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Breath

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It’s been a wild (and sometimes chilly) week of exploring space inside and out. We danced to the 2013 routine Airborne and on Tuesday, we did it outside on the rooftop deck in 37 degrees! One of the more unusual classes I’ve taught, I’ll admit.

And check out this great visual of the changing internal space of breath that Sheila Queen sent.
Cool, huh?

You can find all playlists below or you can choose to listen to them by going to Spotify! You can listen for free at Spotify! Sign up for free, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

Below are the playlists for the week, but first here are a bunch of cool things happening soon:

• Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 545-7pm, acac downtown ~ Group Ex Studio
Susan & Mary Linn are teaming up for a special class celebrating our big mama, Earth. Join us for a playful exploration of how the elements of earth, wind, water and fire manifest in movement and in our bodies.

• A Spring Thing, Friday, April 29, 545-715pm, Buck Mountain Episcopal Parish Hall*, Earlysville
Join Susan & Mary Linn for an evening of movement choices. Spring can be a time of both riding the ebullient wave of upward energy and finding peace in the midst of all that blossoming and growing! The first portion of the evening will be a look at some of the basics of Nia movement and how each can be adjusted as to the needs of your body in the moment. Then we’ll practice those movements in a Spring Thing Nia class experience. Free to everybody (donations gratefully accepted for the Buck Mountain Health and Wellness Ministry).
* 4133 Earlysville Road, Earlysville VA 22936 ~ GPS will take you to the church; the Parish Hall is the small white building just past the church.

• dance. sit. write. draw. returns! Saturday, May 7, 830am-5pm – EARLY REGISTRATION RATE OF $80 EXTENDED TO APRIL 14!
Living life as an artist isn’t a path for some rarified few, it’s our birthright. All of us. You might have lots of experience with dancing, meditating, writing, and drawing. Or you might have none. Spending the day blending these practices is a way of opening the channel of your artist self ~ giving it some oxygen and space no matter what your experience is. Join us for a delicious day. Early registration rate of $80 extended to April 14! Now’s the time, my friends.
Also, I’m making a series of four short videos about why you might consider coming to the retreat. The first three are up and ready to be watched (you could binge watch all 3 in 7 minutes):
Why dance. sit. write. draw.?
Wait, why dance. sit. write. draw., again? (Or, Why Pablo Picasso and I Want You To Come To The Retreat)
Dance. sit. write. draw. (It’s a thing!)

Go to susanmcculley.com/workshops for the details and to register. Or email sjmnia@gmail.com with questions.

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

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, Apr 4, 2016, 1045am ~ Breath: Integrate Sky

Big Sky 4:04 Annie Lennox
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
Breathe 4:12 Blue Stone
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Nothing But the Water (II) 5:17 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Sunchyme 3:54 Dario G.
Breathe 4:17 Telepopmusik
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall
Child Come Home Foxtrot Delta 2 3:29 Jamie Catto
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2016, 840am ~ Breath: Integrate Sky

**danced on the rooftop deck in 37 degrees!!
Big Sky 4:04 Annie Lennox
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
Breathe 4:12 Blue Stone
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Nothing But the Water (II) 5:17 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Sunchyme 3:54 Dario G.
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall
Child Come Home Foxtrot Delta 2 3:29 Jamie Catto
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2016, 11am ~ Breath: Integrate Sky

Big Sky 4:04 Annie Lennox
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
Breathe 4:12 Blue Stone
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Nothing But the Water (II) 5:17 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Go2006 Mix 4:23 Moby
Breathe 4:17 Telepopmusik
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall
Child Come Home Foxtrot Delta 2 3:29 Jamie Catto
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal

Thursday, Apr 7, 2016, 840am ~ Breath: Integrate Sky

** sadly cancelled due to rain **

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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Art in Action is a weekly post: a simple, practical guide to applying the ideas and principles in the Focus Pocus posts to your body and life. As always, I love to hear from you about how you use them and how you translate the ideas into action.

