Svadhyahya

I am practicing, learning, processing, growing, becoming.

July 21, 2014 at 1:45pm
0 notes
Marking a moment. I’ve just dropped an important packet in the mail - one that alternately shapes/hijacks my plans - and to some extent, my partner’s - for the next year. My brain wishes me to share all the logical, concrete, rational reasons why I would do this, but if I am honest, the real reasons aren’t rational. Call it intuition, a gut-feeling, heart-guidance, something my hands picked up on before my head (they usually do). No decision I’ve ever made this way has led to regret - even though not a single one of them turned out the way my mind predicted. With that piece of concrete truth - I’m giving myself over to curious excitement, about all that I’ll learn, to the unexpected turns and the unknown outcome. We never can see the whole thing at the beginning - and isn’t that amazing, actually? I begin bodywork school at the beginning of September. ✨🌱👐

Marking a moment. I’ve just dropped an important packet in the mail - one that alternately shapes/hijacks my plans - and to some extent, my partner’s - for the next year. My brain wishes me to share all the logical, concrete, rational reasons why I would do this, but if I am honest, the real reasons aren’t rational. Call it intuition, a gut-feeling, heart-guidance, something my hands picked up on before my head (they usually do). No decision I’ve ever made this way has led to regret - even though not a single one of them turned out the way my mind predicted. With that piece of concrete truth - I’m giving myself over to curious excitement, about all that I’ll learn, to the unexpected turns and the unknown outcome. We never can see the whole thing at the beginning - and isn’t that amazing, actually? I begin bodywork school at the beginning of September. ✨🌱👐

July 20, 2014 at 3:58pm
27 notes

"Joy is the kind of feeling a woman has when she lays the words down on paper just so, or hits the notes al punto, right on the head, the first time. Whew. Unbelievable. It is the kind of feeling a woman has when she finds she is pregnant and wants to be. It is the kind of joy a woman feels when she looks at people she loves enjoying themselves. It is the kind of joy a woman feels when she has done something that she feels dogged about, that she feels intense about, something that took risk, something that made her stretch, best herself, and succeed - maybe gracefully, maybe not, but she did it, created the something, the someone, the art, the battle, the moment, her life. That is a woman’s natural and instinctive state of being.” 

___

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p223-24

July 17, 2014 at 2:35pm
2 notes

I’m putting together a collection of photographs and stories. Yoga stories. Real stories. And I’m looking for YOURS.

Let me tell you how this all started. Almost a year ago, in response to a question from a prospective student (“How do I know you can teach me yoga when I don’t see any photos of you doing it?” – A legitimate question when the frame of reference for yoga is limited to the poses displayed with every article and advertisement.) I had been avoiding the issue, and I realized that I couldn’t keep on. I got curious. Was there a way to share photos of my own yoga practice that was in integrity for me, and took into account the relationship between my intention as the photographer/subject and the perceptions of the viewer? Was it possible to navigate the responsibility I feel to promote safety, personal responsibility, and inclusiveness in yoga practice? A way to provide visuals promoting conversation about what yoga is, that refused to exploit the fact that I mostly fit the prevailing visual paradigm of a yoga practitioner?

I began to explore, to try taking some photos and writing some words. These pieces have slowly become a part of my personal practice, that in my head is much more about the subtext than the image – about what you can’t see by looking at the photo. The photo that combined with the story might give a broader picture of a moment, or a practice, or an evolution. A pairing that opens the door for conversation, and opens minds about what yoga is, really, rather than giving any false impression of attainment. This is idealistic, I realize. And also not original, I see others of you out there, putting so much thought and sensitivity into how you share about your practice online. These postings, I suppose, have been my quiet contribution to the “yoga selfie” debates. I don’t know that I always succeed in affirmatively answering my own questions, but I’m actively examining my intent with every piece I post.

Back to this project, these yoga stories.

Here’s what I’m dreaming of.

I know there are others of you out there, who care about sensitive representation of this practice that means to much to us. And still others of you who have something to share, but have struggled to navigate how that might work, as I did. Here’s what I’m dreaming of. Maybe it’s an e-book. Or maybe it’s a Zine. I don’t really know (or particularly care) about the final form of the project just yet. What I do care about, deeply, is the content. And here’s where you come in. I’ve been sharing my stories and my images this way, and I want to hear yours. Beyond that, I want other people to hear your story.

