Timer on…well, I’m embarking on an effort towards a process of tapas (yoga discipline) for the next 68 Days. I sort of began this two weeks ago, but I didn’t do the disciplined effort of reflecting and writing things down. Publish or perish, as they say, but…my empirical efforts always seem to be focused on the experience and not the reflection of that experience, which, truly, makes me a hypocrite because I’m always telling my students that the most important thing in their own process towards their discipline is reflection. Bloom’s Taxonomy also backs me up on this: the highest form in Bloom’s Taxonomy is “Create”, the idea that you design, assemble, construct, conjecture, develop, formulate, author, and/or investigate your work, i.e.: ‘reflection’.
Now, for this 68 Day journey I’m not making any rules except that I have to WRITE/REFLECT! I want this to be a fun journey that exercises my brain and my body. Brain Gym activities always need to have the idea of infinity, rote rehearsal, elaborative rehearsal, confidence, and novelty/fun. I have really over the past two years created “brain gyms” that explore the idea of infinity (my connection to my father in my “mourning sequence”), the same poses for 69 Days and 38 Days in my “mourning sequence” and my “love sequence” were obvious practitioners of “rote rehearsal”/ “elaborative rehearsal” (because I wrote about it every day), those journeys definitely built confidence in ideas that were overwhelming me…so…the last journey I need to do, in my opinion, is the “novelty/fun” idea.
For the past two weeks I’ve been doing a yoga sequence that generally lasts two hours, where I perform a different pose from many sequences I’ve done over the years (including the mourning/love sequence). This was fun because I was playing with rituals that I had created over the past two years, honoring the memory of that “rote rehearsal”, in addition to creating new moments with other sequences I really love.
Yesterday, it was really hot in the house, so I decided to do the Bikram series.
Today, I decided it might be a good time to start re-exploring my Voice work with the Catherine Fitzmaurice poses. This took about two hours, and I felt really “out-of-shape” in the breathing technique. It took several poses to finally “get-back-into-the-groove”. I (also) find that I really need to work on my ability to just be present with breathing. That takes time for me, as well. What I have always loved about this work is the fact that it doesn’t live in the “knees-up-lie-on-your-back-and-we’re-going-to-breathe/make-noise-world”. It is a sequence, like yoga (which I love), that involves the deconstruction of the way one has always breathed, utilizing the ideas of Wilhelm Reich. It’s hard, but, I don’t feel claustrophobic in the work, as I do in many other voice techniques. I have to teach voice and diction next semester and I will be re-visiting all of the techniques I have trained in over the next 68 Days, but I won’t “force” myself to make a schedule. I might go for a jog, I might do yoga, I might do kick boxing, I might go for a hike, I might do voice work, but I’m not going to force anything. I will just have the rule that I have to do something, and I have to write.
On a final note, I want to say re-teaching/de-constructing breath is “hard” and I would never have thought that before embarking on the Fitzmaurice work. I have (always) had decent breath support (I’m a trained opera singer), but re-teaching it to be something that doesn’t demand a lot of work, is hard. I like it, but…I feel out-of-shape. I feel better after today’s practice, but…I will really need to keep this up, if I want to get-back-into-shape.