Tuesday, February 12, 2013


"The best cure for Insomnia is to get a lot of sleep." W. C. Fields

I was taking a long flight from London to Kathmandu, Nepal.  There was an unfortunate eight hour stopover in New Delhi, so instead of spending an uncomfortable night in the airport, I booked a hotel near to the airport to rest for a few hours.

"O sleep, no greater bliss compares with you; in sleep the prisoners are free from their prison, and kings possess neither throne nor crown.  The sufferers lose their pain and worries, and sorrows are forgotten." Rumi

The hotel was modern in that standard lego design format.  The Porter took me to a room that appeared clean but immediately upon our entry a sinister sight presented itself.  A large Rat scampered across the pillows that I was about to lay my head upon.  He was not my ideal choice for a bedmate admittedly so I requested very calmly and politely to be moved to another room.

This request appeared to amuse the hotel staff, why should I be offended by this Raty visitor, they laughed.  They gave me a new room.  It did not help.  I could not sleep or rest and wrapped myself with the sheet into a cocoon and with anticipatory dread imagined little rat feet running over me all night.

I was tired when I arrived in Kathmandu.  I checked into the Hotel Tibet and immediately hit the restaurant to eat my favourite dish, vegetable momos with hot chilli sauce.  The restaurant was empty, I thought, until I glanced down under the table and saw a rat looking at me, waiting for me to drop a mono.  No chance of that, not even a menacing rat will separate me from a bowl of moms.  The rat ran into the kitchen .........to complain?

Another hotel, another rat, sleepless in Kathmandu.  Did I mention I have a phobia about Rats.  As therapy once, I tried to watch the film Willard, but my imagination won the oscar for creating the best sensory, scary experience.

Skip now back to New Delhi and my return trip.  Same hotel, same eight hour stopover.  I was in a taxi driving towards the hotel when the taxi driver turned to me and asked, "Marm, how did you find this hotel?" his head sliding from side to side on top of his spine.
"Internet" I replied.
He said, "but Marm, I have a better hotel for you."
I replied, "No thank you, I don't want to change hotels at this late stage, this hotel is paid for and it is only for a few hours."
"But Marm" he pleaded, "my hotel has a lovely restaurant, wonderful rooms with modern bathrooms, it has a swimming pool, a gym, a florist, shops, my hotel would suit you better than this one."
A little weary by his hard sell, I asked "Does it have Rats?"
He replied, "Oh Marm, it has everything."

When I told my Mother about my rat stories, she could not sleep.  I had inherited my rat phobia from her and I gave her insomnia.

There are many reasons for insomnia or sleeplessness, temporary or otherwise.

"When I am with you, we stay up all night.  When you are not here I cannot go to sleep.  Praise God for these two insomnias and the difference between them" Rumi

Excluding major medical conditions, sleeplessness can be caused by stress, worries, overwork, overstimulation, interruption, unsafe environment, bad memories and many more.

But there comes a time in the life of an insomniac when he or she becomes tired of trying and failing with all the established advice.  No caffeine, drink chamomile tea before bed, lavender oil baths, eat turkey and bananas before bedtime, turn off the TV and computer, avoid stimulation or go to the Doctor and get pills.  I did not take pills but I did all the rest and it failed.  Maybe I joke about rats, but I had insomnia due to a head injury from a car accident and then being in a building that was blown up by a bomb (another story, another lifetime ago).

While living in New York, I was drawn to sign up to attend a Sounder Sleep Sominar conducted by the system's creator, Michael Krugman.  I had found his name through the Feldenkrais world in which I am a practitioner and Michael is one of High ups in that tradition and he had insomnia which created the environment for him to develop this system through his own research and experience.

This course was my last resort.  It was a three day workshop and Michael is brilliant with his intelligence and ease of explanation about the research and knowledge behind the science of sleep and sleep disorders and of course his creation of these simple movement and breathing practices.  For me it was the first time that someone had offered a proven explanation as to why some of us just cannot sleep.  We learnt about the brain and the central nervous system and how the Sounder Sleep System exploits the two fundamental, opposing principles of the human nervous system, excitation and inhibition to produce its sleep inducing affects.   The Sounder Sleep System uses small, slow, gentle bodily movements to initiate and amplify the inhibitory process resulting in natural, restful sleep whenever we need it.

