Always Be Dancing

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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Meditation: Getting Started

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How does one start to meditate? I started meditating about 5 years ago. I wanted to start before that but just never sat down on my own and meditated. When I started, I had little knowledge of “how-to” meditate. I thought you needed to sit absolutely still, in total silence and think of nothing. Yeah….you can guess how well that went.

But overtime, it seemed to take hook. I was never sure if I was meditating correctly and often felt I was not doing it right or well, but I stuck at it and it stuck to me. First, I found that I needed to meditate in the morning, because if I waited until later in the day, it did not get done. So every morning, after I made breakfast for my son, I would sit on the other sofa and meditate…listening to him munch his bagel and gulp his milk. I felt like a pro! Look at me sitting here, not moving, blocking out the sounds around me….but I still felt like I was not doing it right and it was not “affecting” or “effecting” me correctly.  But I stuck to it. And it stuck to me. It was oddly satisfying and if I did not do it, I felt like I was missing something that I wanted. My brain wanted it. My body wanted it. My soul wanted it.

Enter Kundalini. In Kundalini, everything is organized and makes sense. The exercises have aim and purpose and are felt physically, mentally and energetically. There are physical movements or stillness encased by specific breathing patterns, chants and mudras. This allows for the seeing, the hearing and the sensing of of what’s happening  within minutes of starting a practice. The truth is in the doing. Here form really follow function. Kundlini fits all bodies, all sizes, all adaptations without getting lost in the “what my body should look like” thoughts. 

Also, Kundlini is a gold mine when it comes to varied meditations. Kundalini offers metal, physical and emotional distractions that ope the gateway for meditation that is wholly enjoyable and accessible. 

     Two Meditations to Start Your Journey:

                            Kirtan Kriya/ Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Kirtan Kriya, often referred to as SA TA NA MA meditation, is the most important meditation in Kundalini Yoga. If you can do only one meditation, this is it. It will readjust and align you to bring balance into your body, mind and spirit and thus your life. It is your teacher. It is your best friend. 

The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.

Directions:

Sit with a straight spine. Bring your mental focus to the brow point/3rd eye point.

Chant SA TA NA MA.

While chanting alternately press the thumb with the four fingers. Press hard enough to keep yourself awake and aware of the pressure. Keep repeating in a stable rhythm and keep the hand motion going throughout the whole meditation.

kirtan_2

SA press the thumb and the pointer or Jupiter finger together with pressure.
TA press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together.
NA press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together.
MA press the thumb and the pinky or Mercury finger together.

The Jupiter/Pointer finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.

The Saturn/Middle finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity.

The Sun/Ring finger gives us vitality and aliveness.

The Mercury/Pinky finger aids clear communication.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

While doing the meditation, you may experience pictures of the past come up like on a movie screen in your mind. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind. If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.

** Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, increasing all aspects of cognitive function, (perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering) and reducing stress levels while improving short term memory.

                                          Morning Meditation

6 minutes version:

  • 1 min out-loud
  • 1 min whisper
  • 2 min in-head (can add tongue movements) with hand movements
  • 1 min whisper
  • 1 min out-loud.

This meditation can be done for 6-31 minutes. Just keep all the segments equal length (the silent section is repeated twice). It can really be done for as little as 3 minutes (30 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 30 sec, 30 sec)

31 minute version:

  • 5 min out loud
  • 5 min whisper
  • 10 min in-head (tongue moving) with hand movement
  • 5 min whisper
  • 5 min out-loud
  • [1 min listen inside, hear the mantra, experience it. No hand movements.]

                                        Evening Meditation

                                      Sa Ta Na Ma Variation

3-30 minutes

Rest hands in lap. Fingers interlaced with the pads of the thumbs pressing into each other

Rest eyes gently looking at tip of nose; eyes may close.

Sniff in 4-counts, mentally saying Sa-Ta-Na-Ma.

Hold breath while mentally repeating the mantra 4 times.

Breath out through the nose in two strokes while mentally chanting Wahe/Guru. (Wahe/Wow! + Guru/Inner teacher = Cheers to my inner super hero!)

To end: Breath in for the count of 4. Hold breath for the count of 7. Breathe out through a circle mouth, making a whooshing sound, for the count of 8. Repeat 4-8x.

                                          Practice Timing:

3 minutes: Affects your circulation, blood chemistry and stability of the blood. The increased blood circulations begins, distributing enhanced neuroendocrine secretions throughout the body.

7 minutes: Brain patterns start to shift from the static of beta waves, to calmer alpha waves and ultimately to deep relaxing delta waves. Simultaneously, the magnetic force surrounding the body increases in strength.

