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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Geek to Gorgeous" in 60 Seconds - Two Opportunities in September, 2012

Learn Alay'nya's Sixty-Second Geek-to-Gorgeous Body Transformation Secrets in September, 2012 - on Channel 10 Cable TV and in Alay'nya Studio Open House

Do you feel (let's be honest here) just the slightest bit frumpy? As in, stressed, harried, hunched down, worn out? Do you feel that - no matter what you put on in the morning - you're still wearing last year's clothes?

And do you sometimes feel that no matter what treatments that you get at the spa, and no matter how hard you "hit it" at the gym, and no matter how many supplements you take, or affirmations that you say, that there is a vital something missing in your life?

If so, you're probably right. You probably ARE missing something. And there really is a "secret something."

The reason that most of us don't know about it is that it can't be packaged as a pill, or provided as a "treatment." There's no advertising money to be made with this "secret." No doctors will get you to come back for repeated injections or laser "therapies." And the major cosmetics houses are not able to sell this to you.

There is, however, a "secret" that has been known for thousands of years. It's not something you can buy, and you can't pay someone else to "provide" this to you. However, you can learn this. And with sufficient determination, you can master this skill and transform your life.

But let me "come clean" - at least a little bit. There's really not just "one secret." Rather, there are layers. There is a whole art and science to this. While you can learn it, this is not an "all-at-once" process. It involves learning some new things, unlearning others, and practicing a whole lot.

And sometimes you - like I - have more time to practice than at others.

But you know what? I'm just like you. I've spent much of my lifetime studying these "secrets," and have achieved some fair proficiency. In fact, I've devoted a whole chapter of my recent book, Unveiling: The Inner Journey, to some "frank talk" on this subject.

But despite all my knowledge, and years of practical experience, I've had (probably just like you), the occasional down-dip in my personal energy. That's when I've really had to go "back to the basics." I've had to practice what I've preached.

For several years, writing Unveiling consumed my life. My body and energy practice was still there, but it was at "maintenance level." And I stopped teaching while putting attention onto finishing the book. It was a lot like having a new baby.

But now the "baby" is a year old. In fact, it's actually "weaned" a bit. It doesn't require my around-the-clock care in terms of getting the reviews, building the readership base, and all those other things that brand-new authors must do.

You've probably heard that old adage, "We teach that which we need to learn."

Well, I'm excited about teaching again. I'm excited about the Open House that we'll be having on the Sunday after Labor Day weekend; Sunday, September 9th, from 12 - 2PM. And I'm excited about sharing some of my favorite "secrets" with you.

In particular, we're devoting this Open House (the first in several years) to one of my favorite topics, the "Sixty-Second Geek-to-Gorgeous Body Transformation."

Imagine it. In one short session, you'll learn my seven-step "transformation checklist" that will let you totally revise how you "are" in your body - how you "organize" your body from the inside out.

The results?

Immediate transformation. Once you've mastered the "seven point checklist," you can apply it within 60 seconds (or less). And you will immediately:

  • Go from frumpy to fabulous,
  • Develop a compelling personal presence, and (perhaps most important)
  • Establish a "baseline" so that you can start learning - and applying - the "secrets" of increased vitality, energy, and the ability to command life to conform to your desires and wishes.

Are you ready for this?

Are you ready to become a Master of the Universe?

Join me at the Open House - the Sunday after Labor Day this September.

And if you can't be with me on that date - or even if you just want quick reviews - I'll be demonstrating the "Sixty-Second Geek-to-Gorgeous" body transformation on John Monsul's Communicating Today, which will air three times that week.

Related Posts:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Anahid Sofian Labor Day Weekend Workshop - Beautiful "Patterns in Space"

Anahid Sofian, Master Teacher of Oriental Dance, Hosts Four-Day Intensive Starting Thursday, August 30, in New York City

If you've read Unveiling: The Inner Journey, you've read about Anahid Sofian. She's responsible for several of my most significant breakthroughs in Oriental dance - both in the technique and the "psychology" of the dance.

Here's just a sample:

"... What she had just shown me was not something new. I had not only known it: I had taught it to my students. And here I was, taking my new creation in to my master teacher, and realizing that I'd forgotten the basic lessons.

"What was it that Anahid had, and that I had totally forgotten?

"Simply, it was the power of holding something back." (Unveiling: The Inner Journey, Chapter 26: "Unveiling: Selective Revelation," p. 359)

This week, from Thursday, August 30 through Sunday, Sept. 2nd, Anahid will be holding an Intensive Workshop in her studio in NYC. This will be a magical time!

