On an exquisite day in San Antonio, Texas, I find myself once again at Starbucks. My favorite place to office, I come here almost daily, working through the afternoon as I enJoy unlimited green tea and great internet.
What is the real reason I continue to office at Starbucks? People. I love people. That is funny coming from an introvert. Last year, when visiting Portland, Oregon, I was introduced to the Starbucks yummy ‘light ice, no sugar added’ green tea by my dear friend and Nia colleague, Laurie Bass. Upon returning to San Antonio, I began my search for the perfect location. After my first experience of seeing people I knew and meeting many new faces, I knew I was in the right place. ♥️
I’ve had conversations with the mayor of our beautiful city, people who recognized me as ‘The Synergy Studio owner’, people who were new to the area, as well as those who I’ve known for many years. I can put on ear buds and smile at people without getting into a conversation, or engage the person next to me, offering them a card and some words about Nia®, Transformational Breath®,Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates Reformer, Drum Circles, Salsa, JourneyDance, special workshops… any and all that we offer at the studio. When I’m in the mood, I don’t hold back! ♥️
I have a mantra, “BE the change that WE want to see in the world.” Yes, it is borrowed, and yes, I pass it on daily. How are WE going to make a difference otherwise?
No advice here, just wisdom. Don’t hold back from the world. Speak of your passions, your desires, your affirmations, and I guarantee that positive energy will ignite inside you, as well as around you. AbunDance will be yours.
My word for the studio? IGNITE. My personal word for my life? ABUNDANCE. Live from the place of IGNITE-ing ABUNDANCE, and your life will change. Guess what? You will bring the world with you! ♥️
Oh! And stop by a Starbucks with your computer and personal cup. They have unlimited green tea and unlimited possibilities to explore! ♥️
In Nia, we talk about the ‘5 Sensations of Functional Fitness.’ Bringing awareness of these five sensations into our daily life, we can activate them in any given moment. They are all present in our body. An acronym to remember them… FAMSS!
Flexibility… the sensation of energy moving out along the bones, opening and creating space for change. ♥️
Agility… the sensation of energy starting and stopping, like the movements of a child, quick and explosive. ♥️
Mobility… the sensation of energy in constant motion, flowing like a river; like the movement of every cell in our body. ♥️
Strength… the sensation of energy moving in, complementing Flexibility as muscles contract and we say, “Yes! This is my body!” ♥️
Stability… the sensation of energy moving in all directions, complementing Mobility. The mama of all sensations, stability allows us to stand upright, to reach out our hand, to dance, to walk, all without falling into gravity. ♥️
We can IGNITE these sensations not only in our body, but also in our emotions, our mind, and our spirit, keeping all 4 realms healthy and balanced.
As I am learning the magnificent new Nia routine by Ann Christiansen, I am focusing on these sensations, adding one or two every week. Adding a sensation(s), I am also adding one or two more songs to my playlist. Combining the unfamiliar with the familiar, creating ease in the student’s, as well as my realms. No rushing. No need to get it right. Lots of smiles, laughter and “Well, oops… let that go and freedance! We’ll come back to the movement when the teacher remembers it!”
It has been a magical way of incorporating this amazing routine into not only my body, but also the students’. I am cherishing seeing them learn the katas and many times cueing me with the next sequence.
Sharing my creative process of the playlists below. enJoy! My wish for you is to IGNITE ease, smiles, laughter, grace, and armfuls of love! ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
Next week? IGNITE-ing the FUN of the routine, loose + tight!
IGNITE-ing Love… let’s BE the change! Adelle ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
For 15 years, I have named the year for The Synergy Studio. I wait patiently for the mandate from Spirit. ♥️
This year’s mandate came from the brand new Niaroutine that was just released yesterday, December 31, 2019. The name of Ann Christianson’s masterful work is ‘IGNITE.’ Perfect.
What positive intentions can you IGNITE this year? There are endless possibilities…
Ignite gratitude. ♥️
Ignite inclusiveness. ♥️
Ignite abundance. ♥️
Ignite compassion. ♥️
Ignite breath. ♥️
Ignite joy. ♥️
Ignite awareness. ♥️
Ignite passion. ♥️
Ignite intuition. ♥️
Ignite creativity. ♥️
Ignite transformation. ♥️
Ignite courage. ♥️
Ignite kindness. ♥️
Ignite peace. ♥️
Ignite love. ♥️
And the list goes on… and on… and on. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Everyday, we have the opportunity to begin our day with positive affirmations that will raise the vibration and carry us through the day ♥️ BE-ing the change. BE-ing a sacred athlete who walks his/her talk, who stands up for others, who gives without a need for return, making a difference moment to moment. The smallest gestures of kindness can make another person’s day. If we make choices based in love, we will IGNITE a positive flow of energy that will BE the change. ♥️
We are all spirits embodied in flesh, here to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. In the balance of everyday, we must also find the time to take care of ourselves, nurturing the duality of who we are. Honoring the Yin as well as the Yang.
