August 12, 2020

Reconnecting with Yoga Family

Now that we are 6 months, yes 6 months into sheltering-in-place, I'm feeling the need to reconnect. So, I've been reaching out to friends past and more present. This whole experience, since March, has been like a retreat for me. I've pulled away from the noise of the outside world and have become focused on the internal world - that within my being. 

Sometimes the internal world and the Zoom universes converge and I find myself asking, "is this TV or actually my friend?" So was the case this evening when I reconnected with my yoga family Joe and Christine. Joe calls me his yoga wife and Christine is for sure my yoga sister and teacher. Here we were - seeing each other on Zoom - when we have known each other's bodies so intimately through our yoga teacher training and ten years of practice togeher. Our love for each other transcends time and space - it is based on a practice of body and breath.

We talked about our other family members as well as the business of this somatic practice. Our dear mentor is in a difficult place and that was a topic of exploration. What do we do when one of us is disconnected and lost? Is there support for yoga practitioners who can no longer teach and have no safety net - because of age, health or even economics. This brings into the discussion our position as contractors or are we employees? Yes, this is the conversation that pollutes our practice. Ironically, this business of art is what I teach all day. But here it is merely a distraction from our shared practice, passion and connection.

Thankfully, we have made plans to see each other in person - albeit socially distanced. These are my people. These are my family of choice. 

August 10, 2020

Strengthening The Working Body

Since the start of sheltering-in-place I have developed a daily practice of pilates, yoga and gyrokinesis supported by Oakland's The Working Body gym via Zoom. Through this practice I have experienced a deep level of self-calming, caring and centering. At first the practice was filled with crying through losses old and new. Eventually that gave way to finding laughter and building strength. Now I am the strongest I have ever been - physically and emotionally.

Last week I reduced my gym membership level as I began to expend my outdoor practices of biking, walking, hiking, and some swimming. This culminated with me telling a friend today that I am ready to stop attending a regular-virtual-gym and practice on my own combined with spot-sessions with a trainer. 

Ironically, I just now received an email saying that The Working Body is closing because their business model is no longer sustainable. Tears flow again for loss and also for transition. These are difficult times for somatic businesses, of which I include performing arts. So many of my teachers are dancers and theatrical artists, as are many of my colleagues, clients and students. 

This is a time for rethinking the practice of movement; redefining practice and performance spaces. I will continue to support my key instructors as I also redefine my yoga teaching. Can we practice outside together - socially distanced yet still connected? That is my intention for discovery. 

The Working Body - Viyada the Administrator who is their lifeline - you will be missed - you are appreciated and loved.

May 27, 2020

Choreography of Interdependence

Constructing-Deconstructing
Working virtually I am able to accomplish so much more but it is in the setting of Zoom. When I go out on morning bicycle rides there's an opportunity to see living systems. But I have to take the time to notice, be present, use my senses.

Riding through Jack London Square in Oakland, near the Amtrak Station, I heard men yelling to each other above the street. As I searched for the source I noticed a construction site that was alive with workers moving through the scaffolding.

Stopping to take notice it was clear that they were disassembling the intricate exoskeleton of a newly born building - shedding its cocoon. The men were like tiny organisms coordinating their interdependent system through voice and movement. A practice of trusting communication.