Archive

Tag Archives: Eyes

broken arm 051315Life happened this week. My beloved 13-year-old niece broke her arm and her mom had to be out of town and if I haven’t mentioned it before one of my best things is Being Auntie so that’s what I did the latter part of this week. A thousand thanks to the incredible acac Nia team that offered both subs and (needed) back ups in a heartbeat. I am so lucky.

In my classes, we focused on the energy of the eyes and using them consciously to affect our movement, alignment and energy. As always, I’d love to hear about your experience with using mindful eyes.

Below are all the playlists from the week. Go to Spotify and follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists there, too. I love seeing more and more people following and listening wherever you are! If you’re having trouble getting the site to work, please let me know ~ I’m learning some tricks and I’d love to figure it out with you. Just so you know, if you are using the Spotify app for mobile devices, the program inserts “recommended” music that is not on my original playlist. Please note also that Spotify doesn’t have all the music I have, so sometimes I’ll put up a different version of a song or skip it all together. EnJOY, everyBody!

Before the playlists, some announce-y type things:
NEW CLASS TIME ON TUESDAY & THURSDAY DOWNTOWN STARTS JUNE 2! ~ Set your alarm! Mark your calendar! Staring June 1, get your acac downtown Tuesday and Thursday morning Nia at earlier! Class with Susan on both days will be from 840am-940am starting June 1! Come play and let your practice embody your whole day!

NEW NIA 101 SATURDAYS FROM 1230-1245 WITH MARY LINN STARTS JUNE 6! ~ Mary Linn will offer Nia 101 before her Saturday class: an introduction to Nia’s 52 Moves to refresh current students and help new students get a feel for the moves. Nia 101 will run from 1230-1245, and class will run from 1245-145, at Albemarle Squre, Studio A.

SAVE THE DATE: DANCE. SIT. WRITE. DAY SHOP HAPPENS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015 ~ Mark your calendar for the next opportunity to spend the day playing in the intersection of movement, meditation and creativity! More details to come this summer but let me know if you have questions (sjmnia@gmail.com)

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. What you find below is exactly what I used in class. ***

Monday, May 4, 2015, 1045am ~ Eye Energy (Split, Ellipt, Blend)

Adiemus 4:02 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
Tears From The Moon 4:18 Conjure One Feat. Sinéad O’ Connor
The Fire From Within 4:12 Tryptamoon
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Cotton Eyed Joe 2:50 The Chieftains & Ricky Skaggs
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For 4:39 U2
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Brown Eyed Girl 3:06 Van Morrison
Carnival 5:59 Natalie Merchant
In Your Eyes 5:26 Peter Gabriel
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Paris Texas 6:45 Gotan Project

Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 9am and 530pm ~ Eye Energy (Split, Ellipt, Blend)

Beach Drifter 4:02 Plazza
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Biene Maya 4:06 Daniel Levez
Resolution (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 4:02 Thievery Corporation
Look Up 5:56 Zero 7
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Once Again (Live) 6:04 Hang Massive
Curried Ripples 5:03 Ganga Girl
Outro 6:24 Hang Massive
Wishful Thinking 5:32 The Album Leaf

Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 1055am ~ with Loring

focus: heart
intention: bringing full attention & energy to what I am creating

Something Understood 4:24 Bob Holroyd
Sajanna 5:06 Badmarsh & Shri
Marisi 6:33 Cantoma
Air Batucada 4:40 Thievery Corporation
Victory Dance 3:49 Mystic Rhythms Band
Amma 6:26 James Asher & Sivamani
Butterfly Heart 5:11 Chris Coco
Speck of Gold 5:37 Afterlife
Sunsethighway 4:00 Kiln
Prayer for Protection 6:25 Xumantra

Thursday, May 7, 2015, 9am ~ with Kate

Relax by Deep-Dive-Corp.
Groove Is In The Heart by Barclay&Cream
In Love Again by Meital De Razon and Asi Tal
My People by Nadia Kazmi
Moonpie by Johnny Lectro
Welcome to the Journey by Cybertribe
Xiao Tshao Khoi San by Bob Holroyd
To The Skies by Kaskade (featuring Polina)
Space Boogie by Deep Dive (featuring Dennis Le Gree)
Ain’t No Sunshine (Rishis Short Mix) by Al Jarreau
Planetary Nebula by Sven Weisemann
Beautiful World (Instrumental) by MRJ

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!

eye energy looking at skyEyes can give energy…

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The eyes can take energy away…

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. – Jim Carrey

How we use the eyes dramatically affects our movement … and our energy.

