Ode to the mat

“There is no joy without gratitude.”
~Brené Brown

I’m not sure whose praises to sing first. My own for getting up early to drive Casey to work so that I could squeeze in a morning class in this very full day. My teacher for his faithfulness to the practice over a lifetime and the deep well from which he leads with humility and humor and grace. The ancient practitioners who created this union, this yoking–of body/mind/spirit–that we call yoga. This miracle of a body inside which an unfathomable web of communication happens on my behalf–with each breath, each movement, each prayer & intention. The bodies of the women in front of me in class, ten, twenty years my senior, shapely and supple, returning to the mat after each loss and surgery and every weekend indulgence. The blooming of the first tulips which I overlooked on my way into the studio.

(Shout out to Scott Willis at Hits The Spot Yoga at Solar Hill.)

Early-spring 2019
~

Note: Although this was my very first blog, I rarely post here unless a piece of writing can’t find a home in one of these blog “offspring” where I attend, like one might to children, more frequently…

This Vermont Life

The Marriage Journey 

The Empty(ing) Nest Diary 

Two Owls Calling 

Pied Beauty

Kelly and Lila

The Yoga of Lila

Writing through the Chakras

The Motherless Muse

 

Jesus, Mary & Joseph

I don’t know what to say about mothers & children. But to say nothing seems compliant or do I mean, complicit?

Mothers and children.

Mary and Jesus come to mind.
‘Tis the season.

I spent some of the holiday week among loved ones who voted for the current occupant of the White House. They dislike him too. They are appalled too. They hoped for the best but feared the worst when they voted along their party line. “We knew who he was,” they said. (We all knew who he was.)

Neither of us is affected by his antics, not directly; but plenty are and we don’t have to go as far as the border.

Others double down on seemingly rational explanations for each atrocity refusing to see that the Emperor isn’t (and never has been) wearing clothes. “There are hungry children here,” they say. “We need Saudi oil. Guns protect us. Trees & leaves are dangerous. Romaine lettuce too. Hillary. Hillary.”

For them, democracy has become a trophy sport and winning is what matters no matter that there is nothing here to win but heartbreak and hell and highwaters.

Jesus loves the little children.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident.
I have a dream.

Do you?

The Season of Advent

Let the preparations begin!

This Vermont Life

advent–noun

from the Latin adventus

meaning “coming”or arrival

especially of something extremely important

In mountain climates like ours, we have no choice but to “prepare” for the upcoming holidays of light given that they serve as the threshold of winter–no matter what our religious affiliation (or lack thereof.)

For New Englanders, it’s time for snow tires and scrapers, woolen socks and mittens, down comforters and flannel sheets, the wood pile and the woodstove, the plow poles and the shovels–and a deeper affection for the summer basil and the berries buried deep in the freezer.

The gardening books are returned to their shelves, and the poetry takes their place on the coffee table. Long neglected novels are unearthed at bedsides, and snuggling “in” supplants late nights at the pond.

All this preparation makes me wonder about those in warmer climates: How do they welcome the Season of Advent?

On this…

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Soul of a Nation

My great-great grandparents, Israel & Leah Salasin

I’m struck by these words posted by friend after friend:

“I feel afraid.”

These are words typed by strong, engaged, voiced women. For whom the latest atrocity was personal.

Why don’t I feel afraid?

“Salasin” is Russian Jew, but I was born blonde with green eyes, more like my Irish and English grandmothers than my grandfathers for who each had parent who was a Jew.

I wasn’t raised Jewish either, unless you count the huge brunch at my paternal grandparents’ house after the Easter Sunday Service–smoked white fish and bagels and Matza-ball eggs–prepared by my grandfather who was Bar Mitzvah-ed as a boy. (Can I make that a verb?)

His firstborn, my father, was born blonde, blue-eyed like his mother and he did not have a Bar Mitzvah, but he did wear a medallion on a chain with the Jewish star on one side and St. Christopher on the other (a gift from a family friend, a Catholic nun.)

I never heard any talk about any Jewish ancestry on my mother’s side. “100% Irish,” is all that was said. Her people were blue-collar. Some things make you less secure.

But when an entitled prick shows up with a gun at a synagogue, shouting: “All these Jews need to die!” it doesn’t matter your education or societal status or occupation and it doesn’t even matter that you are attending a bris for a newborn child.

If you’re on the wrong side of what someone else decides is the right side, which is all of us in this country on the other side of what the President represents, then you are vulnerable.

And if you are a privileged man who rejects the lies and hypocrisy, the dog-whistles and degradation, the abject inhumanity of this administration, you too might feel hopeless and outraged despite the systemic protection that you are just beginning to realize.

On the morning of the synagogue massacre, I had arrived to show my support for a candidate who is transgender, feeling particularly sensitive to the vulnerability of all those who similarly identify given the administration’s recent efforts to remove gender protections from UN Human Rights documents.

It’s come to this.

I pray that if you know in your heart that something is terribly wrong, and its root is the rot in the White House, that you will vote for those who will best protect the humanity of this nation.

I pray that if you are still confused, still drinking at the poisoned well of us and them, that you will, at the very least, stay home.

