Archives for category: Yoga

I’m going to a baby shower this afternoon for a woman who had the inspired notion to register for gift cards to Whole Foods, something I am absolutely going to copy if I have the opportunity one day. My mom, sister-in-law, and I combined funds for one of these gift cards, and I volunteered to pick it up (really, I will use any excuse to go to Whole Foods). We thought it would be nice to add something more “gifty” and baby-oriented to the present as well, and initially I was going to grab something small off her registry, until I saw this:

Batteries not necessary

Yes, my friends. I offer you the classic wooden ring skill toy. Inexpensive, simple, and ironically “modern” in its retro-minimalism.

What initially struck me about this toy was the clear memories I have of not my own model, but the plastic version my younger siblings played with. I can clearly recall these then tiny people engrossed in the activity of successfully stacking the rings. Once the rings were mastered, they moved on to the intermediate level, stacking wooden letter blocks. Eventually, they entered the expert phase: making words out of the letters on their stacking blocks.

The classic toys are just so wonderfully simple, yet still attractive and beneficial, dare I say, even “fun.” It is this very simplicity, perhaps, that is the key to their staying power. They might even become trendy. After all, the “simple” has an undeniable modern appeal.

Take, for instance, running. There could not be a simpler way to exercise. You need your own body and, ideally, space. But space isn’t even an absolute necessity as it is possible to run in place. Same story with yoga. At its core, yoga is about moving and contorting your own body. No gimmicks. No energy gels. Just controlled movement.

Of course, we do have a knack for complicating the simple, and I’m absolutely guilty of falling prey to the allure of fancy accoutrements. We’ve yuppified running with fancy footwear that, ironically, is supposed to mimic bare feet. (I know. I own a pair of these and love them). We have a whole consumer market for running apparel that wicks away our sweat and increasings aerodynamics. For yoga, we have mats made from sticky tree rubber to increase stability, four million different styles of yoga pants, and even yoga gloves and socks. And lets not forget the countless popular publications that repeat the same information every month and offer the occasionally useful smoothie recipe for burning more calories.

Still, when stripped down to their basic selves, running and yoga are inherently uncomplicated. They are simple, like the classic wooden skill toy. Even though I have a tendency to pile on layers of unnecessaries, maybe it’s that simplicity that I find attractive. Unlike the complex, the simple always seems possible.

~Arrivederci

 

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When my husband and I moved into our new 3-bedroom rent house this summer, we decided that each of us could have our “own” room. His, of course, is an office complete with one wall coated in nanotechnology that lets him use the wall like a massive dry erase board. It’s been very useful for him since starting med school.

My room is a yoga room.

(Please excuse the graininess of the pictures as they were taken with my phone.)

As you can see, the middle of the floor is free from stuff and stays open for my portable yoga floor (a la LifeBoard) and yoga mat. The only furniture is a dresser my mom found for free that I painted a sand color. I then painted a small bookcase we already had in the same color to match.

The “artwork” on the walls are actually “originals.” That is, they are what I painted with much coaching at Sips N’ Strokes. I already had the pillows on the floor, the curtains previously hung over the sliding door to the backyard in our old place, and the floor lamp was in this house when we moved in.

I really wanted to create a “natural” feeling, so I added a few elements from the outside, literally.

I made a sunburst mirror from a cheap, plain mirror from Hobby Lobby. I gathered sticks from our yard, cleaned them, spray painted them gold, then hot-glued them to the outside of the mirror. It didn’t really take all that long and cost me a total of probably $8.

I also brought in a large branch to hang over the full-length mirrors I jimmy-rigged onto the opposite wall. The stuffed animals have moved with me for many year and add a nice touch of whimsy.

The room was already painted a soft blue, but my sister and I painted the trim white to give a cleaner feel.

I’m pretty happy with my room. Now, I just need to use it.

~Arrivederci

 

A few weeks ago I was one in a line of about 10 people, all of us inverted. We were all balancing on our arms, feet reaching for the ceiling, (thankfully) ballasted by the wall.

While inversions were required elements of our training that weekend (though we were not required to actually perform inversions, just learn about them),  our Master Trainer, Kelli, questioned these poses. She said,

“A lot of people get into yoga because they want to do poses like headstands and arm balances because they look challenging and impressive. I always ask myself and my students, though, what our intent is when trying these poses. Why, for example, would I want to do a headstand?”

