Wednesday, November 25
Thanksgiving is a great reminder to give thanks for all the blessings in your life. Even if the chips are down, you can still find aspects of your life to be grateful, even if it's just your breath.
So on your next inhale, say THANK YOU and smile.
Saturday, September 19
After doing a bit of yoga this morning, I made the connection that writing is a lot like yoga. Just like you have to return to your mat on a regular basis in yoga, you have to return to your pen, keyboard, etc. to write... and I haven't been. Call it what you will, but I haven't made time for my writing, and like yoga, it is another outlet for me to connect with my passion and my higher self. I believe it's one of my callings. So if I don't use it, I kind of lose it.
Therefore, today I'm returning to my yoga of writing, one keyboard stroke at a time. It may not be pretty, but at least I'm doing it. ;)
Have you been procrastinating or avoiding something you love? Tell me about it.
Friday, August 7
Meditation is what helps to keep many people centered and focused. This is the most basic form of relaxation and though it is simple, it can take some getting used to at the beginning. Many people have a spot in their homes that they like to meditate and that they are quite comfortable in. It usually takes a special designated spot to get started so that you can tune out the outside world and focus on your breathing. Initially it may seem that meditating anywhere but the quiet sanctuary of your own home is virtually impossible. However, once you get into meditation and understand how you can make it work for you and your mental well being, you will quickly see that it can be done anywhere.
It’s All About the Focus
The key to meditation and what makes it such an excellent relaxation technique is that you can focus. You can get in touch with your inner self and concentrate on nothing but your breathing. Once you determine and understand that it is truly all about the focus, the location becomes far less important. If you can learn to tune out the outside world, no matter how distracting it may be, you can master meditation from anywhere. This takes some time and serious discipline, but you will quickly find that meditation can take place from anywhere that you allow yourself to truly focus.
Make a Safe Spot
Whether you’re at a friend’s house for the weekend, at a hotel, or in an unusual destination, the key is to find an appropriate spot to meditate. A spot in which you can tune out the outside world, focus without outside interruptions or distractions, and do nothing but breath. There is always a spot to do that, even if it’s in a bathroom or hallway, and as you practice meditation you will quickly see just how easy it is to tune out the distractions of the world around you. Initially though, finding a spot conducive to meditation can be quite helpful.
Breathing Makes a Big Difference
Meditation is not only about gratitude, but also about the breathing techniques that you practice. Learning to breathe deeply and hold these breaths can come in handy in the most stressful situation. You will quickly see just how meditation can help with the stressful situations that present themselves in everyday life, and you may just find that you are meditating in the most unusual spot without even thinking about it.
Mary Ward writes about various healthcare career topics, including how to choose among online surgical tech programs.
Friday, July 31
During a Unity sermon I sat in a few years ago, the reverand once said "horrible" events in our lives are either to bless us in some way later or for us to be a blessing. Maybe both happened in this situation.
If you're in Kansas City, hope you can join us for one of the events this weekend.
"There will be a time, not so far from now, that you will look back on this phase of your life and instead of condemning it or beating up on it... Instead of blaming or guilting, you will feel appreciation for it, because you will understand that a renewed desire for life was born out of this time period that will bring you to physical heights that you could not have achieved without the contrast that gave birth to this desire."
Friday, July 24
After you make your comment with your first name included, send me an e-mail to Rama.Mama@live.com. There will be a drawing of all commenters, and I will e-mail you if you win to ask for your postal address. I'll do the drawing in two weeks, Aug. 7 and will announce the winner afterwards.
A few months after having Brijin, I finally read a fiction book again. For those of you who have small children, you understand how difficult it is to fit a small pleasure like reading a novel into your life.
To multitask, I read Enlightenment for Idiots; not only was it about yoga but was silly and entertaining like a beach novel. A perfect combo for this yoga teacher / gossip magazine addict (I actually don't have any subscriptions anymore, but my friends keep giving me their old copies of USWeekly and People. What's a girl to do? It's recycling.).
