Friday, September 7, 2012

Kundalini Yoga Workshop Series: The Elements with Damaris

I'm so happy to be on the brink of teaching my first workshop series as a Kundalini yoga teacher. Thanks so much to Lenessa and Mikey Shantaya of The Yoga School, Diane Fine of Fine Spirit Yoga, Sun Edwards of Transform, and Hawk of Ahimsa. You not only inspire me, but you support my inspiration. I'm proud of this idea, the theme, and how it relates to the community. It feels so nice to have a sense of doing the right thing...who knew I'd be teaching like this! It's right! I'm ready! Thanks for recognizing me. I'd also like to thank the Greenstar Yoga class I've been teaching for last 2 or so yrs It's really taking off too! Of course thank you for the experiences of teaching at: homeschool collective, Northern Lights Learning Center, Ithaca Waldorf School, and the amazing CUMEP at Soutside Community Center all places where I have taught kids...this has really taught me a lot, being a teacher!

Yes, Wha He Guru! I'm very excited to teach this series.  I'm so lucky, so grateful to be teaching in these four locations at once! I hope we get a lot of folks, and especially appreciate the 'cross pollination' between these awesome studios!  I think these elements and the topics are just perfect for your studios. It's an honor to work with all these folks. I can't wait to get to know more of the yoga community through this experience.

Whenever great things come thru me, I feel such a profound sense of gratitude. It's as if all I want to do is just expand myself so that I can GIVE, and let all this love flow!

Thank you, community for being so supportive and allowing me to share. Now, sign up for an 'element' or two...and let's do some Kundalini yoga, magic and meditation together!

Sat Nam! ~D

PS. My 6 yr old daughter, Deya,  took the sweet picture of me in the middle...she made sure I gave her a photo credit. Love Virgo time and energy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Excited to go to New Mexico for White Tantric Yoga and Kundalini Summer Solstice

Anyone who knows me knows how deeply I am affected by my yearly trip to New Mexico...see previous blog...This gives you a little taste of what it's like...Click Here to see Video I made last year, for those of you interested. Sat Nam, D

Monday, December 12, 2011

We are so proud to have had this special article written about us in theIthaca Times'

Looking at a Beautiful Year - Ithaca Times : Special Sections: excerpt from article written
by Warren Greenwood photo by Ed Dittenhoefer

My favorite philosopher is the late Alan Watts. And I recall a lecture where he said that art tended to be more integrated into life in the Eastern cultures. In other words, here in the West, art tends to be placed in museums and galleries, and we are supposed to go look at it and appreciate it as “Art.” Whereas, in Eastern cultures, art would be more a part of life, say, painted on clothing or fabrics, or on a money pouch or pottery or dishware, perhaps on a screen or scrim, even in a little shrine in the home. You get the idea.
And, as my arts & entertainment editor asked me to write about two new 2012 calendars by local Ithaca photographers, it occurred to me that calendars were a sort of Western way to integrate art into life … particularly the art of photographers.
Let’s see what we’ve got …
Integration of Opposites –
Astro Yoga Calendar 2012
Photographer: Damarís 
Graphic Artist: 12th Moon
This is, seemingly, the sort of project that could only happen in Ithaca.
The Astro Yoga Calendar is a sort of confluence of yoga and astrology, the photographer Damarís’s practice of Kundalini White Tantric Yoga, and her Significant Other 12th Moon’s study of astrology.
It features fifteen models, performing yoga, nude, in upstate New York landscapes. The models are practitioners and instructors of yoga – a bewildering variety of yoga disinclines including Vinyasa Yoga, Somaveda Thai Yoga, Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bikram’s Yoga, Anusara, Pure Yoga and Iyengar styles, and Acrobatic and Partner Yoga. And the models have a full range of life activities, including dance, playwriting, organic vegetable farming, photography, nursing, herbal medicine and massage.
A lot of the imagery in the calendar is quite beautiful.
The nude figures remind me a bit of Renaissance art: Michelangelo, Titian, Tintoretto, Raphael and so on … or perhaps (what inspired all the aforementioned) the classical art of ancient Greece.
My favorites are the photos for Aquarius, which features nudes in the upstate New York winter, and Sagittarius, with fire-burnished nudes, also in the upstate winter. The effect is so strange that it reminds me of fantasy art, like the work of, say, Rowena, or the Bros. Hilderbrandt, or Boris Vallejo.
Gemini, with the figures draped with a gauzy, transparent fabric, looks a bit like a Christo installation.
Scorpio, which was shot with an underwater camera, and Libra, with the theatrical artificiality of the photo’s background, look like scenes from a Fellini movie, perhaps Satyricon or Roma.
Virgo, with feathers and flowers and fruit and a misty bubble star field of underwater nudes, looks a like a Pre-Raphaelite painting (or at least the 20th century comic book illustrators who were inspired by them, like the sublime Barry Windsor-Smith).
The black-&-white-and-limited color of Leo feels like a surrealist painting by Salvador Dali.
Aries looks somewhat like classical Indian Hindu art.
Pisces feels a bit like Max Ernst surrealism.
The opening low angle shot and the closing down-shot of a mandala of multiple nudes in a forest, remind me of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.
And the final, biographical page shot of Damarís and 12th Moon is an especially charming composition of male and female in an ethereally beautiful time-and-water sculpted gorge.
And I can’t help but be impressed with how difficult the shoots must have been. Entailing difficult locations and terrain, multiple models performing difficult poses, nude models in the Upstate, N.Y. winter, severe downshots and underwater photography. The mind boggles.
I met with Damarís and 12th Moon, two extraordinarily appealing people, at the Wegman’s second floor café and we talked about some of those difficulties.
Damarís said, “The hardest part was scheduling … getting childcare for people who had children.”
And she said, “I feel like this has been a really good vehicle for me to learn things in my craft that I’ve always wanted to do … such as shooting underwater … I was really committed to doing as much as I could out in nature.”
She told me of one of the models for Aquarius: “She is literally turning 21 in that shot … she is watching the sun rise …”
And 12th Moon chuckled, “That was the other part – being out in the ice and snow at 4:35 in the morning …”
Damarís said the models were “up for the fun and the challenge … the only problem about being nude in the snow is you’ve got to wear shoes … everything else is doable…”
And she said, “The fire was definitely a big challenge … I had fire workers … I had to have somebody on the fire …”
And of the bio-photo, she said it was shot in “Upper Buttermilk Falls … you have to walk through the water to get to the spot – I call it ‘The Womb of Ithaca.’ We had the camera on a timer. I had like 10 seconds to hurry up over there naked and look peaceful …”
Locally, the Astro Yoga calendar is available at Greenstar, Buffalo Street Books, Mayer’s News, Sustainable Passion, The Yosa Studios, Ahimsa Yoga, Transform Yoga, The Yoga School, and is also available online