Being currently in a supported headstand, I was struck by the realization that I seldom consciously ponder my intent.

(Honestly, my first thought in response was “Why wouldn’t you want to do a headstand?” Not so introspective there, V.)

Kelli’s discussion of intent stemmed primarily from a recent article in Yoga Journal that charted the increase in chiropractic appointments by individuals who had been practicing yoga for a short amount of time. The article (which I am trying to refind) considers how yoga has developed a competitive aspect since gaining in popularity in the U.S., and that competition leads people to attempt poses they do not have the strength to achieve. The result is almost always injury to some degree. Kelli encouraged us all to make our intent a continual consideration when developing our personal practice.

I was reminded of this piece of my training when I saw this pose, Fallen Angel:

I instantly printed off the “directions” for easing into this pose to page protect and insert into my yoga binder. (I will literally organize anything.) Then I felt a little Jiminy-Cricket-Kelli on my shoulder whispering about intent.

What, then, is my intent for trying to master this pose?

To be honest, I have to start by confessing that it just looks cool. But my more mature reason is that in order to do this pose, I would have to work on balance, core strength, and stability, all of which I am trying to improve. So, while my intent is mostly based on physical goals, there is a hint of unabashed attraction to the coolness factor.

(You have to admit, though, this pose looks pretty awesome.)

While we may not necessarily talk about intention overtly, I believe we do consider this idea whenever we ask of ourselves or someone else, “But why?” (I happen to get asked this question quite a bit, in fact, as I just happen to take a lot of “curvy roads” in the day-to-day.)

But I do agree with Kelli that we should be more conscious in asking “why,” or considering our intent, and certainly not just within the context of yoga poses. Perhaps identifying the true or honest nature of our intent would help us to find more motivation for success, or even recognize certain pursuits or goals that may not be healthy or responsible.

While I am presently pausing to analyze my personal intent for present and future goals such as adapting to a vegan/raw food plan, natural childbirth (if, that is, I am blessed with kids one day), not buying a house, feeding my future kids only real food, or making my own laundry detergent (thanks A.Hab!), I do see the need for all of us to be more vocal about asking each other the true intent of our actions or “dreams.”

Feel free to pause and get all existential and stuff in considering intention and action…

I am thoroughly tempted to launch into a polemic on society, but I won’t. For this lovely Saturday morning, I think it’s enough to end by simply asking you all to spend a second with me asking ourselves the intent behind some of the choices we make.

That’s heavy enough for a weekend.

~Arrivederci

*Image courtesy of Yoga Journal

I think of sun salutations when I hear Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up.” A Sting song starts playing and I want to move into a Moonflower flow. Sarah McLachlan’s “Answer”? Child’s Pose.

If I hear a song for the first time I now involuntarily mull over what poses could match the song. At this very moment, in fact, I’m listening to The Civil Wars, a band brand new to me recommended by lovely Shanna. Their song “Poison & Wine” just started, and I have visions of how beautifully the tune would fit a deep supine stretch pose…(Hmm…I might add it to the playlist for tomorrow’s class…)

Maybe it’s because I started taking yoga in a gym setting where classes are usually sequenced to playlists that exercise seems to beg to be accompanied by music. Anyone who has ever taken a Les Mills class at their gym knows what I’m talking about. The Bobypump one-song-per-muscle-group is familiar, friendly. It’s nice to know that when Pink stops singing, I’m done working my back and we’re moving to triceps. Maybe my comfort with gym classes has something to do with why my yoga practice includes soundtracks. I would even venture to say that my yoga practice needs soundtracks.

Yogis across the globe commence cringing.

There is, perhaps, something very “Western” in my obsession with incorporating music whenever possible, and especially with yoga. “Real” practitioners would undoubtedly encourage me to “allow myself to find music in the rhythm of my breaths,” or “honor the beauty of silence” in my poses. At the very least, they might offer, I should limit my playlists to instrumentals. Indeed, classes at the studios and Ashram I’ve attended are playlist-free zones, save for some chanting in Sanskrit (which, again, is not my thing).

And I get their point, I suppose. (Wasn’t it Simon & Garfunkle who crooned about the sound of silence?)