Consciously use the eyes in three ways: SPLIT, ELLIPT, BLEND

Sometimes, SPLIT and separate from the other.
Sometimes, ELLIPT into the other to deeply connect.
Sometimes, BLEND, staying connected to self & sensation while still connected to the other.

All are helpful sometimes. The key is knowing which you’re doing and which is needed.

eye energy eye closeupFew are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. ~ Albert Einstein

My husband, Frank, and I are moving house. Last month we sold our beautiful and beloved work of Frank Art and next month, we will leave it. We are happy about the move and the process requires lots of letting go. It’s healthy and challenging and sometimes I have to put my head down on some packing materials.

Over the past few months, we’ve been purging the eddies in our house: the closets and cabinets and drawers where we mindlessly stick things until they stack up like a jumble of sticks and leaves on the swirling edge of a stream.

One of those eddies was my Nia and journal cabinet. This precious cabinet held every notebook and journal from every Nia training, meditation retreat, and workshop I’d attended in 15 years…although I’d almost never gone to it. When I swung open the cabinet, I felt my heart clench, “I NEED all of this. I don’t want to lose what I’ve learned.”

To placate my rising panic, I promised myself that I would collect all the wisdom in a Word document so I could keep the insights but let go of the dozens of spiral notebooks.

carlos has an ear for every instrument

To my shock, when I read through my Nia notebooks, I didn’t feel the need to capture much at all (although I did scan a couple of doodles like the one above). Almost everything I either knew in my bones or wasn’t relevant. In the end, out of all those journals, I entered precisely two lines into the Word document. They came from a Blue Belt (the second level of training focused on communication, relationship, and intimacy) from my teacher, Carlos AyaRosas:

~ Can you let go of the need to check the outside world to see if you are doing okay?
~ Can you use your eyes to look out and stay in your body?

Ah. Yes. Right. This, I want to keep. There is more to learn here.

In yoga, it’s called the drishti or gaze. In the Hawaiian Huna tradition makia means “energy flows where attention goes.” In Nia, one of the 52 Moves is Head & Eye Movement. As highly visual creatures, the way we use our eyes affects body, mind, and emotions. Eyes are movers of energy and how I choose to use them has a direct connection to where my energy goes, how much I have available, and how much I give away.

Tomorrow, I’ll look more closely at Carlos’ two pearls. Keep an eye out for it.

summer solstice sunWe danced summer right in this week with classes focused on savoring through seeing (instead of just looking) plus a rich class of Nia & Meditation and our sizzling Summer Solstice Jam!

Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Jun 16, 2014, 1045am ~ Savoring…Seeing

The Day After Everything Changed 4:30 Ellis Paul
Luna 6:04 Ganga
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For 4:39 U2
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Drop It Low 3:45 Kat DeLuna
The Futures So Bright (I Got Wear Shades) 3:23 Timbuk 3
So Beautiful Or So What 4:09 Paul Simon
Do It For the Love 3:32 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Spirit Voices 3:56 Paul Simon
Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes 3:35 Kristin Andreassen
Have a Little Faith 3:54 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Night Has Thousand Eyes 4:01 Earl Klugh

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014, 9am ~ Savoring…Seeing

Sajanna 5:06 Badmarsh & Shri
I’ll Be Waiting 4:40 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Sweeter Love 8:09 Blue Six
Catu (Vienna Sub Mix) 6:21 Ikarus
I’m in Heaven 7:05 Universal Funk
Work That Body 5:35 Rodney Hunter
Air Batucada 4:40 Thievery Corporation
Eyes Wide Open 3:11 Gotye
In Your Eyes 5:26 Peter Gabriel
Blue Eyes 4:17 Cary Brothers
Beguiled 4:46 Tim Story

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014, 1055am ~ Savoring…Seeing (Bravely Airborne I)

Video 4:10 India.Arie (from Brave)
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel (from Airborne)
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline (from Brave)
Just the Way You Are 3:41 Bruno Mars (from Brave)
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas (from Airborne)
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band (from Brave)
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead (from Airborne)
Born This Way 4:20 Lady Gaga (from Brave)
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling (from Airborne)
Terrapin 4:31 Bonobo (from Brave)
Winter 5:43 Tori Amos (from Brave)
Plegaria para el Alma de Layla 3:19 Pedro Aznar (from Brave)

