Monthly Archives: July 2011

Computerized Rest

Just as a virus stops the body dead in its tracks and demands immediate attention, so it does to my computer.

I discovered on Monday that my computer was so overrun with viruses that the interwebs no longer opened and the entire thing became useless. From Monday to Wednesday, there were no facebooks, twitterings, nor drafting blog posts at my desk with an iced coffee by my side. I was crippled without internet access.

But to my own surprise, I delighted in the computerized rest. For 3 days I took notes by hand (!). I took walks to clear my mind and develop new ideas. I had no pull to the seat at my desk nor to the most updated news feed.  And when the computer tech guy came to clean it all up, I fully enjoyed sitting on my couch, reading a magazine, and feeling the breeze of midday air on my skin. There was nowhere else I could have been but right there. And despite the forced nature of it, that’s exactly where I wanted to be.

About an hour into reading, observing and waiting for my computer to be virus-free, I felt a wave of calm and well-being rush over me. There was no reason for it, I hadn’t been doing anything differently the moment before. I was just thrilled that someone else was taking care of things. I was on pause. And it was perfect.

First off, I encourage everyone to get AVG Security,Version 2011 on their computer.  And listen to your body when you feel overrun, pulled thin, or plain-old pooped. Renewal can come during the simplest situations–like stepping away from a cranky computer to sit on the couch and enjoy the breeze.

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In Touch

Yesterday I received a shocking email message. Big events were happening for a  family member on the other side of the country. The actual events were normal enough. But the shocking part was that I had no idea any of these things were unfolding.

There were no secrets, just failures to communicate.

What happened to the regular practice of touching base? Keeping in touch? And more importantly, what’s the point of  digging deep in the yoga studio, honing my ability to connect with people on a more intimate level, only to miss the opportunity to connect with family? After all, isn’t family more important than anything?

So, I connected.  I made the call. Without without the drama of getting the story second-hand from other family members, I went straight to the source.

I now realize that for communication to happen, someone has to start. I’m not always the best, but I’m willing keep up the practice of keeping in touch.

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Filed under Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships

Freedom of Forever

“My new goal is to practice forever.”

An actual quote from a student. These are big words, kooky even, but spoken out of self kindness, balance and moderation. Her plan is to practice twice a week till she’s 90 years old instead of five times a week only to burn out quickly. She will see results over time, and feel younger as she gets older. She’ll have more energy to bounce around with the kids, and still have tons left over for herself, her partner, and her interests.

I support her in that plan!

The term “forever” can be freeing  instead of overwhelming.  What a lovely relief to think “forever”, instead of “this week”, “this month”, or “this afternoon”. No more “if”, just “how” and “when”.  No more energy wasted on deciding over the big stuff.  Instead, “forever” frees you up to enjoy the preferences of the little stuff.

You no longer need to resolve to do the right thing, each and every time. Let go of the indecision of whether to attend a yoga class, prepare a simple and healthy breakfast for yourself, or say a kind word to your partner before bed.  Just plan on “forever” and relish the possibilities: Vinyasa over Iyengar, eggs over easy, or “I’m over the moon for you, dear”.

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Got Energy?

Last week was an energetic doozy. It was filled with long days out of sync with my regular routine.

On the normally designated “greasy hair and pajama days” sitting in front of the computer, I was instead out and about, in the flow of activities. I enjoyed the sweet nostalgia of  stepping into a couple of my old-time teaching slots from last fall and winter. I posed for the lululemon ambassadorship photo shoot, and took part in meetings for the super duper exciting upcoming Practice Camp at Mala Yoga.

But when I woke up last Monday morning, I had a sweeping feeling of panic. I couldn’t imagine what was to come. I wasn’t able to visualize myself in each activity to create a calm and prepared presence. My trusty written calendar was sloppy and illegible. And most importantly, when would I get a nap?!  The newness and one-offness of the week threw me. Big time.

And when I get thrown, I get tired. I get low-energy, sleepy, pooped.  Just the thought of the week to come made me ready to curl up and rock myself into a dream state. Oy vey, NOT a good look for an active yoga teacher–a physical example of health and peppiness!

Miraculously, the week happened and I lived to blog about it.

My energy started to shift after my first appointment. One thing down, check. It wasn’t immediate, but as I sloped toward the midpoint of my weekly activities each step fell naturally from the next. And by Friday afternoon, I forgot to worry for a moment. I wasn’t dragging all of the past and future activities with me in my brain. Instead, I placed my full attention on the apricot iced tea I was drinking.

