Changes abound.

New Site

If you’re still checking this site for information related to my yoga / healing arts / mental health / social justice work – please update your files and browsers. I’m now posting everything over at Liberation Healing Arts. Check it out!


New Schedule as of May 2017

Two weekly classes with me.
Wednesday 5:45 – 7:05 Yoga for Queers and Misfits
Saturday 10:30 – 12:00p Align and Shine
Go to Liberation Healing Arts for full details.

IMG_4553

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember – please visit Liberation Healing Arts for the most up-to-date information on my classes, workshops, series, and more.

Advertisements

On Asking for Help

Upcoming Yoga

Align and Shine: Saturday, 10:30-12 at Durham Yoga Company. Sign up now.
SUB ALERT!  Flow and Unwind: Monday, 7-8:15, Durham Yoga Company. Sign up now.


I’ve been in quite a bit of flux, much like the world, and am looking outside and within for guidance on where to invest myself at this crossroads.  I’ve been looking to add more yoga classes back into my schedule, and I am very interested in what y’all, as my community, want and need from me.

So I am asking for your help. I’ve elicited the support of professional researcher to help me design a survey; through it, I hope to understand you and your needs better.  Will you help me know how best to serve the community by taking 10 minutes to respond?  As a small incentive, I am offering a free class (for you, never expires!) and a chance to win a free private yoga or Thai bodywork session. All you have to do is complete the survey to access these perks.

take the survey

And please consider sharing this survey with other with anyone you know who may have attended my classes during the past six years that I’ve been teaching in Durham.

Thank you in advance for your insight and guidance!

Beyond this humble request for help from you all, my community, I’ve been meditating a lot on the trials and tribulations of cultivating a practice of asking for help.  I think it is a practice, after all–to know what we need and to be willing to articulate that AND be willing to be open to the help from wherever it comes. That level of self-awareness and vulnerability takes practice.

And it is such a counter-cultural act to ask for help when the white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy places such a high value on having it all together. On rugged individualism.  On the illusive but seductive path of boot-strappin’ your way through life.

Asking for help is a radical act in this current paradigm, and can be not only transformative insofar as you allow yourself to receive whatever help is likely to come your way once you’ve expressed what you need, but also in that it offers an opportunity to equalize power dynamics, to engage with someone as an equal, a peer, a colleague.  And especially for those who are attached to the illusory perfect standard of ‘having it all together,’ it can be an incredible opportunity to allow someone else to show up for you for a change.  Instead of being the one who always handles All The Things, you give someone else the opportunity to channel Grace/Source/the Greater Energy and show up for you that way.

This week, join me in cultivating a practice of asking for help.  We’ll work it on the mat, and contemplate how we can do so off the mat as well.

In the meantime, help me out and do the survey!


PS The Anti-Racist Yoga Convergence I co-facilitated with Michelle Johnson last weekend was met with so much interest and energy that we are planning a few more similar gatherings.  Make sure you “like” and “see first” my Facebook page to stay tuned.  You can also join my mailing list to get information right to your inbox.

Inspiration

Images from Corina Dross. corinadross.com

Saturday 4/16 at Align and Shine
Note: there’s no YQM this week 4/20 because our venue is unavailable. I’ll be back next week for the Final YQM before my two month sabbatical (see below).

I’m working hard right now to just get through this next week – basically my final final push through some intense deadlines and things.  And as I work my butt off, I am trying to be brave enough to pay attention to all the ways that I try to cope and keep it movin’ in the face of the relentless onslaught of toxicity I’m immersed in (we’re all immersed in, imho).  I know that I cope by trying to control things that I cannot control, that I turn against myself in icky ways, and that I get tempted by the lure of keeping quiet because I think it will keep me safe.

So I’m turning to the world around me for inspiration…and I found these beautiful images from the Portable Fortitude body of work by Corina Dross.*  What beauty and joy I found in this simple act of creativity, in pairing these images with a joy rock from my oldest nephew and godson Henry. Just looking at it gives me hope.

What gives you hope right now?

I’ve been teaching all month on themes related to Resilience and Renewal, inspired by spring and, let’s be honest, a deep and very personal need to be reminded of what I’m made of (what we’re all made of imho).  Tomorrow we’ll look at Inspiration. Will you join me as we hold space together for what inspires and lifts us up? For what keeps us keepin’ on and lovin’ and fightin’ and resistin’ and ??

