POISE | Yoga
Un espacio creativo en torno a la danza, el yoga y el inglés en Pamplona.
Yoga en Pamplona, Clases de baile en Pamplona, clases de inglés en pamplona, clases de conversación en inglés, actividades en inglés pamplona, actividades infantiles pamplona,
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8 March 2018 Definition of Feminism

There are many opinions running around about what feminism is and is not; whether it’s necessary or not; who can be a feminist or not; etc ad nauseum. Feminism is the support of and belief in the equal rights of every person on earth. Equality. Balance. That is the definition of feminism. And as to whether or not we need it and who can be a feminist or not – the answer is yes and everyone. Until there is no longer a question in all of humanity as to who “deserves” to be treated equally and who does not, there will be a need for feminism. A right is not something that you have to work to deserve. It is innate. You are born and you have rights. Period. That is feminism. That is what today, the 8th of March is all about. Today is a day of dialogue and demonstration of the fact of equal rights. No, it’s not a belief. It is a fact that every person on earth is born with rights. I hope that by the time my son is my age this fact will be reflected in the daily lives of everyone on the planet. If it is not, then I am here today to make sure that he, like his father and grandfathers before him, like his mother and grandmothers before him, will continue the conversation until the world accepts the most basic fact of life on this planet – all people are born with equal rights of value, equal rights to decide what to do with their own body and ONLY their OWN body, to walk down the street without fear, to do their part, to education, to their place on this planet. Feminism means equality. We ALL benefit.

Naked Spirit Alberto Sáiz

“Flor asombrada.
Tanta luz germina nieve y
amor. Sembremos.”
Éste es un breve verso de Alberto Sáiz, autor de “Yo Soy Diosa” y “Yo Soy Dios”, que va a venir a principios de marzo a Pamplona. Es un privilegio que nos visite de nuevo. No te lo pierdas, es puro gozo.
🌀“Devoción al cuerpo”. Performance. Viernes 2 de marzo, 19h30. Un espectáculo meditativo… (taquilla inversa) Lugar: Urban Yoga Studio
🌀 “Naked Spirit”. Taller. Domingo 4 de marzo. Danzar como florecer; movimiento espontáneo. Gozo vivo. (80€) Lugar: Poise Pamplona
Es un taller precioso y nutritivo.
Info y reservas: Noemí (652498667) o Poise (690083487)
🌀 Sanaciones. 1/2/3 marzo. Sonidos, palabras, vibraciones… para la evolución en el amor más puro. Aquí. Ahora.(50€) Reserva con tiempo pues hace un número limitado de sesiones y son magníficas. Info y reservas: Noemí (652498667)
Toda la información en las imágenes a continuación, y también en el enlace: https://albertosaiz.blogspot.com.es/2018/02/pamplona-marzo-2018.html
Más textos y audios de Alberto también aquí:



Danza Yoga con Javier Goikoetxea en Poise

Este viernes el blog está escrito por Javier Goikoetxea. Es un resumen de que ofrece en su curso de Danza Yoga, una nueva colaboración aquí en Poise y un taller que ofrecemos el día 4 de noviembre 2017 a las 10:00 a 14:00 por solo 30€. Va a ser una experiencia única con un yogi bailarín singular. Abajo empiezan sus palabras sobre su curso y un poquito de su CV y experiencia (que envidia me da, la verdad, donde ha estudiado!).


Encuentro de Danza Yoga

  1. Descripción general del curso:

Elevando la consciencia a traves de la Danza.
El yoga de la danza es un sistema que ayuda acceder a estados más profundas del ser desarrollando formas de expresión que surgen en sincronía y autenticidad desde uno mismo.

Una magia que nos permite fluir desde nuestra inherente creatividad.


  1. Objetivos del curso.

Desarrollar y promover salud y desarrollo personal.

Expandir la consciencia y aumentar las posibilidades de movimiento para una mayor libertad de expresión

Despertar el cuerpo y la mente a los principios universales de movimiento

Estimular la creatividad.

Desarrollo de la atención, la percepción y la sensibilidad.


  1. Contenidos:

Una Practica rítmica y progresiva.

A traves de suaves y fluidos movimientos coordinados con la respiración.

Mudra, Asanas, Vinyasas, Pranayama, Bailes, Relajación y Meditación.


