Shiva Nata: the Dance of Shiva

Shiva Nata is brain training that kind of looks like martial arts, and acts like drugs-that-make-you-smart-and-hot.
It uses movement patterns to generate new neural connections and huge understandings that let you rewrite your patterns.
Sometimes we hate it for being so damn hard – but we get over that because Shiva Nata makes us graceful, coordinated and awesome. And because of the hot, buttered epiphanies.

In which Shiva Nata saves my life again.

And not even metaphorically.

Which is the usual way.

Three times.

Just in the past week.

First.

The first time I was crossing the street. At the crosswalk. With the green light. Three lanes.

As I’m crossing, I can’t see the third lane until I’m there, but oh look here’s who is zooming down and through the third lane at top speed: some lady who seems in retrospect to believe that “right on red” means you don’t have to stop at the red or even slow down, apparently.

Shiva Nata has given me quick instincts and even quicker reflexes.

I felt my body pulling me back before even knowing what was happening, she missed me by inches.

We were one hundred percent bound to cross orbits, except for tingle-knowing which feels like luck but is not luck.

She had speed but I had speediness. I could feel the tug-pull of belly communicating with spine and earth that happens when I try to keep my balance during an impossibly fast level 3.

My body knew what to do before I did, it’s been training for this for years while we’ve been rewriting all the internal patterns. And then I was somehow still standing and she was gone.

Next.

The second time.

In the shower. Slipped and skidded on a slippery surface in a moment of not paying attention.

It was that moment of knowing the fall was coming.

And then the same thing as before.

Balance was magically there, righting me. Righting myself. Partly core, partly internal remembering, partly body being there for me with steadiness and a determined love.

It was a moment of shiva nata. I could feel it.

And then.

The third time was crossing the street again. This time someone on the phone, seriously people, stop doing that, driving around a corner and not looking.

My body executed a little hop-skip-jump with more grace than I felt internally, and it took me out of the path of destruction.

Path. Of. Destruction.

So the symbolic concept/essence/whatever of Shiva is, of course, destruction. Paths and paths of it!

But not the kind of destruction that people think it is.

It’s more like this:

A pure, clean, clear, compassionate, loving slicing away of everything that is no longer valid, relevant or true.

An undoing of the structures that are rigid distortions of truth, so that new organic forms can emerge. A rewriting of the patterns that aren’t working so that the new patterns can take shape.

It is this undoing and unraveling that has put me in this deeper relationship with my body, trusting my instinctive pushes and pulls. A new connection with the home of my body that is changing everything.

Destruction is taking me home. But not through ruining things. Through connecting up portals, opening the right doors, showing me possibility.

And it’s saving my life. Over and over again.

This is awesome. Both in the sense of “wow that is neato-rad!” and in the sense of sweet loving grace-filled nondenominational REVERENT AWE. Yes.

Alligatoroos! The commenting blanket fort.

Things that are welcome today:

Joy-filled exclamations of delight for these beautiful things.

Stories of ways that Shiva Nata or shivanautical side effects have helped you in unexpected ways.

Warm heart-sighs.

That is all for now. May we all receive the deconstructing of whatever needs to be deconstructed, in the sweetest and safest ways possible.

{namaste}

A loving gift of truth.

Sometimes Shiva Nata knocks me over with the way it rings internal bells.

It shows me my patterns and it shows me tiny sparkling moments of TRUTH, and sometimes (lots of the time) I do not like this.

Sometimes it reveals to me the same piece of truth in different ways. Or even in the same way. And I throw it back into the mix, and then am surprised when it pops back out again. That’s a pattern too. Hi, pattern.

Just in this past week Shiva Nata has told me all sorts of astonishing things.

So many things.

For example, that that I have been forgetting about PLEASURE as a door.

Or how DELIGHTING IN PLENTY is a superpower that I can partake in. And, related to that: I don’t have to persist in getting all tangled up in words like “prosperity” or “thriving” (and in my relationship to them) because guess what, delight in plenty.