One of the things that Anahid teaches, and which I've learned from very few others, is the mystical, elusive art of creating beautiful, flowing patterns in space as you move with your veil. Most veil work that we see today is stationary. Anahid excels at the earlier version of veil art - the kind that is mesmerizing, captivating, and infinately memorable.

Alay'nya showing veil techniques that she learned from master dancer teacher Anahid Sofian

Anahid will be teaching her special veil movements this coming Sunday, Sept. 2nd. There's possibly still room for one or two more to join her class.

On Saturday, Eva Cernik, Anahid's protege and a master teacher in her own righ, will be teaching, and this is another stellar opportunity. I've adored every single thing I've learned from Eva, and have watched her videos time and again. (Showing an Eva video, and then trying to capture her "essence," is a staple part of my class curriculum.)

If you live in the Greater DC Metro Area, or in Baltimore or anyplace up the I-95 corridor, you can get to Anahid's studio easily using Amtrak. It's a bit of a long day, but very doable. And totally worth the doing!








Thursday, August 09, 2012

"Energy Dance" Deserves Its Own Respect

"Energy Dance" - Oriental Dance Combined with Energy Work - Requires Special Handling, Care, and Respect

This last Sunday (just five days ago), I resumed regular "dance class." It was "class with myself" - doing all the things that I usually do (and teach) when holding regular classes: warm-ups, technique drills, choreographies. At the end of two fairly intense practice sessions, I was tired. In fact, my muscles were stiff and sore for the next couple of days. This isn't unusual when getting back into Oriental dance (belly dance); we use large muscle groups, and the workout is not necessarily more intense, but it's often deeper.

Yesterday, after morning chores and during morning journaling, a piece of music kept coming to mind; "Dark Fire" by Light Rain, on a CD of the same title. I followed a strong intuition that I should start working with this music. Several hours later (of very intermittent efforts), I had a bit of choreographic overview, some intense practicums (lasting only a few minutes, but still intense), some small sections of more specific choreography, together with costume ideas. I'd even selected my veils - two 4-yard pieces of subtly patterned and deeply toned silk chiffon.

In addition to playing with the physical aspects of this dance, though, I did something else: I started working with the energy aspects. This was entirely different from Sunday's "classes." This was a deliberate, intentional effort to infuse energy (ch'i) collection and direction with the dance movements.

And then, being somewhat tuckered out, I went to bed. I didn't fall asleep right away, and so started listening to a book on CD. And that's where I made the mistake. In fact, my intuition (or "guidance") was telling me not to listen to that book, and I did an override - I wanted the story, and so I indulged.

I awoke a couple of hours later from a nightmare. For me, any form of nightmare is really unusual. My dreams are usually interesting "adventure stories." Maybe not always fun (and usually strong on the "adventure" aspects), but almost never unpleasant or scary. In this dream, though, characters similar to the book's villains showed up - people who were being hurtful, cruel, or simply very mixed-up.

This experience brought me back to recognizing that energy work - even when just practicing or developing something (that is, not being done with full-out magical intention) is still very powerful. I'm likening it to being in a fast-flowing, full stream of water.

Most of the time, we have an "energy flow" inside ourselves, but it is relatively low-level. This is like walking through a stream that is just trickling around our ankles, and isn't moving very fast. When we deliberately start ramping up the "energy work" aspect of our practice, then it is like being in a stream of water that is much higher - imagine thigh or waist-deep - and is swirling and moving with some vigor. This kind of stream can easily pick up and move around stray, random things such as tree branches and any loose debris.

The difference between the energy flow (ch'i) that we create and move through our bodies during intentional practice and being in a stream of water is that when we do the energy work, the "stream" is really inside us - and when we ramp it up, it is also outside us a bit as well.

When a big rainstorm causes a stream of water to swell, it not only moves faster, but also rises in volume - picking up all sorts of stream-bank debris. This extra debris, along with dirt washed into the stream, make it full of extra "stuff." Similarly, when we expand our personal energy, we not only attract more thought-forms from our vicinity, we "swirl them up" with extra energy. We give them more "oomph" and power in our lives.

Usually, this extra "stuff" doesn't do any damage; the waters subside and the "stuff" gets left along the streambank once again. But if part of our intention and goal is to actively work with our internal energy, then it makes sense to keep our energy-stream as pure as possible, doesn't it? Simply put, why add unnecessary junk?

