Falling Down

May 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Posted in compassion and connection, coworkers and colleagues, holding myself accountable, observations, poses and asana | Leave a comment

WOW.  How long has it been since I’ve been HERE?!  Is anyone still following?

Regardless, I was inspired to come back and write in this space when my friend Liv posted this article on facebook.  Go ahead; read it.  I’ll wait.

This part stood out to me:

“Because if you don’t practice it, how can you teach it?!”

While a part of me honors those who leave out certain poses because they’re simply not in their own practice, I find that I use this principle as inspiration for moving outside of my proverbial “comfort zone.” I WANT to try new things so that I can share them with my participants, and I think that there’s a LOT of under-appreciated value in having participants watch an instructor wrestle with a pose.

I think that too many people come to yoga class thinking that they’ll NEVER be as good as the instructor. Hell, I’ve been practicing for going on 13 years now, and I STILL think that every time I walk into someone else’s class.  Despite my exhortation that students NOT compare themselves to other people (or judge themselves too harshly), I find myself doing just that.  Every teacher is more graceful and flexible than I am, and I’m particularly bothered by the fact that I can’t (yet) execute a full bind and that my standing straddle is, in my estimation, wholly insufficient.

Letting that go is still a deliberate practice for me.  Someday, maybe, I’ll get past it, but for now it’s still something that I’m actively working on.

I think, though, that letting my participants see me fall out of half moon – sometimes spectacularly – or fight for a bind that I can only maintain for one breath gives them permission to fall down and fight, too.  Watching me struggle, seeing me shake and sweat, and listening to me talk about the places where it doesn’t just flow demonstrates to them that this yoga thing really IS a process.

Though it sounds counter-intuitive, falling down makes us better.

The Journey Begins with One Step

July 25, 2010 at 8:25 am | Posted in holding myself accountable, learning and growing, meditations | 1 Comment

I am not as healthy as I could be. Seeing that I come from a long line of remarkably unhealthy people, I have an interest in doing whatever I can to buck my genetic legacy and stay upright and breathing in and out as long as possible.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of getting serious about my health for a while now, but I think I’m finally ready to commit. In an effort to stay on the path and to hold myself accountable, I’m going to post my progress here. I don’t know if I’ll get to post every day, but I will aim toward regular check-ins, just so that I have a map of what I’m doing and how (or if) it’s working.

I have decided to begin with a private yoga practice (which is part of why I’m posting this part of my life here instead of at home). I’ve been teaching yoga for about 8 years now, but I’m not sure that I’ve been practicing for that long. I’ve always known that teaching is very different from doing (sarcastic adage aside); the feel of presenting material for others is often an entirely different activity than experiencing it for oneself.  Since I’ve also been going through a bit of a blue period lately, I thought that taking the time to practice just for me – to honor myself and my body and my place in the Universe – might just be the thing I need to change my energetic hue.

I started this morning with a 45-minute, silent practice.  I was pretty easy on myself, though I did work a series that included Warrior II and another that was a back-and-forth between down dog and plank; I was pleasantly warm by the time the whole thing was over.  I’ve settled on 4 as my tempo; I like to move with my breath, but I’ll hold poses for 4 complete breaths before I’ll move to the next expression.  I didn’t give myself much of a savasana today; I’ve got to get the family moving so we can go to my sister’s house for a pre-wedding gathering, and I don’t have the time for laying out.  I did sit for a bit, though, and gave myself permission to release negativity.  I’m going to continue that through the day (I find, too, that I can do a great bit of meditation in the car on the highway.  Don’t worry – I don’t zone out or anything; it’s a mindful kind of meditation).

I’m working on being aware of what I eat, as well, and I’ll likely start keeping a food log here, too.  So far, though, I’ve nothing much to report; just my usual morning dose of Ovaltine in a glass of 1% milk.

Thanks for coming along this ride with me.  I welcome your questions, comments, or suggestions.

Nameste.

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