My introduction to this method gave me the most relaxing weekend that I have ever experienced and as I practiced the methods over the following weeks my sleep returned to perfection.  I could fall asleep and stay asleep without waking up at three in the morning and staying awake.  I became a devoted fan and trained to be a teacher.  When I told my clients (Feldenkrais and Tibetan Yoga etc) that I was teaching the Sounder Sleep System, suddenly, out of the woodwork, many claimed to be suffering from insomnia and the stress of life.  Who knew?  People have a habit of keeping quiet about this condition.  Now teaching is forms the greater proportion of my practice especially here in England.

Returning to the system's success, I was on an Embodied Life Retreat where Russell Delman, a Zen Buddhist combines meditation with Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Lessons and Focusing.  This is a wonderful combination of practices.  Russell would often suggest we have silent days i.e. no talking, no internet, no electronic stimulation.  On one of these days it was raining so I could not go out.  We had a three hour lunch break and I did not want to meditate or exercise so I thought I would go to sleep.  Possible?  I practices a sounder sleep move for ten minutes and fell asleep immediately and woke up two and half hours later just before our afternoon session was to begin.  Skip to evening, we finished meditating at 8.45pm.  I thought sleep would be impossible after my two and a half hour nap.  So I practiced sounder sleep again and guess what?  I woke up after eight solid hours.

Yes.  The Sounder Sleep System works.  Oh.........and mine is a double expresso, please!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012


"It was early, which has always been my hour to begin looking at the world and of course, even in the darkness to begin listening into it." Mary Oliver

Nostrand Avenue Subway Station Brooklyn, New York.  6.15am.  Waiting for the 3 train along with all my fellow early morning passengers, many of whom like me were in the people care business  We all waited for the train to take us to our 7am clients.

Most mornings, in silence, we would frequently watch the rats playing/grubbing around for food.  Today we saw Clive.  That's what we named him.  He was a big, mutant rat with no fear of humans and he would often disturb our standing repose because we would have to execute a Beckham dodge to  avoid tackling him.  Today he was running along the platform and we were watching him, preparing to dive in a different direction if necessary.

As he was running, a new lady passenger was walking down the steps oblivious to everything going on around her.  She was texting on her smartphone and was totally absorbed in whatever she was typing.  I forgot to mention it was summer and she was wearing open toed sandals.

Clive had decided to run up the steps at exactly the same time as this lady was descending.  On the last step they collided or I should clarify, Clive ran over her foot but the lady remained completely unaware of their meeting.

I and my fellow travellers looked at each other and grimaced.  All of us imagined the felt sensation of a big three pound rat running over our feet, but apparently our lady did not notice it at all.  What should we do, we thought?  Tell her?  Risk the hysterical breakdown?  The train solved the problem by arriving and we all embarked upon our journey.  Our Lady of Unawareness sat down, still texting but she started to rub her feet together obviously a belated sensation of Clive's little feet on her skin was beginning to arise.  We all looked at each with an unspoken agreement not to mention anything.  What our Lady did not know would not alarm her.

This incident set off a chain of thought stories in my head of how frequently awareness or more particularly, the lack of it, bothers me.  People going down the subway steps who stop midway to check their cell phones before the signal fades not thinking that there are ten people behind them who have to halt suddenly to avoid a dramatic fall down the steps.  Then there are those people again in the subway who stop in front of the barrier and search for their ticket in pockets or  large bags not realising that there is a line of people who do have their tickets ready but who are prevented from moving forward. I could go on.

"You can tell by my attitude that I'm most definitely in New York" Jay-Z

Perhaps this lack of awareness is just bad manners but  Clive the Rat drew our attention to the lady whose sense fields were completely closed down because she was absorbed in her texting.  There is a lack of awareness around us all the time, in thoughts, language, attitude, habits, deeds, movement, manners and so on.

So what is this word Awareness, that those of us in the 'business' throw around so much.

The great movement sage Moshe Feldenkrais offers a definition.

"awareness is part of the thinking mechanism which listens to the self while acting ...... awareness is knowledge of what is going on while it is happening .......awareness means relating or having a dynamic relationship with our senses, our emotions, our surroundings.  This knowing happens without meditation, without distraction in a non-verbal way.  One senses oneself absolutely in action, one is in complete relationship with oneself.  Simultaneously we are in resonance with our fellows and with the entire environment.  There are no escapes, no doubts.  There is no good and bad, there are no faults.  The act of awareness is success in itself."

I think that says it all.  Almost all cultures and religions employ methods to help people develop awareness of the moment.  Is it learnt or does it have to be awakened?  It can certainly get buried or lost.