On Thursday Shiva Nata showed me a way that I was hurting myself without meaning to. On Friday, Shiva Nata showed me a way that my fear of being misunderstood was leading me to be misunderstood.

On Saturday, I saw how something I’d thought was broken was actually a temporary container for the new incoming thing that is replacing it.

On Sunday I learned (again! deeper!) that that buoyancy and grounding are not mutually exclusive.

These all got planted deep. They reverberated through my cells. They were all loving gifts of truth.

Loving gifts of truth…

Loving gifts of truth is not the same as “tough love”, which is not really always love at all.

Loving gifts of truth is not the same as telling someone something because the telling makes you feel better.

Loving gifts of truth is not the same as oh, something like “let’s face the harsh realities”. There are no harsh realities in this gift.

Instead it’s more about recognizing that things in a certain formation or formulation are not congruent and harmonious with the essence of what they’re about.

So they need to reconfigure.

So they need to reconfigure.

Just like in Shiva Nata itself, where everything reconfigures all the time. Each formula allows itself to be broken down into elements and re-formed into the new formula.

Just like the symbolic essence of Shiva-ness: that clean clear destruction/deconstruction of those elements that are no longer working so that new, beautiful organic forms can come in their place.

Today — at the 21st and most-amazing-ever Rally (Rally!), we did this unbelievably intense Shiva Nata class. Intense is not even the word for it. It was extraordinary and glowing.

An outlandishly luscious class. We were subsumed by flames and stuff like that. Shiva was all hey lady, would you like some deconstruction because I can bring it. Like that. I may have broken them.

Or we may have broken everything. But in the most compassionately loving and playful way ever. It was awesome.

Everything. Reconfigures.

And after the class was over and we were all internally reconfigured, I knew (in that fleeting moment) all the truths about all the truths. Including about the loving gift that is being harmonious with the truths.

I have a loving gift of truth to share with my people, possibly you.

And like with many loving gifts of truth, you may not want to receive it. Or not right now at any rate. Either or both of which is okay.

Just know that this is what it is in its essence. A loving gift of a loving truth, available for you if and when you should ever happen to want it. Here it is:

There are so many things that are deeply important when leading a group of people in Shiva Nata and shivanautical deconstruction.

Sovereignty. Autonomy. Spaciousness. Delight. Presence.

Most of all, is vital that people need to come to Shiva Nata with me already knowing that they are entirely in charge of every aspect of their own experience.

It used to be that people would come to my trainings and over the course of studying with me they’d figure that out.

They would realize, eventually, one realization and sparkling epiphany after another, that I am not the authority. That there is no authority.

There is you and there is Shiva Nata. There is you and your deep, beautiful internal wisdom and knowing, which gets revealed through doing Shiva Nata. There is you and your patterns and your relationship with the patterns. And whatever comes up you give back to Shiva Nata and it gives you the next piece. And then you do Shiva Nata on that.

There’s more to this. It’s pretty hard to explain.

Reconfigured and reconfigured again.

The point is, people used to come to me and they would learn this beautiful thing (yay!).

They would first understand and then internalize this understanding that their own body/brain/heart is the thing. Their suchness. And their relationship to their patterns and their own reconfigurings through Shvia Nata. THIS is the thing.

Not me, not my opinions, not my answers, not my guidance.

And now everything has shifted. Because now in order for us to do the shining everything-is-different-and-better-now work and play that we do, I need people to come to me already knowing this.

The way I used to teach where the realization happened during the training is no longer a sovereign, viable or harmonious way for me to teach.

Reconfigured. This is my truth.

The next part of the gift.

This is the beautiful and challenging understanding that Shiva Nata has been steadily delivering to me over the past several months.

And each time I have not wanted to receive it.

But it is my truth, even though it took me several months of arguing with it before I could see the part about how this was a) a loving gift to me, and b) a loving gift to my students and my people, whom I madly adore and am devoted to.

Because of this huge understanding, I am putting off Shivanauticon for one year.

