Saturday, January 12, 2013

When She Was Little She Thought She Was a Fairy

(Authors Note: The photo below is NOT the Pilates Method of Movement; rather Ariel Yoga)

For those of you who know me on a personal know that my sleep is erratic, at best, and filled with horrific dreams of fear, anxiety, twisted landscapes and frightening scenarios which often awaken me with a gasp and a muted scream.  It is pretty much a nightly event I have come to anticipate, accept and (only recently) process and move through.  The first dream I can remember was when I was five years old.  My mother's advice...always talk them out with someone.  Unfortunately, outside of my therapist, not too many people think it is "cool" to share dreams.  (Especially when I lead with, " were in my dream last night!)  

About a month ago I was granted reprieve.  Ahhhhhhhh!  I had a dream I could fly.  God, it was glorious.  The catch was, I could only fly with a special silk scarf held in my hands.  The scarf was vintage with a 1950's floral pattern.  It was worn and tattered at the ends and I remember thinking, "When this falls apart, how will I ever fly again?"

With the scarf I was capable of not just flight...but flight with movement.  Kind of like Cirque de Soleil but not being held by anything...just lifted by sheer will and the magic of my scarf.  

I woke up with a smile and a sense there was nothing I could not conquer.  That day was a good day.
Monday I had the privilege of attending an Ariel Yoga Class at Soft Sensuous Moves.  My pole instructor, Jennifer Huff, is completing her practical hours in order to receive her certification later this month; so she has graciously extended an invitation to other instructors as "guinea pigs"...if you will.  

I was looking forward to the experience all week in an attempt to (almost) recreate my "sweet dream."  In Ariel Yoga, you are literally lifted and suspended (at times) by fabric referred to as "silks."

I don't know exactly what this movement is called...but what I can tell you is that you MUST push your thighs in towards the silk in order to support yourself.  

This is something I have given a LOT of thought to for a LOT of years.  I believe I started my Pilates practice in 2002.  Wow!  10 years.  Wow!  (Yes...I JUST did the calculation in my head.)  And...for the record...I still feel like a "beginner."  

In Pilates, much like in this Ariel Yoga class, and even in my Pole Fitness class I am moving WITH THE ASSISTANCE of "something" else. (Pilates Mat class notwithstanding...but sometimes that isn't even the case.  Another blog for another time!)

I have always found this such an interesting metaphor for life.  I can not tell you the THOUSANDS of times I have been on a reformer or cadillac, chair, barrel, pole and now silk and crunched up into my own body out of absolute fear of the physical unknown.  This, of course, has made ANY movement IMPOSSIBLE.  Through trial and error, patience and practice, understanding and trust...I have learned to "lean into" or "give myself to" the springs, the ropes, the handles, the straps, the silks, the pole, the circles, and even the floor and wall for support.  And in that support I am able to create STABILITY to allow for MOBILITY and ultimately a successful physical experience connecting my mind to my body and vice versa.  

When life gets hard I tend to want to crunch up into myself in a literal and metaphorical fetal position.  But I have found that if I lengthen out from a rooted center and lean into my support system...I am going to fly!
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