Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture ~ Oct 7 – 10, 2019 ~ Focus, Music and More

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! FocusPocus is now one complete post (art, focus, playlists and announcements) all together on Thursdays! So whether you come to the blog for the art, the information, the music or the latest happenings and offerings, you are in the right place. Every Thursday, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

This is my yoga mat.

Every time I practice on it, I draw a heart on it. When I bought it 5 years ago, I had an image of the “swarm of love” that I wanted on it and I guess I could have drawn it all at once. But that’s not the way a yoga practice goes. A practice is built in small steps and in every choice to get on the mat. Little by little, the image is coming together. One practice, one day, one pose at a time.

Life can change in a moment. We are all one phone call away from everything being utterly different. Usually, though, it’s destruction that happens that way. Accident, injury, illness, death are what usually can turn what we knew upside down.

But if we are growing something, creating something, healing something, that’s a different experience. When we are building, growing, creating, it takes lots of little choices and actions. While the intention and vision may be expansive, the progress to get there is little by little.

This week, we focused on this invitation to keep making choices, taking steps, little by little to heal, create and grow. In particular, we focused on how we use our hands and fingers impacts the whole body. Something as simple and small as crossing the middle finger over the ring finger can create openings through the chest and shoulders and help put our upper body in alignment.

We also played with the energy of each finger: thumb is nuturing, index is desire, middle is power and balance, ring is commitment, and little is boundaries and edges. Intentionally using the fingers and noticing which fingers lead our movement can have a powerful energetic impact.

I shared Pablo Neruda’s poem October Fullness, too. You can find the full and stunning text here.

Below are our playlists for the week. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

SO MUCH is happening, friends, so before the playlists, here is all the details on what’s coming up!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings at 11am!
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 11am ~~ my mix of guided and unguided movement, meditation and creativity! Please go to http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop for the details. Come join us in the trees by the river for grounded, flowing, spacious movement. Second Thursdays are followed by a pot luck lunch! Nourish yourself with movement and bring something nourishing to share! There is space in upcoming classes so please go HERE to sign up!
* The Studio at Dancing Water is at 2370 Old Lynchburg Road ~ detailed directions at http://www.susanmcculley.com and via email when you sign up!

November Nourishment at Dancing Water ~ 3 Nourishing Movement classes for $30!
As the holidays approach, nurture yourself with 3 classes of Nourishing movement at The Studio at Dancing Water. Three Thursdays, November 7, 14 and 21 from 11-12:15pm for just $30. Must be purchased by November 7!

Restorative Yoga with Octabusy: Letting Go of Doing to Restore Your Most Precious Device ~ Sunday, October 13, 4-6:30pm at The Studio at Dancing Water – 1 SPACE LEFT
What better way to celebrate the release of my book, Octabusy: Letting Go in a Sea of Doing, than an afternoon of deep restorative yoga, a reading and signing of the book, and some refreshment? Join me and my teacher, Shandoah Goldman for a recuperative practice for anyone who needs another coffee, rests only while sleeping, are healing anything, need permission to do nothing, or feel that your energy is running low. You’ll also receive a copy of the book (signed however you’d like ~ and you’ll also be able to buy additional copies of the book at 25% off!).
Shandoah’s guidance will help you recharge your body’s batteries and slow down your nervous system through restorative yoga, shiatsu pressure points, visualizations and breathing techniques. We will use bolsters, blankets and blocks designed to bring your body into postures which access the parasympathetic nervous system and give you the permission for deep rest rather than ‘stretch.’ Prepare to come back to neutral with an energized readiness. Please bring socks, a long sleeve shirt and an extra layer.
I’ll read some from the book and offer tea and refreshment to fill out this truly psychosomatic experience that will leave you restored, recharged and rested. $65 with signed copy of Octabusy. Space is limited, please register here. http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop/restorative-yoga-with-octabusy-letting-go-of-doing-to-restore-your-most-precious-device

Octobusy Launch Celebration at New Dominion Bookshop ~ Saturday, October 19, 7-8pm
I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my new book, Octabusy: How to Let Go in a Sea of Doing at the wonderful New Dominion Bookshop on the Charlottesville downtown mall on Saturday evening, October 19 from 7-8pm. I’ll read a little, talk a little, sign a little, snack and do a happy dance! You can get the information here and here and if you can’t be there, you CAN preorder from NDB!

