Posts Tagged ‘kim weeks’
Just Stand Naturally…
“Just stand naturally,” Kim said the first time I met her. So I stood naturally–as naturally as I could in front of a room full of strangers. Strangers, and one person I knew.
I’m not sure what Erin and I were doing when I decided to ask her if I could be a Seeing Bodies subject. A cursory check of old emails confirms that we were out for dinner–or maybe coffee. At any rate, for some reason I decided that attending Seeing Bodies was going to be important. It turns out it was.
If I have a yoga practice today, it’s because of Seeing Bodies. It’s because the Yoga Therapy students who observed Kim observing me were so welcoming and kind, but it’s also because being seen is just incredibly valuable. The observations and suggestions that Kim, Kelly, Layne, and others made for me guided my practice for the next several months. Knowing that my teachers had such a deep sense of how I stand and move through the world—from the way I pick up my son, to the fact that the pain in my shoulder is related to my lower back—gave me a huge amount of confidence as I immersed myself in asana. Old aches and pains cleared up. I stood taller. But more importantly, my practice deepened as the lessons and stories my body told gave me insight into my emotional and energetic lives.
Having that starting point gave me a baseline so that my teachers could watch my progress–and so could I, not just physically, but on so many other levels, too. Now that Seeing Bodies is becoming a standard part of a membership at Boundless, the already amazing teaching that goes on here can be even better. I think that we’ll see people accessing a lot more of their potential and gaining an even better understanding of all of our connections to each other, and everything else.That’s what yoga is all about. Learning the more that we can access physically. And, of course, toning our abs. Seeing Bodies can help with that, too.
new seeing bodies sessions
What is Seeing Bodies?
All members can schedule a 45 minute time slot on a Saturday betweeen 9-11 — and receive a 15 min. private yoga overview with Kim Weeks, and a half-hour follow-up with a teacher who will teach you poses for your body.
Kim and the Boundless teachers will guide you through a highly personalized session that gives you simple, vital information about your body in space and time.
See your body & your practice transform!
nirvana – it’s no big deal.
Are you curious about what Kim Weeks shared on Friday night? Of course.
Ever wonder why you experience what you experience in life? Ever question how to create (or recreate) moments when you feel zero conflict with where you are and what you are doing?
Are you interested in your own transformation? Comment here or contact us for details.
Transformation starts with the body
Transformation that happens anywhere starts first in your body. While there are many ways to observe and assess the universal principles of organization and chaos, I will address the topic of human bodily transformation that in turn takes root in society. I want to teach you how you can learn to observe your experience in the world, which then then necessitates positive change everywhere — foremost in your life.
I am specifically teaching you about your own dharma or destiny. I hope you can make it!
On Navasana or Boat Pose
Now that I’m pregnant with my second child, I especially miss boat pose. It is a pose of strength, grace, and calm.
Most of us don’t feel that way when we practice it. Even as a teacher, I feel myself getting tense on the students’ behalf when I instruct, “Straight legs! Lift your chest! Soften the shoulders!” This pose is challenging because it deals directly with the core body that remains so woefully unattended as we sit in chair, cars, couches, and other “slouchy” pieces of furniture. Were we to practice Mountain Pose, Staff Pose and even Half-Standing-Forward Fold, Navasana or Boat Pose would feel more easeful and steady as asanas, or poses, are meant to feel.
And yet, we love to hate this pose (or vice versa) because it *is* so challenging and makes us sore the next day. We learn from it that we need to strengthen our core and loosen up our groins, because both take a beating when we practice this pose with rigidity and fierceness, rather than focus, steadiness, and grace.
Think of how you feel when you’re sitting in a boat in calm waters. It’s so relaxing! This is literally the steadiness that your muscular body wants to offer your breath and nervous system in Boat Pose. So keep trying this pose, this one that we all love in June anyway as it’s so close to bathing suit season! Even a little bit of work in it pays off — just like a nice trip to the lake does!
petal by petal
We teach alignment in yoga asanas not out of fear that we’re doing something wrong in a pose, but rather to find the truest form of the body, a body in line with the universe, a body that becomes one with it. Looking only for misalignments is easy. We only think it’s hard in the beginning because every time we find something “wrong,” we judge ourselves: “it’s bad that I’m so tight.” “I’m not flexible enough to do this.” “I’ll never be that good at that pose.” “Slow-moving yoga is boring.” We think in yoga we have to work hard – to focus on our hamstrings in standing-forward bend, tight backs in twists, floppy arms in handstand – in order to get it right.
But it’s all “right.” It’s alright. Misalignment is simply a form of resistance, a mind/body stubbornness that shunts our spirits deeper into a body (just a shape, after all) of conditioned reactions to stress, self-protection, even ambition. We think we have to “hold it together,” when we have no choice than to do the opposite: we must unfold, piece by piece, until we are so wide open it hurts like blinding light, at which point we become the life force, the prana, that we invite in every time we inhale.
in his poem “somewhere i have never traveled,” E.E. cummings writes:
though i have closed myself as fingers
you always open petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose
While we think the real difficulty is re-aligning (or, for most of us, un-misaligning), it’s relaxing into the flow that is hard – because it’s scary to let go of control, the very control that developed a body so out of step with the bigger picture in the first place.
When you do yoga, really do it, you’re stepping into this bigger picture, getting your toes wet at the edge of the ocean (realizing that your toe, 90% water, isn’t much different from the ocean at all). By getting your toes wet you’re stepping into your own understanding of the universe, which, indeed, functions only with you in it.
Move With Us!
Hi! I am excited to share that our new yoga studio will open for classes on Saturday, April 2nd. The new space is located at 13th and U Street, right across from the U Street Metro. We are offering 42 classes per week, new teachers, class styles, and workshops. Contact us if you have any questions, and we look forward to practicing with you soon!
jaw dropper: i’m so over sit-ups
James Foulkes often talks about releasing tension in the jaw. We’ve even jokingly made a mouth with a dropped lower jaw in his class and felt into that experience – then keeping the lower jaw dropped, softly closed the lips. Kim Weeks says during her Advanced class asana, “Your jaw will not help you, except by letting it go.” (I’m paraphrasing – pardon the direct quotation marks.) So, here I am, Nov 22, and all I can practice is dropping my jaw – in the interest of .. core work?!
Last night I was watching Fantasia For Real, who if you don’t know previously won American Idol. They do a lot of interviewing up close, and all I could think about was sheesh her gorgeously dropped lower jaw. Here are a few pics to demo:
Her smile first of all, is insightful. It is utterly spacious – gives you both lower and top teeth, and makes me feel so happy just to witness it. Secondly, the woman can belt out sound, hella loud and clear as a bell. Why does this matter? It’s connected to her diaphragm, which is connected to her core. I have spent half the day here dropping my jaw, and my lower abs are wide awake as a result. Done deliberately, it’s a great alternative to sit ups. Um, I heart this.
thinking about thoughts
Kim Weeks said in her 10:30 am class today, “Gravity is heavy: Let your thoughts be broad.” (This, toward the end of the sequence, as the bodies released in Twist.) Tonight, I read this line in a poem: “Could be thinking is curved, like the earth, / and feels, therefore, heavy.”
Thinking about my thoughts like this is grounding, and isn’t it meditation? My feet like it, also, in Tadasana. It’s like the way James talks about our heels, Spreading out. Establishing connection.
It also makes my head feel like a lighthouse.