a mid-spring evening for women

a mid-spring evening for women

with the Pink Full Moon

In Southern, Vermont

Monday, April 30th
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Marlboro, Vermont
(in between Brattleboro & Bennington)

Join a mid-spring evening with women to…

Elevate the human condition.
Retrieve lost aspects of self.
Steep in the poetry of your life.

Experience the chakras with music, movement & meditation.
Enjoy a stunningly disguised workout.
Rest, stretch & dance in a safe & welcoming circle of women.
Participate in simple, co-created ritual.
Discover the elegance of spontaneity & surrender.

Be yourself.
HAVE FUN!

Sink into 111 minutes of gently-guided flow from the earth to sky led by lifelong educator, yoga & yogadance instructor Kelly Salasin. Experience & skill irrelevant. If you can take a brisk walk and get up from and down to the floor, you’ve got this. Women of all ages welcome. (Youth of a certain age with advance permission.)

Experience the body’s energy centers—from grounding to flowing—from boundaries to open-heartedness—from playful expression and voiced truth to clear seeing—to silent knowing—shaped by an intuitively-crafted soundtrack, certain to move you–inside & out.

Come as you are. Tired. Weary. Anxious. Energized. Grieving. Inspired. Ready. Reluctant. Fit. Out of shape. Introverted. Extroverted. Hesistant.

Allow the energy of the gathering to rise up inside you as we organically weave an evening of re-lease, reintegration, and regeneration with music, movement & meditation.

Bring a small journal or notebook, a water bottle, and some kind of mat (or blanket), dress comfortably to move (layers work great), move barefoot (or with clean non-marking soles.) Optional: bring a something to symbolize new growth for the altar.

HOLD YOUR SPACE with the link below. (Add your name & email address to the payment along with one word or a short phrase about what brings you to the dance.)

Let Your Yoga Dance (LYYD) Instructor KELLY SALASIN has been leading dancing journeys (classes & retreats) through the chakras with women in Southern Vermont for over a decade. She is a yoga teacher, a regular assistant to leading presenters at Kripalu Yoga & Health Center, and the creator of Writing through the Chakras, an online journey for women around the world. She is also someone who still has trouble touching her toes and has spent most of the winter holed up in her home in the woods of Marlboro and so really welcomes this opportunity to gather and move among women.

The Outback at Marlboro Elementary (aka. the school gym) on Route 9 lends itself to the kind of playful expansion that is welcome in the 5th chakra, while the intimacy of the women’s candlelit circle creates a powerful container for warming, connecting & integrating. We benefit from the energetic imprint of children in the space and we leave the energy of women dancing behind to bless their space, particularly at May Day.

(Update: 3 spaces remain~ https://www.paypal.me/KellySalasin/33.33

 

Advertisements
Spring in Manhattan (& Marlboro)

Spring in Manhattan (& Marlboro)

Connie Crosson (2015, Kelly Salasin)
My colleague & friend Connie Crosson (2015, Kelly Salasin)

I first met Connie in Chile at an international conference for the worldwide network of the Experiment in International Living. Geographically speaking, Connie and I were neighbors, but the lifestyles and topography of Manhattan and Marlboro were worlds apart–her island that never sleeps meets my mountain town and dirt roads without a traffic light in sight.

Santiago is where the conference took place. It was 2011. I was the Assistant to the Director of Federation EIL. Connie served as our United Nations representative. This immediately lent her my affection. (I’d had a thing for the UN since I was a kid.)

Connie didn’t make it to the conference the following year in Japan or to the one after that in Vermont, and I didn’t make it to Ireland, and neither of us was in New Zealand, but our friendship, seeded in Santiago, deepened into a seasonal rhythm that presenced itself each March around the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW.)

“Expect chaos,” Connie wrote, when I first inquired about how to navigate the event.

Thousands of NGO representatives–mostly women–from around the world convened each year at the United Nations; which I found so thrilling, that I kept returning. Each time Connie encouraged me and we shaped plans to get together.