I “get” that I should be able to be comfortable with silence, that I might even benefit from eliminating all aural distractions in order to better concentrate on my alignment, that contemporary Western society has a seemingly insatiable desire for constant distraction and “noise” and a yoga practice could provide moments of escape. Ok. I get that.

But I like music with my yoga.

I like making playlists for different types of practices. (I even have a page dedicated to various playlists that is desperate for an update.) I have a whole folder of yoga playlists on iTunes that I add to constantly. I like that listening to music reminds me of yoga and how much I like yoga.

And I really like how the right song can actually accentuate the goal of a pose, and how easy it is to forget about my dissertation in those moments.

Even though my need for melody with my Reclining Pigeon is possibly a weakness, I have no plans to turn off my playlist. In fact, I am always looking for new songs to add to my little repertoire of yogic playlistasanas. So, I ask all of you, what are some songs you listen to that I should add?

~Arrivederci

 

This will be a short post, but consider this more as a foreshadowing of what is to come rather than a lazy offering from a sleepy writer…

I’m in the middle of yet another yoga training. Despite the fact that I’m functioning on very little shut-eye and may, in fact, be writing whilst in a REM cycle, I am thoroughly convinced that I’ve been yoga-ing for sixteen hours in two days based on the fatigue creeping through my frame. My legs are sore, especially my thighs; my core smarts, and my shoulders feel like I benchpressed couches all day.

All this pain makes me wonder…

Isn’t yoga supposed to be relaxing?

When I first started practicing yoga I was surprised at how hard it was. I thought I was decently in shape from Bodypump and Boot Camp classes, but yoga is a very different animal. Yes, yes, there is relaxation at the end that makes one feel amazing and calm, but that final relaxation follows a great deal of work. Sun salutations, standing balances, Warrior sequences, twists, arm balances…

So much stretching…So much tightening…So much holding of the poses…

Granted, I actually like the work phases of a yoga class. I like the burn that lets me know my body is changing and I’m getting stronger.

But sometimes it’s just sooooo hard…

~Arrivederci

…At least, that was the conclusion this past weekend in my Level 3 Yogafit training.

The theme of Level 3 is Introspection (Sidenote: the OCD side of me loves that Yogafit has themes for the trainings. So much organization…Le sigh of happiness…). Although we did spend a lot of time in poses and two-hour “master” practices, which is why I have been very much aware of my shoulders and quads since Saturday afternoon, we spent more time than I expected just talking and journaling.

One of the most interesting and, dare I say in the parlance of pre-teens and those of us who cannot shake the most awesome verbiage of adolescence, “cool” topics was that of the heart. Like, I mean, the actual, like, heart, and stuff.

We mused about how the human heart pumps blood to itself first, then to the rest of the body. Smart, right? Much like whence flying we are instructed to put oxygen masks on ourselves first so that we can more effectively and successfully mask and help those around us, the heart takes care of itself, then sends that lovely, red, oxygenated goo to the other fleshy bits. We related this brilliant move of the heart to the need for us as individuals to practice that same approach in our own lives.

I have to admit, at first I cringed at this idea. I’m not one to tout notions of “self-love” and what could be construed as selfishness. (I also was not totally into the whole chakra convo, but that is for another post). I tend to enforce the belief in my own life that others should always come before self. However, the more we talked, the more I started to understand at least the logic of this approach. I know that I am not very useful to anyone if I eat poorly, procrastinate, or (sacre bleu) haven’t had my morning coffee, or afternoon coffee…or mid-afternoon coffee…or elenvensies coffee….

Between physical practice and discussion, we were encouraged to journal about whatever would help us clear the clutter out of our minds by putting thoughts on paper. I spent a good deal of my journaling minutes struggling with the implications of following the logic of the heart. Conceptually, of course, I understood the intent, but I could not shake the nagging thought that the little-organ-that-could may not provide the best and most moral path. Nevertheless, I also could not completely reject the sensical notion of concentrating on self before focusing on others.

After much internal debate, and several practices of inversion poses, I came to the following conclusions:

  • There is a difference between self-love and self betterment
  • It is necessary to take care of oneself before attempting to take care of others
  • The taking care of oneself is not inherently selfish

Here is my reasoning:

  • Self betterment involves introspection and recognizing our own weaknesses, strengths, gifts, etc.
  • It is necessary to better ourselves first so that we can more effectively and intelligently help others.
  • Taking care of oneself is simply responsible.