There's a notion called "magical chastity." While it technically refers to a time of sexual abstinence unless using sex for magical purposes, this is actually a more broad-reaching concept. The idea is that when we are focused on creating something, we keep our attention and energy pure and focused solely on that desired creation. I've done this a lot when getting insights for a new invention, or when seeking clarity on a writing project. Athletes will often do this as they approach a significant competition or game. It's all about focus.

The lesson here is that even relatively low-key energy work is still energy work, and deserves respect. It's like shifting from using a couple of batteries to a full-scale generator. The higher the voltage (or more accurately, stored energy content - thus creating "potential"), the more we should be careful with our thoughts. Our thoughts function much like "connection wires" - they guide where the energy goes. And if we allow our thoughts to be randomly corroded with material from books, TV, or movies - just as we're ramping up our energy store - then we'll sometimes get a bit of "energy leak-over" as the energy that we've built up combines with the thought-forms that have caught our attention.

Usually, there's no real damage. In my case, having an unpleasant dream is not a severely damaging experience. But the more proficient we become with energy work, the more important it is to be careful. Especially, we need to be careful with our thoughts. If we must read for entertainment, it's important to choose something uplifting. I'm right now in the midst of my first pass through A Course in Miracles, which emphasizes love and forgiveness. These are better thoughts to have in my head than the actions of some villain in a novel!

One final thought: when we're in a ramped-up energy state, it is much easier for us to influence "reality." This is a good time to bring to mind those people, events, and organizations that are on our prayer list. Is there a person or group of people for whom you have kind intentions, but cannot give the time or money or attention that this person or group would like? Give them your loving thoughts while in a heightened energy state, and let the cosmos "do its thing." Remember the foremost adage of basic New Age thinking, "That which is like unto itself is drawn." (See the works of Abraham-Hicks for expositions.) When we are in a heightened energy state, and create a thought-form of love, respect, good-will, and appreciation for someone or something, and then (with gentle intention) send that thought-form to that person, then - because this thought-form has been created both with clarity and an extra energy-oomph, it will attach to the object to which it was sent. That is, it will attach if it is in synchrony with the energy-essence of the person or group. So then, it will cause other similar thought-forms to attach - resulting in good things happening! (A simple form of creating reality through intention.)

Best wishes, much love, and see you in dance class!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

How to Prepare for Your First Class in Belly Dance

Advance Preparation Makes All the Difference in Learning Oriental Dance (Belly Dance)

Darlings - I have a confession to make.

If you're tracking this blog at all, you'll know that we're having our first Open House in over two years. For all practical purposes, I had closed the Alay'nya Studio while doing the final rewrites, edits, proofs, and publication of my most recent book, Unveiling: The Inner Journey. And then, a first year of guiding it through public introduction. Think of it has having a baby, where the last three months of "gestation time" that we need for a human child transferred into 2-3 years to bring Unveiling from raw draft to finished product.

Now, of course, it is not only available (in both trade paper and Kindle download form), Unveiling is actually the first required reading for people who want to study with me.

Obviously, though, this is a dance class. And I'm having to get my "dance groove" back on, just as you will when you join me. (Mark your calendar NOW for our Open House on Sunday, Sept. 9th, and contact me for directions and details.)

So I'm practicing. And in addition to the yoga, core, and conditioning basics, I'm back to practicing dance (and developing lesson plans, reworking choreographies and practice pieces, and all sorts of things necessary to launch a great season).

One of my favorite training DVDs is Kathryn Ferguson's Mid-Eastern Dance: An Introduction to the Art of Belly Dance.

Years ago, this was my most significant instructional tape; then available only in VHS form. During a summer when my dance teachers took a break, I had just refinished my living room. This empty room beckoned as a new "dance studio." The big challenge was: could I get myself to practice all on my own, without the structure and security of a dance class to guide me?

My next big question was: could I ever look like Kathryn?

I was entranced and inspired by her tape. What was most mesmerizing about her presentation was that after each (well-explained and well-demonstrated) technique section, she'd have a little vignette in which she used those techniques in an improvisational dance.

I wanted desperately to look like her, to dance like her. Even after finding my "master teachers" (Anahid Sofian and Elena Lentini; read about them in Unveiling), Kathryn remained an icon. And her VHS tape was always my reference standard for introductory teaching.