Trabajaremos también la alineación a través de la Asana.

  1. Cima de la cabeza – coxis
  2. Zona dorsal – brazos
  3. Isquiones – talones (posturas de pie) e Isquiones – suelo (posturas sentadas)
  4. Radiación umbilical (conectando brazos, piernas, cabeza y coxis con el ombligo)


Aprenderemos a sincronizar el movimiento con la respiración, de modo que podamos ajustar cada Asana con nuestro propio movimiento corporal. Modular la intensidad que aplicamos a cada postura, de modo que seamos capaces de suprimir la tensión residual e innecesaria de nuestra práctica.


Apto para practicantes de yoga, bailarines e incluso quienes no hayan practicado ni yoga ni danza pero que sientan la musica y quieran indagar un poco más en sus posibilidades de movimiento e impulsar su evolución personal.


  • CV corto de Javier Goikoetxea
  • Desde el 1998 practica y estudia Danza y Yoga junto a otras practicas orientales.
  • Formado en ballet clásico, y danza contemporánea en las escuelas Martha Graham,
  • Jose Limón y Merce Cunningham de Nueva York.
  • Pedagogía de la Danza en el curriculum escolar, por la Trinity School de Londres.
  • Profesor de Yoga Integral y Yoga para niños por la escuela Mahashakti.
  • Ashtanga Yoga con Sarah Jois, Borja Romero y Govinda Kai.
  • Profesor Pilates por Stott Pilates.
  • Vive entre Pamplona y Barcelona y trabaja con un increíble equipo de colegas alrededor del mundo.

Design Comes to Poise



This weekend we have an enormously exciting new project moving into Poise!

We have a designer studio in residence at Poise!

Kate Mawby, our Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher, is also an accomplished knitwear designer and she is going to use a corner of Poise for her creative design studio.

Check out her amazing portfolio on her website: www.katemawby.com

To be honest, I don’t know where to start trying to explain what she does or how excited I am to have her here. Her presence adds a new element of art to Poise and I’m sure I’m going to drive her crazy asking questions and looking over her shoulder while she draws and works. As someone who has always been fascinated by fashion and interior design, it’s a dream come true to have a real professional in these fields sharing our space.

But that’s enough about my creativity-girl-crush on Kate. Now a few questions and answers to introduce her to all of you:

Abby: Kate, what brought you to Pamplona in the first place? I have a feeling your story will be a fun one.

Kate: Love! First I fell in love with Swing dancing and then I fell in love with a Swing dancer! I was living in Bristol at the time, so after a period of long distance I moved to Pamplona to be with him. I still get to dance here, because my boyfriend is the co-founder of Big Kick, a Swing Dance Studio. They also teach at Poise, so all of my passions, dancing, yoga and design are coming together under one roof.

A: Isn’t it wonderful how things work out like that? And it makes me so happy that you’ve been able to combine your passions under our roof! So how did you come to be a knitted textile designer?

K: I’ve always been creative and I started playing around with textiles and making my own clothes when I was a teenager. I didn’t really discover and become passionate about knitting until I left high school. I vaguely remember trying to hand knit something as a child, but I think there were more holes than stitches! Ha! I improved my skills at University where I studied Fashion Design and specialised in Knitwear. After graduating I was offered a job in New York as a Knitwear Designer, which I couldn’t say no to. I moved there thinking I would stay for 18 months, but it turned into 5 years! It was a fantastic experience where I learnt a lot, but it was also very hard work and I missed my family, so in the end I moved back to England. I worked in London for a while and then moved to Bristol to study for a Masters where I went even deeper into the knitted textiles world, but this time I focused on interiors, rather than fashion.

A: I love hearing the stories of people who found their passion at a young age. I too was fascinated with fashion and interior design as a kid, but I never saw myself as a designer. I was more into the reporting side – the writing about and showcasing of the work. And between interiors and clothing design, do you have a preference? Which area do you find more challenging?

K: My preference is always switching. Sometimes I like the challenge of garment construction and creating something that people want to wear, and other times I like to focus more on the fabric itself and develop patterns and textural surfaces. Both are equally challenging, but in different ways.

A: What is your process? Do you have strokes of genius in the middle of the night or work with a diligent schedule? What’s your favorite part of creating a piece?

