimes I take about 75 minutes to complete the whole thing. Let's call it a practice to contain your energy. I hope you'll try it out:

*I do everything for either 3 or 5 breaths.
* I use the elevator exhale at the pubis in ujjayi. If this makes no sense to you, think of an elevator door closing and moving back and up to the next floor. The elevator is located between the pubis and the navel, so when you exhale the "root of your abdomen", more like the root of the transverse abdominus, draws in and up, engaging as much of the t.a. as you comfortably and gently can. Don't stress about this, especially in the first part.

1. crocodile, then add a frog leg one side at a time
2. wide leg child's pose w/ knees wide and big toes touch
3. narrow leg child's pose, with knees and feet together
4. down dog w/ 1 knee bent, other side, both knees, straighten high on tip toes, draw heels down, about 1/2 to 1 breath in each, and 3 in full dog
5. virasana on a block
Here is where I tune in! I have given myself this long to stretch the sleep from the bodymind.
6. Ong Namo Gurudev Name - I bow to the presence of God all around me and deep within me.
7. Ong Namo gurudev namo guru dev namo gurudeva x11
8. long ek ong kar - one creator truth is its name great is its wisdom x11
9. Using this mantra I then do 3 maha bandhas
10. seated cross legs - a minute of k-bhati - the exhale in bursts
11. 3 brahmaris - the bumble bee breath
12. supta baddha konasana with chest and head elevated, the breath is broken down into four parts: inhale, retain, exhale, suspend, as follows: 6-3-6-3, 8-4-8-4, 12-6-12-6, 12-12, 8-8, 6-6, rest the breath
13. crocodile , about a minute
14. sphinx
15. locust series: in-one leg up, ex down, then one leg and opposite arm, then one leg for 3 breaths, other side, both legs, full locust to "X", full locust and down, then hold the "X" and the regular full locust
16. sphinx
17. crocodile
18. bridge with bandha rolling down
19. forearm plank x3 for 10 breaths - block high on inner thighs, squeeze block w/ inner thighs, lift block toward groins with outer thighs, mulha bandha, pull elbows toward toes and toes toward elbows. On the last one I lift one foot with each exhale, trying not to move or undo any of the building blocks of the pose. From here on, really get a sense of the elevator exhale as described above!
20. floating staff pose x3
21. lolasana x3 - I use blocks under my hands for these.
22. navasana to ardha navasana x10, then hold navasana for 10 breaths x2
23. ardha navasana with breath of fire for 1 minute
24. crocodile, child's pose, down dog, 1 leg dog to stretch the hips and thighs, you know, spiral out, spiral in
25. ardha uttanasana
26. handstand

Then I either go into:
tree, kick the leg out to the side and bring it back in, tiptoe tree, regular tree with arms up
viniyoga side stretch - wide legs in-lift right arm and heel, ex- side stretch, in - lower heel, ex, reach arm further over, in-back up, other side
virabhadrasana 2, ardha chandrasana, chappasana, trikonasana, out
prasarita padottanasana
uttanasana, roll down to  malasana, roll down to supta baddha konasana, knees to chest, savasana

Or I do:

garudasana from utkatasana
virabhadrasana 3 variations
dancer variations
prasarita padottanasana bent knees, side to side, straight legs
uttanasana, roll down, spine stretches, like chakravakasana but seated with knees bent and feet on floor, roll down to hug knees to chest, savasana

And sometimes I only go from #1 to #18.

And sometimes my yoga practice is taking care of Blake, and that is the most uplifting practice of all!
May the longtime sun shine upon you...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blake holds my face in his hands and falls asleep.
The blind seal calls his name from the top of the hill, Blake! Blake! Come visit me today. The peacock family waddles across the lawn, Come OWWt, Come OWWT, they call. From one eye open I am enamored by the curve of his cheek arcing huge like the  justice we are waiting for, and from the other eye his lashes dark waves cresting. Blake, who is your grandma? Do you know that when she was nineteen a man said she looked like a young Ann Margaret, and when she was forty a man (not the same man) said she looked like an old Bonnie Rait?  Whose hands are these that twirl the curls on the top of your head? Whose soft belly is this that your feet are kicking? The dog whimpers at the door, let me in let me in. Will the seal (who will I remind him of), the peacocks, and the dog know me? Do they say I got fat? I got old? Blake's Grandma wiggles free from his warm sleep breath. But then she wonders why and wiggles back in, absorbing all the baby peace she can. Steps away lie everything I fear for you. That's what grandmas do.

Blake holds my face in his hands and falls asleep.
The blind seal ...the peacocks...

Sat Nam.

I thought I'd share with you what life has been like for me after selling the yoga school. I have been busy:
and eating.

I've been having a good time.

But I miss you.