Over the course of this year I will be putting together the materials that I believe are necessary to be able to show up (whether physically, which would be awesome, but really more emotionally-mentally-energetically) for the type of teaching that I am ready to do now.

Teaching isn’t even really the word for it. It’s not transmission either. This is so beyond teaching. It’s about radiance and autonomy and flow. It’s about harmony and congruence. It’s about people being so completely there with themselves that they cannot possibly let anyone else be a false authority in their lives.

It is big and important and I am going to figure out how to explain it.

Where do we go from here?

We will have ways to prepare for the adventure.

We will have some online sessions in the winter months.

We will be preparing to open the Shiva Nata studio at Stompopolis, our brand new gigantic space.

And we will practice and play, and then practice and play some more.

We will dance the patterns out and dance them back together again.

With loving gifts of truth.

It will be beautiful.

It will be beautiful, it will be hard, it will at times be confusing and at other times it will be ridiculous and funny.

I will update you with all the details when I have them.

In the meantime, I am glowing Shiva Nata in my cells. I am reconfiguring all the reconfigurations. All of them.

I cried all the tears over the thing I thought I wanted to happen in the way I thought I wanted it, and then I cried tears of appreciation and gratitude for the deep internal knowing that I thought I didn’t want but actually that I want more than anything.

And now I am feeling happy and hopeful and ready.

I can’t wait to do impossible shivanautical magic with you next summer. And maybe at Rally (Rally!) in July or September this summer if you can make it.

You are loved. And this feels like a really vulnerable and over-the-top thing to write in actual words that someone could read but I mean this: you are a loving gift of truth.

xo
Havi

Commenting blanket fort.

Things I am receptive to: heart-sighs, pebbles, understandings that have been sparked, qualities.

The Baseline Challenges.

There are, of course, infinite ways to challenge yourself and make your Shiva Nata practice hard.

This list of one hundred and one is a great starting place. And it’s also barely the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Here are the ones I pretty much always use, just as a baseline to start off with:

  1. I alternate between teaching mode and student mode.
  2. Rotations in space with each new starting position.
  3. Using a word/quality/wish.

I’ve been doing these for long enough that they don’t even slightly count as my actual challenge for the practice, which I have to add onto these. But the more challenges the better, and I try to mix these up each time in some way too.

Explanations!

1) Alternating between teaching mode and student mode.

In teaching mode, the left hand becomes the right hand. That is: right hand is the starting hand but you pretend it’s the left hand. In student mode, the left hand is always the starting hand.

This means that when you’re in student mode, 3:5 means left hand at 3 and right hand at 5 (aka Vertical 1).

When you’re in teaching mode, 3:5 means right hand at 3 and left hand at 5. But you basically just pretend that your right hand is your left.

Alternating between teaching mode and student mode means that you have to SWITCH which hand is the starting hand.

For one full set of Level 3, my left hand is my actual left hand. For the next full set, I start with my right hand.

SUPER ADVANCED: If you want to make this really brain-breakey, switch modes with each new starting position (!).

2) Rotations in space with each new starting position.

Each time I move to a new starting positions, I turn one full quarter turn. To the right if I’m in teacher mode, to the left if I’m in student mode.

Sometimes I do a full spiral:

If I’m doing a level with sixteen starting positions, I’ll end up turning sixteen times in the same direction. Then I’ll repeat that level (or do another level with an equal number of starting positions) and spiral out the opposite way.

Other times I’ll do right quarter turns for the first four starting positions, then left quarter turns for the next four and so on.

Other times I create other combinations.

The main thing is that you have another element to keep track of — “Wait, which direction am I turning?”. It adds a nice layer of general confusion.

All those turns also can make balance harder, especially if you’re working with High Legs and core work.

Plus it improves your ability to orient yourself quickly in space.

Recommended!

3) Using a word/quality/wish/affirmation.

In addition to setting an intention at the beginning of a practice, each set gets a word, a quality, a wish or an affirmation.

This is in addition to using words in your practice, if you’re doing that. Or numbers, if you’re doing numbers.