A year ago, a favorite yoga teacher turned me on to the teachings of yoga master and anatomist, Leslie Kaminoff. One of the most profoundly helpful things I learned from Kaminoff’s excellent book, Yoga Anatomy, is his definition of breathing.

We tend to think of breathing as something we do: pull air into our lungs and push it out. Actually, suggests Kaminoff, what is actually happening the two interior spaces of the abdominal and thoracic cavities change shape to allow breath to move.

Kaminoff describes the abdominal cavity as a water balloon that can change shape but not volume and the thoracic cavity as an accordion that changes both shape and volume. The two cavities are connected by the dome of the diaphragm.

Experiment with this now: take a deep breath and notice how your abdomen and ribs move. Now breathe again but this time squeeze your belly muscles in and see how that changes the ability of the cavities to change shape.

Effective or ineffective breath, then, comes down to the ability to change the shape of the body’s cavities.

And in fact, you aren’t actually breathing! Kaminoff writes:

It is important to note that in spite of how it feels when you inhale, you do not actually pull air into the body. On the contrary, air is pushed into the body by the atmospheric pressure (14.7 pounds per square inch or 1.03 kg/cm2) that always surrounds you. This means that the actual force that gets air into the lungs is outside of the body. The energy expended in breathing produces a shape change that lowers the pressure in the chest cavity and permits the air to be pushed into the body by the weight of the planet’s atmosphere. In other words, you create the space, and the universe fills it. (Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff, illustrations by Amy Matthews, p 6. My emphasis.)

When I understand breathing in this way, I can make choices that enhance the ability of my abdominal and thoracic cavities to change shape and let the air in. There is ease in letting the air breathe me rather than the other way around.

Kaminoff goes on to present this definition of breathing and why it matters:

Breathing, the process of taking air into and expelling it from the lungs, is cause by a three-dimensional shape change in the thoracic and abdominal cavities.

Defining breathing in this manner explains not only what it is but also how it is done. As a thought experiment, try this: Substitute the term shape change for the word breathing whenever discussing the breath. For example, “I just had a really good breath” really means “I just had a really good shape change.” More important, “I’m having difficulty breathing” really means “I’m having trouble changing the shape of my cavities.” This concept has profound therapeutic implications, because it tells us where to start looking for the root causes of breath and postural issues …. (Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff, illustrations by Amy Matthews, p 7.)

Whether you are a yogi or not, I highly recommend this book. Even more, I recommend thinking about your breath in terms of shape change and allowing air in.

Breathe deep, everybody. Or rather, let the universe fill you deep!


VIDEOS!

Leslie Kaminoff has a slew of videos about breathing and anatomy. Here are three that are connected to our focus including my very favorite, The World Famous Chair Demo Party Trick:

Breathing as shape change in the abdominal and thoracic cavities

Breath: Water Bottle and Accordion

The World Famous “Chair Demo” Party Trick

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When I was a girl, my favorite gifts were art supplies. (Come to think of it, you can still seriously score with me with anything arty.) In my elementary school years (before the pressures of homework and the absorption of teenage friendships), you could usually find me nestled in my neon green beanbag chair, drawing with crayons and markers and pastels.

In first grade, I had the grooviest art teacher ever. It was the early 70s. She wore clothes with embroidery and fringe, her brown hair swirling and big rings with sparkly crystals that clicked as she worked. She was the first person I’d ever known to eat yogurt. I hung on her every word.

One April, we were painting scenes of spring. I carefully brushed a stroke of blue along the top edge of my paper. Of course. The sky is up there, so that’s where I put it.

ecm pear tree with sky

Pear Tree by my sister, Elizabeth, circa 1972. Subsequently rendered in needlepoint by my mother.

My art teacher saw my picture and took me to the window. She pointed out across the playground and said, Look at the sky. It comes all the way down to the ground. This was an utter revelation to me. First, to look at (and draw) what is rather than what I think in my head. And second, to realize that when I’m walking to school and swinging on the swings and sliding down the slide, I’m in the sky.