So how about joining me for Summer Solstice and S'mores, like we did in the good ol' days, Wednesday, June 21st, anytime?

I'll go to Cabrillo Beach early and grab a pit. Come by and jump in the waves, bring a book or a magazine you've been saving for a special loungy day, bring lunch, and stay for sunset s'mores.

I want to know what you've been up to. I want to set up walking dates, lunch dates, game nights.

This is not a class. This is not a Bindu event. This is friends gathering with friends. This is free fun. And it won't be the same without YOU. So, are you in? Let me know!

May the longtime sun shine upon you...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 3: Turning Away

Syria, your hollowed, hallowed babies
I look away from your babies
and sand sculpted men against soft women flowing
through lines in the sand erasing and erasing and flowing
I turn away from the tv of babies
I have to. I have a grandson who must keep breathing.
Your everything to lose so unlike and like my everything
you have grandsons you're afraid to lose, too.
Not right now. I have no time for your babies. There's milk that's old and green oranges soaked in mold that I must purge from the bowl.
Syria, forgive us our- is there a phone that's ringing or a mantra in need of singing?
Mother India, pray for Syria. Sister Geneva, you who stand between
inhumane and unfathomably inhumane, don't let hollowed become your name.
Deliver us from-
eyes as dark as my grandson's. Can we escape to the desert?
Eat poolside under a protective umbrella, our only fear a sunburned shoulder, and that is fear enough.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 2: Short Story for a Monday Morning

   On the hanger hung the words take me in your arms. I put them on, but they didn't fit me right. I walked outside, arms crossed, head down, embarrassed at my ill-fittingness. Does this make me look human I asked a gravestone. I asked a window reflection. I went home and hung them up on the hanger, shoved back to the back of the closet with all the other pretty things I hope to one day wear.

April 1, 2017

Sat Nam! Since I've given up Facebook for lent, this will be the home for my poems for National Poetry Writing Month, at least until after Easter. My poems get lonely on blogs. So thanks for stopping by and giving them a read. Happy NaPoWriMo 2017!

My first poem is a sestina, where the last word from each line of the first stanza is the last word in each line of the rest of the stanzas, but in a particular pattern. The last stanza is three lines, and each word must be used.

Day 1: A Sestina for Belonging

Blake calls out, Abba! Abba!
as he lifts the wet Cheerio
made of organic beet and purple sweet
potato. Did I say Amen aloud
as sun streams through the soggy O
he holds below the stained glass window?

A dazzling, towering saint windows
the path to beloved God, beloved Abba.
Blake's creampuff hands hold Os
for all. Take this humble Cheerio
he offers with a loud
invitation for the crowd, too sweet-

Blake, some people have had sweet-
ectomies, crusty windows
shut to their souls, a loud
sour drowns out a baby's Abba
lost like a rolling Cheerio
beyond the reach of a breathy "O"-

But his high-flying heart breathes O
so soft, too soft, so sweet, too sweet
beyond what a Cheerio
could get from a beet. The eye a window
to the soul calling Abba, Abba
unafraid, unconstrained love, aloud!

Longing to unsour, they sing aloud
when sung to, they open their mouths to O
yet think you simply said ab-Ba,
syllables pulled from a low shelf, but, sweet
baby, there is no crust on your window,
no dust on your organic box of Cheerios.

Like a eucharist the wet Cheerio
fills my mouth. I did say Amen aloud
Your smile uncrusting the windows
to my souring soul I sing O!
No beet or purple potato sweet
as you are, straight from Abba.

This is your church, so sing your song of O.
Open the window to your wide sweet
Cheerio world cry aloud, Abba!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sat Nam,
Thursday night's class almost unraveled me. I couldn't keep the class together. When that happens, I question my right and purpose to teach yoga. Yoga Bindu is a small space. When one person decides to do their own thing, three people , at least, follow. And those three people are usually the ones who shouldn't try the alternative. But it happens. And then the egos of others are engaged. Then I see others giving up on themselves and others giving up on me.
I've been to classes where the teacher will have absolutely none of that. I appreciate the teacher's ability to stand up for the whole class energy and cut the excess ego from invading the space. My teacher is an expert at that. I am not.
I share this because I want to remind you of why , I believe, we go to class in the first place; we go to class not so much to practice the asanas and pranayamas in the order presented but to BE IN THE ASANA, BE IN THE PRANYAMA. We come to class to learn how to be present. Otherwise, if we wanted to do whatever we wanted, we could stay in the living room. That said, I have nothing against modifications - absolutely nothing. I believe in them and suggest them ancome up short.
The strange thing was, at the end, half the class thanked me for a great practice! Shouldn't that be all that matters? Shouldn't I just let it go because everyone had a great practice? Probably. I don't know.