Saturday, February 21

Rejuvenating my practice and life

I talked a few posts ago about feeling stale in my personal practice and teaching and desiring some yoga inspiration. Well I found some at Yoga Gallery in Overland Park, Kan. (The studio had the first mention in an old Yoga Journal article about local studios - now it's located in OP downtown).

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

Whales + Yoga = Optimum tranquility

Yoga in itself brings me to such a tranquil and present state. How much more enhanced would it be if I practiced while viewing beautiful whales swimming right in front of me?

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.

'"The beluga whales are so slow and so smooth in their movements, which is indeed what this is about -- slow movements of the body," said Todd DeLaune, one of the instructors of the weekly sessions. "And I think the energy of the belugas corresponds with the practice that we do."'

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