Having stuff to DO refocused my energy into action, instead of anxiety. In the end, I felt even fuller with energy.  And yes, the caffeinated iced tea helped.

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Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your Closet, Inside Your Lunch Pail

No Apology Necessary

Last week I taught at my home studio, Kula Yoga Project. It’s the site of my serious entrance to yoga. I found it and quickly afterwards, it became the only place I wanted to practice. It was my happy place, and it was where my friends gathered. During the practice years, it was my very definition of yoga. To this day, I make a point of schlepping up the Kula stairs at least 3 times a week. Which got me thinking: What’s the big deal about Kula? What’s the allure?

Through the years I’d gone to other studios, with more convenient locations and schedules. I’d been around. And each time I went elsewhere I was hit hard with the best kept secret, kept only from me. I was darned good at yoga. I’d become really advanced, adept, flexible, floaty, natural in this movement.

Yoga classes served up exactly what I was so hungry for: the permission to be huge. In so many places in my life I’d recognized how capable I was, and how horribly uncomfortable that made other people. And at the time, other people’s discomfort became my own. In the office, and in romantic relationships and friendships alike, I’d become accustomed to holding back just a little. I got into the habit of making myself small. But never, NEVER in the yoga studio. Never at Kula. I never apologized for being capable. I’d found a space that allowed me to be as strong and as soft as I am. With no apology necessary.

In yoga, we’re taught to be kind to ourselves. And that can look differently to different people. Kind to yourself isn’t always about doing less. It can also mean being disciplined, energetic, and unapologetically awesome. Shrinking would be unkind. Expanding is sometimes the kindest gesture.

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Are You My Boyfriend?

This past week, my boyfriend Alan attended my class. It was an all-levels, super sweaty, fast-paced asana extravaganza. I must say (as did he), I was on top of my game. We regularly share our experiences of the day. I report my little triumphs, admit my mistakes, and basically I unload the entire backstage story of my working life. On Monday, he got to experience it front and center, in real-time.

I am a lucky girl. Alan is thrilled to assume the student role in the student-teacher relationship. In class, he heard my voice, took note of the words I’d chosen.  He wanted to perform well for me.  And in turn, I wanted to do the same for him. I wanted both to impress him and let him in on my public working life.

But I know many teachers that don’t like it when their partners are in class. It can be nerve-racking, I’ll admit. The experience can feel all too sincere, too irony-free, too exposed. You’re out in the open, performing and talking with no hiding place to speak of. As a teacher you’re in a position of authority and leadership. This can be an incredibly challenging space to step into. Especially so, when you’re just beginning to establish a loving, supportive and balanced relationship with one of your students. (As I am.)

So, how do you keep your cool?  Simple: Assume one role at a time. And trust that you can retain all aspects of yourself even when you’re only exercising one specific role. You are teacher, leader, guide. Also, partner, lover, friend. These things can co-exist. We, as love filled beings, can prioritize which role is appropriate and up-front at any moment or situation. Alan can be my student in class, and simultaneously be my partner. That makes him the most flexible person I know.

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Filed under Inside Your Career, Inside Your Love Life

Sally Fields Part 2: Enough Already!

My last post was about the giddy surprise of being chosen as a lulu ambassador, and all the warm fuzzy feelings of being loved, accepted, seen and appreciated. To follow up, I want to add some personal words about what this means in my life at this point in my teaching career, and why it matters.

I have been teaching for almost a year and a half, and full-time for a solid year. I’m finding my voice literally and emotionally. I’m constantly hearing things fly out of my mouth, unplanned. I’m observing as I move toward certain likes and interests, while staying neutral, or even turning away from others. I’m getting into a groove. I’m no one else but myself, and I am no teacher but me.

All this, I know intellectually.  And still, and maybe for ever, there is a nagging feeling that I’m not enough. Perhaps I am not good enough, articulate enough, thought-out enough, sweaty enough, stern enough, or sweet enough. ENOUGH!

Therefore, to be recognized where I am, as I am, feels like a miracle. I hadn’t prepared for this honor. I didn’t beef up my resume. I didn’t even apply.

Sure, I will improve, evolve, add-on, and refine. And still, I am enough. To recognize that, is a revelation.

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