By Alvin Tam
I was in a yoga class today when the idea of going to extremes to find your center hit me. Actually I was trying to hold a move - the instructor said, "20 seconds" - and I thought my legs would give out before it was up. Then I played a little mental trick and told myself that the move would last 40 seconds. My body calmed and I finished the standing asana easily.
It's not a new idea to give yourself a goal further than where you're aiming in order to achieve that goal (make sense?). But it's an application that we forget sometimes when we set an objective. It's just like easing up on the throttle right before you cross the finish line. If you picture the end farther than it is, you blaze across the line like there's no tomorrow.
This brings me to balance and overcompensation. It's the same principle at work. If I'm trying to do a backflip, and I constantly veer to one side my task is to redefine my center so that I can flip evenly. The problem is that rediscovering...
By Jada Fire
Tapping into the sensual and expressive flow of your body may be the path to fully ignite your deepest Joy. I find the dance to serve as my highest form of medicinal healing these days and the medium of expression that allows a channel of creativity and sensual freedom to flow through me. The creative essence in the dance is there for You to open, like a lock and key... direct access to your feminine power, the warrioress, catharsis and compassion. When you show up for yourself, you show up for the world.
As I feel into the essence of the dance, the energy of Amaru, the Incan serpent comes to mind. There in lies so much to shed, so much to receive, so much to love and so much to resurrect, recall or collect of our own self. All of this while slithering our way through the process. The serpent also moves her body deep into the ground which can embody a formidable sense of being held. It is beautiful to be able to recline back or drop...
When you have less you begin to see that you actually have so much more. As I sit by the fire place with a few shards of kindling, I am looking at making a fire grow from an ember to a roar with my concerted focus, energy and will to make it work. It’s a chilly winter day, snow and ice all around and warmth is my key to drop deep into a state of ease and comfort. I need this sensation, I realize in order to set the space as sacred.
Creating sacred grounds lets me read, listen and continue the inward spiral of healing, writing, being present with what surrounds me at this time. This extraordinary inward journey that we have all been given is a means to identify, reveal and understand the deeper self. How do I arrive to the full potential of who I am? Where is the best version of myself and why have I buried that magic within me? Ahh, all this time on my hands brings a greater gift. This gift of time lets me ask,...
In our last letter, we were talking about how there are 2 ways of learning movement: hard and easy.
I had learned the standing backflip, but through an incredibly arduous process. Basically, I tried too hard.
Several years later, I was back at the National Circus School doing some part-time training in between performing contracts. Then suddenly, across the gym I saw a guy jump into a standing side flip and land effortlessly like a cat. It was the very same type of flip that I had seen on an old Jackie Chan movie years before, and when I had seen it, I didn't believe that it was possible!
Here was an acrobat doing exactly that move that I thought was impossible.
I walked over to him and asked him if he could teach me.
The first lesson was about 5 minutes long. I tried a few of the moves he suggested, landing on a thick mat. After about 15 minutes I got bored of the same exercise. So - contrary to...
Many years ago, when I was training in the circus, I experienced two ways of learning movement: the hard way and the easy way.
One of the moves I wanted to learn was the standing backflip. I was 19, and very, very, very much wanted to learn this cool move. I practiced daily with my coach, and tried every technique that was given to me. I tried flipping off a set of raised mats, into a foam pit, with spotting belts, and willing my body into the flip.
One day, I was feeling confident (read: cocky) and told my coach that I was going to do the backflip - on my own. No spot.
He looked at my dubiously, and nodded slightly. I centered myself over a thin mat (first mistake), and raised my hands over my head in preparation. Suddenly, a hush came over the gym, and everyone seemed to pause in their activity to look over at me.
I had no choice. Now I had an audience.
I launched myself into the air with everything I could muster.
My body turned 180 degrees in the...
Many years ago, I got started in the world of circus at the at age of 18 years old. I had "accidentally" come across the phone number to National Circus School in Montreal, while looking for theater schools to audition for. In my mind, I wanted to become a famous actor.
In my heart, I needed to discover the limits of my physical, emotional, and spiritual body.
There was no better place for me to test my limits than to train daily at the National Circus School, facing face plants, sprained ankles, massive fatigue, insurmountable (at the moment anyway) movements, and scary flips. While I thought I was learning about circus performance, and all its technical aspects (which I was), I was actually beginning the process of embodiment - the process of giving concrete form to an abstract idea.
When I started in the circus, everything was abstract. I had zero background in gymnastics, I couldn't hold a handstand, and I didn't come from a lineage of circus performers. Every movement, every...
By Jada Fire
Ever feel energetically overwhelmed in your home and feel like a deep spirit cleansing is necessary? Perhaps you have saged your home before and already have this sweet ritual and blessing your home down pat. If you are new to smudging with this medicinal plant, it is a lovely way to listen and connect with a long lived ancient way of purification.
Sage (Salvia Officianalis) or Artemesia, old man’s sage is recognized as the ‘savior herb’ in many native American cultures. Not only a sacred plant ally for smudging or blessing a space, sage is also antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and has been embraced to strengthen memory and cultivate the growth of wisdom.
The actual smudging balances out the positive and negative ions in the air element and is great for clearing out an office space emitting heavy electro smog or to clear the home during and after an illness is present or passing. I often...