Seeing the true nature of the sky — coming all the way down to us on the ground – feels enormously spacious. I feel like I’m swimming, even flying, in the sky. When I see it this way, I breathe deeper. I feel the bigness of the space around me and that big space can hold anything I bring to it. No problem, no joy, no grief, no worry is too big for a sky that reaches all the way to where I stand.

That big space makes breathing easier and my inside more spacious. As I inhale, I can stretch open tight and twisted up parts and receive oxygen to fuel my body and mind. As I exhale, I strengthen my body and integrate that nourishment. I breathe in the sky and make it part of me.

There is power in the integration of external and internal space. As I move in the studio, on my mat and through my day, I play with connecting breath to movement. Inhale and reach up, exhale and fold. Inhale and lengthen, exhale contract. Inhale get the salad bowl out of the high cabinet, exhale put in on the counter. Inhale, open my arms; exhale, hug. Connecting breath to movement keeps me in the body. Being in the body keeps me in the present moment …where life is actually happening.

Move in the sky. Breathe in the sky. Integrate the sky.


PLEASE NOTE!

Tuesday & Thursday classes this week:

This week in my classes we will return to my 2013 routine, Airborne. You can read about it here. Classes on Tuesday and Thursday at 840am at acac downtown will happen on the rooftop deck, Lord willin’ and the rains don’t come. At this moment, Tuesday looks clear and cool; Thursday looks like a possibility of showers. Check the forecast, wear an extra layer and light shoes, and if you’re not sure, call Member Services at 434.984.3800 to see if we’re on to dance in the sky (I’ll make a decision by 730am). My Monday and Wednesday classes will be as usual at 1045am and 11am, respectively at acac Albemarle Square and all other acac classes will be held as usual.

A mini mini series about dance. sit. write. draw. ~~ early bird rate ends April 7!

Here are three mini videos about the dance. sit. write. draw retreat on May 7 (for more go here). You can binge-watch this mini series in under 10 minutes!

Why dance. sit. write. draw.?
Wait, why dance. sit. write. draw., again? (Or, Why Pablo Picasso and I Want You To Come To The Retreat)
Dance. sit. write. draw. (It’s a thing!)

The early bird rate of $80 (for the whole day! Including amazing food!) ends on April 7. Please join us!

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Creativity is everywhere and in everything. Every book, movie, painting, dance, poem, song, play, sculpture is the result of someone’s creative act. Cool, but no big shock since we think of art as creativity. Beyond the expected works of art, everything that’s ever been made — buildings, cars, furniture, city designs, gardens, relationships, people!, everything!! — is a result of someone’s creativity. Wherever you are right now, look around. You are sitting in a sea of creativity.

I’m fascinated by what inspires us, what comes through us, how art of all kinds comes into being. I read about it, teach about it, listen to what all sorts of people have to say about it.* I observe my own creative process as I teach, dance, write, draw, cook, and live.

Even so, creativity is an utter mystery to me.

It’s no coincidence that in English the word inspiration means both to receive breath and to receive an idea. No coincidence either that there are direct etymological connections between the words inspiration and spirit, the breath of the divine. Creativity is the very essence of life.

When we breathe in, we are taking something that is not us, the atmosphere, which allows us to live on Earth. When we receive inspiration, it, too, comes from outside of us to animate our time on the planet. But where does it come from?

One philosophy is that inspiration comes from each other. Kirby Ferguson, the creator of the brilliant short films, Everything’s a Remix, and Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, agree that creativity is a process of copying what is already in the world, combining what exists in new ways and then transforming it into something new.

True enough: it’s all been done before. But really, this just begs the question of where the idea to copy this thing, to combine these things in this way come from? Where do we get the vision to transform something into something new? Where does that come from?

Stephen Cope, author of The Great Work of Your Life, teaches that creative outcomes are not our business. All we can do, he says, is to show up to plant the seed. In a 2012 workshop at Kripalu, he said,

Your job is to show up in great shape. Give it your very best. Show up well-nourished and well-rested. Give yourself recovery time. Prepare the soil then let it flow.