Moshe Feldenkrais developed a complete somatic method that uses awareness, sensation, imagination and movement.  The process of organic learning through movement and sensing can free us from habitual patterns so that new patterns of thinking, moving and feeling emerge.  The Method explores the biological and cultural aspects of movement posture and learning and how our habits can contain us to a small portion of our potential.  Through our personal history, upbringing, culture, injuries, illness etc we each adopt patterns of physical and psychological behaviour.

Long before I encountered Feldenkrais movement lessons called Awareness Through Movement,( not awareness of movement, there is a difference), I had tried many therapies and physical modalities to sort out the residue of my injuries from a car smash.  Everything I learnt had some effect but I would often return to a default status.  Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement lessons are utterly unique utilising the neuroplasticity of the brain to remove traumatic history from the nervous system creating a new mode of moving, sensing and thinking.

Awareness Through Movement Lessons are structured movement lessons, and students typically begin lying on comfortable mats (lessons are taught using a variety of positions, including sitting on chairs or standing) always fully clothed.  Using a combination of guided attention and pleasant purposeful movement each lesson guides the person through the essential pattern of movement and actions.

Unlike traditional exercise, where movements can become mechanical and the objective is to burn calories, stretch or train will power for its own, awareness through movement teaches one the secrets to reducing unnecessary muscular effort and improving awareness of the whole self in action.  This emphasis on sensory learning results in movement and vitality that is more flexible, pleasurable and free of aches and pains.  The lessons are easy to do and of benefit to everyone and the results can be extraordinary.  Over the years I have taught many people of different ages with many different kinds of movement challenges.  Even learning to move efficiently and gracefully gives people who suffer from poor body image a better view of themselves.

Awareness Through Movement lessons were developed by Moshe Feldenkrais as a means to re-engage the nervous system in the kind of learning we all do as infants when we are born with 'enlightened' bodies but later abandon due to picking up other movement habits.  The compositional structure of the lessons creates a conversation of sensing, feeling, resting and moving that engages your brain and whole system in a process of organic learning where old habits can be replaced by new awareness and skill.

Throughout my training, I think I have probably engaged in over 1000 lessons but let me talk now about  my Ah Ha! lesson.  I suffered from migraines for years.  I went to Doctors, Dentists, Nutritionists, Allergists, Acupuncturists and more but to no avail.  One day with a migraine growing, I lay down on the floor and listened to a tape designed to hel TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder.  This disorder can create all kinds of pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck, shoulders.  The movements in the lesson were tiny, gentle and easy, concentrating on the mouth and jaw.  At one point I heard an almighty crack which did not hurt, it just made a loud noise.  From that point onwards I have never had a migraine or even a mild headache.  This particular lesson is one of several that specifically target the face, although with all Feldenkrais lessons, a face lesson could just as easily affect the feet or some other part of the body.  I had a couple of Feldenkrais colleagues who specifically ran workshops called Free Your Face that sold these lessons as a non surgical facelift amongst all the other benefits.  I went to a workshop once and the lessons achieved what they advertised.  All the participants left the workshop looking younger and less stressed and wrinkled.  Also, necks, shoulders and backs felt better.

Not long after my own experience removing migraines from my life, my Mother had a minor stroke.  One side of her face had dropped and she had difficulty eating and using her mouth.  My Mother can be quite resistant of any kind of help or advice so without letting her know what I was doing, she was just sitting at the dining room table, I just started to ask her to do some gentle facial movements, just a few at a time.  This is where the Feldenkrais Method is so magical because I watched in front of me, my Mother's face return to its former shape.  While I was watching her in awe, she became excited because her painful back and frozen shoulder began to release its trauma.  An amazing lesson and so simple.

I was now on a roll with this lesson and taught it to several people, teeth grinders, lock jaw etc.  One of my close friends who a professional dancer who worked with a well known choreographer.  He was known to be a bully to his dancers and my friend had a cold and could not breathe through her nose.  The choreographer did not want his dancers to open their mouths so he kept on yelling at my friend.  The stress and discomfort caused her to have lockjaw. The TMJ lesson sorted her out.

So lockjaw/TMJ and awareness through movement lessons are a long way from Clive the Rat and the Lack of Awareness Lady and my own train of thought travelled rapidly today with perhaps many missed opportunities to explore awareness/mindfulness/meditation and awareness of the sense fields.  But that is for another blog.

I found a wonderful quote once that allows me to explore a sensory application that affects my whole day.  Before I mention it, I had the worst year ever last year, which I will not go into but this quote helped me everyday.

