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Using Yoga

Everything is changing. But everything is always changing. In several different places in my life, there is movement and change. I know my instinct in the past would be to get quiet and hibernate. But this time I feel the need to move with it.

As the focus of my days shifts to my career, it started to shift away from my practice. But it’s getting to be pretty clear that I can’t replace yoga with work. They just occupy two completely different facets of life. I still need yoga. Maybe even more now.

My almost two-decades-long practice (oh, no. not really) is still serving me. It’s reminding me to breathe, it’s nudging me to get back on the mat. It’s telling me that even though “yoga” might not be my focus, that this is the time to truly integrate yoga into my life. This is where all the lessons come into play.

I need to USE yoga to stay sane, to keep moving, and to breathe.

Recommend: Magician, Heal Thyself

[image from GOOD magazine]

Sometimes, I think that reading about how someone else improved their life will help me improve mine. More often than not, it’s an escape fantasy. I can achieve inner peace, too, if only I started gardening or went to Tuscany or India or … did almost anything but immerse myself in my own life.

Scrambling down an internet rabbit hole while doing some research for a work project, I found this article by Starlee Kine called, “Magician, Heal Thyself!” She doesn’t offer advice or tell anyone how to do it. She hasn’t fixed herself, but she’s exploring. And her honesty is awesome.

Anna is from Olympia, Washington. This means if she were given a crystal for her birthday, she would say, “Oh my god, I love it!” and this would be the truth. Still we manage to get along because she’s good at trash-talking.

High Fructose Gross

I know that high fructose corn syrup has a new ‘it’s not so bad for you’ ad campaign but I can’t help but think it might be part of what is making me feel gross right now.

In part, I’m writing this to remember to bring healthy snacks to work, because I’m always starving around 4pm. Today I hit the vending machine and this is what I just ate:

Enriched wheat flour, riboflavin, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness (what?), contains two percent or less of soy lecithin, leavening, salt, natural flavor with other natural flavors.

Someone give me some kale, pronto.

Condo Yoga, Relaunch

I am incredibly pleased, proud, excited and nervous to announce the official relaunch of Condo Yoga, my wee company aiming to bring yoga to the people – wherever they are.

This venture is a work of love, and I’m so hopeful for its future and the possibilities it brings. If you’re so inclined, please take a visit. The new site is up and running here, and I’ll be adding news, updates and offers on the Facebook page as well.

Eep!

I got it, I got it, I don’t got it.

[photo by
MasTaPiannisat AshtangaNews]

I’ve been a little stuck. But you probably knew that. It happens. Cyclically. I get inspired, leap, hit my stride, get in a groove, then get in a rut, get bored. Then stuck.

But something happened the other night. I got home from work and whipped out the yoga mat. I did a 45 minute practice where I tried new things and shocked myself with my accomplishments. (Yes, I know yoga is not a contest but, c’mon! It feels good to do things you didn’t know you could do.)

This time it was Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. Well, sort of extended, but definitely hand-to-big-toe. Not perfect, by any means, but still! I’d never done that before and I was so surprised I actually started laughing mid-pose and fell out of it.

Inspired, I got up the next day and went to my first in-studio class in about six months. My brain was not at all accustomed to being on the mat for so long, but my body welcomed it. I feel the groove coming on. I can hear the beat.

And then yesterday, bam, I missed class. This morning? The dog was whining to go out mid-Namaskar B (I’ve learned not to ignore her). So tonight I’ll go to class – and, cue sad trombone – I have a last-minute call for a project I’m volunteering on.

I feel like I’m ready to leap, ready to hit my stride. Weeeee! I am so close to getting my groove on I can hardly sit still in this office chair all day. I just don’t want to lose the momentum, you know? The wheels are turning. The plane is picking up speed and I’m ready to take off and soooaar. And I want to catch this updraft before I crash and want to do nothing but nap.

Tea Love

It’s quiet in the office, just a few of us in. The snow outside has turned to sunny slush. We’re recovering from Christmas and preparing for New Years.

I’m detoxing, sort of. Caffeine is still in the mix. But no dairy, eggs, anything processed, bleached or white. So I’m a little fuzzy hazy, but in a good way. All that and tea makes for a warm and cozy feeling.

It’s Fear. It’s Fear. It’s Fear.

As I get closer and closer to putting “the plan” into action in real-life, I can feel the excitement and the fear building.

Everything is unfolding as if it is all meant to be – as if this change was predestined and I’m walking down a trail blazed by intention. The work I am doing at my full-time job is coming to an unexpected, but completely natural, end. And I’ve been talking to some co-workers about partnering up to do some freelance work. It really does seem to be coming together.

And, still, the fears come up. Fears about money, mostly. And about “success” as a yoga teacher, and what that might even look like to me. Fears about the choices I’m making, comparing myself to other people, rewriting my story.

The anxiety is manifesting in some usual and some unusual ways. I feel a little disconnected from my choices. Panic bubbles up now and again. And after grabbing drinks with friends last night, I waltzed into an open bar and had a couple drinks alone. At that moment, I just wanted to be drunk. It needed to happen, it happened, I went home. Odd choice, but it seemed appropriate at the time.

My listmaking is in full effect, because I can’t shake the feeling that I’m forgetting something important. Something big, like, health insurance or dog food.

Again it’s time to lean on my practice. And this is what I’m looking forward to the most. Dedicating time to exploring my practice in new ways, at new studios, in new disciplines. To immerse myself, as much as I can, in that world within the world.

It’s the dream of that deliciousness that saves me from going frantic. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that yoga will get me through this change. Practice will help clear my mind, and recognize my priorities. The practice itself will guide me.

Practical?

This past weekend was my final practice teach – and my first real full-hour teach. When we were done, our facilitator Paula (who is awesome, btw. Hi, Paula!) asked me how I felt the teach went. I thought about it, but, in truth, I had no idea.

I had no solid recollection of the previous hour. I remember moments, an assist here, a transition there. But certainly not an hour’s worth of teaching. I was either incredibly present or horribly distracted.

But I’m betting against distracted. I came out of the teach as if I had just had a deep practice of my own. To go into a meditative state during practice is bliss, during teaching is just bliss plus!

As we sat in a large circle at the end of the day and shared our experiences, I felt so supported, so happy and so very excited. I wanted to start my teaching career that very minute!

But is that practical? I wondered. The fact is, I’ve been wondering that for a long, long time. And I’m coming to the conclusion that I may not care.

I’m not saying I’m going to leave my paying job tomorrow to enter a new field with no business plan and no support system. But what I am thinking, and FEELING, is that I can make this happen if I want to. And I do want to.

I’d rather make good vibrations than flash animations. Asana instead of ads? Be on the mat instead of in the chair? Uhm, something like that.

Oh, goodness, good thing I’m not a writer… crap.