If my horizontals are, say, Trust, Wonder, Patience and Speediness, I can still associate another word or quality with that set.

For example, I might attempt to think Love-Love-Love-Love WHILE I’m cycling through those word combinations.

Or I might experiment with seeing if I can feel or perceive the quality of Love every time I cycle through H2. Or to pulsate it with my body in different places.

Or I might try to imagine that [X part of my body] is getting a healing with love every time I cycle around.

Sometimes I follow the numbers on the iPhone app or the DVD while repeating my sentence the entire time.

To make this extra hard: Don’t Look. See if you can listen to the numbers and say your words at the same time.

Lately I’ve been trying to say my word or statement at each position so that I repeat it the same number of times as there are arm movements. That’s either sixteen or thirty two times per starting position, in the lower levels, depending on your count.

In your own practice…

Your baseline challenges could be completely different, of course.

It’s your practice. See what works for you.

Try stuff. Experiment. Mess around. Play. Be curious. Enter as you wish to be in it.

Be conscious of the experience you’re having.

Meet yourself with as much amnesty, permission, and spaciousness as you can muster.

It’s all patterns. All patterns are legitimate. All patterns are information. All patterns can change and transform into the new patterns, which will then transform again. Bring them to the dance and take them apart.

We just show up and notice what’s there. We turn inward. We interact with the experience in conscious and loving ways. We make room for ourselves. Again and again and again.

Here’s what I taught this week (2/24/12)

So I taught four Shiva Nata workshops this week.

Three at Rally (Rally!), and one for the roller derby team that we sponsor.

Doing Shiva Nata at Rally is always entertaining, especially the first class.

That’s because we typically see a huge range of familiarity with the practice, from people who have never done it and have no idea what it is to people who teach it regularly. And everything in between.

At this particular Rally we had six Shiva Nata teachers alongside total beginners. People who practice with the DVD but never done it with me, which is very different, and then people who have only practiced with me. And a mathematician. Yay!

Anyway, my job is to make sure that everyone gets thoroughly and deliciously scrambled, and that we all have crazy fun doing it. Or at least that we meet our experience with sweet presence, to the best of our abilities.

Here’s what class looked like this week.

Toozday.

To provide extra mind-meltingness for people who already know what they’re doing, I taught the positions completely out of order.

And I didn’t give any numbers as reference points. Instead, I asked them to come up with words that described the things they wanted to feel at Rally.

The words they came up with were as follows:

  • Glee (vertical 3)
  • Safety (vertical 2)
  • Strength (horizontal 3)
  • Curiosity (horizontal 1)
  • Excitement (vertical 4)
  • Effortlessness (horizontal 2)
  • Belonging (vertical 1)
  • Passion (horizontal 4)

Next I taught them about sequences: what it means to move sequentially forward and backward to create a spiral loop. And how you can start that sequence from any of the four points.

Then we did all CONNECTION SETS between horizontals and verticals and vice versa, but impossibly ridiculously fast. It sounded kind of like this, but imagine Alvin and the Chipmunks because that’s how fast we were doing it:

I’m curious about belonging! I’m curious about safety! I’m curious about Glee, because I have no idea what happened in the last episode! Being curious is exciting!

Effortless belonging, effortless safety, effortlessness makes me gleeful, I’m effortlessly excited! Strength in belonging! Get stronger through safety! Strengthen your glee! The strength of excitement! I’m passionate about belonging, passionate safety, passion and glee, and passionately excited…

I belong in my curiosity, I belong effortlessly, I belong to my strengths, I find belonging in passion! I feel safe when I’m curious, I find safety in effortlessness, I am safe and strong, yay safety and passion!

Gleeful curiosity, being gleeful is effortless, glee is my strength, glee and passion! I’m excited about being curious, there’s excitement that can be effortless, get excited about how strong you’re getting, excitement leads to passion!

