Always Be Dancing

The Art of Movement for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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How many ways can we sit in yoga?

This afternoon’s youth yoga for grades 5-8 was so much fun. Really! I had the kids sitting still, focusing on their yoga, relaxing. The hubbub seemed to just come to an end!

We placed our five mats out in a ray pattern. One block per students. We began seated or lying down on our mats. Our voices were kept low and staying on the mat was a must. I asked everyone to sit. I did not specify how they should sit; they just needed to sit. Looking around, I noticed everyone was “sitting” a different way. So I posed the question…”How many ways can we think of to “sit” in yoga?” Look at yourself right now. One by one, we noticed how we were sitting and saw the yoga poses that they were.

We did:
1. Easy Pose (making sure our feet were under our knees)
2. Frog Pose (like a beginner turtle pose. Seated, knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms reaching to floor between legs)
3. Lotus (trying a quick lift and balance here)
4. Butterfly
5. Bharadvajavasana I (carefully twisting in both directions  but making sure our shoulders stayed in alignment and to not allow are arms to move without the shoulder girdle)
6. Squat/Garland Pose
7. Staff Pose

I then had them all lie down on their mats using a block, in low position, as a pillow. Chins dropped slightly. Focusing, their attention being drawn inward. Noticing sensations. And suddenly all the electricity went out. I don’t mean in the building, but in their bodies. Shut down. Calm. Relaxed. Breathing. All of a sudden a deep sense of stillness entered the room and it settled down on us. We stayed here for a good five minutes. IN silence, listening to the ticking of the heaters.

To bring back sensation, we began noticing our breath in our nostrils and deciding which side was breathing more strongly. Notice if you are breathing through both nostrils? Mentally can you take your breath in through the right and out the left and then reverse?

Coming up to stand…Posing the question, “How many ways can we stand in yoga?”

We did:
1. Mountain Pose (feeling the triad of the big tow, little toe and center of heel)
2. Up-Mountain Pose
3. Chair Pose
4. Skiers Pose (belly on deeply bent legs, but they do not drop below the bottom)
5. Bent knee forward bend (hands on floor, let head drop, like a standing deep child’s pose)
6. Bent knee chest lift (stay with legs bent, but lift collar bones and roll shoulders back)
7. Standing forward bend, legs bent enough to support the torso on the thighs (standing child’s pose)
8. Airplane
9. Goddess Squat
10. Dancer’s Pose
11. Tree Pose
12. Triangle Pose

Now a mini Savasana. Noticing which nostril was breathing more strongly, we rolled to that side and sat up.

Today we began our yoga journals. I brought B.K.S. Iyengar “Light on Yoga“; B.K.S. Inyengar “Yoga The Path To Holistic Health“; Baron Baptiste ” My Daddy Is A Pretzel” book and card deck; Marsha Wenig “Yoga Kids“. We looked for all the poses we had done today and started to draw them in our journals writing an English translation for the pose, plus the Sanskrit. I wanted to help the kids have a visual to help them understand their bodies in space in these poses.

I will keep the journals at the center ad every week we will add a new section. We will continue drawing and naming poses, but we will also collage, to make dream boards, work with affirmations, and delve into the Yamas (the restraints of yoga: Ahimsa (non-harming); Sateya (non-lying); Asteya (non-stealing); Bramacharya (of Brahma); Aparigraha (non-hoarding)) and ideas of how to practice yoga off the mat.


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Classes with Eve Costarelli: Flamenco, Tap and Yoga; Yoga Retreat for Daughters and Moms

Looking ahead to the week 12/10/2012-12/16/2012
Monday 12/10/2012 @ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Youth Yoga for Grades 5-84:30-5:30PM
·       Veterans Yoga6:00-7:30PM

Tuesday starting January 8, 2013@ Spirit Bear Power Yoga, 19 Main Street, Natick, MA
·        Youth Yoga for Grades 5-8 4:00-5:00PM

Wednesday 12/12/2012 @ the Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA
·       Youth Flamenco (Beginner) Ages 6-9  4:00-5:00PM
·        Youth Flamenco (Intermediate) Ages 10-16 5:00-6:00PM

Friday 12/14/2012@ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·        Adult/Teen Flamenco Ages 12+ (This class will resumes 1/11/2013)

Sunday 12/16/2012
Yoga Retreat at Open Spirit for Girls & Moms
Yoga Retreat for Girls (ages 8-14) and Moms (or any adult female) with Eve Costarelli at Open Spirit: A Place of Hope, Health and Harmony.

Sunday, December 16th:  1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your mom (or any adult female) to yoga and practice with someone you love! In a fun and upbeat class, we will explore yoga poses, philosophy, breath work and meditation as well as journaling and the creation of personal mandalas. This class promotes harmony, positive communication, mutual respect, relaxation and friendship. We learn to not only practice yoga on our mat but also how to bring these skills off the mat and into the world.
Expect to leave feeling connected and balanced!
Please bring a yoga mat, blanket, block and strap (if you have them). We do have some community props available. Also bring a water bottle and dress for movement. Do not eat for up to one hour before class.
For more information & to register, please contact:
Suggested donation:
$25 per couple (additional siblings $5 each)
Open Spirit is a new multi-faith center for the wider community, a place to celebrate and strengthen our connectedness, to promote healing and wholeness, and to experience spiritual nourishment.
Open Spirit, A Place of Hope, Health and Harmony
39 Edwards Street · Framingham · MA 01701 · info@openspiritcenter.org · 508-877-8162 
   Remember to always be dancing!
          No olvides bailar siempre


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Smell the Roses in Your Poses: A Thanksgiving Yoga Class

Smell the Roses in Your Poses

Photo by Seraphina Landgrebe
That was the theme for both of today’s yoga classes at Open Spirit in Framingham, MA: Youth Yoga for Grades 5-8 and Veterans’ Yoga.

Every year, we dedicate an entire day to the celebration of gratitude. We are thankful for good food, good family and friends, good life. But we do not have to wait till this day to be thankful because yoga teaches us to practice mindfulness and the appreciation of gratitude can be practiced all year long. Gratitude unlocks the abundance of life. It turns what we have into enough; granting us satisfaction with our own personal riches. Being thankful for little things around us allows us to be resent and alive fully in the moment. This brings to my mind the phrase “Stop and smell the roses”. If we do stop and smell, look, listen, feel, then we will begin to notice the richness that surrounds and inundates all our life’s moments. Our society floods us with wants and needs (the latest technology, the “best” brands, monetary wealth) and this can become a vicious cycle-but by taking a step back and being aware of the things in your life that you are truly thankful for, brings harmony to chaos, clarity to confusion and peace of mind is born out of turmoil. Notice the veritable cornucopia of things to be grateful for in your life: your family, friends, a roof over your head, working at something you take pride in, a smile or kind word from a stranger, a flower peeping out from the sidewalk, a fresh breeze, the warm touch of the sun, the smell of the earth after rain, the farmers who grow the food, the chef who cooks it…the list is never ending!
So…stop and smell the roses! Take a moment to look at the trees and notice their leaves or lack of, feel the wind on your cheeks and breathe! Breath is what keeps us alive. It can both relax and energize us!

What does mindfulness mean?
·         Appreciation
·         Attentiveness
·         Aliveness
·         Perception
·         Sensibility
·         Understanding
·         Friendliness
·         Thoughtfulness
·         Respect
·         Tolerance
·         Honesty
·         Readiness

A simple mindfulness meditation:
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck and back straight but not stiff. You can also lie down on the floor. Or lean against the wall.
2. Become aware of your breathing, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall, the air entering and exiting your nostrils (For the first few breaths you can also allow the exhale to come out through pursed lips. This help to elongate the exhale and the sound is a great focuser) and leave your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different. Notice that the air is cool as it enters the body but it is gently warmed when it exits.
3. Watch every thought come and go, whether it be a worry, fear, anxiety or hope. When thoughts come up in your mind, note them, remain calm and use your breathing as an anchor. Watch your thoughts as if they are clouds drifting by in the sky.
4. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts, simply return to your breathing. I sometimes like to say “Thinking” or “Thought” when I notice I have drifted and this helps me come back to the present moment and my breathing.
5. As the time comes to a close bring some more energizing breaths into your body. You can wiggle your fingers and toes. Roll to one side (if lying down). Get up gradually.
Remember to “Smell the Roses” in each one of your yoga poses. Allow yourself to be right there, in that pose, and fill it up with yourself. Have the courage to be present.


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Yoga Retreat at Open Spirit for Girls & Moms 12/16/12

Yoga Retreat at Open Spirit for Girls & Moms


Yoga Retreat for Girls (ages 8-14) and Moms (or any adult female) with Eve Costarelli at Open Spirit: A Place of Hope, Health and Harmony.

Sunday, December 16th:  1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your mom (or any adult female) to yoga and practice with someone you love!
In a fun and upbeat class, we will explore yoga poses, philosophy, breath work and meditation as well as journaling and the creation of personal mandalas. This class promotes harmony, positive communication, mutual respect, relaxation and friendship. We learn to not only practice yoga on our mat but also how to bring these skills off the mat and into the world.
Expect to leave feeling connected and balanced!
Please bring a yoga mat, blanket, block and strap (if you have them). We do have some community props available. Also bring a water bottle and dress for movement. Do not eat for up to one hour before class.
For more information, please contact:
Eve Costarelli 617-216-1643 or AlwaysBDancing@gmail.com

Suggested donation:
$25 per couple (additional siblings $5 each)
Open Spirit is a new multi-faith center for the wider community, a place to celebrate and strengthen our connectedness, to promote healing and wholeness, and to experience spiritual nourishment.
Open Spirit, A Place of Hope, Health and Harmony
39 Edwards Street · Framingham · MA 01701 ·
 
info@openspiritcenter.org · 508-877-8162 


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Flamenco and Yoga classes with Eve Costarelli 11/5-11/11/2012


Looking ahead to the week 11/5/2012-11/11/2012(and upcoming performance information for the Boston Arts Consort)

Monday 11/5/2012 @ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Yoga for Grades 5-84:30-5:30PM
·       Veterans Yoga 6:00-7:30PM
Tuesday starting January 8, 2013 @ Spirit Bear Power Yoga, 19 Main Street, Natick, MA
·       Youth Yoga (Grades 5-8) 4:00-5:00PM
Wednesday 11/7/2012 @ the Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA
·       Youth Flamenco (Beginner) Ages 6-9  4:00-5:00PM
·       Youth Flamenco (Intermediate) Ages 9-16 5:00-6:00PM
Friday 11/8/2012 @ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·      Adult/Teen Flamenco Ages 12+ 10:00-11:15AM
Upcoming performance:
Friday, November 16th, 8PM
The Kaji Aso Studio, 40 St. Stephen Street, Boston
Tickets $12 at the door includes tea and chocolate reception
Reservations recommended by calling 617-247-1719              
THE BOSTON ARTS CONSORT PRESENTS: 
SONGS OF SPAIN
Featuring Clara Sandler, Mezzo-Soprano &Linda Papatopoli, Pianist                               
Performing selections from
Garcia Lorca’s: Canciones Espaňolas Antiguas
Manuel de Falla’s: Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas
& Xavier Montsalvatge’s beautiful homage to Cuba: Cinco Canciones Negras
With the Flamenco Artistry of Eva Lorca and Roberto Rios
¡Remember to always be dancing!
          ¡Ole! ¡Namaste! 


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Flamenco Yoga classes with Eve Costarelli update 10/20/12-10/26/12


Saturday 10/20/2012 @ National Heritage Museum, Maxwell Auditorium, Lexington, MA
World on Stage Presents: A Palo Seco Flamenco
9PM
National Heritage Museum
33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA
781-861-6559
Tickets $25.

Sunday 10/21/2012 @ Open Spirit/Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA
Open Spirit Center Grand Opening and Dedication
3-5PM
Join us as we dedicate our new Open Spirit Center. Bring a friend and learn about the many different opportunities at Open Spirit. Here’s whats happening: 




3:00-3:45 pm: Be greeted with saxophone music, met our teachers and program leaders and partners, enjoy our “mini-healing spa” with acupuncture, reiki and chair massage, kid’s art tent, view the art show, refreshments. 
3:10-3:25 pm: Check out a 15-minute youth yoga  class downstairs with Eve Costarelli. 
3:45-4:15 pm: The Dedication with blessings from many traditions in many forms (misc, chant, words and movement (I will perform a short flamenco piece to kick of the Dedication). 
4:15-5:00 pm: More time to visit, meet teachers, enjoy the mini healing spa and art. 4:20-4:35 pm: Try a 15-minute Qi Gong class downstairs. 
4:40 pm: End your afternoon with a 15-minute laughter yoga class downstairs.

Looking ahead to the week of 10/22/12-10/26/12

Monday 10/15/2012@ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Family Yoga 3:30-4:30PM
·       Yoga for the Young Athlete and All Ambitious Kids4:30-5:30PM
·       Veterans Yoga 6:00-7:30PM

Tuesday starting November 13, 2012 @ Spirit Bear Power Yoga, 19 Main Street, Natick, MA
Youth Yoga (Grades 5-8) 4:00-5:00PM

Wednesday 10/17/2012@ the Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA
·       Youth Flamenco (Beginner) Ages 6-9 4:00-5:00PM
·       Youth Flamenco (Intermediate) Ages 9-16 5:00-6:00PM

Friday 10/19/2012 @ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Adult/Teen Flamenco Ages 12+ 10:00-11:15AM
Great movies to see:
Carmen by Carlos Saura
Sevillanas by Carlos Saura
Flamenco by Carlos Saura
Flamenco! Flamenco!By Carlos Saura
Latcho Dromby Tony Gatlif


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Yoga for the Young Athlete…and All Ambitious Kids!


