Sunday, October 13, 2019

Apple Branch Tree Earth Universe L'shana Tova Namaste

I saw the comedic stylings of JP Sears, aka "The Ultraspiritual Guy" aka the "Woke AF" guy, last night. His comedy is one part new age humor, one part mock-new-age humor, one part world-observation, one part self-observation, and a heaping helping of sarcasm (sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet).

This was the third time I've been in the audience for one of his live performances. The jokes and stories ranged from making fun of traditional male and female roles in marriage (men shouldn't put the seat down because doing asserts the misogynistic precept that women are too weak and shy to do it for themselves) to skewering the "success" of homosexual conversation therapy camps (because nothing changes people's innate sexual orientations like putting the fear of electroshock treatment in front of them).

The audience, I'm sure a very socially open-minded group, was game for whatever he was willing to share, though at times audience responses were groans as I feel as if he very much had us questioning our own hidden biases. One of his humor hallmarks is to go on eloquent effusive rants that we first think are rallies against our "enemies" but turn out to be thought provoking diatribes that make us turn inward and question the very nature of our own deepest beliefs. Pause. Laughter. Next subject. It's marvelously disarming if you're game.

He closed the show with an analogy about how we as individual tend to view ourselves as unique, and separate from everything else, using apples on a tree as stand in for us. He waxed poetic about if we open up our minds, we would realize that those apples, as juicy and unique as we are, are connected to something bigger than ourselves - A BRANCH - that provides us with nutrients, life, and support.

For a while, we sit in wonder at the concept of that connectedness and knowledge of the branch, and maybe even the fact that there are OTHER APPLES. We still have our own apple-ness, but there is a network, that branch, and we are actually part of a bigger organism.

Then after a while of chewing on that concept, we realize, that we aren't just an apple on a branch with other apples. That branch is actually connected to an something even bigger: A TREE. A big living vibrant tree with hundreds of branches maybe even hundreds of other apples. Our minds spin at the implications we never before considered: we are connected to a tree that provides lasting support, complex communication, a huge network for growth and prosperity and future beyond our little branch. 

That keeps our minds busy for another long while, but then we realize that tree is also connected to  something even bigger: THE EARTH. The tree roots hold fast into the earth, and one that earth there might be hundreds upon hundreds of trees, or other organisms, all interconnected, all with branches, or smaller parts, all with apples, or fruit, or unique individuals that are both dependent upon and networked together within it.

From the realization of the earth we eventually expand our consciousnesses to the realize the solar system, and the galaxy, maybe even the universe and the dimension beyond time and space.

JP said that's what it's like to take ayuhuasca (laugh track). But, the geometric, exponential, fractal, and Einstein-esque nature of the story doesn't have to lead to a punch line. 

We are all unique individuals. We spend a lot of time just being apples, turning inward and never realizing just how interconnected we are to each other much less someone on the other side of the earth. Too often we focus on what makes the others different from us, or what makes us less or more than something else, or what is wrong with the world.

Our yoga practice can help us find of our own inner "apple," and give it all the nurturing it needs to be beautiful, healthy, strong, flexible, and feeling unique. Then we can recognize, appreciate, and in turn nuture and other apples, branches, trees, etc.

In the spirit of the Jewish New Year I think the apple analogy, is quite appropriate. May you all have a sweet year, may the shiny apple in each of us always acknowledge the other. Namaste.

Friday, September 20, 2019

TGIF. SLDCYALGL!

Thank goodness it's Friday - so let's do yoga at he Lemon Grove Library! Our Chair Yoga class was resurrected after August hiatus at the Lemon Grove Library September 6, at the new time of 12:00 pm!

It's been slow to start so I hope with the San Diego heat finally staying below 90°F (although the library IS a Cool Zone) that folks are interested in coming out for an hour of gentle, chair-based yoga.

I have great shoulder and neck releasing stretches planned, along with core-strengtheners, hip-stabilizers, and balance-enhancing standing postures (always optional), and a lovely guided mindfulness meditation to play for our savasana (resting sequence), so I hope you'll consider joining us at 3001 School Lane, Lemon Grove, CA 91945.

Park on the street for two hours, or in the lot across the street next to the Fire Station. You can also park at the back of the library on Licoln and walk around the building to the main entrance on School. We meet in the Community Room to the left of the main doors.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Yoga and Loving Your Brain

Exerpted from the LoveYourBrain Foundation LoveYourBrainYoga Teacher Training Manual:

"In a way, both yoga and meditation are 'brain exercises' that engage different parts of the brain on the components of practice (breathing, movement, postures, chanting, visualization, concentration), and can help the brain form new connections and recover from injuries, or as we call it, to stimulate neuroplasticity." - Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS, UCLA

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Yoga Mat Review by ConsumersAdvocate.org

Another group reached out to me about promoting their yoga mat reviews, and happily I oblige. For your consumption I offer information from Consumers Advocate website.

Their claim is that they review mats based on four major criteria: Functionality, Eco-Friendliness, Value and Design.

They put in over 300 hours, used 90 sources to gather information, and reviewed mats of 11 companies to come up with a comprehensive guide to eco-friendly, non-toxic yoga mats. This is the 2019 list, updated as of August, 29. Please, enjoy!

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/yoga-mat

For more on yoga mats, search blog for "yoga mat reviews."

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mockingbirds on the mailbox


mockingbird fledglings
chirp back at my birding sounds
who’s mocking who now

yellow beaks always wide
begging to be filled with fat
grubs flies bees and worms




mockingbird mother
dives feather close to my ear
she knows i’m a fraud

curious how they
cock their heads sideways not just
wary but observing


three weeks to learn all
the different avian tunes
they’ll sing when they leave