Thursday, Jun 19, 2014, 9am ~ Savoring…Seeing (Bravely Airborne II)

Big Sky 4:04 Annie Lennox (from Airborne)
The Fire From Within 4:12 Tryptamoon (from Airborne)
Shame (Feat. Eve And The A Group) 3:34 Jill Scott (from Brave)
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas (from Airborne)
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells (from Airborne)
Nothing But The Water (II) 5:19 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (from Airborne)
Born This Way 4:20 Lady Gaga (from Brave)
Shake It (Feat. Lady Saw) (Wizzigrime Dancehall Remix) 4:16 Michael Franti & Spearhead (from Brave)
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo (from Brave)
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall (from Airborne)
Brave 3:40 Sara Bareilles (from Brave)
Let It Go – Africanized Cover (feat. One Voice Childrens Choir) 3:01 Alex Boyé (from Brave)
Child Come Home Foxtrot Delta 2 3:29 Jamie Catto (from Airborne)
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal (from Airborne)

Friday, Jun 20, 2014, 6-730pm ~ Nia and Meditation at Buck Mountain Episcopal Church in Earlysville

~~ “You are a feather on the breath of God.” ~~ Hildegard von Bingen ~~

Adiemus 4:02 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
Duden 6:41 Natacha Atlas
Hildegard: O Euchari In Leta Via 6:08 Emily Van Evera, Germaine Fritz, Richard Souther
Cantus Inaequalis 3:18 Adiemus/London Philharmonic/Miriam Stockley
Cantus Insolitus 5:40 Adiemus/London Philharmonic/Miriam Stockley
In Caelum Fero 7:49 Adiemus/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Miriam Stockley
Hildegard: O Virga Ac Diadema Purpurae Regis 5:05 Emily Van Evera, Germaine Fritz, Richard Souther
Amaté Adea 5:23 Adiemus/London Philharmonic/Miriam Stockley
Prayer Of St. Francis 2:02 Sarah McLachlan
The Lord’s Prayer 1:58 Aaron Neville

Saturday, Jun 21, 9-1010am ~ Savoring…Seein (Bravely Airborne III)

Big Sky 4:04 Annie Lennox (from Airborne)
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel (from Airborne)
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline (from Brave)
Shame (Feat. Eve And The A Group) 3:34 Jill Scott(from Brave)
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells (from Airborne)
May all Beings 6:27 EarthRise SoundSystem (from Brave)
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band (from Brave)
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead (from Airborne)
Born This Way 4:20 Lady Gaga (from Brave)
Sunchyme 3:54 Dario G. (from Airborne)
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling (from Airborne)
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall (from Airborne)
Child Come Home Foxtrot Delta 2 3:29 Jamie Catto (from Airborne)
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal (from Airborne)

