Posts Tagged ‘tango’

“Bhava Yoga” and the resiliance of life….

August 8, 2014
PItcher of Moon, available from Createspace,

PItcher of Moon, available from Createspace,

Giant English Hollyhock

Giant English Hollyhock

I am amazed. Two weeks ago I lost my dear 102 year old Aunt Jean. She was the most influential person in my life. Warm, compassionate, wise, witty, when she died, I didn’t feel much. Now I know I experienced a numbness of emotion, afraid of what would happen when I ‘let go’ in grief. When my father died 24 years ago, I suffered criticism for ‘head nodding’ during this staged memorial service. That stopped me up and I was afraid. I gave too much power to a cold, self-centered woman who used power and control even at a funeral. I know now that grief, even over something so natural as (any) expression of grief….should not be corralled, denied, or controlled. I have learned something important here, and I have a lot of gratitude for those people in my life, especially the dead ones, for their support and compassion. I am grateful. Not so grateful for some still living….

I am also amazed at how the body and mind heals. It takes time, and I have had a particular arena to observe this: I am diabetic and my insurance (Humana) has informed me that I am in a ‘donut hole’. In other words, unless I pay a couple of thousand dollars and then the uninsured price (monthly) for these meds, I am on my own. Until the first of next year. In other words, the public is held up by pharmaceuticals and insurance companies who work hand in glove with them. Including the doctors that get kick backs.

At first I wondered what in hell I would do? And then, over the course of only a week, I realized the long term depression I felt had lifted. I wasn’t so damn numb anymore. And it could be traced back to the Victoza I was taking. Now? I am on my own, but it’s sort of a welcome challenge. Very tight control of what I eat and a lot more exercise. A LOT more exercise.

Last night my husband of 30 years brought home a leaflet advertising Salsa/Mambo classes. For years we both have wanted to take Argentina Tango, so we are still on the search here. But what a lovely gesture of my sweet husband to remember this! For the past week I have been working with 3lb weights and back to some belly dance movements: this has loosened me up, and my body feels better. A month ago I had a serious fall, and didn’t move much, afraid to, because of it. Now? Tango looks good. Even flamenco again, but I think that’s down the road. But I have the red shoes waiting!

As a poet, I exist in the realm of philosophical implications. I don’t think many of us can get very far away from that. My dear Aunt Jean was always so, and her letters express so much of this mindset, even to the very last one I received from her at 101 years old. I have so much to be grateful for. I have such gratitude for the presence of this stellar woman in my life.

Lady Nyo

Bhava Yoga

Morning’s roseate sky
Has been blasted away,
Branches now whirligigs
Swirl with a fierce southern wind
As windows rattle in frames.

A tattered umbrella
Shades from a relentless sun.
I listen to Bhava Yoga
The vibration of Love,
Where imagination meets
Memory in the dark.
Yet surrounding these soothing tones
The world outside this music
Conspires to disrupt, sweep away
Any centered down thought, reflection.

The fierce wind demands my attention.

Still, the pulse of Bhava Yoga
This Vibration of Love,
Draws me within,
Feeds imagination with memory,
Calls forth something as enduring as the fury outside,
And I feel the pulse of the infinite.

Our lives are lived in the spheres of
And we are like birds,
Clinging with dulled claws to
The swaying branches of life.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2014, from “Pitcher of Moon”, published by Createspace,

Dance, Weight loss and Husbands….

February 27, 2009

I have been fortunate  in getting some invitations to dance in different venues.  One in particular will be quite a challenge, and I am holding off  relaying  information because things are not set yet.  However, this will be a great opportunity to dance with my husband.

I have a tall, well built husband (a bit younger…) with long flowing hair! It makes him ‘look good’ on a dance floor, but it’s been more of him in the past 5 years watching me (and the other bellydancers ) than him dancing.

That is about to change.

We are working up a routine.  He actually is excited about it, but of course, as a man, he is very modest about expectations…

At first, I thought of him more as a ‘pole’ to dance around, but then, thought again.  He’s strong, flexible (mostly) and  can be trained.

So! we are taking tango lessons in a few weeks…and he tells me ‘this isn’t necessary”.  Hah!  We are going to do the difficult and violent “Apache Dance”…”Ah poe shay” in French.  Has nothing to do with Native Americans.

It’s a dance that sprang  out of tango at the turn of the 20th century.  It’s basically a lowerclass dance, a dance of the underworld.  It has quite an interesting and colorful history, full of bad characters and women who died because of broken backs and necks.  I am trying to avoid this, hence setting the basis in tango.

I have lost weight in the past months, and when I came home from Montreal just a month ago, I thought this period was over…and weight loss would slow down.  It did for a while, and then picked up.  I think there are probably many reasons a woman loses weight: stress, exhaustion, excitement, love, etc…but I have been talking to some of my students about this and trying to figure out why, now….I would be losing weight.

One of my students is in her mid forties.  She lost 40 lbs. and went to size O.  She looked like a skeleton in my estimation.  She gained back 19 lbs.  She looks great, not a walking bunch of bones.  And belly dance, well, you have to have some curves and something to ‘throw’.  Hips that stick out are painful to look at…and even more painful to sleep on.  She now has regained the status of woman, not concentration camp victim.

In losing about 30 lbs. this fall and winter, I told her that I noticed that people’s behavior, especially men, were different.  I was the same person as I was before losing that weight, why did people treat me differently?

She was emphatic:  No, you are NOT the same person.  You feel differently about yourself, and you look and act differently. This sends a ‘signal’ to others..especially men.  You walk differently (hell, I thought that was just the ‘bellydance walk’ we cultivate…)

She’s right.  My self-confidence has gone up, too. I am approaching   more the weight I want to be…and losing more will be beneficial to doing this particular “Apache Dance”.  You need to be thin enough to be picked up and thrown around, though the point is also to be able to ‘break fall’ without getting hurt.   Properly, it can be done.

Well, I already know I will be spinning on my knees so I intend to wear knee pads under my very high, thigh high boots.  Extra padding will help  in this “Apache”.

We are having fun, my husband and I, contemplating this new partnering.  I didn’t  expect him to be so enthusiastic, but there is a lot of violence and sexy moves in the Apache.  Perhaps it appeals to some “inner Gangster” in him, but we shall see.  The tango lessons are to contain and control, give a basis for the movements, and this can only be a good thing.  We have already been talking “choreography” and have walked through some steps.

The violence and sex comes later.

A good example of “Apache” is below.

Lady Nyo

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