Now, I'm using her material again. This time, she's (so thankfully!) released it as a two-volume DVD. You'll have to contact her to get a copy; it's not available through Amazon, and not even as a "store item" from her website. But contact her directly. (I may place a bulk order for the class, once everyone has registered for the first quarter.) The extra effort is worth it. This still remains, by far, one of the most fascinating, beautiful, and useful introductory DVDs to this beautiful and gracious art.

But my confession? Right now, I'm looking nowhere near the way that Kathryn does in her teaching DVD. Full circle. I'm back to being a student before I can be a teacher again.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Alay'nya Studio Hosts Open House on Sunday After Labor Day Weekend

Alay'nya Studio Will Reopen Sunday, September 9th with Open House

You've heard me right, darlings! After a two-year hiatus - the last (and most demanding) stages of writing, editing, and proofing, as well as launching my most recent book - I'm reopening my dance studio. We'll have a grand, gala re-opening party on Sunday, Sept. 9th, from Noon - 2PM. All are welcome - bring family and friends!

The newly-opened Studio will have two classes on Sunday (11:30AM - 1PM, and 1:30PM - 3PM), and one on Tuesday evenings (7PM - 8:30PM; 8:30-9 for additional choreography intensive). The Sunday morning and Tuesday evening classes will focus on rejuvenation and technique-building, and the Sunday afternoon class will orient to choreography, interpretation, and emotional expression.

The new dance classes will have much in common with what I was teaching years ago. For example, we'll use a similar warm-up sequence. A lot of the "basics" will also be familiar; technique drills, "etudes" (dances that we learn in order to practice certain techniques), and even some of the choreographies.

As before, classes will be rich with handouts, and there will be lots of "recommended readings" and "recommended DVDs" for self-study. (These will be augmented now with "recommended YouTube" clips and other online offerings.)

However, there are some evolutions in these new classes, compared with the former.

First, this really is an "esoteric dance school," as described in Unveiling (Chapter 29, "Pragmatic Esoterics," p. 401). Our primary and long-term goal, focus, and emphasis is on using dance as a women's pathway for body/ mind/ psyche/ energy cultivation and integration. Emphasis - ultimately - on the energy integration.

So yes, we're going to have pretty intensive workouts, and do a lot of technique-building. We're going to read and study and practice outside of class. We'll do things in class that will let students (on their own, later) do the really deep-level emotional release work that is needed for healing.

Our real goal, however, remains focused on the energy work. We're going to be juicing up our internal energy, or ch'i, and doing some pretty amazing and awesome things with it. This will range from our simple rejuvenation exercises (we'll introduce a different one in each class), to some pretty advanced work.

For anyone who plans to study with me starting this autumn, let me suggest the following - for right now:

  • Physical conditioning: You'll need strong abs and a stretched-out, supple lower back to even begin doing the kinds of dance movements that we'll use. I expect every student to have a regular, near-daily practice that includes yoga, core conditioning, and technique "basics."
  • Read Unveiling before coming to class: You wouldn't show up for a chemistry lab without having read the accompanying textbook, right? Similarly, read Unveiling before showing up for the first day of class. Have your copy handy; marked-up and dog-eared. Show that you've done some of the "Personal Pathworking" exercises. Especially, show that you're familiar with all the sections that have to do with movement and dance. Why else would you be studying with me?
  • Start your own "energy work" studies: Our other most-referenced textbook is Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. Autumn is the season of water; we'll be doing a lot of "watery" and "flowing" dance movements. We'll also be working with the energy-aspect of water. Read Lessons One (Introduction), Two (Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and Kabbalah basics), and Five (Element of Water). We won't be creating or using any "magical implements" either in or out of class. (This is a dance class, not a magick practicum.) However, we will be using the various elemental energies, and D.M. Kraig's book is the best reference and guide for such matters.

In addition, for each class, students should bring:

  • Silk veil: Typically three yards, lightweight silk,
  • Zills (metal finger cymbals): A later blogpost will give some recommended sources if you don't have a set already, and
  • Yoga mat or Pilates mat: You'll want this for warm-ups and floorwork.

I'll post recommended DVDs and music shortly - both here and on the Alay'nya Studio Website.

Here are Amazon links to the two essential "texts" for our classes, plus a good conditioning DVD:

Unveiling: The Inner Journey is available from Amazon as a Kindle download (see Amazon link below) and also in trade paper form:

Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts, by Donald Michael Kraig:

Core Training for Belly Dancers, produced by Gerson Kuhr: