Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 21: Last Day!

Day 21:
Dance: intermittently throughout the day. Danced as I got my place ready for guests tomorrow night.
Ended the day with Yoga and Pilates, and a hot bath.

It was a rainy day, so I took Gwyddie on a short walk.

It's been a great journey! Thank you for your witnessing and sharing in it!

And to my students, with whom, and partly for whom, I did this second 21 day diary challenge: thank you for your presence in my life! I am so grateful for all that you do to build your practice, stay focused (or not! ;) and your dedication to learning. Its a pleasure to teach and to know you!

Happy re-birth of the Sun! May you have all the best in this world.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 18, 19, 20 Power and Challenge

Day 18:
45 min walk with Gwyddie.
60 min drills and choreo

Day 19:
45 min walk with Gwyddie
10 min Yoga.
15 min Pilates.
10 min meditation

Day 20:
30 min dance.
15 min Meditation

I'm finding Day 20, today, to be a day of challenge. So much volatile energy! These last days of the Solar year are turning out to be quite a dance through the labyrinth of ups and downs: big change, claiming power, disappointment, breakthrough, and boundary setting.

More dance to come tonight. I feel like I certainly need its medicine!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 17: Rainy Days and Mondays...

The place where Gwyddie and I walked today. 
Day 17:
-Meditation: 45 mins
-Pilates: 20 mins
-Woods walk: 45 mins (Yes, even in the rain! The Gwyddster needs his exercise, and so do I.)
-Arm/shoulder excersices with Gwyddie (a controlled variation of tug'o'war, with counts!)
-Drills: 30 mins

I also wanted to share this article about practice:

Practice 101 – Improve your brain while becoming awesome

Next, I'm onto DIY shoulder massage with a tennis ball, and then a hot bath.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 13, 14, 15, 16. Distracted, sad, candles lit. Back on the horse.

Day 13:
15 min outdoor yoga
30 min class prep
60 mins teaching.

Day 14:
Class and workshop planning for Winter.

A moment at the Silent Prayer and Candlelight Vigil on Sat. in Salem, MA.
I then found it difficult to concentrate due to the Sandy Hook school news. I was an after-school teacher at an elementary school for many years. It hurt to hear this news, and I am so very sad.

Day 15:
20 min Pilates
Woods walk.

Day 16:
90 walk/run with Gwyddion to the woods and to golf course (which is now closed to golfers, so dogs are welcome to run!!!).
60 mins creative choreography.
Thinking a lot about my sister today, and missing her. Thinking of her young daughter, my niece, who is school aged. Thankful for her presence in the world, and praying for the ones who are lost.

Feeling the need to do more Pilates, finding myself getting behind in that. Core strength!

Addition (day 16): 
10 mins Pilates
20 mins meditation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 11 and 12: Posture and basics

Day 11:
-45 minute walk with Gwyddie.
During this walk, I revisited my breath and alignment posture practice. Though this is a daily practice ideally, I gave it extra focus. Each time I feel myself moving back into habitual stress patterns, I deepen my breath, let go of tension, and put myself into a relaxed yet strong and healthy posture. I imagine my body walking as a fluid unit. I move from my core of power.
-Shimmies drills. 15 minutes. Back to basics.

Day 12:
90 min walk with Gwyddie.
Today I needed some rest from yoga, Pilates, and dance due to neck pain. So instead I worked with a dear friend on putting together an event. This event has Bellydance as a major component, of course! More, soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 8, 9, and 10. Busy Weekend, Gentle Monday

Day 8:
Taught my Queen of Swords workshop for 3 hours.
Morning dance prep: 30 mins
Post workshop stretching and DIY tennis ball massage: 30 min
Two neighborhood walks with Gwyddie (rainy day) 25 mins each. Low impact.

Day 9:
Photo Shoot with Cheryl Fair! 4 hours.
Woods walk with Gwyddie: 45 mins.

Day 10:
I'm writing this in the morning, so I can't say what I've done yet except drink a cup of coffee. But after a very full working/playing weekend, what I need most today is self-care and gentle creativity. On my agenda: Yoga, and a woods walk with Gwyddie. House cleaning; dreaming. Talking with a family member. Talking with a friend. Nutritious meals, and maybe just a little comfort food. Tarot reading for myself, and some astrology. Meditation and magick study. Wrestle with Gwyddie, and lots of hugs and kisses.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 7: Creative Impulses!

I got a wonderful burst of creative energy today, and it was exciting! Spontaneously created a new piece. Costume design and all.

I work that way sometimes. It seems to happen suddenly and all at once.

-2 1/2 hours of dance.
  • Creating new choreo 
  • drilling established piece
  • workshop prep for Queen of Swords tomorrow
-30 mins Pilates.
-15 min meditation
-morning Gwyddie walk/run
-evening walk, 1 mile

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 6: All in a Day's Work

-Short run with Gwyddie: stop and start 30 mins
-Woods walk: 1 hour, 3 miles
-Yoga: 45 mins 
-Class teaching: 1 hour.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 5. Unconventional place.

Today was tricky.

BUT, that said, I did do my work, just in a most unconventional way.

My partner had to go in to have a follow-up on a medical matter, and I had to go with him. It took two hours, and I waited in the waiting room. Not one to accept boredom, I chose not to sit and read a stupid mag, or f*ck around with my phone. Instead I did yoga, meditated, and did choreo drills. :) Two hours.

The staff at the desk were very interested and one even asked me for a mini-lesson in Bellydance! Yes! Get moving out from behind that desk, ladies! It was good to see their smiles and enjoyment.