Saturday, Jun 21, 5-615pm ~ Summer Nia Jam with Adrienne, Mary Linn and Susan

Bem Devagar 4:51 Bungalove
I Found You 4:35 Samantha James
So Eu E Voce 4:26 Bungalove
Bailando 5:00 Chuck Love
The Sound of Sunshine 3:44 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Firedance 6:04 Bill Whalen/Riverdance
Siamsa 4:28 Ronan Hardiman/Riverdance Enhanced
Riverdance 5:45 Bill Whalen/Riverdance
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Fun Does Not Exist 6:21 Natacha Atlas
Stillpoint 6:02 Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors

~~~

Our project of gratitude and invitation to Michael Franti is gaining some heart-felt love momentum! We’ve got a nice stack of beautiful flags but we need more to really send Michael the message of love. Have you made a prayer flag? It doesn’t have to be fancy (although it can be), just let it come from the heart!

PROJECT MICHAEL FRANTI TO CHARLOTTESVILLE: A COMMUNITY PROJECT OF GRATITUDE AND INVITATION

Michael Franti’s music is is full of love and joy, playfulness and support, kindness and hope. The Nia and yoga communities of Charlottesville invite Michael Franti & Spearhead to come dance, practice, sing and play with us! His art makes a difference and we want him to know that… and to come play with us!
By way of thanks and invitation to come to Charlottesville, we are making a strand of community-created prayer flags that we will hand-deliver to Michael Franti in July! You can be part of the prayer flag invitation. It’s easy!
1. Take any piece of fabric approximately 10 inches square (Susan will have some to share at her classes, and there will be some at Hot Yoga Charlottesville).
2. Decorate it with your personal expression of gratitude and invitation to Michael Franti to come to Charlottesville to dance, sing, yoga and play! You can draw or paint it, embroider it: just express your gratitude for his music and your desire for him to come play with us! (Just leave the top 1-2 inches free so we can attach it to the prayer flag strand!)
2a. If your heart is willing but time or inspiration short, we also have templates you can use and ready-made flags that you can sign and add to the strand!
3. Return your flag to Susan or to Hot Yoga Charlottesville by July 1. Our Seamstress Artist, Rebecca George, will put them all together in a long string of prayer flags, and Sara Marks will hand-deliver it to Michael Franti when she sees him in concert in July!
I will provide information about the project here on my blog. You can also join the Facebook Group “Michael Franti to Cville” at https://www.facebook.com/groups/842206092459200/members/ for updates and information. Please be part of this expression of gratitude and welcome! Invite friends and family and lovers of music and movement to join us! The more the better!

NIA TRAINER, JULIE WYLIE, COMING TO CHARLOTTESVILLE

We’re excited to support a weekend of classes and workshops with Nia Trainer, Julie Wylie, July 18-20 and then a Nia White Belt training September 16-22. Events will include lots of things for everyBODY as well as for belts wanting to reconnect to the principles and practices. More info coming soon. For now, mark your calendar!

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. There is one planned in Charlottesville in September (see above) and lots of other places, too.

window washingThis one time? We thought we had to move, but really, we just had to wash our windows.

Okay, maybe it was a little more complicated than that. But only just a little.

Our boy was graduating from high school. Our girl had moved out of the apartment in our basement into one with her fiancé. The nest was emptying before our eyes. What’s more, after working on the renovation of our home for nearly four years, we were up to our pitchforks in the last, massive landscaping project. We took down four haggard-looking trees from the front yard to open up views to the house and simultaneously opened a wide swath of space that needed to be designed, planted, weeded, seeded, and mulched. At the same time, spring was springing and everything on our property seemed to need tending or pruning or planting or transplanting or fixing or reworking.

Then sprinkle on top of that some of my love for making a plan (a love that is, at least in part, a sugar coating on my distaste for the unknown). I wanted to know what was next. Together with their mother, Frank and I have spent the last 15 years raising his two children. Now, we could see an open path to a time for just the two of us.

So, we started talking about our next chapter but no longer in a Maybe-Someday-We-Could kind of way, but in a What-Do-We-Do-NOW kind of way. In a swirl of giddy enthusiasm, we bought a townhouse with the intention of renting it but almost immediately decided that we should move into it ourselves. As soon as possible. No more mowing or weeding or cleaning out gutters. More freedom, less responsibility, more travel, more ease. Our hearts soared at the idea.

The whirl continued as we talked to our realtor about pricing and listing our house. We cleared shelves and closets to make it more “showing ready.” In the midst of this, we realized we had to wash the windows. They are big and high, so it is no small task. Which probably explains why we’d never done it in all the time we’ve lived here. Dust and dirt and smashed stink bugs and cat nose prints and bird droppings were all part of our vista. But now, Frank hauled out the walk board and his special Norwegian window washing rag and went to work.

When I walked into the kitchen that evening, it was like walking to the edge of a tree house. Through the sparkling windows, I could see everything clearly. Our garden, the chicken coop, the woods beyond. As the sun set, the trees glowed green. The sky and late-day clouds radiated white, gray, blue and pink-rose. We watched the airspace transition from bird traffic to bat. It was glorious. Beautiful. This was why we’d designed the house this way – to be able to see, enjoy, absorb the wild natural beauty in our back yard. I’d somehow forgotten our original vision of living in this place. I’d gotten distracted by the grime and cat nose prints.

At dinner the next night, our boy stopped eating for a moment, looked out the windows at the view and said, “That makes me happy.” Well and truly said.

In some ways, it really was as simple as that: we thought we had to move but really we just had to wash our windows. At the risk of sounding like Dorothy in the last scene of The Wizard of Oz (something that would delight Frank no end), sometimes what I really need is to look with different eyes at what is right in front of me. Am I seeing through a film of dirt and bird poop? Am I seeing only what I want to see and editing out the rest? Am I oblivious, eyes down, not seeing at all? Am I seeing how flipping amazing the world is? Do I need to wash my windows?

How do you use your eyes: your physical eyes, yes, and also your eyes as they connect to your mind, heart, and imagination? What is your vision of the world, your life, this moment? I’d love to hear your eye perspectives.

%d bloggers like this: