Karen guides us through the standing meditation practice that builds towards moving from the vayus. I ask her if we can focus on this on a more in depth way, and she suggests that we do the meditation together at the beginning of her rehearsals. I am very excited about the possibility of facilitating this process in the future.
The standing meditation usually lasts around 20 minutes. It involves either closing the eyes or keeping them still while Karen softly vocalizes a sort of tour of the vayus. She calls these spaces doorways that open up to rooms inside the body.
This day, the practice makes me aware of so much sensation that it wears me out. It's as though I am not used to having my cells activated in this manner. I feel exhausted and awake at the same time, and it's incredibly empowering. I can feel my body become increasingly receptive and ready to respond. My shoulders, a continuous problem area full of tension, relax and expand in a way that I can feel breath moving through the spaces that habitually hold.
Karen speaks about the ability this practice has for moving as an older dancer, and that it helps to prevent injuries. I express that I feel like it would be useful for young dancers for this very same purpose. Understanding an energetic body, rather than relying on the muscles and joints to take you through shape, is an important part of learning to move with economy.
This practice pertains to Karen's current work creating a solo for herself. She focuses on the internal processes that must be accessed when elemental forces are acting upon you. The composition of the work is like making many puzzle pieces that then reveal a bigger narrative.