This gets me to a point: Why in the hell is it that, establishments such as hospitals that are supposed to exist to help people with their health, end up being some of the UNHEALTHIEST places for people to work? Nurses with long hours, people behind desks and in front of computers all day, low pay...I live near a Hospital in Salem, and I regularly see out of shape staff in scrubs standing outside smoking and drinking soda. C'mon now! What kind of a culture is this? Let's get it together already! That isn't "health". That's just cycles of crisis.

I'd like to see hospitals become more about health and healing. I think there are many who agree with me, and are doing something in this regard. Attitudes change slowly, though, and money, of course, plays a role. That said, I hope that future generations will look back at this time and think that this was barbaric compared to what they have developed for themselves, the way we look at the hospitals of times mercifully gone by.

I've got more to say about physical movement in public places (and social prohibitions against it), but that will have to wait for another time. My work for Day 5 has come to a close! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 4: Short post, long legged bird

-Morning dog walk with Gwyddie, 1 hour of throwing a ball, running, (and standing around chatting and drinking coffee).
-Pilates, 25 min
-Woods walk, 1 hour, 3.5 miles.
-Bellydance drills and workshop prep: choreo review and rehearsal 1 hour.
-Meditation: 25 mins

 According to my fitness Android app, I hoof it at an average of 3-4 miles per hour. Dang! It's good to have long gams! ;)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 3: Healing and strength

I am kinda high right now!

13 years ago, yoga changed my life. I had been in so much chronic neck pain from injuries sustained as a little kid; yoga took much of that pain away, strengthening me and stretching me body and spirit.

I practiced yoga for 10 years before a second car accident gave me whiplash that was so severe that I had to stop. Because the accident involved a forward strain in my neck along with neurological damage, such things as sun salutations had been beyond me for some time. My nervous system would protest with shocks, burning, and numbness, dizziness and nausea.

3 and 1/2 years later, I am so glad that I have stuck with the healing process. I have continued to work my way back to core strength with Pilates and gentle Hatha yoga.

Today I completed my first non-stop Vinyasa yoga session in a long time!!! It has been a while since my nerves and joints have been able to tolerate this style of vigorous yoga, but all went well. It felt great!!

Completed today:
-Light (for me, not Gwyddie!) morning walk to dog park. Chasing Gwyddie at park in small sprints.
-Yoga: 45 min
-Mediation: 20 mins
-Woods walk with Gwyddie: 1 hour, 2 miles
-Bellydance drills: 30 min

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 2. Krampus. And Discipline. ;)

If it happened after midnight (so that technically it was Day 2), does it count that I stole Krampus's switch away and began to dance a Raqs Assaya with it to Gothic Xmas music at the height of the party last night?...

Maybe. But I thought that, just to be safe, I would make sure that I got some good practice in during daylight hours today. :)

-Yoga this AM, 15 mins
-Stretch and strength. Intermittently throughout Ravens game.
-Bellydance drills, 45 mins:
I practiced footwork primarily today. I am good at footwork as long as it is improvisational. As soon as its time to decidedly use one foot or another sequentially, as in a traveling choreo or transition, well, that is another matter! So I worked with that today. I did everything on both sides and brought it up to ridiculous tempos to make it even and tease my brain.
I also worked on 3/4 hips of many kinds today. Again, I am often an "I don't know HOW I do it, I just do it," kind of girl. But the name of the game right now is consistency and organization. And so it is!

Our strengths also tend to be the same as our weaknesses. This is just how it is. For instance, I LOVE improv! I love spontaneity, inspiration on the fly, in-the-moment kind of presentations. It is my strength, for sure, and I feel that much magick comes from this place. However, this means that my weakness is that I can err in this direction, and need to give extra special attention to structure, focus, form, and sequence. Not so much that I lose what works best for me, but enough so that my approach is balanced, disciplined, and strong.

So maybe its symbolic that I stole Krampus's switch last night. Discipline me? No dude--I've got this one under control. Just watch me, sucka.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dance deliciousness challenge!

I am beginning another 21 Day stretch into sharing my dance practice!

I have recommended to my students a 21 Day Challenge for Dance Deliciousness!!!! I have challenged them to practice for a minimum of 15 mins a day, and to log what they have done, so that it can be shared. I am setting my example by rekindling my dance blog, Serpent Moon.

Sometimes we think that we are doing more than we are! ;) Logging our practice keeps us on the straight-ish and narrow-like. Focused!

Day 1 begins today. 21 days from now will be the Winter Solstice, when the Sun is reborn and a new solar year begins. So I am ending my year with a dedicated practice!

My goals:

1. To keep my DVD materials fresh in my mind. I will be shooting in February, and I need to make the process as efficient as possible. My script, etc is good to go. Just needing to keep working it.
2. To expand practice and challenge myself. New moves!
3. To work towards creating a new choreography. Some shows coming up, including Paris, Germany, and NYC.
4. To continue to build and maintain core strength with Pilates, Yoga and cardio (woods loop).
5. Continue and expand meditation practice.
6. Continue to improve as a teacher.
7. Behold myself with honor, compassion, self-love and gratitude. My body is a temple for my divinity.


Day 1
-I began the day excited to see snow!
-I taught a private 1 hr. Classical Bellydance lesson. So nice to be returning to what I was "raised" on in this way!
-Worked with basic Hatha yoga in cool down.
-Stretches, light Pilates.
-Off to the dog park! Running with Gwyddie around the park, throwing the ball. Our "after-walk". 1 mile.