K: I always start a new project with research and drawing. I’m usually full of ideas and I find it hard to edit down and focus on one, so the beginning is challenging. Once I get into it I often become very absorbed in my work and find it hard to stop. When everything is flowing and the designs are coming together, that’s my favourite part! I’m a bit of a workaholic, and for the last few years I’ve worked from home, so there has been no getting away from it. That’s why I’m really excited about having my own design space, so I can have more of a routine and create a divide between work and home life.

A: Isn’t the “flow” part the best?! I love it when you’re working on something and time ceases to exist. And on the business side of things, what could you tell us about the fashion industry becoming more sustainable and ethical in its practices? Do you think real change is happening or are we stuck with the new fast-fashion cycle?

K: One of the reasons I am not working for big fast-fashion companies anymore is because I felt uncomfortable with being part of an unsustainable future. It’s also a reason why I was drawn to interiors, because there is more of an opportunity to design things that last. The life cycle of clothing is so short now, but we can’t always blame the fashion companies, because the consumers are equally responsible, they create the demand and the brands meet that. To really see change and a move away from fast-fashion, I believe it comes down to individuals being conscious about what they buy. We should be questioning where things come from and buying less, but better quality and making it last. There are a lot of small businesses that are trying to do things differently and addressing sustainability and ethics. I hope that the fashion industry will move towards a more sustainable future, but consumers need to start supporting that.

A: I couldn’t agree more. In Pamplona there are several small shops doing amazingly high quality work right here in their own studios. It’s exciting to see them thriving. And joining your passions now, how does teaching Yoga help with your design process?

K: Teaching yoga has meant studying yoga and having a consistent personal practice. This has helped me to find more balance in my life and design work. If I skip a few days of yoga I really notice it in my mind and body. Practicing regularly reminds me to live in the moment and I feel more creative, relaxed and patient. And believe me, knitting requires patience!

A: Tell me about it! I’m still trying to knit my son’s baby blanket and he turned 4 this summer! Ha. I don’t think I have what it takes. Maybe I’ll have it done by the time he goes off to University. And how’s the Spanish coming along?

K: I think learning Spanish is going to require more patience than knitting! Ha! I moved here 6 months ago and I could only say a few basic words. Now I can string a few words together to make a short sentence, so I suppose there’s been a little bit of progress, but not much. I’ve never learnt another language, so it’s a new process and very slow. I need to increase my confidence, so I’ll have to start practicing with everyone who comes through the door at Poise!

A: It will be excellent practise! I’m sure some people will mistake you for me, being another female native English speaker, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities. One last question, what is your favorite thing about Pamplona so far? As resident “guiris” (foreigners), we must be prepared for this question at all times!

K: I’ve moved around and lived in quite a lot of different places. In the past I’ve been really drawn to big cities, but I’m actually appreciating the qualities of a smaller place. Everything is a lot more convenient, a bit cheaper and the pace of life isn’t as crazy. I also like that it’s a green city with lots of parks and it’s not far from the mountains and the coast. If I could change anything, it would have to be about transportation. I wish there was a quick easy way to get to an international airport. Pamplona is great, but sometimes I want to go home!

A: I agree. Pamplona is a very liveable city and is truly a mix of city activity and the relaxation of nature. I also find it to be an easy place to raise a family, full of life and activities for families. Well, thank you, Kate, for letting me pry a bit into your creative life and sharing it on the Poise blog. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the Poise Community?

K: I can’t wait to start spending more time at Poise, designing, teaching yoga and swing dancing. If you see me around, please say hello, or hola, and we can try and chat in Spanglish!

A: Well, we are incredibly happy to have you here! It’s so rewarding to see Poise grow and evolve to include more diversity of creativity in our space.

And there you have it. Don’t be surprised to see her around a lot in the coming months and I’m sure she’ll soon have up some drawings or inspiration or samples in her part of the space, making us all the richer for the creativity and warmth she’ll bring with her here.


