Monthly Archives: September 2009

Yogini or Goddess?

I often lead just a little bit of yoga in some unexpected places. I’m asked to warm people up at conferences, classes or even in church to open up the creative juices, get ready for meditation or get the blood flowing in the late afternoon.

So I lead them these mostly non-yogis through a short bit of circling arms, belly breathing and basic sun salutation that only involves Tadasana, Uttanasana Arha Uttanasana, which is standing, bending

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and then bending half-way down before standing again. People invariably let me know how wonderful it is and I’m floored that they respond so enthusiastically to such a small amount of movement. This is when i feel the urge to recruit.

I constantly struggle with the question of exactly what am I supposed to be doing as a yoga teacher. Am I teaching poses? Am I leading a yoga session? Am I just creating space and time for students to get quiet and listen. But more and more I’m feeling like I’m some kind of motivational/inspirational yoga bullhorn.

And the more I start preaching, the more I have to remind myself to be gentle with people and treat them like sweet children. Because, really, people know what they need. They know what they’re not doing and they know what they should be doing. At least the people who are brave enough to chat with the yoga teacher after ten minutes of movement. Those are the people, I finally realize, that are just looking for a little encouragement. They’re ready to start taking those little baby steps. Their shaky smiles and shy glances are a way of connecting with yoga, even if it is just to acquaint themselves with a yoga teacher. Continue reading

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Muladhara-The Root Of It All

Chakra work is something that has fascinated me and scared me at the same time. I think the opening of the chakras can be incredible profound work, but as a teacher there is so much information about the chakras that I have avoided teaching anything but the most basic of information. This fall I decided to bite the bullet and teach what I know. After all, yoga is not about perfection. It’s about being on the path and the progress. And my students forgive me many things. They will take what I have and not berate me for what I don’t. Continue reading

Change

I’m opening up myself for change. Really. Not like in the past. I swear.

Okay, so  after the Big birthday I decided there are things I want to embrace in my life and things i want to let go. I’ve been saying this for years. I thought I was working on it. Yesterday I asked for change. I told the universe I was sick and tired, I was ready and waiting, but I needed a sign. I needed something big.

My friend Jenn at Breed Em’ and Weep asked for a sign. She got a moose. She got a giant moose in the middle of the road staring at her. He didn’t cause an accident, he didn’t ram her car. He just stared at her and then walked off. Me? I lost my cell phone.

Okay, to be fair, she asked for a sign and I asked for change. And I get it. I really do. If I want to change, I have to change. My cell phone was two years old….at least. It was time for a new one, time for a new contract, time to mix it up. I can’t have something new unless I get rid of the old and frankly, I was holding on a little too tightly to my old trusty, shiny black, friendly cell. A phone is a phone to me. I liked my phone, but she didn’t do a lot. She made calls. And now she’s gone and I’m going to be okay. I asked for change and I got it.

But here’s the lesson….I can accept the reality of change  and can learn from this lesson or I can keep getting the lessons in bigger and more inconvenient ways. If the universe feels it’s being ignored, it will continue sending me the message in grander and more obvious ways. I’d rather just stop with my cell phone. If you’ve got a mind like mine, you’ve already gone to how bad it could get.

So, I’m focusing on change. Not because the universe wants me too, but because I asked the universe to help me. I know that I need to let go to allow new things in. I know that I don’t always get to choose how the change manifests. My plan? I don’t really have one. I’m going to focus on what’s right in front of me. I’m going to think about what I’d like. I’m going to focus on what isn’t serving me well anymore. I’m going to think about where I’m going.

And then, like my friend Patty says, I’m going to paddle like hell for shore.

My Summer Vacation

IMG_1834Oh, I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed the sweet feedback. I’ve missed the ego-stroke of writing and knowing that SOMEONE is reading. I’ve missed vomiting the first thought that comes to my head (and then while laughing freely hitting delete and editing to be more …..socially acceptable….more yogic….more kind).

I’ve missed blogging and I’ve dreaded it. But I’m back. I’m so back.

As you may remember I turned 40 this summer. I stopped blogging before my fun weekend with college friends to celebrate the big event. It wasn’t purposeful, but I look back and see that it had a purpose.

I needed space. I needed a bit of quiet. I needed to turn in a bit and listen to myself. I needed to be grateful and acknowledge what I’ve learned.

So here’s my summer vacation.  I did some other stuff, but this was the highlight.

I went to New Hampshire and had a fabulous long weekend that taught me I need to take care of myself, have fun and be with friends more. Some of these women I didn’t know well, hadn’t laid eyes on in 20 years, but we bonded in ways that only college alum can. They are a part of my history. Without knowing my day to day life well, they know who I am. They know me. And I know them and love them to death.

The weekend reminded me of who I used to be, shed light on who I’ve become and inspired me to find some balance of the two. I, in no way, want to be the earnest, rigid-in-her-high-minded-ideals high-energy woman that  I once was. I like how I’ve mellowed, how I’ve learned acceptance and detachment (to a degree), but I do miss all the potential, power and strength that woman had. I have power and strength in a new way now, but I could use a bit more of that in-your-face-take-it-or-leave-it youthful arrogance. Just a little.

The women I was with are all strong in their own way, all terribly smart and accomplished. I started the weekend feeling a bit shy and nervous that I no longer fit in. And perhaps we all felt the same,  but I think we settled into being reminded of how awesome we once were and really still are. As one woman updated on FB we connected with other high quality, high mojo women.

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That was the most awesome update I’ve ever read on FB.

I am learning that I actually am high-quality. I am learning that I’m really high-mojo. I love it! I love that I am becoming who I always wanted to be.

I’m also learning to clarify my life. I’m learning to focus on what I want, not what I don’t want.  I’m learning to transform. Janet Attwood says that clarity is power.

Slowly, I’m learning to be powerful.

Thanks to all the awesome women that helped me see me. I turned a corner that weekend.  I love those experiences of clarity. I hope that we continue this gathering for the years to come. I see us turning 80 together. If somehow I’m wrong I will always have the invaluable insight, love and experience of having our weekend together and getting to know you all again.