Then when we stopped giggling, we put it all together and did some sequences. I let them invent starting positions. Also we danced to Cake, and I may have improvised and thrown in some other levels for extra brain-breaky power.

And then we shavasana-ed with intention.

Wednesday.

Wednesday we came up with new words!

To replace the old ones, and undo those patterns.

This time the category was nouns or verbs that describe things you might find or do at Rally.

The horizontals (in order): Bubbles, Movement, Selma and Naps.

The verticals (in order):
Clews, Buttmonsters, Caboose and Wheel.

And once I was positive that they’d erased the old words, we brought the old words back and combined them.

But we also added NUMBERS. But with a switch! Instead of the horizontals being 1-4 and the verticals 5-8, we reversed it!!!

I am so nefarious! They were so delighted/mad! It was so great!

All of our heads broke a dozen times. Also we pretended that we were the Count from Sesame Street.

Von Clew of Belonging!
Two Safe Buttmonsters!
Three Gleeful Cabooses! Cabeese? Sadly, no.
And Four Wheels of Excitement!

Five Curious Bubbles!
Six Effortless Movements! Just like in a sun salutation!
The Seven Strengths of Selma.
Eight Passionate Naps! Ah! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaa!

Then we did a bunch of math.

Because of the number-switch, if you take what would normally be 2:5, it becomes 6:1 instead. Which is ALREADY confusing enough.

But then we gave that number FOUR different names — calling it 6:1, 61, 6 and 7.
Can you guess why?

And then we did some Flip-its. I have to say, it was pretty brutal. By which I mean we were all thoroughly bewildered by the end and also everyone had about seven hundred epiphanies that day.

They were really good sports. Sparklepoints to all of them!

Oh and of course we danced to the sexy robot song, because it’s a Rally tradition and we couldn’t not follow tradition.

Thursday. Class #1.

I taught this class in a pig hat. That’s a story for another time.

We sang a sea shantey while doing Level 1 verticals and then horizontals, at a fairly moderate clip. What most people would call “fast“.

Then we did Level 1 to a recording of a much faster version of the same sea shantey.

Then we did Level 2 to an INSANELY fast recording until our brains fell off.

Then we did freeform Zombie Shiva Nata, which involves being fierce and unpredictably growling, roaring, stumbling and scaring. It’s harder than it sounds. We’ll do it at Shivanauticon, I promise.

Awesome.

Then a long shavasana which felt like zzzzzzzzz-flatline-no-thoughts-emptiness, and then we did a bunch of stone skipping and went back to playing.

Thursday. Class #2.

Shiva Nata with my Guns N Rollers. I can’t even tell you how much I love training skaters.

They wanted to do colors, so we did, starting with the verticals and then the horizontals. They got to choose/invent any colors they wanted.

V: purple, black, pink, orange
H: turquoise, yellow, white, red.

We reviewed theory. We reviewed legs. In motion, of course. We tried to imagine pulses of color with each position. We played with using color in our imaginary force fields.

Then, just to make it harder, we added numbers to the colors. But we did it the way you would in roller derby.

When a ref calls you out for a penalty, it’s by color of uniform and then number. Black 2! Red Eight! Red Eight is Cadillac. See?

Like that. A little Level 1, a little Level 2.

Then we did it to the Clash.

Then we did it super slow to sloooow music, with legs high and lots of core work, and they had to think of ONE color each time we cycled through it.

And then I let them collapse in a heap and we did some resting and a bunch of stretching, and it was beautiful.

I figure even if we only erase one mental block each time, by the end of the season they are still going to be ROCKING IT. That’s the plan. Go GNR!

That’s it.

I mean, it’s not even slightly it.

I didn’t get a chance to go into how we challenged ourselves and made it harder.

Or how much we laughed.

Or how many incredible realizations we had and how many patterns got rewritten.

But it was a fun week. Extra-scrambly!

Are you mixing it up? Good. MIX. IT. UP.

Blowing kisses to all the shivanauts. Happy flails.

Dance of Shiva – this is why.