I want these pairings of stories and images to be part of the conversation of what yoga is really all about, the impact that personal practice can have in our lives in both the near and long term, and of who does yoga. I want to see different body types, skin colors, genders and sexual orientations - different representations of flexibility and physical ability, and for sure I want some photos that don’t show asana or whatever human form you happen to take, at all. If your photo happens to show a pose, I want the story. It’s not the static picture of your backbend that I connect with – it’s your journey that gives it depth. I want images and stories that represent your yoga subtext, your broader story, your wider lens. What do you say? Have you got a subtext to share?

I’ll be taking submissions through the end of July. Email me at melhuntyt at melhunt dot com with a subject heading of “Yoga The Subtext” and your photo + your subtext story. Preference will be given to unconventional displays of yoga, diverse practitioners and types of practice (beyond just asana), and above all to great content – your best writing and images on this topic. Photos should be high quality (i.e. 300 dpi or above to allow for possible printing in case we should decide to go this route).

12:53pm
1 note
Including yourself. 

When I’m present for this self, there’s no hiding. When I’m present for you, I can see what you’re made of.

Including yourself.

When I’m present for this self, there’s no hiding. When I’m present for you, I can see what you’re made of.

9:51am
3 notes
It is 70 degrees and I am breathing. There is a slight breeze, cooler than my body temperature - and I shift back and forth between delighting in that sensation that magnifies the delineation between my skin and the air around me - and counting my breaths. I suppose, at some point in these moments, that maybe I should choose one or the other to focus on right now - and then I give over fully, to sensation… Only to notice at some point a shift in my breath (sensation too, of course) - this signals my brain and without thinking, I begin counting again, steadily, slowly inhaling 1, exhaling 1. Inhaling 2, exhaling 2. Inhaling 3… And then the air stirs across my neck, my jaw, my arms, and I leave the count behind once again. There are decisions that happen here - of course there are, but for the moment I let them slide by under the radar and allow this (undisciplined?) shift back and forth - external sensation/internal sensation, conscious counting, conscious awareness of my skin. Undisciplined or not, when I decide to move, I feel like a new person, more awake to this body and it’s senses, more aware of the sounds and sights and smells around me - damp earth and squirrels running, trees rustling and card passing sunshine breaking through the leaves, green and brown. More curious, open. Less pondering.

It is 70 degrees and I am breathing. There is a slight breeze, cooler than my body temperature - and I shift back and forth between delighting in that sensation that magnifies the delineation between my skin and the air around me - and counting my breaths. I suppose, at some point in these moments, that maybe I should choose one or the other to focus on right now - and then I give over fully, to sensation… Only to notice at some point a shift in my breath (sensation too, of course) - this signals my brain and without thinking, I begin counting again, steadily, slowly inhaling 1, exhaling 1. Inhaling 2, exhaling 2. Inhaling 3… And then the air stirs across my neck, my jaw, my arms, and I leave the count behind once again. There are decisions that happen here - of course there are, but for the moment I let them slide by under the radar and allow this (undisciplined?) shift back and forth - external sensation/internal sensation, conscious counting, conscious awareness of my skin. Undisciplined or not, when I decide to move, I feel like a new person, more awake to this body and it’s senses, more aware of the sounds and sights and smells around me - damp earth and squirrels running, trees rustling and card passing sunshine breaking through the leaves, green and brown. More curious, open. Less pondering.

July 16, 2014 at 12:45pm
0 notes
Sometimes, a cookie and a chat are just the things to turn the tide.

Sometimes, a cookie and a chat are just the things to turn the tide.

10:02am
0 notes
It is Wednesday morning and I am breathing. Sneaking in a little needed opening/inversion @mercury_studio before beginning my work. A creeping, unexplained sadness is heavy in my chest and I know - it’s ok. It will flow on in a few minutes, or a day, the current will change and another emotion will direct the flow. The less I resist it, try to think it through or make up stories about it, the easier it moves. The more I can float with this, the more the joy will carry me when next it comes. (I know this). #iampracticing What’s your practice this morning, friends?

It is Wednesday morning and I am breathing. Sneaking in a little needed opening/inversion @mercury_studio before beginning my work. A creeping, unexplained sadness is heavy in my chest and I know - it’s ok. It will flow on in a few minutes, or a day, the current will change and another emotion will direct the flow. The less I resist it, try to think it through or make up stories about it, the easier it moves. The more I can float with this, the more the joy will carry me when next it comes. (I know this). #iampracticing What’s your practice this morning, friends?

July 14, 2014 at 8:35am
0 notes
Intense and real feeling dreams lately. Which is not so normal for me (which is to say not normal at all). If there is any clarity in these fuzzy subconscious processings, it’s this: There’s no going back. I’m on my path.

Intense and real feeling dreams lately. Which is not so normal for me (which is to say not normal at all). If there is any clarity in these fuzzy subconscious processings, it’s this: There’s no going back. I’m on my path.