Well, thank goodness. Thank goodness I don’t have to sit down at my computer, or my drawing table, or the dance studio and think, Okay, Susan. Create. Go. To be inspired is to be touched by something other than us when we create something. My job is do my best, show up, be open, present, and willing to receive the mysterious gift of whatever comes through.

Elizabeth Gilbert, talks brilliantly about the mysterious entity of creativity in her 2009 TED Talk, Your Elusive Creative Genius. She tells the story of being completely stuck and in despair while writing her book, Eat Pray Love. She says,

I lifted my face up from the manuscript and I directed my comments to an empty corner of the room and I said aloud, “Listen, you, thing. You and I both know that if this book isn’t brilliant that it isn’t entirely my fault. Right? Because you can see I am putting everything I have into this. I don’t have any more than this. So if you want it to be better, you have to show up and do your part of the deal, okay? But if you don’t do that, you know what, the hell with it, I’m going to keep writing anyway because that’s my job. And I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.”

When I create a routine or an essay or a drawing, I usually start with a vision or little spark of an idea and steer it, think it, follow it through. For my latest routine, Inspired, it went a little differently. My friend asked me to teach a class at her church. One night, without thinking about it, I sat down and drew an image and wrote a description for the class, Breathing in Spirit. Huh. Okay.

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As I put together the class, I kept stumbling across music that inspired me or was about breath or inspiration. Halfway through teaching the class, I had the feeling that a routine wanted to come from what I’d begun. So I kept following inspiration: a song my yoga teacher played in class that made me cry, another suggested by a friend, another I’ve wanted to use in a routine but never have. I didn’t even really feel like I was doing it so much as I was letting it be done.

This is the invitation of Inspired and the invitation whether you’re dancing with us or not. The invitation is to show up, do your best, and see what comes through. Pay attention to the times and places and people and circumstances that inspire you. Spend time there.

Prepare the soil and let it flow. Be inspired.


* Want to explore deeper? In addition to the books and talk mentioned above, here are some of my favorite sources of inspiration about our sources of inspiration:

marine mammal breathing art in action 102615

Art in Action is a weekly post: a short, practical guide to applying the ideas and principles in the Focus Pocus posts to your body and life. As always, I love to hear from you about how you use them and how you translate the ideas into action.

“Conscious breath control is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed, clear state of mind.” — Andrew Weil

You could survive three weeks without eating. Three days without drinking. But only three minutes without breathing. Breathing is essential to life of course, but breathing mindfully can enhance mood, increase mental clarity, and improve overall health. Mindful breath is one of the most powerful (and overlooked) tools we have for centering, creating balance, energizing, calming, and relaxing the body, mind and emotions. Breath can even be the path to spiritual enlightenment!

There are centuries-old breathing exercises (pranayama) and plenty of resources on-line* for ways to use your breath for health and well-being. Here are 6 of my favorite super-simple ways to use the breath to feel great.

1. Exhale Relax / Inhale Energize. If you’re feeling revved up and scattered or in pain, focus your attention on lengthening your exhalation. If you’re feeling sleepy and foggy, focus your attention on deepening your inhalation.

2. 4-7-8 Breath. I love this breath for when I’m having trouble sleeping: inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7 and exhale through your nose for a count of 8 (some experts suggest exhaling audibly through your mouth, but I find this works less well for sleep).

3. 10-Count Focusing Breath. To sharpen focus and attention, use a progressive counted breath. Breathe in for a count of one and out for a count of one. Then breathe in for a count of two and out for a count of two. Keep building up to an inhale for a count of 10 and exhale for a count of 10. If you lose track, go back to one.

4. Ujjayi or Victorious Breath. When practicing yoga or meditation or you need to focus, use a slightly restricted throat (the action you would use to fog a mirror or clean your sunglasses) to create the ocean sound of Ujjayi breath. This breath is both relaxing and energizing and the wave sound has the added benefit of drowning out repetitive thoughts (it even helps me with musical ear worms!). For more, go here.