Bienvenido al Curso 2017 2018

We are about to start our second full course year here at Poise! I need to take a moment to clap for this because it isn’t an easy thing to start and maintain a new business and it is absolutely essential to growth and peace of mind to recognize the small successes that we have along the way. That being said, a new year is always a moment of nerves for any teacher or business owner. No matter how many classes you’ve taught in the past or how many people inicially sign up, there’s always the tension of wanting everything to turn out perfectly. So, I’ll do what I talk about at the start of every yoga class, take a long, deep breath in through my nose and slowly let it out, over and over again until the nerves have calmed down and the inner peace returns enough to begin again. And what a beginning and a year we’re going to have this course year! We have new classes and teachers and collaborations and I have no doubt that this year will be better than the last and we’ll all learn and grow and have a great time doing it! Having a great time is one of the most important parts of growing and one of the fundamental principles of Poise!


Here are some of the exciting things we’re going to be doing this year:


Abdominales Hipopresivos – This year we have a specific class for this type of absolutely essential exercise. I am going to be a student myself! It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in recovering from childbirth or because you need to strengthen your pelvic floor to protect your back, this is a class that anyone can benefit from, man or woman. The teacher is an excellent physiotherapist and one of the most cheerful people I know. It’s an honor to have him teaching at Poise (he does our evening Pilates class, too) and I always learn something every time I talk to him. It’s important to have someone who really understands how the body works teaching this course because it makes it that much more effective and prevents injuries. He is an absolute gem and I can’t give him enough praise.


Bootybarre – This class is not pole dancing, even though it sounds that way! It is a combination of Ballet Barre, Pilates, and Yoga exercises that are meant to thoroughly sculpt and tone every inch of your body. Our teacher is licensed to teach the class and is an absolute ray of sunshine. Already popular in many countries around the world, this class is sure to be the next big thing here in Pamplona, too!


Posture Correction and Stretching – This class has a small and dedicated group already, but there are a couple places available. It’s the perfect way to start the morning; toning, stretching, getting your heart rate up and leaving the class walking taller and stronger to tackle your day with your head held high. Taught by our lively ballet teacher, it’s the perfect wake up class – after your coffe or tea, of course!


Vinyasa Flow Yoga in English – We have the honor of having a lovely British Rose of a teacher join us this year! (Yes, that’s a cliché, I know, but she is!) Vinyasa is a smooth and flowing style of Yoga that allows you to unite your movement and breath and really get into the moment of just being. Available in both the morning and evening, it’s a great way to start the day or let go of stress after work! And don’t worry, she speaks clearly and is easy to understand in English. All you have to do is listen and follow along.


Ballet for Adults – We are repeating ballet for adults again this course year. We’ve added a group for people without previous experience and will continue with our experinced group as well. It’s time to let go of your fear of this classical style of dance and come enjoy the benefits of this discipline. It improves posture, flexibility, coordination, musicality, and rhythm, among other things. It also helps your brain stay sharp for all the things you do in your day-to-day routine. The toning and slimming aspects of ballet are an added bonus, if that’s your goal.


Modern for Adults and Teenagers without previous experience – This is, I must confess, my favorite class at Poise. I’m the teacher, so it had better be! This is my favorite form of dance and it really is a bit of a mix of styles and techniques. You’ll learn to turn and stretch and move your body in ways you’ve maybe never tried. Don’t be shy and come give it a try!!


Hatha Yoga – This year I am only teaching this class in the morning. (You know, family planning with a four-year-old.) I usually teach it in Spanish, but sometimes I do a bilingual or English class. This is my preferred style of Yoga. It is slower and presents different challenges from Vinyasa. Breathing slowly is the keystone and patience always comes with this practice. Perhaps I prefer this style because those are my own areas of need or work in life, breathing slowly and having patience. But don’t mistake slower with easier. All postures can be modified on an individual basis for any level of fitness, making this style a truly personal journey.


Pilates – Either in the morning or evening, there is still no other method proven to provide better results to change your body tone than this classic class. Our groups are small and you’ll receive individual attention and corrections, preventing injuries and improving results.


Of course, there are also English classes, but this is something we organize with small groups and individuals to provide a highly specialized service. If this is what you’re looking for, please give us a call and we’ll examine your specific needs.


To be announced: Open Dance Fridays and Wine&Words Book Club!!! Two exciting possibilities for this course year!



Be sure to check out our schedule for all the times and prices and other information. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, which will come straight to your email with new blog entries and updates of workshops that are coming up. Don’t worry, we won’t fill up your inbox with too many messages. I hate that as much as you do.


