Yoga + Pilates = Embodied Art

Lotus Pose on Pilates Reformer. Romney Pilates July 2017.
Lotus Pose on Pilates Reformer. Romney Pilates July 2017. Photo: Selfie

Love for and fascination with movement, alignment, and the body has only deepened since beginning this  dance with the Pilates reformer. Alignment based yoga is not (as commonly thought) a static practice.  A common thread running through both alignment based yoga and Pilates is the pursuit and practice of finding the most agreeable relationship between parts of the body and infusing those biomechanics with expanded breath or Prana. Alignment is the clear unobstructed flow of Prana through the body. Alignment in asana (yoga poses) becomes more refined and intuitive with study and practice. The same is true in Pilates practice. Alignment based movement practices can literally enhance the intuitive intelligence of the body’s systems as well as clear the inner-body energetic pathways for a heightened sense of comfort in embodiment. Over time an alignment based practice moves from physical to subtle-body awareness. This introduction of feeling and sensibility to technique  evolves into art.

#YogaGeek #Contrology #Pilates #YogaBirds

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The Yoga Is Everything

Barre Handstand. New Orleans, 2016.  Photo: MBuffett
Barre Handstand. New Orleans, 2016. Photo: Madeleine Rose at Romney Pilates.

Yoga is an umbrella term that encompasses states of mind, body, and being. It’s a lifestyle and a practice. It’s a goal and a means to the goal.

The word ‘yoga’ means union. When we are unified in body, mind, and breath we are in the here and now. For me, this sustained, present-moment awareness is the ultimate goal of any fitness endeavor  whether it be power yoga, foam rolling, pilates, Megaformer, cycling, jogging…
So when people ask me if I teach yoga anymore, I say … Yes! The yoga is Everything! Peace of mind, body, movement, and breath.
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Peace My Heart

The Tree of Life, Audubon Park, New Orleans, August 2016. Photo: MBuffett

For my friend Lynda Lou… who always lit the way for me.

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

~ Rabindranath Tagore


In Praise of Trees – Rabindranath Tagore

Tree of Life, Audubon Park. August 2016.
Tree of Life, Audubon Park. August 2016. Photo: MBuffett

“O profound, silent tree, by restraining valour with patience, you revealed creative power in its peaceful form. Thus we come to your shade to learn the art of peace, to hear the word of silence; weighed down with anxiety, we come to rest in your tranquil blue-green shade, to take into our souls life rich, life ever juvenescent, life true to earth, life omni-victorious.”  ~From ‘In Praise of Trees’, by Rabindranath Tagore

To Be Awake Is To Be Alive ~Henry David Thoreau

Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose. Photo: MBuffett
Yoga Practice. Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose. Photo: MBuffett

Even in the midst of a world weary with heavy and depressing events, I still, everyday, aim to live as fully present and awake as possible. On occasion it comes easily. Most days I rely on practices of meditation and mindful movement to illuminate the path that reawakens me to the realities of joy, love, and bliss.

Today is the 199th birthday of Henry David Thoreau. His timeless wisdom on what it means to be fully awake…

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

~HDT from WhereI Lived, and What I Lived For


Rainbow Wisdom

Summer Rainbow. Audubon Park, New Orleans. July 5, 2016. Photo: MBuffett
Summer Rainbow. Audubon Park, New Orleans. July 5, 2016. Photo: MBuffett

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.” ~Maya Angelou

Cast Off Your Worn Out Garments

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Handstand Variation. Perdido Key FL, June 2016. Photo: MBuffett

“The yogi conquers the body by the practice of asana and makes it a fit vehicle for the spirit. He knows that it is a necessary vehicle for the spirit. Soul without a body is like a bird deprived of it’s power to fly. They yogi does not fear death, for time must take its toll of all flesh. He knows that the body is constantly changing and is affected by childhood, youth, and old age. Birth and death are natural phenomena but the soul is not subject to birth and death. As a man casting off worn-out garments takes on new ones, so the dweller within the body casting aside worn out bodies enters into others that are new.” ~BKS Iyengar

Happy International Yoga Day

Salamba Sirsasana II (Tripod Headstand). Photo Credit: Maddy Rose at Romney Pilates. May 2016.
Salamba Sirsasana II (Tripod Headstand). Photo Credit: Maddy Rose at Romney Pilates. May 2016.

“A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a Yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is still for the practice of yoga, the Yogi by the grace of the spirit within himself finds fulfillment. Then he knows the joy eternal which is beyond the pale of the senses which his reason cannot grasp. He abides in this reality and moves not therefrom. He has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher than this. He who has achieved it, shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. This is the real meaning of yoga – deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.” ~BKS Iyengar

Footprints In Your Heart

Footprints In Your Heart. Gulf Shores, AL. Feb 2016. Photo: Mbuffett
Footprints In Your Heart. Gulf Shores, AL. Feb 2016. Photo: Mbuffett

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

And There’s The World

With Reggie. New orleans. March 2016. Photo:MBuffett
With Reggie and a Singing Bowl. New Orleans. March 2016. Photo:MBuffett

“When we pause, allow a gap and breathe deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly, we slow down, and there’s the world.” -Pema Chodron