The author, Anne Cushman of Enlightenment, contacted me via this blog and said she'd give me a copy of her book to give away to one of you. So tell me about your favorite yoga book, fiction or nonfiction, now.
I'm also giving the copy of the book Cushman gave directly to me away at the grand opening of Yoga Patch at 7108 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, Mo., next Friday, July 31. Read more about Yoga Patch, the new studio I'll be teaching at beginning August 10 (see the schedule).
Saturday, July 11
Figure if you're going to exercise - and yes, yoga is much more than "just" exercise - might as well do what you enjoy, right?
Friday, July 3
"If we were talking to you on your first day here we would say, "Welcome to planet Earth. There is nothing that you cannot be or do or have. And your work here—your lifetime career—is to seek joy.
'"As you think thoughts that feel good to you, you will be in harmony with who-you-really-are. And in doing so you will utilize your profound freedom. Seek joy first, and all of the growth that you could ever imagine will come joyously and abundantly unto you."'
As the USA, the land that I love, celebrates its Independence Day tomorrow, it reminds me to celebrate my own personal freedom by choosing to think thoughts that feel good, no matter what's going on in the outside world.
NOTHING is so horrible it's worth feeling bad because it throws you off your connection to higher power, whether you call it God, Source, the Universe, etc.
This week at my "corporate gig," things have been tumultuous; co-workers are scared, sarcastic, angry, mean... all of the above. I admit to letting it get to me, which obviously felt horrible. Yet, I give myself some credit because in the past, before practicing yoga and knowing what I do from teachers like Abraham, I would have let it destroy me completely and attract even more negativity. Now I know that it's my indicator this is what I don't want so now focus on what I do. It is my choice. My independence to choose.
So make this upcoming Independence Day a reminder of your OWN freedom. You have a lot of power in that mind of yours. Choose your thoughts wisely and think on the empowering, joyful, uplifting side of life.
Monday, June 29
What if you did it EVERY Monday? That would be wasting 52 days a year or a one seventh of the calendar. That's a lot of dread, and where is it getting you? Probably into hating Sunday evenings and maybe even all day Sunday. It's a slippery slope, and is it really worth it?
What if you could find advice on how to make Mondays a little more tolerable and even count? There's a site called http://everymondaymatters.com/ that gives 52 ways to make Monday into the new Friday. All right, maybe Monday can't ever be quite that cool (Could you imagine TGIM?), but maybe it could be a decent Thursday.
Every Monday Matters suggests everything from writing a letter to a U.S. soldier to donating books to creating a back-to-school backpack.
Even if you don't hate Mondays, this Web site gives tons of inspiring actionable tasks to make your life and this world a little better, one Monday at a time. I do have a suggestion if we had 53 Mondays - try or do some yoga! ;)
Friday, June 26
- Makes me happy.
- Feels good. Plain and simple.
- Helped me out of depression, anxiety and a bad back.
- Connects me to ALL of me – body, mind and spirit.
- Releases stress, anxiety and tension.
- Connects me to all other human beings in a more compassionate and loving way.
- Tunes me into source or God so I may receive blessings more easily and frequently.
- Helps me sleep soundly through the night.
- Is my prescription for living a fuller, more even keel and healthier life.
- Offers a philosophy that resonates and guides me in making daily choices.
- Aids me in being the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, teacher, worker and friend I can be.
Tuesday, June 23
Do you think music goes well with yoga or would you rather practice postures to the rhythm of your breath? If you like the combo, what artists, songs, etc do you like?
Creating a mixed tape (i.e., mp3, for you youngsters) is such a joyful process for me.
When I first began contemplating becoming a yoga teacher, one of the first thing's I did to prepare was create the ultimate, yoga mixed tape because I felt it was that important to the mood and ambience of my students' practice. And you know what, I received TONS of compliments on it! (Hint: lots of Sacred Well.)