July 8, 2014 at 8:35am
1 note

Balance? Or BS? Bullshit, I say! More here: http://www.melhunt.com/balance-or-bs/ Rather self-conscious about putting this out - it’s still just a moment - #thesubtext still applies - you get that, right? But it demonstrates the concept so damn well! Oof!

July 7, 2014 at 9:54am
1 note
Playing around with locust and peacock prep because fun & I swear my fingers come almost down to my knees. Seriously. This, and my absolute inability peel my feet up off the floor results in fits of giggles. 🙌😄🙏

Playing around with locust and peacock prep because fun & I swear my fingers come almost down to my knees. Seriously. This, and my absolute inability peel my feet up off the floor results in fits of giggles. 🙌😄🙏

July 6, 2014 at 12:24pm
122 notes
Reblogged from sunshine-soulflower
sabriyasimonphotography:

~ Love YourSelf… ~ 

Oh yes. And one more, which I think is inherent: Don’t compare yourself. It dims that source that we so long to see. 

sabriyasimonphotography:

~ Love YourSelf… ~ 

Oh yes. And one more, which I think is inherent: Don’t compare yourself. It dims that source that we so long to see. 

(Source: sunshine-soulflower, via brisjoint)

July 5, 2014 at 5:42pm
2 notes
Dirty feet and a faded bookmarker and these words. Gratitude to @marihuertas for introducing me to Raymond Carver’s poetry. “I lay down for a nap. But every time I closed my eyes, mares’ tails passed slowly over the Strait toward Canada. And the waves. They rolled up on the beach and then back again. You know I don’t dream. But last night I dreamt we were watching a burial at sea. At first I was astonished. And then filled with regret. But you touched my arm and said, “No, it’s all right. She was very old, and he’d loved her all her life.”

Dirty feet and a faded bookmarker and these words. Gratitude to @marihuertas for introducing me to Raymond Carver’s poetry. “I lay down for a nap. But every time I closed my eyes, mares’ tails passed slowly over the Strait toward Canada. And the waves. They rolled up on the beach and then back again. You know I don’t dream. But last night I dreamt we were watching a burial at sea. At first I was astonished. And then filled with regret. But you touched my arm and said, “No, it’s all right. She was very old, and he’d loved her all her life.”

July 2, 2014 at 3:39pm
1 note
What are you practicing today, Friends? Today I’m practicing keeping it simple. Unfussy (if that’s a word). Imperfect. I can strike a pose at any time and feel out my hips and psoas and hamstrings. I can let go of needing to do just one more edit, release the wish for a better microphone, slicker editing skills, I can enjoy where I am, in all it’s seeming complexity - I can recognize that it’s not really. When it comes right down to it, my needs are pretty basic. Eat, breath, move, sleep, love (in whatever order they happen to show themselves) it can be - and is - this simple. #iampracticing check out the latest interview on #perspectivesonpractice with astrologer Nancy Lubar Sommers (link in my profile) - and share your practice with us using #iampracticing Tag me too, that’s always nice!

What are you practicing today, Friends? Today I’m practicing keeping it simple. Unfussy (if that’s a word). Imperfect. I can strike a pose at any time and feel out my hips and psoas and hamstrings. I can let go of needing to do just one more edit, release the wish for a better microphone, slicker editing skills, I can enjoy where I am, in all it’s seeming complexity - I can recognize that it’s not really. When it comes right down to it, my needs are pretty basic. Eat, breath, move, sleep, love (in whatever order they happen to show themselves) it can be - and is - this simple. #iampracticing check out the latest interview on #perspectivesonpractice with astrologer Nancy Lubar Sommers (link in my profile) - and share your practice with us using #iampracticing Tag me too, that’s always nice!

June 25, 2014 at 3:34pm
0 notes
Twice over the last week, I have said: “I’m looking for integration”, and someone has brought the image of a tree into the discussion (Thank you, wise ones.)

So, today, today I am practicing integration. I’m practicing thinking about my projects and various efforts as branches of a tree, with me, with this central concept of practice as the trunk. I’m tired of separating out my projects and my parts, my branches, labeling this one worthy and that one not ready and another undeveloped or unacceptable. I’m tired of bending my whole trunk to one side, leaning in with my whole heart and when I spring back up feeling like I’ve chopped off a limb elsewhere and neglected something (or someone). I’m tired of carving up pieces, this belongs here, that there. I’m ready for more integration. I’m ready to see where these branches connect and overlap to form a canopy, I’m ready to feed all the limbs at one time, from the same source. I’m ready for synergy and cross pollination and taking this life more as a WHOLE experience. 