5. Breathe first. Before speaking or acting (or eating!), take a breath. Take two or three if you feel agitated in any way.

6. Get curious about your breath. We all have breathing habits and breath-holding habits. Notice what happens to your breath when you are:

• Exerting physically (opening a jar, lifting a bag of groceries, shoveling snow, etc.)
• Transitioning from one movement or activity to another
• Concentrating on a mentally challenging task
• Feeling irritated or impatient
• Feeling stressed
• Feeling sad
• Feeling excited

The other way to approach the curiosity exercise is to notice what is happening when you are holding your breath and what is happening when you are breathing deeply and evenly.

However you do it, even a little more attention to your breath is a powerful step toward feeling good — body, mind, emotions and spirit. If you have a favorite breathing exercise, please share it in the comments below or on the Focus Pocus Facebook page!


 

* There are so many excellent resources for information about the power of breathing. Here are a few that I find helpful:
Dr. Andrew Weil
Yoga Journal
Wall Street Journal (believe it or not!)

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A year ago, I had the great good fortune to spend a week in Monterey, California with a dear friend who had fallen in love with the place. And while I believe that there is beauty everywhere on God’s green earth, I admit that S/He must have spent some extra time putting together the Monterey Peninsula. It is emphatically incredibly beautiful. If I had a dime for every time I said, “Oh wow, look at that!” during my trip, well, boy howdy, I would have a big huge pile of dimes.

One of the highlights of the visit was seeing all the marine mammals who hang out in Monterey. First, there are otters. I mean, honestly, what more do I need to say? Otters are so extraordinarily fun to watch that it’s practically impossible to stop. (WARNING: If you’re going to the area for the first time, especially if you are just a teeny bit jet lagged, be aware that there are these big heads of seaweed that bob up and down in coves and look an awful lot like otter heads. Please know that those are NOT otter heads but seaweed and everyone will roll their eyes a little bit if you shout, “Oh wow, look! There are like TEN otters right there!”)

Anyway.

Then there are dolphins and whales. On a cool, overcast day my friend and I went on a whale watching boat with dozens of other hopeful tourists with fancy cameras and hats and scarves even though it was only October. (Actually, I had to be dragged off the dock since an otter — a real one, not a seaweed one — was puttering around the harbor munching on crabs and just being ridiculously cute.)

Out on the water, gripping the iron railing with the cold wind in my face and feeling just a little touristy dorky, there were suddenly dolphins all around us. A hundred of them zooming and playing around in our wake and dashing about as if swimming with our boat was the most incredibly fun thing ever. I pretended that it was the wind that was making my eyes tear up but it wasn’t. Watching them swim along with us was like being in the presence of pure joy.

Then, there was a shout and the boat turned and there were whales – a pod of humpbacks. I know that it’s silly to say they are big. They are whales, after all. But their sheer size is what struck me. I couldn’t see their whole bodies, but even the long serrated arch of their backs and the broad flip of their tails were breath-takingly huge.

As was their breath. When these creatures broke the surface, a plume of spray and sound shot across the water. It’s that plume for which whaling ships of old and touristy whale watchers of now both scan the horizon. After gulping a huge breath at the surface, the whales silently slid below and disappeared.

While we were waiting for them to resurface, I went back to my playful companions the dolphins who were all still gallivanting around in the wake of the boat. As they darted and flew beside us, they, too, would surface and take sharp quick breaths to sustain their agile play.

Breath is powerful that way. Breath can be steady and sustaining and keep us stable and balanced. Breath can also be energizing and powers us when we need or want to move with speed and agility. Breath is both automatic and voluntary. Our bodies will breathe without us having to do anything (thank goodness) but we can also give it our awareness and make choices about how we use it. New Nia students often comment that at the end of a class, they feel both energized and relaxed. That largely has to do with the breath and how we weave it into physical movement: mindfully allowing our breath effect movement and our movement effect breath. And we all can do the same any place and any time.