So I was very excited when Universal Music Group contacted me to giveaway three of Yanni's latest CDs, Yanni Voices. Honestly, I was never a Yanni fan and was worried I wouldn't like it. Yet, I thought it was quite lovely, especially with the variety of voices (operatic to Sarah Mclachlan like) and styles.
Lots of tracks work well as a backdrop to practicing yoga postures, including all of the instrumental and some of the "voices" songs such as track #5, Before the Night Ends. Even made a new yoga mix for my class with five songs from Yanni Voices, which surprises me because I wasn’t expecting to resonate with it so much. He's currently in tour with four singers who contributed to the the 17-track album (now I'm really dating myself!).
So make sure to comment to win a free CD. It's that easy.
Friday, June 5
The list has several books I've either read, thumbed through or have been recommended. I personally discovered that my personal yoga practice really developed when I began seeking more information on my own and off my yoga mat about the philosophy of yoga.
What are some of your favorite yoga books?
Tuesday, May 26
- Henry David Thoreau
Today is our daughter's first birthday, and she had her first bite of sugar this weekend - yum. Seems like just yesterday she was born.
My hope for Brijin Joy on her first birthday is that she learns she can follow her dreams and can make them happen! Life is your oyster, kiddo, and it's just waiting for you to find it's precious pearls!
We love you baby girl! Thank you for bringing so much joy and blessings into our lives. We've had an amazing first year with you and are eagerly anticipating watching you grow and bloom right where you're planted, just like your daisy birthday cake. ;)
Thursday, May 14
Basically, Enlighten Up is a documentary following a 29-year-old man who has never practiced any aspect of yoga before, and the film follows him over a period of six months to see how it transforms him.
If you're into yoga, watch it. If you're curious about yoga, watch it. And if you can't comprehend whatsoever why people spend 90 minutes "wasting" their time doing yoga, you DEFINITELY need to watch it.
Wednesday, May 13
I'm currently reading Kabat-Zin's book "Where ever you go, there you are." If you're at all intrigued by meditation, I think it's a wonderful resource that is simple and easy to read.
Wednesday, May 6
Wednesday, April 29
One of my favorite suggestions in the article is to sing. Sing in your car, the shower, WHEREVER. Just make a joyful noise (isn't that in the Bible?). You don't have to join the church choir to sing. Just SING whenever you get the chance, and your mind and body will thank you!
When I do sing, I take it a step further and sing happy songs. I even made a CD of happy songs I already had available to me.
Here's my HAPPY playlist:
- All I wanna do - Sheryl Crow
- Light in your eyes -" "
- Good day sunshine - The Beatles
- Walking on sunshine - Katrina & the Waves
- Shiny happy people - REM
- Beautiful day - U2
- High Tide Low Tide - Bob Marley
- Fidelity - Regina Spektor
- Groove is in the Heart - Deee-lite
- Smile - Madeleine Peyroux
Monday, April 27
This quote was in my daily thought from Abraham-Hicks a few weeks ago and reminded me why meditation is so important and useful. It helps you to stop attracting what you don't want and allows you to quiet your mind so you may be in the vortex and attract all that you want into your life.
"Be still and know that I am God."
Tuesday, April 21
Monday, April 20
When meditating, sit or lie in a relaxed position and use your breath to anchor you to the present moment. When thoughts interrupt, just label them thought and don't beat yourself up. That's exactly what your ego wants you to do!
So breathe and focus on your inhalation and exhalation and know that your mind may act like a wild horse. It's normal, but continue to breathe and steer your mind to a calmer place.
Wednesday, April 15
Monday, April 13
I was reminded of this frequent saying by Abraham when writing this blog post. Lately, I haven’t been able to practice yoga as much as I'd like or should, and I definitely feel the lack of it in my body and in my teaching.