                           Yoga for the Young Athlete…and All Ambitious Kids! 

This is a new yoga class that I am running for grades 5-12. It is held at Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA from 4:30-5:30PM Mondays (except on school holidays). Open Spirit is a new multi-faith center for the wider community, a place to celebrate and strengthen our connectedness, to promote healing and wholeness, and to experience spiritual nourishment.

I have been teaching my veterans yoga class at this same location for about a year now and the center has expanded its focus to include more community based classes in yoga, Tai Chi, spirituality and flamenco!  I am offering a Family Yoga class (Monday 3:30-4:30), Yoga for the Young Athlete…and All Ambitious Kids (grades 5-12; Monday 4:30-5:30); I teach in rotation a free Veteran’s Yoga class (along with Lynn Stoller and Michael Thomas; Monday 6:00-7:30PM); Family Flamenco (Thursday 4:30-5:30) and Adult/Teen Flamenco (Friday 10:00-11:15AM). 


The first meeting of Athlete Yoga we spent our time exploring how yoga can be a great companion for all the other things we do in our life: sports, schoolwork, musical instruments/singing, busy time, free time, happy time, sad time, angry time….We gathered a list of activities we like to do: Basketball, Bicycling, Hiking, Piano, Saxophone, Sing, Ski/Snowboard, Surf, Swim and Tennis. Over the weeks, we will explore each session focusing on one of the activities  Classes will include breath-work (Pranyama), poses (Asana) and Meditation. We will also listen to stories and music, color, talk about healthy living choices and how to bring our yoga off the mat and into the world.


Swimming was chosen as our first “activity”, as it is something that all the students enjoy. None of these kids are on a swim team but they all enjoy swimming just the same (minus the competitive edge). A yoga practice can complement even an amateur’s swim routine by introducing strength building and flexibility. Asanas (postures) utilize body weight as a powerful source of resistance: Outside of the water, gravity helps to build strength and muscle. In addition, postures take the body through a full range of motion, encouraging flexible, supple muscles that are less prone to injury.


We started today’s class outside at the church’s labyrinth. The kids naturally took to completing the spiral in and then out, sensing the need to follow the path in and out, noticing that somehow it seemed necessary to do this. Feeling the evenness in their bodies and their minds upon completion. The entered and exited repeatedly, sometimes walking slowly, sometimes following each other and at other times running around each curve. In the end, they ended up in the center, smiling and sitting with each other.


Swimmer-asanas:

Bean bag on belly breath
* Explaining how to and the use of Ujjayi breath (taught as Ocean breath for kids). 
*Gomulkasana Arms in Easy Pose-relieves tightness in shoulders and upper back
*A series (for Utkatasana and Low Utkatasana: diving, even bent knee table top-diving prep; Uttnasana-fall forward into water)
*Dog in Prayer 2
*Malasana
*Bakasana
*Forearm Plank-helps build and maintain core strength 
*Pointer Dog-increases core strength and balances asymmetries
*Locust-also with arms stretched out front
*½ Bow-stretches upper back
*Dancer’s Pose
*Trikonasana- maintains good range of motion in shoulder and hip joints
*½ Eagle-arms first then add legs for balance
*Supported Bridge-helps release tension in neck and upper back-
Supine Twist-stretches both hips and spine
*Savasana

We also talked about being mindful, staying in the present moment both in yoga and in life. I read them the story “The Three Questions” adapted from a book by Leo Tolstoy. Jon J. Muth recasts a short story by Tolstoy into picture-book format, substituting a boy and his animal friends for the czar and his human companions. Yearning to be a good person, Nikolai asks, “When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?” Sonya the heron, Gogol the monkey and Pushkin the dog offer their opinions, but their answers do not satisfy Nikolai. He visits Leo, an old turtle who lives in the mountains. While there, he helps Leo with his garden and rescues an injured panda and her cub, and in so doing, finds the answers he seeks. As Leo explains, “There is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side.” Moral without being moralistic, the tale sends a simple and direct message unfreighted by pomp or pedantry. Muth’s art is as carefully distilled as his prose. A series of misty, evocative watercolors in muted tones suggests the figures and their changing relationships to the landscape. Judicious flashes of color quicken the compositions, as in the red of Nikolai’s kite (the kite, released at the end, takes on symbolic value). An afterword describes Tolstoy and his work. 

We ended class in the playground.

Ole! Namaste!
Eve