What led to these conclusions was the reason I was at this training to begin with. I desire to be a healthier, more active,
more balanced person, and yoga is helping me work towards those goals in conjunction with and not in opposition to my faith. The healthier I am (spiritually, physically, emotionally, psychologically), the less I will require of others both now and as I age. And the more I can learn about yoga, and the more advanced I become in my own practice, the better I will be able to help and teach those around me, which is a desire I am cultivating.

So, while I did learn much about new poses, modifications, and breathings, I did not expect to come away with a self-realization. Well played Yogafit, well played.

~Arrivederci

In the spirit of encouraging pursuits and the joy of achieving them, I wanted to share this lovely idea re-posted on one of my favorite blogs, the simpledollar.com. The plan is to make a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days and then actually do them (excusez moi?).

Here are the guidelines:

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past — frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Goal Setting Tips

1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

The most important element of this challenge is a concentration on specificity. I could say with all the wannabe Miss America’s of the world that a goal of mine is “world peace,” but how would I even begin to achieve that goal? Give everyone on this planet a puppy adorned with a collar of wild peonies? Instead, what this particular approach to pragmatic dream-catching offers is guidelines for success in realistically achievable goals, for actually achieving what we we would like to achieve.

So, I am going to offer my own list below. Since I absolutely adore categorizing and organizing copious amounts of information into manageable chunks, I am separating my list into four categories of 25 goals with 1 comprehensive “umbrella” goal as a garnish.

Category 1: Health/Lifestyle Goals

  1. Earn my 200 Hour RYT Yoga certification
  2. Master yoga pose: Ashtanga Jump-through
  3. Master yoga pose: King Pigeon
  4. Master yoga pose: Firefly
  5. Master yoga pose: Bird of Paradise
  6. Master yoga pose: Headstand
  7. Master yoga pose: Balancing Big Toe
  8. Take 15 Hot Yoga classes
  9. Walk my dogs every day
  10. Run a 9-minute mile
  11. Ride my bike for 5 miles 5 times
  12. Eat at least one serving of a green, leafy vegetable daily
  13. Take a B-12 vitamin daily
  14. Eliminate dairy and processed foods from meals at home
  15. Try 1 new vegetable/fruit a month
  16. Try 1 new raw, vegan recipe every 2 weeks
  17. Wear sunscreen every day
  18. Teach a full prenatal yoga class
  19. Teach a full seniors yoga class
  20. Teach a full kids yoga class
  21. Take a salsa dancing class
  22. Sail on a lake
  23. Sail on an ocean
  24. Listen to “I’m On a Boat” while sailing on a boat
  25. Drink a glass of Cliquot champagne whilst sailing

Category 2: Financial/Household Goals

  1. Write down every dollar I spend for 5 days every month
  2. Figure out our net worth once a month
  3. Avoid spending any money at all for 7 weekdays every month
  4. Avoid spending any money at all for 1 weekend every 6 weeks
  5. Earn $100 a month teaching yoga for 15 months
  6. Find one specific way to cut back monthly expenditures every month
  7. Put something in the offering plate every Sunday
  8. Pay off the 4-Runner
  9. Figure out how much my student loan debt equals every month
  10. Pay towards student loans every month (post-graduation)
  11. Review credit card statements to identify unnecessary purchase trends every 2 months
  12. Review credit card rewards every 2 months
  13. Find 1 standard grocery item a month to buy more cheaply/in bulk
  14. Organize 1 storage space every 3 months
  15. Make a home inventory complete with serial numbers and pictures
  16. Update home inventory every 3 months
  17. Organize photographs
  18. Scan all old photos to make digital copies
  19. Grow my own tomatoes
  20. Grow my own basil
  21. Grow my own rosemary
  22. Make my own body lotion 3 times
  23. Make my own candles 3 times
  24. Successfully cancel gym membership by end of current contract
  25. Avoid joining another gym

