yoga kin.... yoga kin..... yoga kin..... yoga kin....... yoga kin.....

Hello Yoga Kin, Let's create some PEACE through Practices of Energy, Action, Creativity, & Ethics ....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Recently, I took a yoga class that moved me to a new space. My back-body.
"Audrey, welcome," said my back-body.  "I have been waiting for your arrival for a long long time. How did you find me?"

I never knew I hadn't found my back-body until... I landed in its palm. Standing up, I was resting.  I was vertically laying in my tall long back-body as easefully as I lie down, as supported, as cradled, as held.  The presence of my whole body released itself completely, trusting my back-body and the gorgeous surrender it was welcoming from me. My back-body gently guided me down the street, all of me sinking toward it. This feeling is hard to put into words.  I felt utterly safe and yet undefended.  I had no armor. My front body fell into me like rushing water.  Like a baby's trusting body asleep and peaceful against it's mama's torso.  Like wind blowing daffodil seeds.  I was faceless feeling and radiantly illuminated. I was open and unafraid.

What helped me find this new experience of my body?  Marcella Clavijo is my teacher, and she was leading a slow prop-filled Iyengar based basics class.  She leads a kind of yoga which is not about getting into the sweaty flow.  She teaches a kind of science that is deeply informative. I listen astutely to every detail, like an utter beginner, a decade and a half in the making!  We hang upside down from wall-belts -- a technology that is quite new for me.  I am ready to be born, hanging upside down like this. My spine is lengthening exponentially! The pose does itself to me -- while I undo, to allow.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tree Meditation

Breathe in the gift given from the trees --
Breathe out a gift for the trees --
In, Oxygen.
Out, Carbon Dioxide.

In deeply.
Out fully. 
Envision your fundamental interconnectedness on the planet:
notice what comes to mind.
Experience simply through breath awareness,
a rhythmic interconnectedness that lives in every breath taken and given.

Call to mind a specific tree you know or have known:
One you pass daily, or remember from childhood,or stared at in awe one fine day of your life, or climbed, or ate fruit from, or cultivated.....
Hold your tree in mind.
Experience the texture of it's bark,
the shape of its leaves
the weave of its branches,
the motions of creatures that enjoy it,
the roots that ground it.
With your tree by your mind's side, Breathe in.
"In-spired" by your tree and it's natural gifts.
Breathe out, softening your own bark, your skin -- releasing reciprocal gifts.
Follow the cycle of the breath in and out of your body
The cycle of the breath is our collaboration with the tree. With all plants on our earth.

Root yourself through your lower body, digging your sit-bones deep into your seat
rest your trunk, vibrant and lengthening, present and neutral,
branch your neural pathways, blossoming your brain..
Drink a glass of water. Grow your breath. Your peace.

Later, as you walk by a tree -- one that you see every day
Greet it, wink, smile, nod. 
Take a breath-filled moment of sharing 
                                          -- of mutuality -- of gratitude.


This meditation is in honor of Wangari Matthai, an ethical HERO OF BREATH.  I write to share my reverence for the contributions of Dr. Wangari Matthai of Kenya, whom I met almost a decade ago at Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. I call her a hero of breath because her life's work championed the interconnectedness of our existence with our green growing rooted friends. Trees. Without whom we could not do this powerful act.  Breathing.

Her shining self leaves it's light brightening our world. She began a movement decades ago called the Greenbelt Movement. It addressed the deforestation and industrialization of her own African lands, the disempowered role of women in her society, and the need for human rights and environmental health to be regarded as integral to one another all over the planet. Her work creating the revolutionary Greenbelt Movement was (and is, wherever I teach) a consistent highlight in my curriculum for children. There have been at least two children's books published about her in the past few years, since her work was acknowledged with a Nobel Peace Prize -- they are great resources.