I’m tired of pretending that some of these branches are separate, to make them more accessible or avoid offending anyone. I’m tired of trying (and failing) to keep up separate social media profiles for these different projects and my business and oh, my self. This is me. This is my life, my whole life. All of it’s parts and pieces. All of the things that I am passionate about. All of the arms I’m longing to get to and can’t, actually, if I’ve lobbed them off and stacked them to the side. I’m practicing, in some tiny ways today, letting some things go in order to begin that process of bringing everything home. Simplifying. Paring down, in order to focus on the ways that everything connects. In order to find the overlap, the notches that all the branches spring from - no longer to delineate, but to celebrate and embrace the common root. 

Today, I’m going to share some of the wonderful practices by others under #iampracticing. I hope you enjoy them. And I’d love to know: What are YOU practicing today?

Twice over the last week, I have said: “I’m looking for integration”, and someone has brought the image of a tree into the discussion (Thank you, wise ones.)

So, today, today I am practicing integration. I’m practicing thinking about my projects and various efforts as branches of a tree, with me, with this central concept of practice as the trunk. I’m tired of separating out my projects and my parts, my branches, labeling this one worthy and that one not ready and another undeveloped or unacceptable. I’m tired of bending my whole trunk to one side, leaning in with my whole heart and when I spring back up feeling like I’ve chopped off a limb elsewhere and neglected something (or someone). I’m tired of carving up pieces, this belongs here, that there. I’m ready for more integration. I’m ready to see where these branches connect and overlap to form a canopy, I’m ready to feed all the limbs at one time, from the same source. I’m ready for synergy and cross pollination and taking this life more as a WHOLE experience.

I’m tired of pretending that some of these branches are separate, to make them more accessible or avoid offending anyone. I’m tired of trying (and failing) to keep up separate social media profiles for these different projects and my business and oh, my self. This is me. This is my life, my whole life. All of it’s parts and pieces. All of the things that I am passionate about. All of the arms I’m longing to get to and can’t, actually, if I’ve lobbed them off and stacked them to the side. I’m practicing, in some tiny ways today, letting some things go in order to begin that process of bringing everything home. Simplifying. Paring down, in order to focus on the ways that everything connects. In order to find the overlap, the notches that all the branches spring from - no longer to delineate, but to celebrate and embrace the common root.

Today, I’m going to share some of the wonderful practices by others under #iampracticing. I hope you enjoy them. And I’d love to know: What are YOU practicing today?

June 24, 2014 at 10:25am
2 notes
New shapes. Body confusion. Which hand is this? Which way is up? Where to lengthen and where to lift? The listening is harder here, there’s so much noise. Focus. *Listen*… When I put my body in a new shape, and feel past the awkwardness, ask the questions: And? What else? There are messages, sensation everywhere. Lengthen here for space in my lumbar spine, stretch in the hip flexors. Apply strength here, carefully, for the lift. Breath space into upper back and stretch up through the base of my skull. Feel. Observe. Receive those cues that say: Time to let go. Further follow my body’s inclination to counter this, to soften and release - child’s pose, gentle twists. The information is there, and although it agrees with my training in anatomy, counter posing, alignment and safety - in (this particular) moment, the movement has nothing to do with my intellect and everything to do with my intuition. The practice is listening. Feeling. Following. The outer form means nothing if I’m not present to my experience of being in it. It’s not a static thing. It’s fluid, evolving, moment to moment (when I do this well - which is not always - which is why I practice, with asana and otherwise.) #iampracticing #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #dhanurasana #yogateacher #selfpractice

New shapes. Body confusion. Which hand is this? Which way is up? Where to lengthen and where to lift? The listening is harder here, there’s so much noise. Focus. *Listen*… When I put my body in a new shape, and feel past the awkwardness, ask the questions: And? What else? There are messages, sensation everywhere. Lengthen here for space in my lumbar spine, stretch in the hip flexors. Apply strength here, carefully, for the lift. Breath space into upper back and stretch up through the base of my skull. Feel. Observe. Receive those cues that say: Time to let go. Further follow my body’s inclination to counter this, to soften and release - child’s pose, gentle twists. The information is there, and although it agrees with my training in anatomy, counter posing, alignment and safety - in (this particular) moment, the movement has nothing to do with my intellect and everything to do with my intuition. The practice is listening. Feeling. Following. The outer form means nothing if I’m not present to my experience of being in it. It’s not a static thing. It’s fluid, evolving, moment to moment (when I do this well - which is not always - which is why I practice, with asana and otherwise.) #iampracticing #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #dhanurasana #yogateacher #selfpractice