"Eat a live frog in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." Mark Twain

Can you sense that? Can you feel it?  It works doesn't it?

This blog was conceived on the cross trainer in the Waendel Leisure Centre in Wellingborough.  This time I was listening to the Ladies - Beyoncé, J Lo, Katy Perry, Rhianna who help me with that unspeakable relationship I have to endure with the cardio machines.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Marshwood Vale, Dorset, England/Tibetan Yoga

"It was the first day in June and the sheep shearing season culminated the landscape, even to the leanest pasture, being all health and colour.  Every green was young, every pore was open and every stalk was swollen with racing current of juice.  God was palpably present in the country, and the devil had gone with the world to town." Thomas Hardy, Far From The Madding Crowd

Before I describe sKu-mNyé (pronounced Koom Nyay) or simply Tibetan Yoga, let me relate an incident.

Another lifetime ago I was living in a remote house in the exquisitely beautiful Marshwood Vale of Dorset.  The countryside remains untouched by our century and it is a place where you could easily experience the time of the Romans or Thomas Hardy just by being present on the land.  Also it is the most heavily haunted part of Britain.  Our house and garden stood isolated in amongst the rolling hills, a perfect location for practicing Meditation and Yoga in the garden.

I would go riding every day and my friend Jo told me that people in the villages were talking about me, discussing my religion.  I happen to be an Ordained Buddhist but apparently the local arguments revolved around and ignorance of Buddhism, so some pretty weird and inaccurate opinions were arising but also some villagers were arguing as to whether I was a Buddhist or Muslim.  I laughed about this.

One gloriously sunny June day I was meditating in my wild flower paddock, I was alone except for my Jack Russell Terrier named Tangle who wanted to catch and kill rabbits but he never disrespected my meditation time with actions of such an impermanent nature so he remained still.  After a while I decided to practice some Tibetan Yoga, so I took my clothes off.  Yes, it was warm and sunny, I was on my own except for Tangle who did not mind and a requirement of this solitary practice is no clothes.  I will explain why later.

 I practiced a few exercises (with names relating to lions, vultures, tigers, eagles and garudas), meditating between the sets and when I was enjoying one of my favourite exercises named Stalking Tiger which involves standing on all fours, buttocks higher than the shoulders and the pelvis rotates clockwise in a circle horizontally while the nose rotates in a circle horizontally in the opposite direction.  Never accuse me of not having a sense of humour!  I began to sense that I was being observed.  You know the feeling?

My paddock was surrounded by 1000 year old hedgerows so I did not think it was possible to be seen, except I was mistaken.  There was a small gap in the hedge and I saw the face of one of my neighbours who lived a few fields away and today he was walking his gun dogs.  He was dressed from a BBC Costume Department in plus fours and he sported the most enormous handlebar moustache.  He was watching me.  I stopped mid rotation to stare back at him and at this point without embarrassment he shouted, "well, I can see you are not a Muslim."  Go Figure.  I understand his observation of me had solved the argument about my religion.  Only in England, folks, only in England.

I have practiced Tibetan Yoga, with a lot of humour,  for eighteen years ever since I was taught the practice by my Buddhist Teachers, Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen who are the lineage holders of a Tibetan Yogic lineage called the Aro Tér.  This is a rare and unique strand of non-monastic Buddhism within the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.  The lineage emanates from Yeshé Tsogyel, the femail Tantric Buddha and consort of Padmasambhava, through Aro Lingma, a visionaly genius of the early 20th Century.

 Although I have enjoyed and taught many movement practices all my life, Tibetan Yoga carries all the components of a fully inclusive exercise system with a meditation practice.  It employs a number of varied exercises requiring strength, balance, coordination, flexibility that all develop into various levels of aerobic activity.  It is a cardiovascular exercise system and encourages bone density, joint mobility and overall strength and flexibility.

"lose yourself" Eminem

Now for the interesting part.  The Meditation practice concentrates on physical sensation resulting in opening and invigorating the senses.  This is achieved by not wearing any clothes, employing a distinctive use of the eyes, the hands, and disorienting moving postures (as described previously with stalking tiger).  I jokingly said earlier that it requires a sense of humour to practice it, but interestingly with regular practice, experience of the senses becomes enlivened  and increasingly vivid and people become livelier, happier, less depressed as their world becomes more potent.  The routine of alternating exercise with meditation allows the benefits of interval training, so weight loss occurs and fitness develops rapidly.  One of the initial and welcome side effects of practicing is an increased sex drive as well as an increase of awareness of sensations.  Simply put, better Sex!