My body doesn’t feel as “good” as it did when I was practicing every day; it's more tight and feels like there is stuck energy. In my yoga instruction I feel stale. Yet it’s odd,when I'm feeling really low, then a new student will come in and rave or an old student will let me know how much they still enjoy my classes. I’ve been trying to go to another live class at least once a month, which has helped, but that’s still way less than what I did before. I also did more recorded sessions at home, but who has time for a 90-minute practice when they have a baby?? So I try to squeeze it in when I can to keep me inspired and fresh, but it hasn’t been easy.
But, I am where I am, and it's okay.
Thursday, April 9
A few months ago, I attended a two-hour yoga session with Jamie Elmer at a local studio Yoga Gallery. I believe she studied with Max Strom. It was a tapas practice, which means discipline in Sanskirt, but do not make the mistake that it means it's a difficult practice.
"A better way to understand tapas is to think of it as consistency in striving toward your goals: getting on the yoga mat every day, sitting on the meditation cushion every day—or forgiving your mate or your child for the 10,000th time. If you think of tapas in this vein, it becomes a more subtle but more constant practice, a practice concerned with the quality of life and relationships rather than focused on whether you can grit your teeth through another few seconds in a difficult asana."
Before we moved into the asanas or postures, Elmer led us through a meditation so we could find our own personal affirmations that we would carry and silently say to ourselves throughout the practice. First she had us choose something we were in need of and made us think of the one word every time we inhaled. Then she instructed us to pick a word that encapsulated what we needed to remove from our lives and then say in our mind with every out breath. I ended up choosing "source" on the inhale because I had just "attended" a virtual Abraham-Hicks presentation via Hay House and they are always referencing tuning into "source," which bascially means God and all that is good. On my exhale, I said "fear," which is all around us right now. I did change it sometimes to "worry" since Elmer said we could check in and alter our affirmations if needed and at anytime. She also moved very slowly and had us hold the poses between one to three minutes; she stressed backing off the poses instead of attacking them at 100 percent.
Afterwards I talked with Jamie about her meditation and tapas practice and how it tied so much with what I've been studying in Louise Hay, Abraham-Hicks, etc. It was very simple yet powerful. During my studies on the power of affirmations and thoughts, I’ve been wondering how I can tie yoga and this together, and Jamie did a beautiful job and definitely inspired me to create my own practice utilizing the power of our thoughts and minds.
I’d like to incorporate affirmations and the law of attraction to my yoga classes, but I don’t want to run people away either. Any thoughts?
Monday, April 6
Dear Yoga Mama-Rama Mama,
Hey! Have you ever done Bikram Yoga? I was reading about it but I don't know what is so different about it!?!?
I have done Bikram about 10 times or so, and I enjoy it but it's not my favorite. It's also called Hot Yoga (room is over 100 F) so people can get around the trademark of the style and not pay the fees. I sweated like a pig, which was actually kind of exhilarating and everyone else does it too.
I liked it but it gets redundant because it's the same 26 postures, in the same order with the same instructions practitically every time, and it lasts 90 minutes. I like more creative and unique, flowing yoga.Supposedly it is good due to the health benefits. All yoga has benefits but I guess due to the specific postures having compression and stretching, it is awesome for the cirulation.
Found this on its Wikipedia:
"While performing a specific asana, the body is stretching or compressing a certain part of the body; thus, cutting off circulation temporarily. This restriction of circulation causes the heart to pump more blood in the reaction of the shortage. The pumping of excess, fresh blood is called extension. Once the asana is complete, and the individual comes out of the posture, then the new oxygenated blood is able to rejuvenate the arteries that were being compressed. It is said that because of the volume change and influx of fresh blood, any infection, bacteria, or toxin can be released."(Choudhury, 2007)
Yoga Mama-Rama Mama
Dear Yoga Mama-Rama Mama,
Thank you for taking the time out to show me the correct yoga moves. I realized on Wed. that when i think i'm in the right position, i'm not. When you moved my shoulders back i could really feel the difference.. I felt so much better the next day. I don't think i have been doing alot of the positons correctly because it has not felt challenging until you correct me. I don't know why but i just cannot hold a balance, I know one side is weaker than the other-- any suggestions?? Please continue to show me, i am totally not embarrassed- because i feel like all of that time that i have been going has been somewhat of a waste to me not getting the full effect when i thought i was! I appreciate you!
