Report from an Early Covid Virtual Class: April 3, 2020
Ellen shares a practice from a virtual class early in the pandemic, along with her students’ responses to the gift of support from this Continuum practice.
October 18, 2020
It was going to be ‘just another class’ as if there ever is ‘just’ a class in this work. I’d gotten used to seeing people from all over the world in other people’s classes. But here they were in mine - from Florida, Vermont, Michigan and West Philly, people I hadn’t seen in 1, 5, 8 years! Together!
All of these folks had been sheltering at home for weeks already, sitting at their computers. A lot. No, all day. Every day. Eyes, pelvis calling for help. And did I mention the generalized fear, grief, rage about it all?
My intention is always to offer what would be most nourishing for the particular people who show up. I listen and then do my best to create from the wealth of what we call Continuum.
I offered four simple layers around the theme of a figure 8, which to me is a metaphor of gel/sol, inhale/exhale, form/dissolution, a core expression of life. If we embody it, trust it, we can ride even the most tumultuous waves.
I will describe the 4 layers so you can appreciate how each person individually owned and was enriched by the process.
1 - with the calming SH sound, using your eyes slowly trace a figure 8, three times in each direction.
2 - standing, gently extend the figure 8 from your eyes to your head, shoulders, rest of body, so that eventually your entire body is moving in figure 8ish ways, connecting with the sit bones and feet.
3 - on floor, with pelvis on a pillow or ball, using the Jacques Breath, play with figure 8s around the sit bones. Touch them, pelvis and feet with your hands.
4 - lie face down on the floor and play with figure 8s.
Here is the response from 1 student:
I went deep into silence, allowing myself to NOT sound, for as long as desired...to be in "reception" mode to self and Field, not "expression/ doing" mode. Eventually, sounding took a fraction of my normal effort; I let it emerge from my organism, not from a desire to stimulate/awaken change.
I experienced a myriad of streams along the optic nerve from the eyes towards occiput. Though rapid and abundant, it felt parasympathetic in nature, more calming like light than the rawness of electricity, like colorful paper ribbon streamers blown by a fan.
A primal feeling of "wild/wilderness" emerged.
I allowed myself NOT to layer, enjoying Open Attention after finishing a cycle of the layers. A memory of Emilie "poked" me to "not forget to layer.” Instead of being my usual good boy, I noticed the me that wanted to just BE in the inertia of Open Attention, and the me that wanted to follow the rules and "do right by Emilie." A curiosity about Emilie emerged: Is Emilie gone? Really? Where is she? Can I remember her, her voice, her presence? I got choked up/fluttering/quakes in my heart area with gratitude. These questions expanding me skyward and celestially. I felt energy/space/"her(?)" pulling me from my spine through space, as if I were being pulled through water, expanding my midline from head to tail......speechless, beyond words...
A response from another student:
When I did figure 8s/infinity symbols around my eyes I was rather uncomfortable. As I slowed down from my activity of the day, my anxiety came to the surface and my heart felt squeezed, and it hurt. But as I continued putting the infinity symbols in different parts of my body, the openings were dramatic. I was on my back with my feet together and I felt the figure 8s swirling between my knees; there was so much aliveness in it, it filled me with awe!
With the pelvis lifted on a small ball, I had the magical sensation that the sit bones were way closer than I normally feel them, that they were in fact the same distance apart as my eyes. There was a significant connection between those parts of my body. Then the figure 8s took on a life of their own, finding different parts of my body to dance and swirl. With my feet flat on the floor, they went around the toes, balls and heels of my feet and with each repetition I felt more connected to the earth. Again, pure magic!
I felt that we created a huge field that night; all of us felt it, the way the infinity symbol had so much life in it. Even now, as I write about this 11 days later, I can feel that swirling dance moving inside me.
Reconnecting to Continuum has been a beautiful gift and support in this strange and difficult time.