Thanks for reading and welcome to our new year!!

Clausura Año Uno (por Arkaitz Mendoza)

Poise es más de celebrar el día a día, pero celebramos que hace un año desde que escribimos en el calendario de casa que ya teníamos Poise. Ya habíamos encontrado el lugar donde enfocar toda esa energía creativa retenida que nos empujaba hacia lo nuevo, hacia perseguir sueños.

Poise Ours

Ha sido un año intenso, interesante,…hemos podido palpar esos sueños que nos revoloteaban entre las conversaciones. Aquellas que ahora llamamos reuniones creativas de Poise que se sucedían en la terraza de Iñaki, en el bar ciudadela, ya traspasado a otras manos.

Los primeros meses, los de construcción, quedan ya borrosos en la memoria. Mucho aprendimos del proceso de reconstrucción de un local, de diseño, de licencias,… Fue tan divertido como exigente, pero siendo sincero, el día después de la inauguración afloró el orgullo, el orgullo de poder haber plasmado todo aquello que habíamos pensado para el “look” de Poise.

Juana y Arraitz, entonces Cardamomo y ahora www.cigandakoch.com, nos hizo una página web preciosa, www.poisepamplona.com a la par de ayudarnos con toda esa terminología tan necesaria hoy en día, como “imagen corporativa”, “redes sociales”,… Y una tarjeta espectacular impresa por El Calotipo en Zaragoza.

Card pic1 copy

Gracias a los currelas, a familia y amigos, conseguimos hacer la fiesta de inauguración el 18 de Diciembre, con el lujazo de tener a la banda “Lazy Daisy Band” en directo. Fue su primer concierto, aunque no oficial, y desde entonces no han parado. Es lo que Poise le hace a uno.

También estuvieron “Big Kick” bailando swing. Quienes se han convertido en los mejores compañeros de viaje para Poise en estos comienzos. www.bigkickpamplona.com

Sopa de Ganso, por entonces “WeAreJamm”, se encargaron de las fotos y se curraron un vídeo para la presentación inmejorable. Que nos ha servido como la tarjeta de presentación más atractiva. www.sopadegansoestudio.com

Los comienzos son difíciles, sí por supuesto, pero ver que poco a poco, y tan poco a poco, se abrían grupos y que se bailaba en Poise ha sido un gustazo. Hemos tenido Yoga, Pilates, Danza Moderna, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Danza Integral Creativa, Swing, un taller de matronas y hasta Poise ha hecho de set para un documental de Nafar Telebista, quienes nos hicieron una entrevista que Abby ha visto una vez y yo 20. Cada vez se ha acercado más gente con todo tipo de ideas. Talleres, master class, cursos,… de todo tipo y colores. Y esto nos atrae. Poise no es ni una academia ni una escuela, es un estudio multidisciplinario, enfocado en lo creativo y en lo que mueve a la gente.

Nos vamos de vacaciones cansados pero felices. Volveremos en agosto. Estamos muy motivados por el próximo curso, que tiene muy buena pinta. Seguirá el Swing, yoga, pilates, moderno para jóvenes y adultos, ballet para adultos pero también tendremos clases regulares de ballet para más jóvenes. Y empezaremos clases regulares de Hip-hop, Zumba, clases de inglés, teatro… Talleres y más. Iremos informando. A pasar unas buenas vacaciones y nos vemos.



The WHY.

Are there better dancers than me? Yes. Better yogis? Yes. Better English teachers? Yes. Better mothers? Yes. Is there anyone on this planet that is exactly like me? No. And that, right there, is enough reason to do what I do; to enjoy the doing; to keep making connections between my passions and pursuing my pleasures. It is the same answer for each of us. This is what I’ve learned by doing yoga and what I want to transmit in the teaching of it. I chose the word Poise as the name of my business because it, the word itself, reflects these values and the gift that a yoga practice can give each of us – personal balance.

There are no two ways to be in balance that are alike. The search for and finding of and maintenance of balance is as individual as each one of us. That is its beauty. When we calm the unnecessary chatter that often consumes our thoughts and we can sit comfortably with our own divine spark, the universe of possibilities that we each possess expands and blooms.