As our whale watch ended and we came back into the harbor, we saw a pile of my other favorite marine mammals: seals and sea lions. During the trip, we saw them swimming sometimes but mostly, they were resting in the sun on beaches and rocky outcrops and docks and decks of sailboats and even on buoys. There was something peaceful about seeing them like that, relaxed and piled up together and if we carefully got close enough, often we could hear a long heavy sigh.

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Speak it 092515When I moved to Charlottesville in 1996, I took a job with a little software company on the downtown mall. My first day, the founder of the company gave me an office tour – programmers’ office, conference room, marketing department. Down there, he said, pointing down the hall, are other people’s offices. A travel agent, a massage therapist. And right here, he said, pointing to the door just to the right of where we stood, is some woman who teaches some kind of exercise classes. I don’t know what it is but they are yelling Yes and No and making noise all the time.

He rolled his eyes and half laughed. Clearly, he thought she was crazy and annoying. Being the new-comer, go-alonger that I was, I laughed nervously and agreed that she sounded perfectly wackadoodle.

Three years later, that woman teaching those crazy classes was Chris Friedman, my first Nia teacher.

When a friend brought me to Chris’ classes in 1999, I was skeptical and reluctant – even more so when I realized that this was the lady telling people to shout and make sound. But something in the classes captured my imagination and I found myself jealously guarding my Wednesday nights so I wouldn’t miss her class.

I loved Nia but for the first year or more, I completely rejected the whole sound-making thing. Making sound in an exercise class seemed silly and embarrassing and I very much wanted to avoid being those two things.

So I never made a peep.


Spiritual traditions, martial arts, and yoga, all use sound to support them in their practices. Native American tribes used war cries and Confederate soldiers had the rebel yell. Whether the goal is connecting with a higher power, delivering an elbow strike, or sustaining Warrior II pose, some kind of sound-making, chanting, audible breath, or all-out whooping is part of the endeavor. And with good reason.

Making sound supports the physical body. The expulsion of air contracts the muscles around the spine, strengthening the core and protecting the low back from the inside out.

Making sound focuses attention, energy and power. Whether using a percussive “Huh!” when performing a martial arts punch, or sustaining a long sound when singing or an audible breath when doing yoga, sound narrows our attention to this very moment.

Making sound moves emotional energy of all kinds. Like an emotional jackhammer, sound unblocks feelings and gives them space to move. I can almost always keep it together during a funeral, but when I open my mouth to sing a hymn, the sadness lets go.

Making sound connects us with each other and all that is. When we sing, chant, breathe, or whoop as a group, we know we are in this together. And on a basic human level something about allowing an internal vibration out into space connects us with the bigness of the world, the Universe, Nature, and God.


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The Sanskrit word satya means truth…but more than that. Satya means sincerity, honesty, integrity and power of the word. Making sound, showing up, and speaking truth reflects this power and integrity. There is both tender vulnerability and the fire of truth in satya.


A beautiful and reserved student has practiced Nia for nearly a decade. For most of that time she barely made any noise, both literally and figuratively. She silently took Nia, laughed quietly, never rocked the boat. About a year ago, she joined her church choir and something opened up in her. She started making more sound in Nia and breathing audibly in Pilates. She started speaking up – sharing her vision, her observations, herself. She started telling the truth in her relationships when she used to stay silent. She said No to things that weren’t right, and also Wow, and Help, and I love you. As her teacher and friend, I feel her presence, her realness more than I had before. Her whole life shifted from the inside out by opening her mouth and letting out satya.


For me, the shift happened in martial arts movements. I loved the powerful feeling of kicks and blocks and punches. When I finally opened my mouth and connected sound with the movement, I felt a deep satisfaction, groundedness, and presence. And it felt good: the vibration, the strength, the connection to myself and others. For other people, sound begins with audible breath or singing or simply opening up and saying I want that.

Whatever it is for you, say it. Speak it. Live your satya.

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