I hope you will join me and others this week in class, as we find internal balance that is essential to existence, BE-ing present with the messages that our body sends us. Balancing in/out, strength/flexibility, up/down, body/spirit are all ways to recognize the necessity of taking care of ourselves, so we can also be of service to others. Yin/Yang.
When we go to a class or participate in a physical activity in the company of others, we nurture not only our body, but also our spirit. Nurturing our soul surrounded by people who support us on our path, even if we choose to be quiet, feeds the essence of who we are, as human BE-ings.
More from Madisyn Taylor, of DailyOm, on duality, and balancing body/spirit:
BY MADISYN TAYLOR Our bodies are living, breathing expressions of our consciousness and should be treated as such. Striking the right balance between our physical and spiritual aspects is one of the most challenging aspects of existence. We are dual beings by nature, spiritual entities bound to earth by physical bodies. In our lifetimes, we are charged with the duty of nurturing and tending both with equal devotion and love. Yet while both aspects of the self are deserving of honor and respect, there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order. We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our beings.
If the soul is the inward manifestation of our consciousness, the body is the living, breathing expression of that consciousness. The physical self provides the home in which the spiritual self takes root and flourishes. Just as we must tend to the seed of the soul to ensure that it grows strong, so, too, must we care for the protective shell that is the body to make certain it is capable of playing its role in our development. Though there will no doubt be times in our lives when we feel more comfortable focusing on the spiritual self or the physical self, denying the fundamental importance of one or the other can lead to ill health, emotional distress, and a sense of incompleteness. Both facets of the human experience play a vital role in our well-being.
The body and the soul are the yin and yang of our current reality. They are, at this point of human evolution, irreparably bound together, and many spiritual teachers agree that the body is one of the greatest vehicles through which to access the soul. In fact, many believe that our spirit has chosen to be embodied as an essential part of our spiritual development. Consequently, it is the responsibility of each person on the planet to forge a marriage between the two, so that these disparate aspects bring out the best in each other, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and workable whole.
I receive both the Rivard Report and the San Antonio Express-News electronically everyday. I peruse the headlines, reading some articles that catch my eye, saving others for later, and filtering through the dark energy of many. Knowing the presence of polarities, I see the importance of Yang/Yin, dark/light, wrong/right, while understanding the alchemy that happens in the both/and
Being a warrior who questions all, I live my life in both/and. It is my purpose to open pathways for healing paved in love. I cannot do that in an either/or world. Listening to the silence, I hear the magic of sound, and all the nuances in between. Walking in the dark, I see the light, and the beauty of color that emerges in the middle.
I hope you will join me this week, as we celebrate my 60th revolution around the sun, Tuesday, January 29 at 6:30pm.
Drop by The Synergy Studio, for a beverage, a bite and bit of alchemy. Seeing you and being in commUnity is the greatest gift of all. Love donations to our non-profit, The Synergy Studio Community, will help us move our floors as we step forward into a bright future, BEing the alchemists of light and spreading the magic of love. The Synergy Studio is a healing space for everyBody.
‘We live in a world full of polarities and reconciling these opposites is often perplexing.
Well, which is it — “out of sight, out of mind” or “absence makes the heart grow fonder”?
Come on now and choose. It has to be one or the other, right? Maybe, maybe not. False dichotomies, false dilemmas or false choices are fallacies that dictate an “either/or” position without allowances for other positions. This type of faulty reasoning seems prevalent in the world today. “You’re either with us or against us.”
Really, says who?
The late author Robert Fulgrum was probably best known for his book “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten,” but he also wrote one called “Maybe, Maybe Not.” In it, he explored, among other things, this idea of pairs of opposites. He recounted that at times teaching art, he would wear two buttons, one on each side of his smock. One said, “Trust Me, I’m a Teacher” and the other said, “Question Authority.”
Consider these pairs of proverbs or sayings. Look before you leap/he who hesitates is lost; better safe than sorry/nothing ventured nothing gained; don’t judge a book by its cover/clothes make the man; the squeaky wheel gets the grease/silence is golden; many hands make light work/too many cooks spoil the broth.
At first they appear contradictory, but upon further examination we see that context is key. These statements are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Instead of “either/or,” perhaps we should consider “both/and.”
Of course, under highly defined conditions there are mutually exclusive instances. For example, heads or tails in coin tosses and odd or even numbers. Someone might think that “night and day” would be an example also, but what about twilight and dawn?
We live in a world full of polarities, and reconciling these opposites is often perplexing. We use pattern recognition, comparing and contrasting to help navigate our lives. Most people are at least cursorily familiar with the Taoist symbol of universal opposites yin and yang, the circle of two “fishes” of black and white flowing from and into one another. Without going into a lengthy discussion of the properties of the elements, this symbol represents the interdependency of opposites.
One note, however, is that the contrasting dot, or “eye,” in each section represents the seed or potential of the other in each side. Thus this symbol illustrates how any pair of opposites can also be both/and instead of only either/or.
