Yoga + Pilates = Embodied Art

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017
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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Follow @YogaBirds on Twitter & Facebook

To Be Awake Is To Be Alive ~Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
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

 

Happy International Yoga Day

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
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

Time Is Now

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (Sundial Pose). New Orleans. March 2016. Photo: MBuffett
Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (Sundial Pose). New Orleans. March 2016. Photo: MBuffett

Ksana Pratiyogi Parinama Aparanta Nirgrahyah Kramah
-Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 4.33

There is no longer a need to focus on the past, or even the future. All unfolds as it should. The yogi finds peace in the present moment.

Practice Notes …

Sunday, October 11th, 2015
Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Upside-Down Tree Pose. New Orleans, October 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Upside-Down Tree Pose. New Orleans, October 2015. Photo: MBuffett

“I would say that the thrust of my life has been initially about getting free, and then realizing that my freedom is not independent of everybody else. Then I am arriving at that circle where one works on oneself as a gift to other people so that one doesn’t create more suffering. I help people as a work on myself and I work on myself to help people.”

-Ram Dass

Source For Soaring

Thursday, September 17th, 2015
Practice. Everyday. Steadfast. Clarity. Romney Pilates, New Orleans, September 2015.
Practice. Everyday. Steadfast. Clarity. New Orleans, September 2015.

There is joy, a winelike freedom that dissolves the mind and restores the spirit, and there is manly fortitude like the king’s, a reasonableness that accepts the bewildered lostness.

But meditate now on steadfastness and clarity, and let those be the wings that lift and soar through the celestial spheres.

-Rumi

Abhyasa and the Hot Buddha

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Showing up. Romney Pilates. September 2015
Showing up. Romney Pilates. September 2015

Abhyasa: continuous endeavor; constant practice; repetition; exercise; exertion (from A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy; Sanskrit Terms Defined in English)

“And so I practice without knowing how it will all turn out. Clearly, along with clarity and faith, my commitment requires some will and effort. As Patanjali says in verse 14, establishing a firm foundation in practice requires sustained exertion over time. Commitment to practicing means I practice if it is easy for me, and I practice if it is hard for me. If I am bored, I practice; if I am enthusiastic, I practice; if I am at home, I practice; if I am on vacation, I practice. There is a saying in Buddhism: If it is hot, be a hot Buddha. If it is cold, be a cold Buddha. This is the consistency and determination in practice that Patanjali means when he speaks of abhyasa. In the beginning, this sustained exertion may be an act of will, an act of ego. But as we continue, the practice itself creates a momentum that propels us through the difficult moments of fear and boredom.”

-From Yoga Journal article, Hot Buddha Cold Buddha by  Judith Hanson Lasater

be happy. becOMe this mOMent

Monday, August 17th, 2015
River Road Train Tracks, New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
River Road Train Tracks, New Orleans, August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Being able to stop and be aware of the present moment is part of the definition of happiness. It is not possible to be happy in the future. This is not a matter of belief; this is a matter of experience.

- from Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh

Lotus : Sweetness In The Depths

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
Urdhva Padmasana, New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Supported Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Facing Lotus), New Orleans, July 2015. Photo: MBuffett

LOTUS

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.

-Rabindranath Tagore