I need you right now. (I think we all need each other in my humble opinion.)


Some reminders

  • April 20 there will be no Yoga for Queers b/c our venue is not available.  So next week 4/27 is the last class before my sabbatical…

  • I am on SABBATICAL in May and June!
    • No Yoga for Queers and Misfits in that time: join me in April and not again until July
    • Align and Shine (Saturdays) will be covered by Kate Murray
  • THIS JUST IN: Mark your calendars for Friday, 4/29 – I’ll be teaching a FREE
    LOVE YOUR BODY Happy Hour Outdoor Yoga Class at Duke.  5:15pm, Stay tuned for location information.

*Y’all I’m not getting paid to promo this work or anything, this is just an honest look into what’s doing it for me right now and I think it’s honest and right to give creative credit. But I do hope you support Corina b/c she’s a badass–and now LOCAL TO DURHAM–artist and her creative offerings have given hope and resilience and inspiration to so many.

 

The Sixth Chakra – Shining the Light of Consciousness

The power of our perceptions has the ability to command our reality – thus relating to the two meanings of ajna,“to perceive” and “to command.”  -A. Judith

Where you put your focus is where your energy goes.

third eye

The Seat of Clear-Seeing – the Sixth Chakra

Monday – Wednesday – Saturday

Chakra flair color: Dark blue (Indigo)

Click here for more info on the Chakra Challenge.

 

>>Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.

 

Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.

While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.

Ajna – Third Eye Chakra

Our journey along the Rainbow Bridge is nearly complete. We have transcended beyond the purifying gateway of the fifth chakra, seat of conscious creativity, communication and expression. We are ready to move into the realm of light and the center of perception—visual, intuitive, and psychic perception.

The Sixth Chakra, ajna, is located right between the eyebrows and is considered the seat of inner vision, intuition and clairvoyance – literally “clear-seeing”—and is the ground of wisdom. It relates to image, intuition, imagination, visualization, insight, and dreams; its demon is illusion.

“While our physical eyes are the organs of outer perception, the sixth chakra relates to the mystical third eye—the organ of inner perception. The third eye witnesses the internal screen where memory and fantasy, images and archetypes, intuition and imagination intertwine on endless display.  By watching the contents on this screen, we create meaning and bring it to consciousness. The purpose of the sixth chakra is to see the way, and bring the light of consciousness to all that exists within and around us.” (*Judith)

Further, the work of this chakra is to perceive patterns, from which intuition and insight emerge. It is here that we start to free ourselves from our limited perceptions of ourselves and what is possible, giving ourselves permission to step back and get an eagle-eye view, to see things through the eyes of the Universe.  The 6th and 7th Chakras together are the mental mirrors of the lower 2 and middle 3 chakras; these two upper chakras take us into the realm of the transcendent, transpersonal, cosmic consciousness.

Specifically, here in the Sixth chakra duality and polarity are melted and transformed in preparation for what’s to come. This is especially potent in the realm of dreams, which “unlock the mystery that unites soul and spirit, individual and universal, into a dynamic and synthesized whole. Dreams are a sixth chakra contribution to the goal of realization, which will comprise our final step on the rainbow bridge.” (*Judith)

In our penultimate exploration of the chakra system, consider wearing indigo/deep blue and come prepared for a calming and grounding practice which will include emphasis on yogic breathing (pranayama) and meditation (pratyahara/dharana/dhyana), along with physical poses (asana).

*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey. Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.

This Week: The Fifth Chakra – Creation, Expression, and Speaking the Truth

 

No class Monday 2/15 due to weather. Sorry y’all!


 

Don’t forget about The Potent Path – the chakra recap workshop on Sunday, 3/13 from 1-3:30.
Register now – Early bird rate available through 3/4.


How can we hear our own unique vibration in a world deafened by the roars of civilization? How can we express our truth when it goes against the accepted conforming of polite conversation? In the subtle realm of the fifth chakra, how can we find the quiet necessary to listen to the truth within?Eastern Body Western Mind, Anodea Judith

vissudha

The Seat of Truth – the Fifth Chakra

Monday – Wednesday – Saturday

Chakra flair color: Bright blue

Click here for more info on the Chakra Challenge.