Category 3: Learning/Academic Goals

  1. Memorize 10 poems
  2. Learn Italian (conversation and translation)
  3. Memorize 2 poems in Italian
  4. Read Dante’s Inferno in Italian
  5. Read War and Peace
  6. Read 5 financial books
  7. Read 5 biographies
  8. Write a short story
  9. Write 2 Jim the Turtle children’s books
  10. Write chapter 2 of my dissertation
  11. Write chapter 4 of my dissertation
  12. Write the conclusion to my dissertation
  13. Defend my dissertation
  14. Take at least one archery class
  15. Take a pottery class
  16. Take/audit an art history course
  17. Make an original piece of pottery by hand
  18. Paint a picture in watercolors or oils
  19. Memorize Psalm 123
  20. Memorize Hebrews 11
  21. Memorize one important 5-10 line passage from 8 Shakespeare plays
  22. Learn to play 5 songs on the guitar
  23. Learn to play 2 songs on the mandolin
  24. Learn to play 2 songs on the violin
  25. Learn to play 5 classical pieces on the piano

Category 4: Relationship/Philanthropic Goals

  1. Write a “just because” note by hand to one different person every month
  2. Give 1 article of clothing away every month
  3. Give 1 non-clothing item away a month
  4. Write a real, handwritten letter to 20 different people
  5. Write a letter to the pastor who married Ben and me to tell him thanks
  6. Write a thank-you note to each of my yoga instructors who motivated me to teach
  7. Have coffee with each of my siblings
  8. Have coffee with each of my sisters-in-law
  9. Have lunch with my parents
  10. Take Ethan and new nephew/niece on a day trip
  11. Float the Buffalo River with Ben reenacting our first anniversary
  12. Make a catch-up phone call to one long-distance friend a month
  13. Start a book club with friends
  14. Volunteer 3 times at a pregnancy clinic
  15. Volunteer 3 times at a humane society/animal shelter
  16. Volunteer 3 times at a nursing home
  17. Volunteer 2 times with Heifer International
  18. Volunteer 2 times with a literacy organization
  19. Volunteer 3 times with an English language learner conversation group
  20. Participate in a Walk for the Cure
  21. Offer 15 free yoga classes for homeshool moms
  22. Make 3 micro-loans through Kiva
  23. Give 2 Cups of Joe for a Joe every month
  24. Donate 3 times to CharityWater
  25. Plant a tree

Umbrella Goal 101: Enjoy at least 10 minutes of prayer/meditation every day

And to close, I really do want world peace.

~Arrivederci

(My apologies for the brevity of this post. I’m very sleepy at the moment.)

Yesterday I had the privilege of leading a few of my beautiful friends, one of whom is my lovely friend A.Hab, in a restorative yoga practice. I have to admit, I was probably more nervous last night than I was when I taught at the gym. I was concerned that it would be difficult for my friends to see me in an “instructor” role.

Turns out, I was worried for nothing.

It was so rewarding to be able to give something to my friends who have supported me throughout all of my crazy ideas. I hope to have the opportunity to introduce them to more poses and lead them through more sequences very soon!

Also, I sailed again today. It was awesome, even though I got a wee bit of sunburn. Our new instructor, John, told us to become comfortable moving around on the boat. So, I spent some time lounging on the bow in the sun while one of my classmates sailed us on course. It was glorious. Next time I’m wearing shorts to take advantage of the sun. I’m also wearing a bucket of sunscreen.

Life=amazing

~Arrivederci

It is inevitable that for every up, there will be a down. (I’m actually fairly certain that there is even a scientific rule of sorts regarding this truth.) That part of this rigamarole of life, we will encounter the joyous and grievous, giddy and sad, success and defeat.

This week fell into the latter category.

(I will attempt to explain a bit while remaining mildly cryptic and, don’t worry, my plan is to end this post with a bit of hope and calm.)

My husband and I recently had excellent news concerning the plan for the next few years. After a long period of incredible feats of industriousness and perseverance on his part, he is accepted into medical school for this coming fall. To make this news even more impressive, he’s been pursuing medical school while working towards a PhD in English. He will graduate in May with a PhD, then August marks the beginning of his track to an MD. The medical school just “happens” to be in the same city where my family lives, so we are moving home.

Everyone has been so wonderfully effusive in their congratulations about this news. Even friends who we will move away from, and how painful that reality is, have been all smiles for us. They are genuinely happy for us.