11 minutes: The pituitary gland, glandular system and the nerves start to learn and change. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems begin to accommodate the increased energy.

22 minutes: Anxiety producing thoughts in the subconscious begin to clear. Your three minds (negative, positive, and neutral) start to work together so your mental integration changes. 22 is the infinite number of longing and gives mastery of the mental realm.

31 minutes: Affects your whole mind and your aura. Endocrinological balance is achieved, as is balance of the chakra’s of the ethereal body. This balance persists throughout the day, and is reflected by changes in moods and behavior.

                                            Amount of days: 

11 days: 11 is the number of Infinity in the material world and conqueror of the physical realm. So it’s like the first step to break loose from the entanglement of the mind.

40 days: Helps to break negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the Kriya or mantra, if done 40 days straight in a row

90 days: When you practice the Kriya or mantra for 90 days straight it will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious mind. It will change you in a very deep way.

120 days: When you commit to practice the Kriya or mantra for 120 days without skipping a day it will confirm the new habit of consciousness. The positive benefits of the Kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.

1000 days: This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the Kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.


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CLASSES, WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCES FOR EVE COSTARELLI SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013

CLASSES, WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCES FOR EVE COSTARELLI SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013


CLASSES:
Veteran’s Yoga (Mondays 6:15-7:15) Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA

  • This yoga class is free for all veterans, family members and providers. This class focuses on the specific needs of veterans. Experience the benefits of yoga to relieve stress, recover from trauma, focus the mind and heal the body. All veterans welcome regardless of age or physical ability. No previous yoga experience is necessary. Mats and props are provided. Please wear comfortable clothing and avoid eating at least one hour before class. (Classes are co-taught with Michael Thomas and Lynn Stoller)
Yoga for Tweens and Teens (Mondays 4:30-5:30; starts Monday September 30) Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA
  • Yoga is the perfect complement to all activities as it promotes flexibility, strength, friendliness and calmness. Students will learn yoga postures to work the body, breathing techniques to increase the flow of oxygen to the body’s tissues and meditation to calm the mind.
Youth Flamenco (ages 4-16) (Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 (ages 4-9) & 5:00-6:00 (ages 10-16)
The Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
  • Youth I (Level 1/2), ages 4-10
This class includes basic technique and technique to improve flamenco dance to include correct posture, hand, arm, and foot placement. The student will become familiar with basic flamenco vocabulary. The course will include exercises that will develop and improve the clarity of the students’ footwork, develop their upper-body to lower-body coordination as well as stamina and endurance are included. Basic castanet playing exercises are practiced. Basic to medium level footwork and choreographic variations are taught. Repertoire will be taught. Required attire: leotard or fitted top, castanets, flamenco shoes and skirt for girls. Castanets and flamenco boots for boys.
  • Youth II (Level 2/3+), ages 10-16
This class offers Flamenco technique to improve posture, hand, arm, and foot placement. Exercises that will improve clarity of the students’ footwork, upper-body to lower-body coordination as well as stamina and endurance are included. Medium to complex footwork and choreographic variations are taught. Repertoire will be taught.
Required Attire: Flamenco shoes, flamenco skirt, leotard or fitted top, castanets. Castanets and flamenco boots for boys. Other dance accessories may be required such as Spanish hat, mantónand fan, when necessary.
WORKSHOPS:
Intro to Youth and adult Flamenco Workshops; Saturday October 19th2013 Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham
  • Introduction to Youth Flamenco 1:00-2:00PM
  • Adult Introductory Flamenco 2:30-3:45PM
  • These introductory workshops will introduce beginners of all ages to the joys of flamenco dancing: the rhythms (compás), correct posture (postura) , arm and hand movements (braceo y floreo), footwork (taconeo) and the flamenco heart (duende). No previous dance experience is necessary.

All participants should wear hard bottomed shoes; women and girls should also wear skirts.

Pre-Registration is encouraged. For more information, please contact Eve Costarelli 617-216-1643 or AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com


PERFORMANCES:
ZARZUELA! SPANISH OPERA FROM THE BOSTON ARTS CONSORT TO YOU Saturday September 28th 2013
  • The Boston Arts Consort and the Democracy Center are proud to be part of Boston’s inaugural ArtWeek.