Dear Loyal student,
It's so nice to receive feedback. Don't beat yourself up though - you're on a journey and you won't ever truly reach a final destination with yoga. You'll constantly learn new things and new tweaks to poses. I still am myself!
I try to give a lot of verbal comments on engaging various muscles such as your core and quadracepts because that's what's going to make the poses more challenging and useful to you. So focus on really doing those things I say like picking you your kneecaps and pulling in your core.
I'll continue to give you hands-on adjustments when I see you may need them. Trust me, no pose is being done perfectly by anyone. Or maybe it's better too look at it like this; we're all doing the pose as perfectly as we can in that moment with the knowledge we have. Enjoy the moment and ride!
Yoga Mama-Rama Mama
If you do have any questions concerning yoga, motherhood, babies, pregancy, etc., feel free to comment here or send me a direct message via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail me, and I'll address you back on my blog or directly back to you.
Wednesday, April 1
Isn't happiness the ultimate goal of all of us, yet it seems to be eluding many. What if I told you that you create your own happiness, no matter what is going on in your life? Would that enlighten you, scare you or tick you off? No matter what your answer is, I hope you consider reading the book "How We Choose to be Happy: the Nine Choices of Extremely Happy People."
Last week I had the opportunity, through the Kansas City PRSA chapter, to meet one of the authors of the book, Rick Foster. Before Foster's three-hour session, I finished reading the book, which resonated very highly with other literature I've enjoyed on the topic of happiness, such as books by Louise L. Hay and Abraham-Hicks. For those not wanting quite as much spirituality, this would be a good option for you. Foster and coauthor Greg Hicks interviewed hundreds of people others had pointed out as being the happiest people they know. During their interviews, the authors saw patterns of behavior and thinking that added up to the nine choices they thoroughly covered in their book.
"How We Choose to be Happy" illustrates the nine choices by telling personal stories, quotes and practical ways to apply the nine choices into your daily life, especially through not-so-great times and happenings. I especially enjoyed the fifth choice, recasting, which talked about the way to convert problems into opportunites and make traumas into meaningful events.
So why not try to CHOOSE to be happy. It's worth a shot, right?
Wednesday, March 25
Yoga Peeps is a podcast featuring interviews with some of the leading yoga instructors of our time. One of the most recent I enjoyed was an interview with Seane Corn. Good way to squeeze a little yoga in while working or taking care of baby. Being a new mom is all about multitasking!
Speaking of being a new mom, thought I'd supplement this brief post with a recent pic of baby girl, who will turn 10 months in a day. Time flies when you're having fun!
Tuesday, March 17
Wednesday, March 11
YogaDork actually created a shirt called "Yoga is my bailout," which you may order on YD's blog. I learned about it on YJ's blog Yoga Buzz; interesting article.
Monday, March 9
I've totally been a slacker when it comes to "Meditation Mondays," but I thought this was a wonderful poem or thought to share today.
Following the Breath by Thicht Nhat Hanh
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!
Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I know
as the in-breath grows deep,
the out-breath grows slow.
Breathing in makes me calm.
Breathing out brings me ease.
With the in-breath, I smile.
With the out breath, I release.
Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.
Monday, March 2
Instead of worrying about the lines and causing MORE wrinkles (focusing on what you don't want brings more of the same), I need to incorporate more face yoga into my own personal practice and when I teach at the Y. Much cheaper than Botox, and in my humble opinion, looks better too!