I care about you. I truly do. I want you to feel safe and at ease and prosperous and empowered; but not at the expense of our nation’s soul.

~

Sitting Shiva

I want to say: I hate you!

I want to CONDEMN your awful blindness!

I want to CURSE you for putting this man in the White House!

But what I truly feel is grief.

You have broken my heart again and again.

And still, my fellow Americans, I believe in you.

I hope.

We, all of us, around the world, are one.

VOTE like you believe this too.

Men RISE!

You know what truly breaks my heart. Women. Not the ones making it easier for men to assault us. But the ones turning away because it hurts so much. Or the ones turning toward because it hurts so much.

Men–notice how many of us have been hurt in this way. (How many of you have been abused as children? Imagine never aging into safety!)

We have been hurting for so long. Ignored. Dismissed. Derided.

It’s not that all men act so criminally.
It’s that we allow them those men to continue.
Particularly with girls.

HAVE OUR BACKS.

a mid-spring evening for women

Amplifying the awakening of SpRing!

This Vermont Life

with the Pink Full Moon

In Southern, Vermont

Monday, April 30th
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Marlboro, Vermont
(in between Brattleboro & Bennington)

Join a mid-spring evening with women to…

Elevate the human condition.
Retrieve lost aspects of self.
Experience the chakras with music, movement & meditation.
Enjoy a stunningly disguised workout.
Rest, stretch & dance in a safe & welcoming circle of women.
Be yourself.
HAVE FUN!

Sink into 111 minutes of gently-guided flow from the earth to sky led by lifelong educator, yoga & yogadance instructor Kelly Salasin. Experience & skill irrelevant. If you can take a brisk walk and get up from and down to the floor, you’ve got this. Women of all ages welcome. (Youth of a certain age with advance permission.)

Experience the body’s energy centers—from grounding to flowing—from boundaries to open-heartedness—from playful expression and voiced truth to clear seeing—to silent knowing—shaped by an intuitively-crafted soundtrack…

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Autumnal Chakra Dance

Celebrate the fluid consciousness of Autumn
within a welcoming and supportive
woman’s circle

in Southern Vermont

Women’s circles evoke a sense of sisterhood, and also a feeling of being in a maternal space. There is a deep sense of being connected to one another, at an archetypal level. ~Jean Shinoda Bolen

Autumnal Chakra Dance
a Let Your Yoga Dance women’s circle
in Marlboro, VT
Dancing through the body’s energy centers
with the energy signature of the season: release, flow, rebirth.
Tuesdays, November through Winter Solstice
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

*With 2 options for missed gatherings:
1. Bring someone new to the dance.
2. Receive the chakra playlist to dance at home.
(* Or drop into a yoga class with my husband Casey as space is available.)

For ALL women who like to move to music!
No other experience, skill/talent relevant.

Autumnal Journey: $123.45 (pre-pay rate)
Paypal link for pre-pay rate
Facebook event page

Marlboro Elementary School is centrally located on Route 9 in Marlboro, Vermont.


Participant feedback….

It’s more than a workout–it’s spiritual grounding and a chance to experience true freedom. It’s exactly what you need each and every moment.

I feel lighter and uplifted!

I love feeling the music through my body.

It was easy to be free.  I remembered that I love to exercise.  I remembered that I do have flexibility.  I moved within and out.

I liked how the class flowed– how we had time to move to ourselves and with  others.

I find myself dancing and moving more throughout the week.

I have been feeling more in touch with my body’s needs as far as stretching, flexibility, mindfullness, and self-appreciation.

Let Your Yoga Dance helps me to come back into myself. Since I spend a lot of time leading other people and directing activities, I really appreciate the chance to support my very important intention of settling into myself.

Very relaxing, very healing, very conducive to epiphany.

Click here for more voices on dancing with Kelly through the chakras.

Kelly Salasin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in education and is a certified Yoga and YogaDance instructor, as well as a longtime crafter of classes, retreats, workshops, events & journeys–locally, regionally, internationally & online. Kelly regularly assists leading presenters/programs at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center including Let Your Yoga Dance teaching trainings and yoga and meditation retreats. Kelly serves as adjunct faculty at the Hits the Spot Yoga Teacher Training Center leading chakra experiences–on and off the mat.

Contact Kelly for more information or to hold your space in this dancing circle of women.

Schedule conflict or location a barrier? Ask Kelly about the seasonal online journey: Writing through the Chakras.

Summer Chakra Dance

Celebrate the expansive energy of the sun
with the cooling & nourishing retreat of a
woman’s circle

in Southern Vermont

God may be in the details. But the Goddess is in connections.
~Gloria Steinem

Chakra Dance
a Let Your Yoga Dance women’s circle
in Marlboro, VT
dancing through the body’s energy centers
highlighting each of the 7 chakras
*Late July through early September
Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Skill & experience irrelevant

*With 3 options for missed gatherings:
chakra playlist & meditation access or
chakra consultation with Kelly
or morning yoga with Casey.

Facebook event page
Early-bird $111.11
Paypal link
Room for 11.

