loose: to set free from fastening or attachment (nautical) Preparing material for yoga classes is a fairly solitary process. I tend to do a lot of circling my mat and shuffling papers before I can loose my mind and free dive into soft tissue and fluid body systems. Once there an inner world opens up… Continue reading Swimming My Sea
The Vernal Equinox was yesterday. It was a good day here at my modest home in central Mexico. Being a Friday, my calendar was wide open. I had a strong morning yogasana practice on my roof, and it was warm enough for shorts. I asked my husband to document the fact that I was wearing said shorts, because this has been a profound shift for me into acceptance~ and delight!~ as I slide my 54 year old legs into snug shorts designed for yoga practitioners. What that picture also reveals is that my Svarga Dvidasana (‘Bird of Paradise’ pose) needs some work.
My writing needs some focused time and attention, too, as do a number of creative projects lying about my office. When I settled into my chair at 6:00am to edit a piece I wrote for another blog site, my first click was to open Facebook (doesn’t EVERYONE go to Facebook for inspiration?) A friend of mine is in Nepal right now and she had just posted a photograph of boats scattered by the shore of Lake Pokhara. I was struck and inspired by that image… because as I was sneaking over to the ol’ FB, I was chewing on the phrase ‘the rigor of creativity’. Seeing the jumble of boats the phrase ‘the necessity of chaos’ leapt to mind. And therein lay my ‘Aha!’ moment.
As much as I crave structure and experience joy when I have met a self-imposed deadline, I am a devotee of Serendipity and her glorious attendants. As much as I rely on creating space in my life for her fortuitous visits, I love just as much to show up to tasks with dedication and focus. I derive a sense of accomplishment from tracking my progress, be it my 120th blog post, a finished piece of embroidery, or rising up strong and tall on my yoga mat in some pose that has been eluding me.
In honor of all that, I have made myself a modest challenge. To show up, for seven days straight, to three areas of my life that sustain me and give them the nourishment of my attention, devotion and care on a daily basis:
- Mind: One piece of writing + one hour of reading
- Body: One yogasana practice + food, glorious food, lovingly prepared vegetarian paleo (sheesh, that takes a LOT of forethought!)
- Soul: One hour of handwork (currently on an embroidery fixation) + one solid hour outdoors (just being in it)
Friday. Cats creating the usual ruckus to announce they’re starving. Teenage son up and readying for school. Me huddled under covers, procrastinating. Friday. Nothing goes onto Friday’s calendar that isn’t All About Me. At least that is my intention. This particular Friday is all about the word, the conjuring of words, a plethora of words. Friday.… Continue reading A morning’s storytelling
I wrote this piece, titled ‘longing’ in April, 2014: i have rarely lived so far from a sea or an ocean, some salty place i could swim in, paddle on, dive into and otherwise be refreshed, renewed, and recharged by. my deliquescent nature is drawn thin, made brittle and fractious by these desert-dry months of… Continue reading Rituals of Self-Care: Ask, then be ready to receive.
(Warning: diatribe ahead). Dear Potential Yoga Student, When you call or email me to ask me about my group yoga classes, I take a short personal and medical history. When you ask for my recommendation, and I tell you a certain class is not appropriate for you, I mean it. Do not show up, hoping… Continue reading Yoga Teacher Rants. Feels Better After.
I have always liked having smart students in my yoga classes, even the smart-assy smart ones. Their questions over the years have helped me examine, re-examine and occasionally even re-work my premises, prejudices, preconceptions and even some of my most cherished notions of what constitutes ‘yoga’. Those smart students have helped me stay awake and alert… Continue reading How to Use a Yoga Teacher Training to Become a Smarter Yoga Student
As more and more people show up for yoga classes, teachers might consider adding private and semi-private sessions to their repertoire. I began to offer this service about 8 years ago, once I felt well-established in my teaching skills. I had enough hours on the mat, specialized training, and the confidence to work with adults… Continue reading Giving good yoga, one-on-one.