Music! “No room for doubt”

It was a sunny day in Fez, and after wandering the narrow Medina streets this light-hearted song by Lianne La Havas put me in my happy place.

A gentle reminder to set perfection aside and appreciate – even pay homage to – the mistakes we make as we create our purpose.

Happy day 🙂

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Image Credit: La Blogothèque

 

Music! Moby’s 4 hour yoga & meditation album

Moby’s 4 hour album has been out for awhile, but I wanted to cook it in my practice for a couple weeks before saying anything about it.

First, it’s an ambient album, so it was best on days I wanted to be really focused (sorry Drake, Views is great but my booty needs a break). It doesn’t have a sweet beat or an energy building flow, which means I used it to work on my alignment and pay attention to energetic lines and breath rather than to let creative movement flow.

Second, even though it’s good background music, I didn’t like it for meditation. It didn’t add to my mindfulness-based practice, and it didn’t take anything away either. I prefer to listen to the sounds around me or do a guided meditation session.

Overall, I recommend that you give his album a try (it’s free to download from the link above). It’s great for introspective or technical days and provides a seamless quality to your personal practice, especially if you want to study-jam for a couple hours.

“Hold on, we’re going home”

“Just hold on, we’re going home.”

–Drake

This afternoon, I was revisiting a lesson in my online compassion course and came across some solid advice for increasing self compassion (which falls under the yogic principle of ahimsa, or non-violence). Two words: slow down.

Since I started my one year of travel this August, I’ve had a lot more time to notice who I am, how I communicate (or don’t), what I do with my time, and when I get excited or happy about something. And also when I get upset, frustrated, or lose patience with something. A big challenge to getting over being upset or angry is wanting to speed up, get angrier and louder. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for getting it out of your system and not holding on or pushing down what you’re experiencing. But I think slowing down might be the golden ticket to getting it out of your system AND being productive.

Two reasons:
1. Slowing down means taking a pause, taking a break. It gives you time to clear your head and cool off.
2. Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping. It means coming back to the issue after giving yourself space and empathy towards your current state.

One way to practice this is coming up with a phrase to say to yourself when you feel yourself getting upset. This is where Drake comes in. He inspired my phrase: “hold on, we’re going home.” It reminds me to pause and bring things back home to the stillness that resides deep within. Thanks, Drizzy.


Image credit: VIBE

Night biking bliss

I’ve been biking to and from my bartending job these days. Enjoying my last days. On my ride home, it’s dark and often very quiet. The moon is bright and the stars are very clear — no light pollution here! — and the trees in the neighborhood frame this gorgeous night sky. It’s quiet.

After the hustle and bustle of being behind the bar, biking home is a reward. My legs working as I pedal full speed past dark homes and parked cars and empty yards, rarely a soul in sight. I feel completely in the moment, present to the sights, sounds, and smells around me.

The soundtrack to my night time biking is Jamie Xx’s In Colour. There’s something about listening to this album while traveling in the dark. To me it syncs with my heart beat and evolves tranquilly with my surroundings. I am. So hum.  So hum. So hum.

I’m looking forward to my trip. To seeing new places, new faces. To experiencing new things through sound, taste, rhythm, touch. I’m looking forward to when M gets back from his contract job, to giving him a big kiss and hug. But right now, I feel blissful and alive to be here, right now.


Image credit: Mark Unrau

Music! For creative sequencing

On Saturday, I participated in a workshop on creative sequencing with Wade Gotwals, who’s a seasoned and intuitive practitioner and teacher of yoga based in Chicago. What’s creative sequencing, you ask? It’s the flow of poses in a vinyasa or hatha practice. The workshop focused on using your own creativity and playfulness to create your own flow.

Creative sequencing is a two-step process:

  1. Play on your own (or with a friend)!  Try new arm variations, twists, side stretches etc in your go-to poses.
  2. Write them down, then go back later to make sure that they make sense in terms of energy, muscles/joints strengthened or opened, and flow.

I think of creative sequencing as mindful dancing: you create new and interesting ways to flow from pose to pose, while mindfully designing the class to be cohesive.

Here’s a sweet playlist from the Beats for Nepal album to get your creative juices flowing! Happy playing!


Image Credit: Beats for Nepal

Music! For your flow

Happy Sunday!

Here’s a flow mix that I love to use in my home practice and for my classes. I love this instrumental flow for its shape: starts gentle, like you’re entering a rainforest, builds up in intensity without being distracting (5 minute plank anyone?), and ends with a releasing and renewing background for savasana.  Music is important to me on and off the mat, and finding something that I connect with can be challenging! This one really hits the spot. If you’ve got a go-to song or mix for your practice, I’d love to hear it!