Lifelong dancing

Life is for dancing. Whatever stage of life you are at – dance. Whatever struggle you are going through with your life – dance. For any reason whatsoever – dance! There is no need to learn specific steps. Your body knows how it wants to move if you will just listen to it. Dance can be the most liberating activity. You may be feeling low, depressed, anxious and alone but put on a piece of music and move your body as it intuits it needs to move and after a while the endorphins kick in and dopamine floods your system and everything changes and you are more liberated and the body feels freer in the joints and muscles. The mood lifts and energy levels return. There is nothing quite like dance.

Whatever age you are you can dance. You may be fairly immobile but you can still dance with your hands. You can dance on your chair and utilise your imagination to take you to another realm of mobility. The mind can move the body, the body can move the mind. In movement liberation of the spirit happens. Moods lift. The joints and muscles become freer. You are moving in the moment.

Dance, dance. Wherever you will be.

Photo collage credit: Sanandi-jacq

Yoga: a way of life

The practice of yoga is not just about physical postures though in the West many people see yoga as simply that. Unless of course you are a practising yogi or yogini and know that there is more to yoga than a series of postures.

Yoga is essentially a lifestyle choice though personally I dislike this term as it sounds so artificial. Let’s rephrase it. Yoga is essentially a way of life if you embrace it fully. It should permeate everything you do not just the time you spend on the mat.

Yoga means ‘union’ or ‘yoke’ in Sanskrit – the ancient Indian language of yoga’s origins. The union or yoking is between mind, body and spirit. The mind and body connection is easy enough to fathom but what about the spirit?

What does yoking to the spirit actually mean? We all have a deeper nature and a deeper connection to life than we know. Union with the spiritual side of our nature is simply connecting to our higher nature – understanding that there is something bigger than ourselves. We all have different conceptions of what our higher nature might be and what that something bigger than our little selves might be. The spiritual journey is what our lives are often about.

All of us are on a spiritual journey in one way or another. All of us have our own way of connecting to our spiritual nature. Yoga is simply a science or an art or a set of tools that help us to calm body and mind so that we can more easily perceive our higher nature. Yoga was never a religion but a way of connecting to a higher reality. Anybody can practice yoga – a way of relaxing body and mind and learning to tune in to the reality of life around us. Regular practice of yoga enables us to gain a sense of inner peace – much needed in the busyness of modern life.

Photo credit @ Sanandi-jacq May 2019

Sea-based haiku

Inspired by the seascape at St Ives – so tranquil and calm yet remembering the sea has such great potential to stir itself – this series of sea-based haiku emerged into my consciousness this early morning.

  • A wild wave surges ~
  • Strong undertow scrapes and growls ~
  • Sucking sediment.
  • A fresh tide surges ~
  • Across political sands ~
  • Flushing out fossils.
  • A fresh tide surges ~
  • Through humanity’s landscape ~
  • Shipwrecked treasure found.
  • Tsunami of hope ~
  • Gaining power from the deep ~
  • Hidden volcanoes.

~ © Sanandi-jacq ~

Photo credit: Sanandi-jacq

Glimpse of shy bather

The walk along the coastal path from St Ives to River Cove is three and half miles long and the area is described as ‘a very remote part of the west Cornwall coast’ suggesting an area of natural beauty. The path is assigned a level three difficulty. The craggy cliffs mean ensuring correct placement of boot on rock and keeping the eyes engaged on feet whilst walking up and down the steep paths. Fortunately there is some let up from the highs and lows as the path widens out and plateaus now and again. The decreasing need for eye-foot attachment means we can gaze around us.

In one of those moments when the eye could wander we caught a glimpse of a shy bather on one of the rocks below. The being was unmoving; its face and back turned away from the path. Deceased perhaps? We scrambled down the rocks to get a better view. Alas, we had disturbed the shy bather. The head lifted and a doleful face stared at us for an instant (just in time for the photo) unhappy at being revealed as something other than a rock. Camouflage having failed the shy bather flipped up its tail and disappeared into the sea. The highlight of our walk – a rare and close up glimpse of a seal sunbathing.

Seal bather on St Ives coastal walk © Sanandi-jacq

Furry beings on Portland Isle

Don’t say the word … they’re here! © Sanandi-jacq

Over the weekend we were out walking on the isle of Portland in Dorset. We kept coming across long-eared furry beings set on stone with cryptic messages such as ‘WE ARE HERE’. Non-plussed we walked on with the intention of discovering the answer to the mystery.

It turns out that on the isle a limestone called Portland stone is quarried. This stone hails from the Jurassic period and is used in such public buildings as St Pauls Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in the UK and the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Apparently, in the past when the stone was being quarried there was danger from rockfalls and stone avalanches. The quarrymen would notice that furry long haired beings would emerge from their underground dwellings just at the point that a rockfall or avalanche of stones was about to occur. Over time a superstition emerged on Portland that you should never mention the six-letter word beginning with ‘r’ because it brings bad luck. Hence images of furry beings with cryptic messages are to be found along the coastal path particularly at points where rockfalls are more likely.

The rest of the day we spent imagining alternate names. Hare’s cousin. Long-eared furry beings. Coneys. Bunnies. And we don’t wish you were here!