Tibetan Yoga also ameliorates mental conditions such as depression, because it is entirely concerned with physical sensation rather than any form of mental re-programming.  If you like exercise and want to meditate and stop paying for a gym membership, this is the system for you and it is so much fun.

Over the years while living in New York I have taught Tibetan Yoga to hundreds of people all of whom loved and welcomed it into their daily exercise and meditation practice.  With frequent practice, the beneficial results are fast.  By the way, in the teaching environment we wear clothes! but this is a solitary practice to engaged in at home on your own.  I once taught it to a group of teenagers in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York.  They loved the experience and apart from fitness and weight loss issues, the practice improved their concentration at school.

I also once had the pleasure of being invited to teach Tibetan Yoga to a group of ladies all taking part in a 45 day total body detox to remove heavy metals and parasites, repair gut function and restore the body's tone and vitality.  I taught as well as taking part in the detox.  Apparently it had been proven that people who exercised and meditated experienced faster results in the detox than those who did not.  We were all medically tested quite thoroughly before and after to prove the efficacy of the detox remedies.  When I went to my Doctor after the 45 days, she asked me what I had been doing as my blood work and the rest was that of a 12 year old.  My allergies disappeared and those annoying peri-menopausal symptoms calmed down.  I also lost 25 lbs in 45 days.  Through teaching Tibetan Yoga under these intensive time constraints - four times a week for six weeks - we all lost weight and I learned so much about the efficacy of the exercises as a result of this study.  As the yoga practice relies on accumulating many repetitions, we achieved this, thus losing weight very quickly and easily.  For more information check out www.bioraynaturaldetox.com and if you want the Tibetan Yoga book written by my teacher, it is "Moving Being" by Khandro Déchen and check out www.arobuddhism.org

This portion of the blog was written in my new home town of Wellingborough, in England, in a lovely coffee shop names Bewitched with the help of many cups of cappuccino  Excellent.  I am still plugged into my rappers with Jay Z and Akon joining Lil Wayne and Eminem.  For classes and workshops in the practice, email me!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


As a potential blogger, I declare I have mastery over the practice of procrastination, so this blog was conceived but not written during a long, hot, humid and sweaty summer of 2011 in New York City, earthquakes and hurricanes included, in between drinking many iced coffees in the Velvet Peach Café in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn and also the Heavenly Rest Café, Fifth Ave, Manhattan and - still drinking - the best poured Tanqueray and Tonics in my favourite bar in the world, Juniors in Brooklyn.

"We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups.  That's fine with us.  Every morning we glow and in the evening we glow again." Rumi

When I am not imbibing beverages, I was also creating words while pounding the streets of New York, sitting on the 2, 3, 4, and 5 subway trains from Brooklyn to the Bronx and listening to my favourite rapper and wordsmith, Eminem.

I apologise to those reading this on both sides of the Atlantic who are alarmed at my bad spelling, I have to admit to encouraging the torment provided by my American spellchecker and my long forgotten English education.  ENOUGH procrastination, let us commence with some history.

"There is a way between voice and presence where information flows." Rumi

My Mother tells me I learned to walk at an early age, but then I had to learn to walk again at the age of 26 after an inauspicious impact with a speeding Saab that put me in hospital for three months with many broken limbs and joints.  Upon leaving hospital, I can remember looking and walking like the Bride of Frankenstein, my body had been stitched together, surgically moulded and fused to eventually resemble - Me - again.  My eventual recovery from a catalogue of disabilities led to a lifetime study of the Movement Sciences.

Along the way before I became a Feldenkrais Teacher, I took a Feldenkrais workshop on Walking.  I had shed by this time the Bride of Frankenstein walk but after two days of learning to move with awareness, lubricating and freeing the joints, discovering and using the whole body to move effortlessly, I felt like a wood nymph or at least my concept of a wood nymph gliding gracefully through space.

I presented my walk to the world by walking down my street, Midwood Street in Brooklyn to the Prospect Park Subway.  This takes ten minutes and to my joy I was approached in the best possible way by three gorgeous men who asked me out, I must mention they were all younger than me so I was happy as I was approaching my sell by date, 40 years old!  All it took was the Walk.

Let us rewind now to when I was 11 and I was enjoying, I think a country walk with my sister and brother-in-law when my sister remarked about how much my hips swayed/bottom wiggled when I walked.  As I was 11 and perceived everything my sister said as a direct insult, I stored her observation away in that recess in the mind assigned for irritating comments and misdeeds that become longheld grudges.  I am sure her remark influenced my future walk as I was embarrassed to sway, wiggle, wobble or whatever.  Although this was meant to be an innocuous comment and it could have been much worse (and I am using this as a soft example) it does typify very simply how we can allow ourselves to absorb emotionally, physically, mentally words, events or trauma that set up movement patterns for life.

Fast forward 30 years after my Walking workshop, my sister again made the same comment during a very fast nocturnal walk back from a New York subway, except this time I did not take offence.  I enjoyed the healthy, natural process of walking with the whole body with the added advantage of undulating hips that moved as they were meant to and all those annoying twinges had disappeared.

My Feldenkrais study and training was the best thing I ever accomplished.  My orthopaedic catalogue on the number of injuries I have sustained in my life dissolved through learning to move freely without pain, restriction or trauma.

"Beautiful" Akon
To emphasise the pure beauty of graceful posture and walking, let me remind you of a wonderful scene in the film 'Gentlemen Prefer Bondes' (yes, why wouldn't I like this?) when the great Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell enter the dining room of the cruise ship they are travelling on.  They walk across the floor with breathtaking grace, posture and undulating hips.  The room is silenced in open mouthed admiration.  The ladies are not even dressed to the nines but the way they moved delights the eyes of all who are watching.  Wow, what would that be like to experience jaw dropping admiration just for walking.

"Moving Work of Art" Rodney Crowell

Some years after qualifying as a Feldenkrais teacher I added another qualification to my menu which specifically addressed those of us in that very elastic band called Middle Age.  Middle Age now stretches from 40 to 70 depending on how you perceive yourself.  This training is called Change Your Age™ and was developed by the Director of my Feldenkrais training, Dr. Frank Wildman who while basing his own method on the pioneering work of the Feldenkrais Method™he developed a series of simple, but powerful exercises that will actually train the brain to send the correct signals to the body so it begins to move in healthier, stronger, more coordinated and even graceful ways.  The results - a reversal of the aging signs of your mind and body.  Frank Wildman says something that made an impact on me but as we age, we think of wrinkles, diets, or the aging aspects of inflexible attitudes yet really the culprit is out habits.  Our movement habits at 40 and 50 impact how we feel at age 60 and 70 and beyond.  When we unlearn these habits and create new ones, we make our bodies and minds younger, stronger and more flexible.

"My brain?  It's my second favourite organ."  Woody Allen

Prior to studying the Change Your Age Program I had smashed my knee rather badly, falling on the cobble stones in Edinburgh while wearing high heels and I was unhappy that my knee was affecting one hip joint, lower back and of course my walk.  The easy to learn sequences of the Change Your Age Program totally assisted me in breaking away from physically limiting habits.  My balance, posture and overall movement were transformed once again.  I cannot say enough good things about Change Your Age and after completing the training, I felt 15 years younger.

"Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment would you capture it or just let is slip." Eminem

While thinking of my miraculous and newly transformed and youthful movement I decided to teach a Change Your Age workshop.  There are many aspects to the program addressing the whole body, but I was thrilled with my walk and now my running (I usually hate running but at 52 I have learned to appreciate it) so I was practicing the lessons which of course included walking, balance and posture and so on.  To satisfy my bizarre sense of humour and curiosity and desire to convince my students, I decided to arise as Marilyn Monroe and perfect my walk on the streets of Crown Heights.  Crown Heights is ethnically diverse neighbourhood of Brooklyn, NY with people from the Caribbean and Orthodox Jews.  It's never dull in my neck of the woods so I decided to walk my walk up Prospect Place to Nostrand Avenue, turn left onto Eastern Parkway, then left onto New York Avenue and home.  If you blink here you will miss me telling you my age which at the time was over 50. 

"Gansta Bop" Akon

As I was enjoying my walk, I met a gang of Mini Gansta Rappers i.e. a group of kids whose ages could have been anything from 11 to 16.  They were hanging around on the street.  As I walked close to them they surrounded me blocking my exit.  The pack leader who could have been all of 13 or 14 was as tall as me and without smiling he looked me in the eye and asked, "Who are you?"
I replied, "My name is osel nyima"
He said, "You speak funny" (I have an English accent)
I replied, "Yes, I suppose some would say that"
He asked, "Whatchu do?"
I replied, "I teach Movement"
After a few moments while he looked me up and down, unsmiling he said, "We like the way you
move".  And they let me walk by.

I rest my case.