Saturday, February 21
When we first moved to KC three years ago, I was beginning to explore being a yoga instructor. Just the other day, I found an old notebook with my affirmations I made up to help me become one. "I am a powerful, healing yoga teacher with lots of students who enjoy and benefit from my classes." Within a month of writing that affirmation over and over, I received the job at a local Y in Prairie Village, Kan. Finding the job here introduced me to the quaint KC suburb, and I consequently fell in love with the town. Within a year, I manifested my first house in PV, but that's a blog post for another day.
The owner of Yoga Gallery at the time, Patricia Gray, had a post on her Web site that her studio gave tuition to those who couldn't afford the classes. I ended up writing her a letter about a car accident I was in that injured my back, which led me to discovering yoga. I spoke about how I wanted to teach yoga and share the healing it had give me and how I wanted to enhance my yoga practice with yoga studio classes. I knew taking them would advance my knowledge and also enhance my chances of finding a teaching job. Yet my husband and I had recently moved to KC and were still digging out of some debt and not doing as well financially at the time. We didn't have the spare money to spend on yoga classes. In response to my letter, Patricia gave me 10 free classes at her studio; one of the best gifts I've ever received. I learned so much from her creative flows. Her instruction is truly art in motion.
The last time I attended Patricia's class was when I was 10 weeks pregnant. Seeing I'm a mommy to a nine month old, it's been a long time! TOOOOOOOOOO long. When Patricia saw me enter the building to sign in, I could tell she recognized me. She was so sweet and made me feel very welcome. I told her about Brijin and how I haven't had as much time to go to yoga studio classes but I had some free time fortunately when she had a class. She said it was crazy because a ton of new mothers were in the class; one that hadn't slept a wink the night before.
My intention for the class was to enjoy and not take "notes" for my teaching. It was going to be my practice to cherish. Patricia made it tough because she has such beautifully worded transitions and pose combinations; ones I've never seen before. She also demonstrates how to get into more progressed asanas I don't have the opportunity to see all the time as well.
After class she asked me if I'd been continuing my yoga practice, and I replied to her yes and told her I'd been teaching at a local Y. Sometimes I feel tentative telling yoga studio instructors this because I worry they think I'm not tenured enough to teach. However, Patricia was encouraging and spoke about how she tries to take others classes to learn and keep her reservoir filled so she is inspired for new teaching material. I said, yes that's why I attended her class when I had the chance because I knew it would do just that since I was feeling stagnant in my practice. Then Patricia mentioned training session coming up at Yoga Gallery that would inspire my teaching. It's with Jamie Elmer, who has assisted Max Strom. I'd seen the flyer a few weeks ago when I took a class while the hub was at class and Grandma babysat. I had thought about attending, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to go. Hearing Patricia's encouragement nudged me to make the time, and I'm attending. Looking forward to more inspiration!
Tuesday, February 17
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, which is the biggest aquarium in the world, recently began offering yoga classes while its beluga whales swim gracefully in the backdrop. Apparently it's a new concept and "billed as the first of its kind" according to the accompanying article to the video above. Such a wonderful marriage of two peaceful entities.
I may have to visit my Atlanta friends to witness this for myself.
Saturday, February 14
In mid January, our Stork Craft crib was recalled. I actually received e-mail notice from Target since I ordered it online from the retailer, which I'm so grateful for since I don't really seek recall info. Figure it's better not to seek the negative, right? So kudos to Target! On Jan. 16, I sent an e-mail to Stork Craft due to its 800 number being busy, and I still have not received a confirmation response or the metal brackets to fix the crib.
Several times I called the Stork Craft's 800#, and even two weeks ago I kept receiving a busy signal. I ended up calling U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the man helping me couldn't get through the number either so I did file a report, but I still haven't received the replacement brackets. Apparently I have to give them up to 30 days after filing this complaint, even though I had already waited four weeks.