There are some people who, if they started reading this column, probably stopped before this point. They have little tolerance for the ideas contained here, which they would likely characterize as “fuzzy” thinking. They are straight and precise. Their paths are clear and exclusive of the other. The concept of either/or suits their mien.
Their existence is natural and proper. These people are the “yang” side to the “yin” of other people who are more holistic and favor the idea of both/and.
So class, your assignment, due in one week, is an essay (1,000 word minimum) with proper citations comparing and contrasting the philosophies of dualism and Monism.
Have a nice weekend!
John Eubanks is author of the book “Life Support of Another Sort,” and a former teacher and actor who lives in Converse. He can be reached at email@example.com
We are Celebrating Life again for our 12th Annual New Year’s Day Ceremonial Celebration!
With musicians playing the Hong, Crystal Bowls, Tibetan Bowls, and Rain Stick, we will set our intentions during a meditation/reflection time. After putting our intentions on paper, they will be ‘flash’ burned and sent up to the Universe… and then???? A ROCKING Drum and Dance Circle!
In this era of divisiveness, its time to come together, sharing what we love, and co-creating CHANGE.
I’ve long been a believer in integrating multiple inspirational practices, adding them to my life so I can learn and grow. In addition, I love sharing them with people, as well as encouraging them to experience and learn from the MANY amazing healing modalities offered around the world.
With my love of bringing commUNITY together, I don’t hesitate to talk to others about these amazing practices, whether sitting on a airplane (which I do often!), standing in the grocery line, or attending a black tie affair. It always starts with a smile, then the question, “How are you?”, followed by a gentle segue into what I’ve been integrating into my life. Inevitably, the people I’m chatting with say, “Wow, that is awesome. Tell me more.” Many times, it is followed by, “Where can I find this? I want to do it!” Out comes a card.
It is about BE-ing the change that I want to see in the world. It is about sensing the need to return to simplicity, and our connection to others. It is about my belief that we are all light-beings, shape-shifters who have a desire to make a difference. It is about my passion for our human race, our humanity.
WE need to come together and share, integrating these amazing practices that we sense for ourselves and want for others. WE need to work together, to be the change that WE want to see in the world.
On Thursday this week, during my weekly Nia FreeDance class, I had two brand-new-to-Nia young mothers. They were told by another young mother that they ‘had to come, let it go, and do something for themselves.’ They were both in tears throughout class, tears of joy. THAT is the change that is needed in our world, emotional flow, truth-telling, and living from the heart.
Friday evening, I was honored to attend the first-ever teaching experience by someone who walked into her initial Nia class with me three years ago. She was coming out of a yoga class at the studio and heard laughter from the other space. After investigating, she joined us, and her transformation began. Three years later, and many classes in both Nia and Nia FreeDance, this ‘Intuitive Pediatric’ Physician began to explore other movement modalities. Her first class last night was her step into the waters, teaching a beginning Conscious Dance series. She had 15 people attend! Thank you to the world of Conscious Dance with over 100 iterations, and Mark Metz, the connector. Check out what he just published this week about the studio. Deep gratitude Mark!
As I look forward to a week of teaching Nia, Nia FreeDance and Yoga classes daily, I am pumped! I am even MORE excited about the special class I’m teaching early Wednesday morning at 6:15am. Fifty scientists, nutritionists and physical therapists are coming to the studio from the National Cattlemen’s Association convention. They emailed me about teaching an early morning yoga class, and after speaking with passion about all that we offer at the studio, they decided they wanted it all… Nia,Yoga,Breath. I’ll sneak in other practices too. An hour with 50 brand-new people who are studying the importance of protein for health, their findings to be published in the future.
All it took was a smile, a question as I listened, and then a segue into my passion.
My passion for humanity and all that WE can offer for BE-ing the change.
It DOES take a village. In fact, it takes a Universe.
Where’s the fun? A question that one of my greatest mentors used to ask.
Carlos Aya Rosas, co-founder of Nia Technique, was famous for this statement, especially in moments when it seemed non-existent. Laughter always followed the question!
FUN is always with us. When we notice the smallest of delights… the morning reflection of the rising sun on the trees, the big eyes of a child staring at us in a restaurant, the wiggle of a baby when he hears music, the snuggle of a dachshund under the covers in the middle of the night… small delights that are FUN!
I’ve been focusing a lot in the last month on setting positive intentions in motion, as well as the ‘issues in our tissues’ discussing our fascia. They are all inter-related, and we can add FUN into the mix.
When I move my body, do my 100 Breaths to Joy in the morning, or even when I’m in shavasana or sukasana in yoga, I can sense energy running through my tissues. This sensation is one that is coming from my fascia. When I acknowledge this sensation with gratitude, saying a positive intention such as “I am flowing with ease,” I feel a warm, uplifting lightness, and I say… “THIS is fun!” Sometimes I even laugh out loud!
Intention + Gratitude = Fascia FUN. My new mantra!