 

>>Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.

 

Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.

While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.

VISSUDHA – Throat Chakra

Fifth Chakra – Vissudha – “Purification”

We turn this week to the fifth chakra, Vissudha, whose color is bright blue and whose element is sound and space.

In this chakra we move beyond the heart, the midpoint in the system, and into the realm of the upper chakras. As such we move further away from the earth and gravity and into the realm in which the boundaries and laws of manifestation have less of a hold.  “We are breaking free from gravity, free from the way things have always been and from the structure and restriction of manifested form.” (*Judith)  We are moving beyond the tangible, physical world into the subtle world and the etheric body (literally, the body that exists in ether aka space); the laws of physics apply less, the laws of metaphysics and the psyche start to take over.

The realm of the fifth chakra is the realm of symbols and language, of resonance and entrainment, of communication, the voice, truth and lies, and conscious creativity. In the body it is associated with the throat, neck, mouth, and jaw.

The associated element of this chakra is sound. Hindus believe that the whole universe came into being through sound. It is through sound and communication that we continually create and breathe spirit into our world, keeping it alive and vital.  And communication—the voice—is a link, capable of describing both spirit and matter. (Judith, Vega, The Sevenfold Journey)

The fifth chakra is the realm of vibrations and sound: through our voice and other forms of expression we find the gateway that bridges the inner and outer worlds. Here we can let out through the fifth chakra that which we began to take in through the second chakra in the form of sensory input.

Sound is a wave that travels through space, vibrating at a certain frequency. Each one of us has our own unique vibration as well, which is expressed through our aura or etheric body.  When we come into contact with others, our vibrations impact one another. This can lead to resonance or dissonance. Resonance is when the vibrations have a complementary impact on one another, when they sort of sync up (known as “constructive interference”) and are made stronger/bigger as a result; dissonance is the opposite experience, in which waves/energies are not complimentary but rather contradictory (this is known as “destructive interference”) and the net impact is a decrease in strength.

As we interact with others, our etheric fields (auras) become engaged. The most rewarding connections occur when there is a resonance between vibrational fields.  Just as a people who speak the same language resonate with spoken symbols, the subtle resonance between our etheric field and those of others deepens our feeling of connection. The greater our internal resonance, the more deeply we can resonate with those around us. (*Judith)

Which is to say, the better and more clearly we have learned to work with form/matter/stability in first chakra, movement in second chakra, activity/energy/willfulness in third chakra, and relationship/love/connection in fourth chakra, the better positioned we are to find resonance with others and for that experience to be deep, profound, and transformative for everyone involved. This applies interpersonally and socially as well.

Further, resonant frequencies tend to bond together. This is known as rhythmic entrainment or sympathetic vibration. This fact is behind one of the most profound teachings I’ve received on this path: You are the company you keep. So keep good company. The underlying idea being that you are susceptible to the energies of those you surround yourself with – you are deeply impacted by the explicit and implicit (spoken and unspoken, stated and implied) messaging you are receiving all the time.

Over time, this energy/information/inspiration (or lack thereof!) that is fueling your system has a profound impact on your sense of who you are and what you are capable of. Just as you are what you eat, you are the energy you absorb. The invitation here is to be mindful of what you are consuming in the form of energy, and see if that energy is serving you and your higher purpose.

Further, here in the realm of the fifth chakra you are invited to examine the impact of sound and silence, especially the extent to which you are subjected daily to a cacophony of sound and stimulus that you are hard-pressed to block out.  This stimulus overload has an impact on the ability of your own internal systems to be synced up or find resonance—the extent to which you can truly rest and reset.

Over time, this diminished capacity to rest and renew has profound impacts on every aspect of your health, and especially on your ability to hear the song of your heart and act on it. “When we live in our truth, there is a resonant continuity between ourselves and others. When this resonance is interrupted, we experience discontinuity. Perpetual discontinuity breaks down our health.” (*Judith)

Finally, visshudha means “purification,” and here this refers especially to the knowing and telling of our own unique truths. Purification, cleansing, and detoxifying is the work of the fifth chakra. It is a “vibrational refinement that takes place as we rid the body of toxins, speak truthfully and authentically, and as we work through the issues of the lower chakras. Purification prepares us to enter the even more refined energies of the chakras above.” (*Judith)

*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey. Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.