Anyone else out there having this issue? My baby hasn't been able to sleep in her crib for over six weeks now, and I'm becoming impatient and frustrated.
Please link or forward this to anyone you think may be having the same issue; the recall included ALL Stork Craft cribs over eight years so it's affecting a ton of people.
I want my baby back in her crib! At least acknowledge that my request for the replacement brackets have been received, Stork Craft. Let me know you're listening. I am truly looking for a solution.
Wednesday, February 11
Second step is to get another view point. Watch this video posted on White Mountain Yoga's Web site, which is an interview of the yoga studio owner (a former banker) with the most calm and positive take on our economy.
Friday, February 6
The damp and wormy smell with the soft glow of the sun reminds me of track and field season, which ultimately makes me think of my dad. He's been a high school track coach for over 30 years so this sport was a big influence and piece of my life as well. As a little girl, I would race others, girl or boy, after the high school basketball games to show that I was the fastest, and I typically was, not to brag too much. lol! My dad started coaching me around 4th grade and teaching me various track and field events, such as hurdling, long jumping, throwing the shot, discus and even the javelin! Once I started to compete, I began not always being the fastest or the best, which was hard for me to accept. However, my dad told me, "You're competing against yourself and the watch never lies." So even if I came in fourth place, if I compared my new time to my PR (personal record) and came ahead, that's something to celebrate.
I think that's why I love yoga so much because it's like track, yet it moves this idea a notch more. When practicing yoga postures, you're working to improve yourself every time you walk onto your mat. Instead of competing with yourself, you're observing yourself and the variances from day to day, which ultimately helps you move more deeply into the postures or asanas and improve your mind and spirit. No matter if you didn't move your foot higher on your opposite leg in tree pose or you didn't fly in crow like you did yesterday. You're still showing up to the mat because you know you'll leave it better than when you first stepped onto it. In yoga, the point is not the end result; it's the journey of learning through your yoga asanas. And ultimately, that's what track (or any other sport, project, etc.) is, especially if you have a coach like my dad.
My dad signs his notes, "Keep track! So I'll sign this....
Thursday, January 29
As a new mom, it's hard to work in my own personal yoga practice in between a full-time job and teaching a few classes a week at the local YMCA. So for Christmas, I asked Santa for the DVD series "Great Instructors:Yoga Journal" because it's so much easier to pop in a DVD at a home versus making it to a yoga studio or even another Y class. So thanks to my mom-in-law, I mean Santa, I got the set of three DVDs with Baron Baptiste and Shiva Rea! I was especially excited to try Seane Corn's class since I've read about her in Yoga Journal magazine but had never heard her teach a class.
The video was a live, 90-minute class she taught while at a YJ conference. It's helpful to me as a yoga instructor to hear her style and see how she deals with her students during a live class. I also love to hear how various instructors word things, and she definitely had her own style and was very conscious of alignment, which I love to fine tune myself. Sometimes I have to watch myself when I'm doing my own practice because as a yoga teacher, I love to hear different ways other yoga instructors say how to move into a posture or asana, but it can also take away from my personal practice because I keep trying to commit to memory all the new phrases.
Anyhow, I've done about half of the DVD now and definitely enjoyed it. She goes much deeper into the power of thoughts than I've heard other yoga teachers do, which is refreshing and interesting to me since this is definitely an area I explore on a personal level but haven't really included in my own teaching. However, I do think Seane talks a little too much about it, when I just want to be still and not think about anything.
Seane said the quote at the very top, right after instructing camel three times in a row and then having her students place one hand on their heart and the other on their solar plexuses. It was definitely a cool moment and one I may have to borrow, once I get ballsy enough to do it!
Thursday, January 22
Tuesday, January 20
In 31 years on this planet, I haven't lived through many historic days. Pondering what I have lived through... The Challenger .... 9/11 ... most, if not all, were negative.