I’m easily bored by philosophical musings that often quickly turn cheesy. I may have already passed that point here myself. And why is this often the case? It is because all human existence attempts to explain these questions – through the arts, yoga, math, science, religion, gardening, language – and the description always falls short of the experience. But we will keep trying to explain the mystery.

I invite you to join me in these yoga sessions and give it a try. Who knows? You may get your head out of your ass and tighten it at the same time. And don’t forget to smile. You’re beautiful.

A Forced Rest and Its Gifts

For the past week, I’ve been in bed sick. I have cancelled an entire week of classes. I have relied heavily on my husband to take over absolutely everything and on my mother and brother-in-law to help out with my son even more than they already do so that I could just try to rest. I’ve actually been fighting something, the flu, a cough, fatigue, headaches, etc. for about a month now – mostly because I just wouldn’t rest. Well, my body, my husband, and my doctor finally said, “Enough! Stay in bed!”

So I listened.

The first couple days were feverish and spent coughing incessantly and all the other fun things that come with the flu that turned into a respiratory infection.


And after those couple days, that’s when I normally would’ve gone back to work, taking medication to keep my cough calm while pushing through my classes, nervous about if I looked healthy enough or if I’d have enough energy to get through the day. And that would’ve been disasterous.

This time, I’ve stayed home for a week. I’ve left the house to go to the doctor and the pharmacy – that’s it. And here’s what has happened…

1) I haven’t infected anyone else. Bravo me.

2) I’ve slept (as much as the coughing would let me) according to my own natural rhythms.

3) My anxieties about all the work that I have on my plate have disappeared; not because I have less work, but because even work that lights your soul on fire takes a distant second when you don’t feel well. And that helps put it all into perspective. Why do I let myself worry so much about being perfect at everything all the time?! It literally makes me sick. That’s why the flu/repiratory infection has had me laid up for so long. I let all my fears about how well I’m doing what I do turn me into a bundle of anxiety – and get this! – unconsciously!! My conscious mind can talk me into calm and control my breathing and do all those other cool yoga benefits we read about breathing exercises, physical exercise, meditation, etc. But guess what? I’ve learned that it didn’t cross over to the subconscious side, which held onto its favorite fear through every single breath, the fear that if I’m not perfect all the time, I’ll lose it all. Yes, you read that right. I know I’m not perfect, but I still seem to hold myself to an impossible standard and expect a certain type of result from myself with every single activity, large or small, important or insignificant. No wonder I’m exhausted and sick. I’m a bundle of nerves about getting the new dream company I’ve created off the ground. I’m focusing on expectations – something yoga tells us not to do – and I’m getting so attached to some persona I’ve invented in my head about who I have to be in order to do all of that – yet another thing yoga tells us not to do – that I’ve forgotten to enjoy it as a whole. I don’t mean to say that I’m like this every moment, but overall, I’m so worried about “making it work” that I forgot about what makes me “work.”

4) With the free time that lying in bed offers, I’ve been reading. A lot. A couple books. Dozens of articles. And in that time I came across one that is (finally) the point of today’s blog. “How your personality type affects your parenting style.” I thought that looked interesting. So I read it and then took the link to the test that is a modified version of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which is based on theories of C. G. Jung. Here are the links to two more sites that offer free tests, require no personal information, and aren’t too obnoxious when trying to sell you their pay-for products.

www.16personalities.com (They have the test in 25 languages!!)

www.truity.com (Test only in English, but it’s cool to take both and see if you get the same results.)

5) No, I’m not going to tell you which I am. But I will tell you that when I read through some of the traits that were listed for my type, I laughed out loud at how spot on they were, and my anxiety about work and life and parenting and being enough disappeared.

6) These tests don’t hold the key to being perfect or instantly being forever happy or anything even close. But sometimes it is nice to have a bit of external insight on what’s going on internally. It’s somewhere in between the type of ice-cold-water slap in the face that wakes you right up and a soft, tender voice in your ear telling you, “Honey, of course you’re all right just as you are.”

So, what’s my point? As my mother-in-law says, being sick is good for you – it makes you stronger. I’m not any closer to perfect today than I was a week ago, but being sick and completely disconnected has given me back my own poise, something I lost a bit of in the whirlwind of creating Poise. It’s given me insight on how to practice what I preach and reminded me that all the sides of who I am deserve time and attention and care.