That first year, we met up between meetings, and later in the week for lunch, and on the last evening, Connie invited all the representatives from our organization to her home in the Upper West. She cooked. We brought salads and desserts and wine.

This ritual of connection continued year after year. One March, Connie and I caught up for lunch at the American Wing at the MET. Another time at Pain Le Quotodien on 2nd Avenue; while last year, a bunch of us gathered back at her home for dinner after the day’s events. Connie cooked then too. We provided the accessories again. Everyone stayed late into the night.

Our last time together. March 2015.
Our last time together. March 2015.

In the kitchen, Connie told me that she hadn’t made it to any of the meetings; that she’d been at the doctor’s. She shook her head as if to say: Things don’t look so good. I hugged her more earnestly that night.

When I returned to New York a year later for the 60th Commission on the Status of Women, I saw Connie everywhere. In the park. At the MET. At Pain Le Quotodien. At the United Nations. At the Church Center across the street.

I’ve been home from the city for about a week, settling back into the rhythms of my dirt road, and now is about the time when she and I would exchange a volley of emails about the results of the Commission–where there was hope and where there was frustration–and Connie would invariably include a photo or two of spring in New York… a flowering tree perhaps, or a set of bulbs pushing through the ground in Central Park–to serve as an encouragement–to both of us–at the end of a long, cold winter.

This year, spring has come early to both Manhattan and Marlboro.

Look Connie… even in my backyard…
IMG_2656

A former member of the US Committee for UNICEF, Connie Crosson served as the UN Representative for The Federation of the Experiment in International Living from 2008 until her death in 2015.  Connie was a graduate of the School for International Training (SIT) at World Learning, a mother of an Experimenter to Germany, a host for many other Experimenters from around the world, and the director of a management training and consulting firm for nonprofit organizations.

 

country mouse, part V, communion

country mouse, part V, communion

59th Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day Parade, Beijing +20, photo: Kelly Salasin

I arrived in the city engulfed by the enormity of the population here, feeling both crowded and alone, intruded upon and abandoned; but over the course of 7 days, I began to notice patterns beneath the surface of chaos…

In the way one woman’s thigh comfortably flanked mine in the subway car.

How we could each let our guard when other women were beside us.

The framed Maya Angelo poem on the wall of the subway car.  The Courtesy Guidelines chiding “man sprawl.” The Sexual and Inappropriate Touch warnings.

The kind voice of the driver over the loud speaker, welcoming visitors, students, residents and indicating which stop we were approaching and which one was to come.

The sense of collective relief when a handful of passengers made it through the doors just before the train departed again.

How we all ignored the man with the atrocious cough, and the other one who attempted to speak to each of us as he stumbled through the car.

The pause of the elderly woman to thank me when I put out an arm to help her to her feet.

The circle of officers chatting on the platform.

The laughter and awe of a crowd circling a performance of dance at the station.

How quickly the Shuttle, the Downtown, the Uptown, the 6, the 1, became familiars.

The constant deluge of billboards on walls, and stairs, and subway cars advertising the latest play or upcoming television series that I desperately wanted to see simply to resolve the pressure.

How I rushed like the rest of them, even though I was in no hurry.

How I wished I was a smoker, not for nicotine, but for the reminder to breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and breathe out.

Stopping to help a foreigner purchase a subway ticket.

The searching smiles of other passerbys. The ecstatic traveler.

All those unplugged, and all those talking to themselves, with and without, wires.

Pointing the direction to Central Park.

The new baby at the cafe. The new baby on the subway car. The new baby in her father’s arms.

Lovers. School groups. Tour guides. Families.

Two different women who told me not to park there because if I didn’t get a ticket for the fire hydrant, I’d get a ticket for being on the wrong side.

The man on the stoop who told me that the sign about “No Standing” confused him too.

In this clashing culture of crowds and singularity, there was so much separation, yet there was also communion, and it was abiding and filled with the absence and presence of love.

(This is the last in a series of posts from a week in the city: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.)

The Blessing of Becky & the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus

The Blessing of Becky & the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus

A few years back, I answered “a call” to SING–by reluctantly joining the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus.  This was a one time thing for me, but the women of BWC have continued for 16 years, including this past weekend’s Thanksgiving concert.  It is in the spirit of Thanksgiving–for the work of chorus director Becky Graber and the board & women of BWC–that I share the piece of writing below.

It was the second or third stop on the Mother’s Day Nursing Home Tour when it hit me.

The Low Middles and I had just patched our way through Que Sera Sera–a song my mother loved–one whose harmony slipped from my memory when it was our time to sing.

I’d been scrambling to learn my part to this and a dozen others for weeks in preparation for our big concert at the Baptist Church. I didn’t like the pressure. I didn’t like being unprepared.

My jewel of revelation was here.

I had long admired the work of the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, and had even co-opted their music years ago to create a women’s sing-along in my community of Marlboro;  but I had never wanted to perform with them.  I didn’t like the responsibility of it.  My life had been too full with responsibility.

It was my spirit that cajoled me.
Over the years, I had grown accustomed to responding to this inner voice.  It had taken me on a wild ride from an Art and Meditation Class to a Ballet Class to this.  I knew there was a good reason why I was supposed to sing with the chorus, I just didn’t know what it was.

Once I had made the commitment and began rehearsing , I expected some great gift of joy to be released.

It wasn’t.

I hadn’t realized how hard it would be to focus on music for two to three hours at a time, particularly in the evening when I liked to crawl under the covers with a book.  I hadn’t realized just how much all my years at home had ruined me as a student.  I didn’t want to be told where and when to sit or stand.  I didn’t like being part of the herd and I didn’t know how to small-talk like women do on the rides home.

Sitting at a cafe one afternoon, I was approached by a friend whose wife had been singing with the chorus for years. “She loves it,” he told me, complaining that she wouldn’t take a break  no matter how full their plates were.

I told him that I didn’t really want to join and shared how anxious I felt about the performance.  Though it didn’t feel particularly sublime in the moment, his response, like a pebble tossed into a pond, rippled again and again.

“It is all of your voices,”  he said, “Coming together, that made the music so beautiful.”

Little by little, I began to experience just that.

On the day that we came to sing at the nursing homes, I knew it to be true.  It wasn’t the perfection of any one of our voices or parts, that made the music,  it was the mysterious alchemy of coming together–without perfection.

How can I begin to put into words the depth of my experience?  How can I communicate the breadth of its influence in my life?  Not one of us Low Middles knew our part fully.  But each of us offered something to the other–so that together, we made the music.

We made the shades rustle, the faces lift, the eyes brighten.  And for me personally, a profound understanding emerged: that I can be supported, that it is not all about me and my responsibility or my perfection, that it is in our fallibility as well as our competency that we support and uplift others.

On the following Sunday, I stood at the podium on the altar at the Baptist Church and gave VOICE to Julia Ward Howe’s words.  A wind came through me and spread her thoughts resounding through the room. Tears sprung from my eyes eyes and I was swept up in the passion of her voice.  I felt a strength that I have never known.  The strength that comes from vulnerability.

On the fourth floor of Eden Park, I had seen vacant eyes, drooping heads, drooling mouths. This is where we discard our elders, I thought. But when the music began, and we came together in song, the room came to life—not just in front of me, but within me.

I saw a husband tend his wife, wipe her mouth, hold her trembling hands.  I heard a woman, at first talking out a lifetime of troubles, begin to sing, eyes brightening, connecting with ours.  I felt a nurse spread love throughout the room with her caresses.

As we left the floor, I approached a woman who had never opened her eyes or lifted her head to our performance.  I gently squeezed her shoulder, and to my surprise, she moved her head to cradle it against my forearm.

I put down my backpack and gave her a full embrace knowing that she felt everything around her even though I hadn’t seen it.

Kelly Salasin, November 2011

For more about the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, click here.

For more about Director Becky Graber, click here.