Today's historic, presidential inauguration was positively different. It was a beautifully historic, uplifting and expanding day for my fellow Americans, nation and world. I'm proud of the U.S.'s 44th president for enduring the arduous campaign, and I look forward to watching him inspire "the change we need." President Barack Obama's feat shows, "Yes we can." Thank you, America, for waking up out of your complacency and showing hope can win.
"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me - And I'm feelin good." ~"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone
Found the poem by African American poet Langston Hughes that seems fitting for this monumental day.
I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--
I, too, am America.
(Part 2 of President Obama's speech)
Friday, January 16
New students seem to also bring up old, yoga etiquette issues. My biggest pet peeve is when people arrive late to class. The beginning of class is when I steer everyone to turn inward and quiet their minds. The other day, I think I had seven people arrive five minutes late to class. Completely distracting and not in line with yoga whatsoever!
So what's a yoga instructor to do? I'm half tempted to pin up a list of etiquette on the bulletin board outside of the classroom that I found in this month's Yoga Journal magazine. I've also read you could hand the student a list of expectations directly, but I could see that hurting the person's feelings and hindering them from ever returning which is obviously not my aim.
New students aren't the only ones to blame for this etiquette misstep. One woman has been attending my classes for almost three years, and she still seems to come in late EVERY time. It annoys me to no end, as well as many other regulars, I'm sure! Don't get me wrong, I understand the OCCASIONAL tardy, but when it consistently happens, it's just downright annoying and rude.
Any advice on how to address yoga classroom etiquette is greatly appreciated.
Sunday, January 11
So what's a yoga teacher to do when she isn't feeling as inspired as she once was? I would love to hear any and all feedback.
I searched Yoga Journal's Web site and found an article called "Teaching Spiritual Practice" that gave me a different perspective on how I can change things up and find another way to inspire myself. Maybe I shouldn't focus so much on the asanas or the creative way the postures flow but increase the spiritual side of my class. The author had also been a YMCA instructor and gave very insightful ways to include spirituality without offending, such as "instruct the students to breathe in goodness and other universal virtues in order to more fully embody Spirit. Regardless of their religious background, students embraced these yogic teachings as a way to deepen their connection to God."
Breathe out stale, breathe in inspiration.
Thursday, January 8
One of the comments on a particular post, "Happiness is the seed we Sow" received this comment below, which was a great reminder to hang in there and focus on the good. Happiness is truly a seed we sow. We have to tend to the good in our lives to watch it multiply. It's just a law of the universe. Take advantage of it and enjoy the life of your dreams. And of course the quality of what you plant day in and day out - are you a half empty or full - makes the BIG difference with the quality of your life.
I watched Oprah's Spirituality 101 episode that aired on Wednesday, Jan. 7 from my DVR this morning. The first guest via Skype was totally focused on everything wrong in her life. No matter what Oprah and her spirituality trio said about focusing on what was going right, she wouldn't budge and rolled her eyes. Oprah caught the eye roll and called her out. "Let's start with this. You are thankful today for your breath. Thank you God for my breath." Beautifully said; think Oprah may need to attribute that to Louise L. Hay.
"When we invest in good things, we will get our money back with interest. But there is always a pause between the sowing of the seed, and the harvest. So don’t get weary, don’t become discouraged, and don’t give up. Endurance is the key to so many things in life. And remember that in the natural world, everything produces after its own kind. You plant a peach seed, you get a peach. You plant an apple seed, you get an apple. The same is true in the spiritual realm. You have to plant what you want to receive. You can’t plant anger, and get peace. You can’t plant bitterness, and get sweetness. So if you’re not happy with the crop that is coming up in your life, evaluate the seed you are planting, and make some changes for the better."Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower".---------------Gillberk
Monday, January 5
After watching this CNN video about the benefits of meditation my friend happened to send me this morning - did I look like a harried, disheveled mother who needed an OM? - I was inspired to take a deep breath and relax.
Can I get an OMMMM, please?