Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another First

Today i had another teaching first. last time 50 people, this time... only one person showed up. some weeks i might be stressed, annoyed, anxious, tired, worried ... any number of negative emotions might have flowed through me. but today... today it was PERFECT that i had just one. she was a very nice woman and was totally open to everything i asked of her. we worked on her shoulders and her hips and i got to practice all the information that i learned at Sianna Sherman's workshop this weekend. so we had a fabulous practice together. and at the end a sweet sweet smile on her face. she told me she came in feeling stressed out and in a bad mood and was leaving feeling so much better. and that made it all worth it. that's what it's all about. yoga should make you feel good, feel better, feel GREAT! hopefully i helped her with that.

so much of it had to do with me coming from an open place and her being open as well. so hopefully i can learn from that and always go in with an open heart an open mind and ready to help.

OPEN TO GRACE and it happens with ease.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fall Practice

Today i was all stirred up thinking about life events that are conspiring to make me a crazy woman by this time next year. i won't bother to explain, especially since who knows how much will actually come true.

so after a long walk with tyco where i talked to him about all the possibilities i decided a yoga practice would really help fix things up. except that i'm exhausted, and my joints are all very tired too. not the best way to work into a yoga practice especially knowing i'll be at a workshop all weekend and i want to arrive there built up not torn down. but i decided to go for it anyway, and knowing my back was tight i thought i'd practice some forward bends and that would be that.

after being outside with tyco i didn't want to close myself up indoors so i brought my mat out to the deck to enjoy the last day of 70 degree weather (or so they say) before it turns cold tomorrow. it was right around lunch time and i set myself up and waited until the impulse to move came. and of course, it did. i took a long slow practice of aligning shoulders and legs and then slowly opening my hamstrings and hips. no Surya namaskar, no plank to chateranga. just long slow work deep in the joints and muscles. it was at once relaxing calming and extremely DEEP WORK. i may have been on my back much of the time but this was in no way a restorative practice.

afterwards i stayed in savasana and enjoyed the beautiful blue sky and bright leaves above me.
then spent a few minutes journaling before tearing myself away to attend to my day. i know in a few years my life won't be set up for this any more. i am extremely grateful for the gift of this time. thank you thank you thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Teaching Dilema

I have to admit i've been struggling lately. Struggling with the whole being a yoga teacher thing. everything is difficult when you first start but i think i forget that as i'm getting older. now i'm going to be thirty next year and starting off on a whole new career is definitely a challenge. and when i think i've gotten the hang of something, something else goes off and i'm back to square one with that.

right now i'm facing a dilema about Anusara. what do i do about the Anusara? i can't practice it with a teacher because no one here is teaching it. i don't feel like i can teach it effectively yet because i haven't learned how to do that. and yet my body and soul and spirit really ONLY want to practice Anusara and only want to offer Anusara out there to others.

then comes the challege of what to call the class too. i teach 'vinyasa' classes and i teach 'hatha' classes. i can't say i teach anusara or anusara-inspired classes because i'm not far enough along in my training yet. indeed i haven't taken any anusara teacher training yet, just anusara workshops. so when i teach vinyasa from an anusara perspective it feels too slow and the students look at me like i'm boring or i'm killing them and they don't want to come back. when i teach hatha from an anusara perspective it feels right as far as speed and pacing of the class, but it's missing something. it's missing that inspiration from me. it's missing the heart-centered theme. that beautiful heart-centered theme that makes anusara ANUSARA just isn't there yet.

and so for the last few hours and days i've been truly thinking... what do i do? but i've decided i can relax. how can i expect myself to teach a fantabulous anusara class if i haven't been taught how to teach anusara yet? and i haven't even been able to hear anyone else teach it except in short stints in weekend workshops? i can't be expected to do that. so. relax. step back. become humble.

i've decided to teach my remaining vinyasa class (that i've tried to teach anusara) as a true vinyasa class. i enjoy teaching that way even if it feels that it's missing the point sometimes. and i'll keep on working the anusara in my beginning classes and in my hatha class. then as i go through my immersion and begin anusara teacher training next year THEN i'll start to introduce more and more anusara specifics and heart-centered theme into the vinyasa and eventually let it go fully into anusara-inspired class rather than vinyasa. then i'm not fighting an uphill battle every week and i can relax. i can just practice teaching yoga without the added pressure of trying to be amazingly inspirational at the same time. if that happens or it comes to me that's great, if not let it go. humility in this process.

then i think i could add a hatha I/II class at Yoga Source and really work the anusara philosophy and alignment principles maybe on the Spring schedule, and by then i'll have some immersion under my belt and simply more time there at yoga source and more time in the classroom. by then i can start moving towards more anusara. and just increase it bit by bit.

but calling an anusara influenced class - 'vinyasa' does not do it justice, not for me, not for my students. we're fighting each other in the politest way possible. no words exchanged just no one getting what they want or need. so i'll shift.

my other thought is i truly need to start up a beginner class for my friends and let them know i'm working on teaching from Anusara perspective and teaching myself how to do that. and if they want to take part they can, and we can all learn together. then i'm not running into the ego problems of whether people like me or if they will come back etc.

so again, it's relax release. open up to grace even if it isn't where i want it to be. become humble and acknowledge my skill set as it is and know it will grow in the future.

Thank Goodness!

Thank goodness other people out there in the world share their wisdom!

today i stumbled upon some fabulous yoga podcasts on iTunes. and they are made more wonderful because they are taught by Anusara teachers. Just JUST just what i needed. finally a way to connect regularly with Anusara yoga and not to feel off in the deep end of the pool with no lifeguards out here.

the podcasts are by Hillary Rubin and Elsie Escobar. each has her own podcast and then they have one together called mudra moments about teaching yoga. very informative and inspiring.

check them out on iTunes by searching by name. or go to the webpages at:

Highly recommended!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

(From the Yogi Tea Box)

Oh mortal one.
Think of the goodness
of the all-pervading God,
Who from mere nothingness
brought you forth in all your beauty!

How he kept you safe
in the fire of the womb
and gave you
mother's milk to drink

In the bloom of youth He gave you
delightful foods and comfort,
And the senses to enjoy them

Oh friend, it is by His Grace that you
are cared for throughout your life.