This post comes from shivanaut Simone Seol, who created this drawing in a recent fit of inspired Shivanautical brilliance.

Thanks, Simone – this pretty much says it all!

Post-it note epiphany…

Found scribbled on a post-Shiva-Nata post-it note.

From a few months back, but I found it today.

Which was exactly the right day to find it.

Anyway, here it is:

There are two ways to find the clues.

1) Be present and you will find the clues.

2) Be someone who sees patterns, and you will find the clues.

Answers. Everywhere.

Over the past several months, the clues have been falling into my lap with an immediacy that surprises even me.

But really it’s not that surprising.

It comes from being present. And from being the person who sees the patterns.

And since Shiva Nata is the insanely fast shortcut to both of those states/abilities…

Clues. Pointing arrows. And surprisingly often also the information I need in the exact moment that I need it.

So I’m doing a lot of reflecting.

Sitting with pieces and shards of information. Playing with it. Rearranging it. Flipping it. Turning it upside down and inside out. Mapping out the connections.

Turning off my brain and then turning it back on again.

Because that’s the shivanautical approach.

Be curious and play. Be curious and play. Be curious and play.

How the commenting blanket fort here works.

Each of us is in charge of our own experience. Yay!

So we take loving responsibility for how we interact with concepts, with our process and with each other. We pay attention to what we need and to how we can give it to ourselves.

p.s. I haven’t yet posted here about ohmygod SHIVANAUTICON! Mostly because I was hoping to have more information for you other than the dates and the much-wished-for cotton candy machine. But you can sign up here for details and there will be some excited noises soon.

Shiva Nata for Roller Derby! And why it’s so crazy useful.

You guys! This weekend is Roller Derby Championships! And I’m there. In Denver.

Which also meant I got to do two hours of Shiva Nata yesterday with twenty seven wonderful people in Boulder. Awesome.

Today’s post is from shivanaut Laura Eliason, who skates as Demon Llama for Ireland’s Cork City Firebirds. She’s bouting against Amsterdam this weekend, so send some love her way…

Okay. Here’s Demon Llama!

It began by accident.

I was recently asked to take on some coaching duties for my derby league.

And I’ve started teaching them Shiva Nata.

When I introduced this practice to the league, one of girls asked how it was useful for derby. I wrote up some notes to share on our league’s board. … and here’s what I’ve got:

How is Shiva Nata is useful for Roller Derby?

The answer is this:

I’m pretty sure that EVERYTHING about Shiva Nata is useful when you’re training for derby.

But here are a few specific things that come to mind, although I’m sure there are many more.

Mistakes:

Basically the whole idea of Shiva Nata is that if you aren’t screwing it up constantly then you aren’t going to get that much out of it.

Making mistakes and moving through them are part of your experience, but it’s also one of the hardest things to adapt to at first.

In any bout situation, mistakes are going to happen.

You’re going to look one way and the opposing jammer is going to fly by you on the other side.

Maybe you’re jamming and you trip over your own feet.

If you’re beating yourself up over this stuff, it’s hard to adapt to what is actually happening.

Shiva Nata helps you get used to the idea of not getting attached to the screw-ups; just moving through them and trusting that you will get better each time.

Shiva Nata also shows you the patterns behind the screw-ups. Also the patterns behind the self-recrimination. And what to do about it.

The ability to take in multiple things going on at once.

In Shiva Nata, you’ve got one arm spiraling in one direction, the other arm spiraling in the opposite direction, trying to say the numbers out loud too, oh and for good measure you can throw in a leg going in some other direction.

In derby, look forward, you look backward, play offense, play defense, communicate with your team mates, and stay on your skates (among other things).

Shiva Nata trains your brain to be able to handle multiple different kinds of information AND to communicate that with your body.

To think & move at the same time.

Team work.

Especially when you’re just starting out, mirroring someone else lets you attune to what their body is doing and trust that they are showing you what to do.

This is a great way to get used to the idea of physically working with your teammates — like when you need to form a wall that is capable of staying together and stopping an opposing player.

