Wren's 6am Study Vibes
INTRODUCTION TO NIYAMA FLOW
Welcome! Recently, I have been wanting to go deeper into my own knowledge of the traditional yoga practice... wanting to delve deeper than the few hours I set aside each week. In class, we hear beautiful sanskrit words, come together in community and dream of a day where we are completely at peace for infinite moments. There are sounds of gongs and smell of burning palo santo... Then you get in your car and someone honks at you or you arrive home to a discussion about why the kitchen was left a mess and completely taken out of your yoga bliss. Though, these little "come-up-ances" are inevitable, how can I let them roll off my shoulder? How can I put into practice all the things I've read and believe to be true? How can I release myself of the concerns of my own mind?
This was my inspiration! I am going to stop wishing and hoping for someone else to make life perfect for me. Thinking that if x, y and z just happen, THEN! I will be where I want to be. Expecting other people to have everything I need in order to be happy. I need to dive in and do the work for myself. Learn, grow, challenge myself and update the narrative of my life.
The class series I am creating is called "Niyama Flow". The 5 Niyamas are internal practices which is just one of the ways toward enlightenment written about in Patajali's 8 limbed path. Don't worry, we won't get deep into the original texts, but we will use each Niyama as a way to infuse our minds with the power of intention.
I'd like to invite you to join me. I will post ideas to think about, quick notes when I wake up at six in the morning, pictures, etc. Whether you'd like to attend class (Tuesdays at 5:30pm - 10/24 - 12/19), read along, or participate in both, I'd love to bring together as much energy as we can around these ideas.
Lots of love,
Yoga Teacher and Regular Ol' Gal Looking for Progress
WHAT IS SAUCA?
Cleanliness achieved through asana
Purification of the blood
Nourishment of the cells
Purification of the mind
Purity of the physical body
Treat the body and mind like a temple
When one is pure and clean in mind, body and spirit there is
harmony with the environment
ease in the everyday
Breath - Pranayama
Twists - Compressions & Release
Backbends & Forward Folds
Parivritta Utkatasana - Twisted Chair
Parivritta Baddha Konasana - Twisted Butterfly
Uttanasana - Forward Fold
Janu Sirsasana - Head to Knee Forward Bend
Halasana - Plow Pose
Salamba Sarvangasana - Shoulder Stand
Ustrasana - Camel Pose
Utthita Parsvakonasana - Side Angle Pose
Urdhva Dhanurasana - Full Wheel
Savasana - Corpse Pose
Where do you even begin?!
Everyone's process is a little different and you may start with any element (story, look, music, character, apparatus, etc), but often if you're VERY lost and overwhelmed (so many possibilities! so many ideas!), it may be helpful to start with MUSIC.
Where do I find potential music for my performance?
A good place to begin is your favorite music streaming service (Pandora, Iheartradio, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, etc). I personally like Amazon Prime Music. If you already have Amazon Prime, you have access to a ton of free music through the Amazon Music app, and you play prepopulated stations and playlists, or create your own playlist. I understand Spotify is similar. When I'm casting about for music, I like to create a specific playlist for possible songs, and then pick a themed station or playlist and leave it playing as I go through my life (in the car, at work, etc), adding songs as they "speak" to me, even if it's not for THIS show or THIS character. This is even nice for just creating your own soundtrack for playing at open studio.
If you prefer to be more pointed in your music search, try using keywords for searches of lists of music online and then search for youtube videos or music videos using that music. For instance, if you think you might like to do a piece about love or romance, maybe you do a search for best love songs, or wedding songs, or classic 80s romantic comedy music, etc. Try asking other people for their recommendations. You might get THE song, or you might get another song from an artist or album recommended by a friend. You might be surprised! Sometimes recommendations can push you in directions or towards artists who weren't even on your radar. Better, they may help you find new keywords or new playlists with additional song possibilities.
What should I think about when I am listening to music on my quest for THE song?
How does the song make me feel? Am I happy? Sad? Does it take me on a journey? Does it make me angry? How could I express or show these emotions?
Does it tell a story? With words or wordlessly? Am I okay with there being these words? Do the words facilitate the story I want to tell? Are the words THE story? Or do I want my movement to speak for itself and tell the story?
What is the speed of the music? Is it fast or slow? Does the tempo change? What does that mean for my movement? Do I want to match the speed of the music, or might I want to show a contrast? Is the speed even feasible for me in my performance?
Would this music be more fitting for a specific apparatus? Or perhaps not fitting for a specific apparatus? Does it "feel" more like lyra music? Or definitely NOT rope music? Does it need an apparatus at all?
Does this music make me move? It's going to be hard to dance if the music doesn't inspire you to move in SOME way. How does the movement feel? Is it graceful? Is it chaotic? Is it awkward?
Is this a widely recognized piece of music? Will it conjure specific connotations for audience members, and do I want that? For example, in one of the recent teen troupe shows, the main character was Beetlejuice, and the music for the Beetlejuice piece was purposely derived from the theme music for Beetlejuice and the Beetlejuice cartoon. If that same music was used as the background for another piece, many in the audience would think Beetlejuice anyway.
Okay, so I have some possibles. Now what?
Great! Now play with them. Bring your music to open studio and get on an apparatus and move with your music.
(BTW: Wireless earbuds or a portable speaker is a great way to bring your music in and work on an apparatus without taking over the sound system!)
Is the music easy to move with on the apparatus? Does it feel better on one apparatus vs another?
What kind of skills, techniques, and transitions lend themselves to the music?
Is the music more structured or more freeform? Are there specific points in the music you want to hit? Would this moment be best for a drop, this other moment best for a pause or stillness? Or do you have a lot of room to play?
What kind of character/s exists with this music? Are they similar or do they provide a contrast? Would the music be more fitting for a solo or multi-person piece? Does the music express a duality? Might it be interesting to have those played by different people? Might it be more powerful as a group number? How many characters do you "see"?
Remember, we are all just playing and working and processing and finding our pieces at the moment, so have fun with it! Listen to music you've never heard before, or go home to old favorites-- Whatever works for you! Don't feel that your piece has to be epically graceful or ethereal and dance-like. Perhaps it is comical, or awkward, or intense. Perhaps it is violent and angry. Perhaps it revisits music or stories that are iconic in our lives. In our mosaic of stories, there is room for everything, and pieces that are a bit different make the whole show more interesting.
Andy Lewis & Jennifer Layton
On November 11th, 2016, Camille Osborne (Teen Troupe) and Lina Solis (Kids Troupe) attended the 4th Annual West Coast Aerial Arts Festival (WCAAF) in Orange County, California. The WCAAF is an aerial arts competition comprised of (3) fundamental aerial apparatuses, the Aerial Tissu; Aerial Hoop; Single or Double Point (Static) Trapeze; and an invented apparatus category. The competition was divided according to age group and was separated between amateurs and semi/professionals. We are proud to announce that Camille Osborne won first in her division - Trapeze. Lina Solis won third in her division - invented apparatus. Congratulations!