Just take a Nap

This morning/midday, I did something I almost never get to do anymore. I got a few hours to myself and I watched some new TED videos, Dean Ornish’s Healing through Diet talk from 2004, read part of a book, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, that’s taking me a long time to read even though I’ve read it before and I read very fast (a few pages a night before bed is all I get these days), and then I took a nap.

It is Wednesday.

The universe kind of organized things for me so that I could have this time. Normally, I do not. I am self-employed, have a crazy schedule that covers the entire day, have just opened a new business, and I have a two-and-a-half-year-old bundle of joy that I often lovingly call my “tiny life terrorist” for his ability to disrupt sleep patterns and turn everything upside down from what it was just a few short years ago.

I’ll tell you what, sometimes deciding to not immediately reply to all the emails or return the phone calls (I’m sorry if you are someone waiting on a response from me, I’ll get to it very soon and in a much more positive mood!) and make your brain slow down on a Wednesday morning for a nap is absolutely the best health and happiness tonic in the world. And the world is not going to end if you turn off your phone for a while. It doesn’t have to be a Wednesday, but sometimes you just have to decide that you’re going to take a moment back from a busy, happy life and treat yourself to nothing other than a nap.

Now, here in Pamplona, in most of Spain, I’d say this is common wisdom that is an ingrained part of the culture. The Spanish word for nap is universally understood. But I’m American, and we don’t nap nearly as much or as well. So, all the things that I had to do before the nap are still there, but now they feel manageable and interesting (because I really do love my job, which is something that fascinates me every single day), and I somehow meditated in my sleep on how to best handle what needs deciding. This blog is certainly not scientific proof of the benefits of a siesta, as there were a million uncontrolled variables in my Wednesday Experiment, but if how much better I feel now than I did at 10 am is any proof at all, then I’m sold on the conclusion. Just go take a nap.

Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy

This week for the blog, I’d like to review two books by the same author, Marie Kondo. Both deal with the same subject, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up came first and fully discusses the KonMari Method of tidying, and Spark Joy delves deeper into the technicalities of tidying and storing things in a practical way. The first book is available in Spanish, La Magia del Orden, while the second, Spark Joy, doesn’t seem to be available yet. It just came out in English this month.

Magic CoverSpark Joy Cover

But those are the technicalities. Why have I chosen to write about and share these books? Well, they deal with removing clutter from our lives in a way that I’ve never heard before, I have clutter in my life (in fact, a previous blog entry was named Clutter), and for quite a while now I have been wondering how to deal with all the stuff that I don’t use but can’t seem to let go. I have become attached to my things and I have too many things.

Throughout the process of building Poise, I tried very hard to prevent any unnecessary item from entering this space. I wanted a place of flow and harmony. I wanted a space that only contained useful things that I love to use. This is the essence of Marie Kondo’s tidying philosophy and it is perfectly explained by the title of her second book, Spark Joy. Her whole system is based on keeping the things that you love and letting everything else go. This philosophy is very similiar to aspects of Yoga, those of non-attachment and contentment and cleanliness and self-examination, all aspects of the Yamas or Niyamas of Yoga.

Throughout the KonMari tidying process, you must repeat a single question, asking yourself this question over and over again about everything that you own: “Does this Spark Joy?” If the answer is no, then you should let that item go. Her method forces you to examine the ideal life that you would like to have and to select only those possessions that help create that life. It is an in-depth and honest self-examination. Again, I say that this is a concept that lies at the very base of Yoga, as well. We are here now, for only as long as we will be, and it seems a rather careless waste to fill our homes and lives with things that don’t bring us joy.

In full disclosure, I haven’t yet started the process on my own house (maybe this weekend?!). I just read the book last week. But I am fascinated by the concept and I agree with her philosophy of how to put our houses and lives in order. Her point is simple – we must tidy our lives by deciding what we want to keep because it brings us joy. That is all. The rest we must let go.

If you find yourself in my situation, a closet full of things that you’ve forgotten you have, or a general sense of clutter in your home, or even unfinished business that you’ve tucked away in a drawer someplace – then I highly recommend reading either or both of these books. To Marie Kondo (and her translators and publishers), I thank you for sharing this idea with the world. A revelation – truly.

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