New video live on Vimeo! Use this one as a warmup to a vinyasa flow session, or as a way to start your day. It is 25+ minutes long, and is all on the floor–no equipment needed.
“Despite the forecast, live like it’s Spring.”
I have been having recurring dreams about emerging from a cave, holding up a shielding hand as I squint against the ultra-bright light and warmth of the sun. My steps tentative. My head tilting back subtly, as I take slow, deep breaths. I feel my lungs expanding, my spine lengthening, as I release my arm beside me and simply stand. Time seems to slow down, as I feel the ground beneath the soles of my feet, the heat of the sun, and the caress of a soft breeze against my skin. This is, perhaps, what it feels like to be free. Aware of the earth that supports me, the sun that warms and strengthens me, and the air that sustains me.
“You and I possess within ourselves at every moment of our lives, under all circumstances, the power to transform the quality of our lives.”
These past weeks–months, really–have been an incredible shift in how we all live. What will we find when we eventually and slowly begin to re-enter the group life stream? What have we uncovered–discovered–about ourselves during this very special time? What have we let go of, and what do we take with us?
Now is the perfect time, if you haven’t already, to let things drop away that no longer support you. Keep only that which is fulfilling and produces joy for you. Modern life has a way of inserting extraneous and energy draining activities (think about how much time is spent on, say, social media). These current times of SIP offer rich opportunities to observe “tapas.” Tapas has been traditionally defined as practicing a “fiery discipline” (the root word ‘tap’ means ‘to burn’). I like the definition given by one of my teachers: “It is a necessary, fiercely focused, constant, intense commitment to burn off the impediments that prevent us from being fully present.” [Jennifer Prugh]
For the past seven weeks, my tapas practice has been to sit with how I feel about LIVE virtual streaming. So much about virtual streaming makes me very uncomfortable. Part of me is amused by this. Teaching live group fitness classes used to be a large element of my business. The energy of that was very fulfilling for me. Doing it in front of a camera (and seeing myself)–not so much. But, I am committed to finding my voice in this new world. And, so it goes. I sit with the discomfort, I do different camera/lighting set-ups, I observe the reactions it brings up, and I practice some more.
In the meantime, I have added a couple more videos to my Vimeo platform. Find the videos here:
- 20 Minute Standing Mobility Flow: Elevate the mobility, flexibility, and strength of your neck, shoulders, hips, and legs. No equipment needed. Bring your curiosity and willingness to explore moving in spirals and circles, up, down, side to side, and all around. https://vimeo.com/401159397
- Warming & Balancing Flow: This session is designed to link your breath to movement, finding energetic balance between not too much and not too little. Flow from one shape to the next, connected to your in breath and out breath like water from one shape to the next shape. Open your hips, invite mobility in your spine, and create some length in your hamstrings and hip flexors. Finally, you will have an opportunity to check-in with your breath and feeling self as we finish with a short meditation. https://vimeo.com/403516615
In closing, I also want to offer you links to a few things that have been very supportive for me, creatively and energetically:
- “27 Wildest Days”: This is a free course in “wild” writing, just for yourself. Think of it as mental release therapy. It lasts for 27 days, once you start it. You have until May 11, to sign up. https://27powers.org/27-wildest-days/?fbclid=IwAR1WSmskKgpPCpBKqGWGQUa1KhWDWsdOioqqiKDs6J3wdfkVc-7SOlgcmw4
- “Songs of Comfort” Spotify Playlist by Yo-Yo Ma: A lovely, soothing playlist put together by Yo-Yo Ma. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/58wN2sbYZVo5g37nhKeYx5?si=bcrXiv5cRWOCdGKRE0Ifpg
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams: Live Jellies! Live Kelp Forests! Live sea otters! Heck yeah! https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams
Stay well my friends! Stay well.
My newest guided meditation is up on Vimeo. Eight minutes of heart-centered love for you!
“When the storms of life come, if they come to me personally, to my family, or to the world, I want to be strong enough to stand and be a strength to somebody else, be shelter for somebody else.”
–Anne Graham Lotz
Self-care in these turbulent times are essential, not just for ourselves, but also for our loved-ones, our neighbors, our fellow human beings sharing this beautiful planet we call Earth.
I have had many moments over the last three weeks where thoughts, fears, and feelings have overcome me. I know I am not alone in this. If you are feeling overwhelmed by emotions, reach out and talk to someone, write it out, dance it out, get some sunshine, pet your beloved dog or cat, do yoga, do any positive activity that helps to balance/level out the intensity of the energy you are feeling.
Some of my self-care go to’s are:
- Limiting my daily news exposure to once, maybe twice, a day–like a status check-in.
- Keeping a daily routine of showering and dressing like I would if it were a normal day (e.g., no pajamas, wearing my AppleWatch–the activity tracker is a great motivator, putting on mascara–yep!).
- Making a healthy, yummy smoothie every morning.
- Getting out for a walk, or a bicycle ride, in the neighborhood every single day.
- Meditation. Every morning, first thing when I wake up.
- https://insighttimer.com This app is FREE, and packed with wonderful guided meditations.
- https://breathetogetheronline.com My favorite yoga studio’s online offerings that cover yoga, food, health, mindfulness, and much, much more.
- https://www.youtube.com/user/BreatheLosGatos The YouTube channel of my favorite yoga studio.
- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyrTbb9vwHS6cETGQQwmUWw Lorien offers yoga in support of those who have cancer and their caregivers.
And finally, I have been slowly (and quietly) creating a Vimeo video channel for a while now. There you will find my past videos, and new ones. Some are guided meditations that are useful for reducing stress (Yoga Nidra, Leaf Meditation, and 4-7-8 Breath). The newest videos are active sequences designed to get the body open and moving. Find the videos here: Claudia on Vimeo
Stay well my friends. Stay well.
As we continue to navigate the waters of these strange times we are in, I am slowly working on adding more online video offerings. Some are guided meditations that help you to ground and find peace. Others are short sessions on improving active ROM. My newest one is 20 minutes of standing leg strengthening and stretching. My hope is that they are useful and helpful!
Please find the videos here: Claudia Fountain on Vimeo
Stay well my friends!
In these challenging times, may this form of compassionate prayer bring you some measure of peace.
LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU
OM SHANTI SHANT SHANTI
May all beings have freedom and happiness, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my life contribute in some way to that freedom and happiness. Peace. Peace. Peace.
To hear the chant: https://vimeo.com/400370987
“are these in which we live, forsooth.” — George Francis Train
If you are missing your regular health and wellness routines, I have some video content up and available for free. Two are guided meditations, useful for relieving stress (we all could use some of that!). The others are simple short sequences for keeping major joints loose and comfortable, plus one balance challenge. Find the videos here: https://vimeo.com/physiquebyfountain
My hope is to be able to create a few more in the coming weeks.
Stay well my friends!