Saturday October 26, 9-12noon – Nourishing the Nervous System with Mindful Movement ~ CLASS IS FULL & WAITING LIST AVAILABLE
NOTE from Susan: I am thrilled, honored, excited to welcome Emily Wright to teach at Dancing Water. She is an extraordinary, approachable, gifted teacher. I can’t wait to do this with her. Will you join me?
The body is a central portal to nervous system regulation. When we are regulated and integrated, we have the capacity to be our most awake, available, creative, curious, flexible selves. Using a blend of guided movement work, journaling, visual art-making, poetry, and mindfulness practices, participants will explore states of autonomic nervous system regulation as a means to establish safe, nourishing connections to ourselves, each other, and the natural world.
About the instructor: Emily Wright, MFA, PhD, is a movement educator, author, and practitioner. She offers classes and workshops in functional movement, contact improvisation, and intergenerational community dance informed by her extensive background in dance and other somatic disciplines.

Scholarships Available for all Experiences at The Studio at Dancing Water
We have delicious experiences coming up at The Studio AND we have scholarships available for them. Whether you’re interested in Shandoah Goldman’s Restorative Yoga + Octabusy book celebration on Oct 13 or Nourishing Movement classes with me on Thursday mornings at 11am, we can help with any of them. If finances are stopping you from joining us, please reach out and let me know (PM me or connect at sjmnia@gmail.com) .

The Movement Barn offers the GYROTONIC Method
Note from Susan: I recently had the good fortune to meet, move and have a GYROTONIC session with Casey Turner. I love the circular, functional, mindful approach of this technique. And I loved doing it with a view of the mountains in a field of flowers! Please check out her beautiful offerings.
The Movement Barn is a boutique fitness studio in Charlottesville, VA offering private GYROTONIC® sessions in a picturesque setting. Located in a field of wildflowers, The Movement Barn provides a unique workout experience for people of all ages and levels of ability. The GYROTONIC® Method is designed to increase strength, agility, and range of movement. This low impact system uses flowing exercises with circular and spiral motion to open energy pathways, stimulate the nervous system, and create space in the joints. For more information, visit http://www.themovementbarn.com, email catherine@themovementbarn.com, or follow @themovementbarn on Instagram!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Nov 1 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Sep 6 from 11:25 -12:25.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Oct 7, 2019, 1045am ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Philadelphia 7:10 Parachute
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) 6:11 Ganga Giri
Welcome to the Journey 5:04 Cybertribe
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
Hanuman 3:43 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Steppin Out 3:44 Kaskade
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Feelin’ Good 4:21 The Pussycat Dolls
Journey Into Stillness 4:41 Gary Stroutsos

Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019, 840am ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Philadelphia 7:10 Parachute
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) 6:11 Ganga Giri
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
Hanuman 3:43 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Steppin Out 3:44 Kaskade
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Feelin’ Good 4:21 The Pussycat Dolls
Journey Into Stillness 4:41 Gary Stroutsos

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2019, 11am ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Philadelphia 7:10 Parachute
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
In Caelum Fero 7:49 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
BOOM 2:45 X Ambassadors
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
With My Own 2 Hands 4:37 Ben Harper
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Subtle Body 7:02 Wayne Jones

Thursday, Oct 10, 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Little by Little: Hands, Fingers & Posture

Beautiful World (Instrumental) 7:15 MRJ
Sofa Rockers [Richard Dorfmeister Remix] 8:34 Sofa Surfers
One Step Closer To You 4:41 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Each Step Moves Us On [Feat. Zap Mama & Speech] 8:34 1 Giant Leap
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) 6:11 Ganga Giri
Hanuman 3:43 Rodrigo y Gabriela
Wrapped Around Your Finger 5:14 The Police
With My Own 2 Hands 4:37 Ben Harper
Little By Little 5:30 Groove Armada
Journey Into Stillness 4:41 Gary Stroutsos

2 comments
  1. Lynn said:

    Good things can happen in an instant, too. One moment I was a mother. The next moment our son said, “I do,” and I was the grandmother of three!

    • Yes, it’s true. And your child took months and lots of little steps to grow, and his relationship took time to nurture and build. But YES, when I got married, in that moment I became the step-mother of two, the auntie to 7 and the great-auntie to 14!

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