Others, though, are not as supportive. They look at my husband’s accomplishments, the fact that I am leaving with him, and make several rather untoward assumptions. More than once this past week, and from different contexts (all, ironically, professional) I have heard variations of the following in regard to my own dissertation and doctoral degree: “What’s the point? You are just following your husband anyway.”

Now, the problem with this offense is more than emotional and psychological (although the toll in both is great). What has happened is that I am taken less seriously, my degree is seen as superfluous, and those who should be by professional honor helping me to finish and attain employment are stepping back. It seems that I am no longer worth their time and energy.

I am not really surprised by these assumptions and reactions, but it is difficult to rally when the hurdle of this degree has increased in size and complication. And, yes, it is this brand of bias that steers me away from the academy.

Yes, I am following my husband. The decision to pursue medical school was a joint one. For us, this path seems best, and we are incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to begin traveling down it. Despite the naysayers, we are excited, together.

Since making this year one in which I am attempting to not just make pursuits possible realities, but become more aware about the intricacies of each attempt, I am choosing to face the present obstacle with the same degree of inquiry. What I am discovering is that I will always choose my marriage over career (not that this particular instance required this choice) I am not very career ambitious, and everyone needs to practice yoga.

Let me explain this last realization.

The people (all women, mind you) who have been less than encouraging this week all seem to struggle with eliminating drama from their day-to-day. They focus on the past and future, without allowing themselves to consider and enjoy the present. Practicing yoga has helped me marry the physical to the emotional, to breathe. By approaching each pose with specific intent, I’m learning to understand how to corral the mind. To breathe better, to pray better.

(Needless to say, I employed the yogic breath and many prayers through many meetings this week.)

I apologize for this digression. I am not intending to be negative or somber, but this week has been important for my self-awareness. I am also incredibly thankful that I have been nurturing productive distractions. Definitely divine foresight at play here.

I’m off to breathe.

~Arrivederci

Yesterday, I taught a yoga class. A real yoga class. Pretty weird.

One of my regular yoga instructors asked me to sub for her at a rather large gym. Of course, I went to a class at this gym first to determine how comfortable I would be in attempting my first go at instruction in such a formal setting. I was happy to find that the room was small, dark, and did not require the use of a microphone. Surely I could not falter too terribly in this space.

When I arrived yesterday, though, I found her guiding me to a large, window-encircled group fitness room in the middle of the gym. Naturally, the class I attended is the only one held in the quaint, comfortable, dimly lit space upstairs. All others, including Sunday afternoons at 4:30, are held in the intimidatingly large and visible room that practically echoed the increasingly loud pounding of my heart’s nerves. Methinks I will need a mic after all.

Fitted with a microphone headset circa 1998 Britney Spears, a sequence of poses on 3×5’s on the floor at the front of my mat, and a roomful of regulars, I found myself leading the class from Mountain, to Warriors, to Sivasana. While the class went fairly well (based on feedback from the attendees), I was struck with an unexpected realization:

This is a very different kind of teaching.

For approximately six years I’ve taught composition and literature while pursuing graduate degrees. Though the start was rocky, I am now incredibly comfortable in the classroom and could feasibly wander into a group of students behind desks and launch into a perceivably pre-prepared (though realistically extemporaneous) lecture on Dante or lesson on thesis statements and rhetoric.

However, what I discovered yesterday is that one of the comforts in a college classroom is the understanding one has with one’s students that only some of them are listening, that they can listen without watching. Not so in a yoga class.

Instead, what I discovered yesterday was that as a yoga student, I have been studying my teachers. In order to learn to move properly, check my alignment, etc, I had to actually observe how my instructor moved. While I was sinking into Warrior I and hoping that my back leg’s slight wobble wasn’t visible, it occurred to me that all of the people to my left were watching. They were looking at my alignment, my posture, my lines. Taking their movements not just by what I said, but by what I did. I was stunned at myself for never having thought of this little detail prior to agreeing to the class. I might be comfortable with teaching, but am I comfortable with being intently watched?

I am assuming that the more I teach, the more I will become at ease with adding a physicality to instruction. As of right now, I couldn’t get past wondering if my nerves were showing.

~Arrivederci

P.S. I sailed again this afternoon. It was wonderful. I’ve come to the welcome conclusion that I love boats and bodies of water. I hope to find myself in the company of both very often in the future.