Note: Marlboro, Vermont is located in the southern most part of the state between Brattleboro & Wilmington, VT.

Carpoolers take 10% off. Find a friend. Make it a date.

It was easy to be free.  I remembered that I love to exercise.  I remembered that I do have flexibility.  I moved within and out.

The music ROCKS!

OMG! I can’t believe how much fun I’ve been missing!

I love it!!! Every time!!

I feel lighter and uplifted!

I love feeling the music through my body.

I liked how the class flowed– how we had time to move to ourselves and with  others.

I find myself dancing and moving more throughout the week.

I realize that I don’t know my body very well–and I want to.  This helps. I trust you as a teacher.

I have been feeling more in touch with my body’s needs as far as stretching, flexibility, mindfullness, and self-appreciation.

It helps me to come back into myself. Since I spend a lot of time leading other people and directing activities, I really appreciate the chance to support my very important intention of settling into myself.

Very relaxing, very healing, very conducive to epiphany.

Click here for more voices on dancing with Kelly through the chakras.

Kelly Salasin

Kelly Salasin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in education and is a certified Yoga and Let Your Yoga Dance instructor, as well as a longtime crafter of classes, retreats, workshops, events & journeys–locally, regionally, internationally & online. Kelly regularly assists leading presenters/programs at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center including Let Your Yoga Dance teaching training and yoga and meditation retreats. Kelly serves as adjunct faculty at the Hits the Spot Yoga Teacher Training Center leading chakra experiences–on and off the mat.

Contact Kelly for more information or to hold your space in this dancing circle of women.

Women’s circles evoke a sense of sisterhood, and also a feeling of being in a maternal space. There is a deep sense of being connected to one another, at an archetypal level.  (Jean Shinoda Bolen)

Click here for more summer programming for women.

Summer Love for Women~2017

Celebrate the expansive energy of the sun
with the cooling & nourishing retreat of these
women’s circles

in Southern Vermont and online
(or by invitation–near you!)

God may be in the details. But the Goddess is in connections.
~Gloria Steinem

Dance where you are. Your song has already been written.

Chakra Dance
a Let Your Yoga Dance women’s circle
in Marlboro, VT
dancing through the body’s energy centers
highlighting each of the 7 chakras
Late July through early September
Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Skill & experience irrelevant
SEASON COMPLETE

“I realize that I don’t know my body very well–and I want to.  This helps. I trust you as a teacher.”

Click here for more voices on dancing through the chakras.

“I’ve learned so much from this woven fabric of feminine voices.”

Writing through the Chakras~Online
a 7 chakra online circle for the soul
Lammas (early August) through Equinox (mid-September)
weekly participation at a time/place that works best for you
(those with & without a writing practice welcome)
SEASON COMPLETE

“I’ve learned more than I could have imagined, from the process of responding through the Chakras and from each of you and your willingness to share your stories.”

Click here for more voices on Writing through the Chakras.

All the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.
~Shel Silverstein

New Moon Immersion Retreat
Sunday evening, July 23
MacArthur Road, Marlboro, VT
Collage, connection, sacred circle & irreverence.
SEASON COMPLETE

~

This circle has been a women’s womb.”

My creative life is my deepest prayer.
~Sue Monk Kidd

Coming this fall 2017
The Artist Way~A Winter Journey
a women’s circle for women with/wanting an artistic practice
MacArthur Road, Marlboro, VT
Contact Kelly

~

“Thank you for issuing the call that brought us all together. You have a gift for this work. You have held well our various hungers and losses, our deep questionings and celebrations, and you have generously contributed your own.”

Kelly Salasin

So this is where I am, I thought. How surprising.
~Terry Tempest Williams. When Women Were Birds

Kelly Salasin has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education and is a certified Yoga and Let Your Yoga Dance instructor, as well as a longtime crafter of classes, retreats, workshops, events and journeys–locally, regionally, internationally and online. She regularly assists leading presenters/programs at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center including:

Joan Borysenko, Writing Down the Light and Reigniting the Flame
Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Director/Founder of Let Your Yoga Dance
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way
Karen Drucker, A Women’s Spiritual Retreat, Learning How to Love Ourselves
Tama Kieves, Unleash Your Calling, Creating the Work & Life You Love
Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing, Hour Glass and Devotion
Jean Shinoda Bolen, Artemis, Women’s Circles & the Sacred Feminine
Robert Thurman, Living the Evolutionary Life: Through Death and Beyond

Women’s circles evoke a sense of sisterhood, and also a feeling of being in a maternal space. There is a deep sense of being connected to one another, at an archetypal level.

~Jean Shinoda Bolen

 

Note: Marlboro, Vermont is located in the southern most part of the state between Brattleboro & Wilmington, VT, with easy access to NH and MA and close “enough” to NY.

*Early-bird discount: Take 10% off when you enroll in any two programs or when you enroll in the New Moon Retreat or the Artist Way Year with a friend. Carpoolers can take 10% off the Chakra Dance Circle.

Contact Kelly for more information or to hold your space in any of the summer 2017 offerings.

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not ever complete the last one,
but I give myself to it.

~Rilke

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