Even when practicing on your own, you are asking separate parts of your body to cooperate with you, to respond to the messages you are sending them.

The better you are able to communicate with your own body, the better you can communicate with your teammates, and more intuitively too.

Using one part of your body in one way while simultaneously using another part of your body in a different way is useful cross-training for jammers — being able to fake in one direction, while simultaneously getting your legs moving in the other direction.

Shiva Nata is great for core & upper body strengthening.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of taking a hit on skates knows how important core strength is, so anything you can do to build on that = awesome.

Also, I think upper body work tends to get forgotten in the focus on legs & core, but one rotator-cuff strain and you won’t forget it again.

I’m always surprised by how easy it is to fatigue my arms doing Shiva Nata, and unlike weight lifting (which is awesome too) Shiva Nata keeps your muscles dynamic, so they aren’t just strong, but they move with strength.

And being dynamic is fundamental to derby — we’re on wheels!

Shiva Nata teaches you to stay out of “the middle”.

“The middle” is that dangerous place where you think you don’t need to improve anymore. Shiva Nata celebrates mistakes because that’s where you are pushing your mind and body into new territory, forming new neural connections.

Bringing that to your derby training helps you remember to actively seek out the challenge when something has become too easy for you.

Shiva Nata is also super useful in small doses.

You don’t need to spend an hour doing Shiva Nata to get major epiphanies. I usually do it in 5 minute increments, and have really started to appreciate that a consistent strong effort over a short period of time can yield amazing results over the long term.

Learning new strategies and then replacing them with different ones.

Shiva Nata gives your mind a major workout just learning the basics of Level 1, and then suddenly you’re on Level 2 and everything you thought you knew is now totally different.

In roller derby you may go into a jam with a solid strategy, but suddenly your jammer gets a major penalty and now you need to control a power jam: you have to adapt instantly.

Practicing different aspects or levels of Shiva Nata one after another is super useful in developing your ability to adapt instantly.

Shiva Nata improves your ability to recognize patterns and then look for the gaps.

As a jammer it trains your eye to see the paths through the pack, not the people in the pack.

As a blocker it trains you to identify the other team’s strategy quickly — and counter it.

This is one of those things that is pretty hard to explain without experiencing it.

There are always multiple patterns at play, and they are constantly changing. Developing this kind of vision is one of the greatest gifts of Shiva Nata.

Just do it. And keep doing it. And keep making it harder. You’ll feel and see what happens. And it will be brilliant.

Shiva Nata workshop in Boulder, CO!

I will be teaching an afternoon shivanauttery workshop in Boulder, Colorado.

Ridiculously soon!

It’s Thursday, November 10, 2011.

3:00 pm – 5:00pm

Selma will be there. The Schmoppet will be there.

There will be epiphanies of the hot and buttered variety. It will be grand.

And it’s pretty close to full so if there’s a chance you can make it, go for it.

Maybe I’ll get to see you there?

All the details are on this page.

Reports to follow!

p.s. Shiva Nata is also sponsoring the 2011 Roller Derby Championships in Denver. You can try to find me there too. I’ll be wearing a purple rainbow toy snake as a boa. Derby shivanauts unite!

Excitements! The Shiva Nata app is now live!

Pocket Shiva Nata

So. After six months filled with crazy hard work, our lovely baby — Pocket Shiva Nata — is here and alive and kicking!

As of right now. Hooray!

And there was great rejoicing, but also MAYHEM and HAPPY FLAILING and general brain scramble of the best possible kind. Again: Hooray!