Zarzuela! Spain’s unique brand of opera filled with music, dance, comedy and passion is coming to the Democracy Center in Cambridge on Saturday, September 28th. Be part of the production by singing the fiery choruses and clapping to the rhythmic palmas of flamenco, while lovers woo and men duel over their señoritas, and get to know a little-known gem in Harvard Square —the Democracy Center, a non-profit haven that has been incubating grassroots organizations and providing space for events, classes, the arts, and community collaboration for over a decade with the goal of advancing peace and justice.
Drawing from the many talented musicians, artists and scholars from the Boston area and abroad since 2008, the Boston Arts Consortpresents programs that combine the aesthetic, cultural, and historical elements of its themes for a well-rounded and enjoyable audience experience. The Boston Arts Consort performers include Elizabeth Leehey, clarinet; Eva Lorca, flamenco artist; Donal O’Sullivan, actor; Linda Papatopoli, pianist and director; Roberto Rios, flamenco guitar; Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano; and Gary Tucker, baritone; with lecture by Margarita Campos, Professor of Communications at Barcelona University.
Refreshments will be provided.

Tour of the Democracy Center at 7 pm, Lecture and performance at 8 pm
Tour is free, “Zarzuela” is free for students, $10 general public
45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Call The Boston Arts Consort
(617-666-7973)or the Democracy Center(617-4928855)for more information.


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2013 Classes with Eve Costarelli



         2013 Classes with Eve Costarelli
                   AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com; 617-216-1643
                         www. AlwaysBDancing.blogspot.com

Mondays @ Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA; 617-216-1643
4:30-5:30PM Youth Yoga for grades 5-12 (New session) 
6:00-7:30PM Veteran’s Yoga (co-taught with Michael Thomas)
Tuesdays @ Spirit Bear Power Yoga, 19 Main Street, Natick, MA; 508-655-YOGA (9642)
4:00-5:00PM Youth Yoga for grades 5-12 (New session)
Tuesdays @ Dancing Arts Center, 9 Whitney Street, Holliston, MA; 508-429-7577
6:00-7:00PM Youth Tap (ages 6-10) (New sessions starting January 22, 2013)
7:00-8:00PM Teen Tap (ages 11+)
8:00-9:00PM Adult Tap
Wednesdays @ the Dance Complex, 536 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, MA; 617-216-1643
4:00-5:00PM Youth Flamenco 1 (ages 6-10)
5:00-6:00PM Youth Flamenco 2 (ages 11+)
Fridays @ Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA; 617-216-1643
10:00-11:15 Adult/Teen Flamenco: 8-week Sevillanas Series (Welcoming home-schoolers ages 11+) (New session January 11, 2013-March 8, 2013)

Sevillanas:
Sevillanas is a timeless folkdance from southern Spain that has become virtually synonymous with the flamenco of Andalucía. Based on traditional Spanish dances, the Sevillanas form was adopted by the residents of Sevilla (both gypsies and non-gypsies) and merged with their strong flamenco culture to become the most recognizable symbol of the region. Sevillanas are danced in pairs by children, teenagers and adults at nightclubs, parties, and most famously at the annual Feria de Abril in Sevilla. Sevillanas is a fun and exciting dance that enlivens any party and is essential in the repertoire of any flamenco dancer and for all who just love the art of flamenco.
This class will guide the beginner dancer through the basic steps of all four parts of the Sevillanas. The course will cover the basic flamenco style, posture, hand, arm and foot placement. 


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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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Flamenco, Yoga & Tap Classes with Eve Costarelli (Classes/Yoga Retreat)

Looking ahead to the week 11/19/2012-11/23/2012
Monday 11/19/2012 @ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Youth Yoga for Grades 5-84:30-5:30PM
·       Veterans Yoga 6:00-7:30PM
Tuesday 11/20/2012 @ Dancing Arts Center, 9 Whitney Street, Holliston, MA
·       Teen Tap 7:00-8:00PM (NEW CLASS)
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 11/21/2012 @ the Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA
·       Youth Flamenco (Beginner) Ages 6-9  4:00-5:00PM (No Class Today)
·       Youth Flamenco (Intermediate) Ages 9-16 5:00-6:00PM (No Class Today)
Friday 11/23/2012 @ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Adult/Teen Flamenco Ages 12+ 10:00-11:15AM (No Class Today)
COMING SOON:
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:

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: 10/29/12-11/2/12



Looking ahead to the week 10/29/2012-11/2/2012(and upcoming performance information for the Boston Arts Consort)
Monday 10/29/2012@ Open Spirit at Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA:
·       Yoga for Grades 5-8CANCELLED TODAY DUE TO HURRICANE
·       Veterans Yoga 6:00-7:30PM (Please check with center to see if this class will run)
Tuesday starting November 13, 2012 @ Spirit Bear Power Yoga, 19 Main Street, Natick, MA
·       Youth Yoga (Grades 5-8) 4:00-5:00PM
Wednesday 10/31/2012@ the Dance Complex, 536 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA
·       Youth Flamenco (Beginner) Ages 6-9 No class today! Happy Halloween!
·       Youth Flamenco (Intermediate) Ages 9-16 No class today! Happy Halloween!
Friday 11/2/2012 @ 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