Friday, November 4, 2011

"My Mother Was Born on the Day of the Dead"

I've always loved that line, and like to say I'd start a novel with that line. My Mom is a Scorpio...and I've certainly learned a lot about this sun sign from her. I am very committed to embracing the meanings of Scorpio. It's when rituals such as Samhain, Dia De Los Muertos, and Halloween happen. The mirror opposite time from Belthane in Spring when everyone frolics and procreates and flashy buds crop up (End October, Most of November) is a time of beautiful depth, dark earth tones, and potential for release....Yes, I do have a sweet spot for Scorpio (and about 3 planets in the 10th house).

Photo by Damaris: From Astro Yoga Calendar 2012: Integration of Opposites
It's been long stated that there are three types of Scorpios, or a phase someone who is Scorpionic could be in...
The Scorpion: "Oh, I'm sorry, I couldn't help but to hurt you..." Or what I like to call the 'baby viper' the immature but powerful one who uses ALL the power in one bite and wears itself out...
The Snake: The classic symbol of uncomfortable crawling out of old skin...shedding the Mother Nature right now is shedding leaves from trees to make compost for spring...
The Eagle: Highest form of Transformation or Enlightenment
We view this sign we are in right now as a time of Death and Rebirth, it's the "Death Card" Trump in Tarot Major Arcana which heralds not death literally but transformation like diving into uncharted territory coming out the other side a new being.
This is where I like to interject the imagery of the Phoenix...all must come down to ash before the magnificent bird is reborn and again sets flight. To me, this is what this sign is about. This is also why I chose to represent it as a 'yonic' symbol of birth...but made sure the element of water and darkness hinted to a sense of flight. It was such a joy to work with this trio in this picture...two Scorpios and a Taurean...quite a sensual combination of Earth and Water symbolism.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Video I made three years ago for Birth Fair

This has stood the emotional test of time for me, anyhow.  I hope to see you at the Ithaca Birth Fair as put o by the Birth Net of the Fingerlakes this  Saturday 11-4 at Women's Community Building.

I loved putting this slideshow video together last Birth Fair, but projected it live with Joe Smellow accompanying if you were there, you'll remember, way different experience. I so look forward to going to the Birth Fair this year. I hope to see you there. Our Ithaca, NY has the most amazing Birthing community supporting women and midwives, men and children to have the birth they desire. I am so deeply touched by this experience of working so intimately with women when they are pregnant. To be creative with a woman during this window of time in their lives is my deepest honor.

Truly, you are goddess embodied, and shall be treated as such. My hope, in my own way, is to remind you of that!

Thank you to Eric 12th Moon for Mandalas and the beautiful voice of Amanda Rodgers for her music that inspires me to tears every time. If you are not already a fan, check out some of her cds, she's amazing!!!! (Fellow Saggitarian of course)