In my brain-scrambled, state, here’s what I can tell you about our shiny new Pocket Shiva Nata baby:

  • This app is a practice tool for the first three levels of Shiva Nata – designed to complement our Starter Kit and Andrey’s DVD.
  • If you have an iPhone, oh boy! This is very good news, shivanautically speaking!
  • Or an iPad. Or an iPod touch. Or something that runs apps from the Apple store (iOS 3.2.2 or later). Yay.
  • Familiarity with the eight basic starting positions is assumed.
  • If you don’t have the Starter Kit but you’ve taken a class with me, you’ll be fine.
  • There is a stylized animated me doing the positions.
  • My voice calls the numbers (you can turn that on or off).
  • There are animated graphics and large numbers which show each position while it’s happening (you can turn the numbers on and off too).
  • You can adjust the speed to your own abilities (from super slow to outrageously fast), and turn on/off audio, visual, and textual cues as you like.
  • There’s a reminder function, which means your device (device!) will let you know once a day that it’s flailing time! This might be my favorite part.
  • You can pause it whenever you want, or start in the middle of a level or repeat things.
  • You can have the numbers be in 1-4 mode, or make it extra-fabulous/hard with 1-8 mode. Unless you studied with me and started off with 1-8, in which case 1-4 might be harder!
  • The entire thing (code, graphics, recording) was made in Portland, Oregon, home of the Playground. :)
  • Sadly, there will not be a Droid app version of this any time soon. Unless you happen to be a shivanaut Droid app programmer who wants to donate your services for a collaboration on this, but I’m guessing that this is not a likely thing.
  • There is no app for the higher levels. If you want to go deeper into the higher levels of the practice, get thee to the awesome Secret Lab!
  • We had an amazing programmer working on this, huge support from loving helper mice, and this was a beautiful team effort. I am full of appreciation for everything that went into making this a reality.
  • It was a labor of love! One quarter of the price makes it back to us, which in about twenty years should cover the time and effort that went into making this happen. Totally one hundred percent worth it, though, because a world with more Shiva Nata in it is the world I want to live in!

That’s the news….

Happy, happy flailing! Let the crazed zaptastic getting-lost begin!

What I would love right now:

1) Joyous celebration. It’s done! It’s here! It has arrived in the world! My tiny sweet thing that was also a Gwish has become a tangible, beautiful, amazing, real live gift. Yay!

1.5) Confetti! Shaped like stars! Or asparagus. I don’t know. Invent confetti!

2)
Love and good wishes for all the amazing people who helped make this possible: Dave (of Fortified Studios), Richard and Casey: you guys are the best!

3) PLEASE PLEASE as many positive reviews as possible in the app store — the sooner the better.

And here’s the link again: The Pocket Shiva Nata app!

Thank you thank you thank you. And ohmygoodness hooray!

90 minutes of happy flailing and shivanautical destuckifying!

Normally I don’t teach Shiva Nata classes outside of retreats, rallies and shivanautical trainings.

But guess what?

On Toozday, July 26 (soon!), my duck and I will be leading 90 delicious minutes of shivanautical fun at my studio — the Playground — in Portland, Oregon.

And then there is a 3 part series in August too. Yay!

If you like, you can bring a pattern, a stuck, a Gwish or something you want to work on or get better at.

But you won’t have to tell anyone what it is! And if you don’t have one, that’s okay too!

And we’ll use the mad, intense, flailing and brain training to generate insights, alternatives and surprising simple solutions.

It will be powerful and hilarious at the same time.

Each class will include ridiculous flailing, secret just-for-you stone skippings, and some lovely calming down.

Any and all levels (including I-have-no-idea-what-this-is!) welcome.

As are any and all ages, shapes, body types, etc.

We will laugh.

You will get better at things like balance, agility, creativity and adaptability. And finding beauty in both order and chaos.

Cost for the Toozday evening Snack Preview class on July 26.

a) $35 drop-in,
b) $15 if you pre-register online, or
c) Nothing at all if you sign-up for the 3 part series in August.

*All the details are HERE: http://shivanata.com/snack-preview-pdx

Rejoicing!

I would love some happy cheering for this.

If you’re in PDX or the general area, it would be amazing to see you there.

And if not, I would love it if you would help me spread the word, especially if you know people who might be into this.

Let me know if you have questions!

NOTE: I announced this on the Fluent Self blog on Friday so it’s already getting pretty close to full. I think we can fit seven more people in if we squeeze. :)