Tagged: yoga tuesday

12 Things your yoga teacher thinks about during Savasana.

When I was first starting out teaching yoga, savasana (the bit at the end where you lie down and take a short “nap”) in my class was about 6 minutes long.

That was due in large part to the fact that I always ended class about ten minutes short, because I spoke really fast and got nervous and forgot things, so I made my savasanas really long to compensate.

Those 6 minutes were always the hardest part of my day.

Even now that I’ve cut my savasana down to a sleek 2 minutes and I’m much calmer and somewhat of a seasoned teacher, savasana sucks. 

If you’ve never taken a yoga class, think of savasana as that nap time you had to take in kindergarten in a roomful of other squirmy kids. You never particularly wanted to take a nap, but the teacher made you do it, so you laid down and tried not to move for a while. It stinks, but it’s good for you.

If you were ever wondering what your teacher was thinking while you were taking that nap, here’s a brief list:

I wonder if anyone notice I screwed up the sequence… twice. 

Whose stomach is making that weird noise?

Cars are really loud.

I really need to fart but people will totally know it’s me.

What’s that smell?

Shit, is this a 75 minute class or an hour?

Hope nobody noticed the swear word in that song.

What’s for dinner?

Has it been two minutes yet?

It’s really hot in here. 

Is that person snoring?

I really need to do laundry now. 

 

Changes.

It is perfect out today, internet. It is startling beautiful. It is on of those days that makes me want to write poetic things about how scintillatingly blue the crystalline waters of the lake are. I’ve been sitting like a lump in the sunshine for the past three hours, curled up on the hot earth like a lizard trying to absorb the last precious hours of sunlight.

mmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmm

Which, in perfect essence, is exactly what I was trying to do, because I totally could smell fall in the air this morning, which is a weird thing to say but if you tell me you don’t know what I mean by that you are either very unintuitive or a dirty liar. 

When the seasons are changing to change, I always feel… something. I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s like a stirring in my blood. It’s the urgent need to do something productive clashing heads with the urgent need to not do anything at all. It’s most importantly the deep rooted feeling that life is changing, even if those changes are so incandescently, intangibly small they’re not changes at all.

Maybe it’s an evolutionary holdover from when our great-great-great-many-other-greats-great ancestors used to migrate or whatever. It probably has a lot more to do with the students coming back from summer break and me still feeling like I’m one of them and that I should be doing productive school type things. Still I feel restless and itchy and weirdly emotional. Like, I could probably cry over a particularly beautiful cloud or something.

Probably not, but you get the point.

Anyways, the yogic side of me is invested in change. Life changes, constantly.

Duh.

Change is unpredictable, and sometimes caustic and terrible and blah blah blah. Embrace the stirring in your blood. Clean your room. Go do yoga. Take the garbage out. Write a novel. Walk in nature. Smell a flower. Smell many.

Is this yogic enough yet?

Oh, wait here we go.

So yogic.

So yogic.

Right now, the moment is a glass of wine on my porch.

You go be in your own damn moment.

 

Learning to Teach.

I wrote this article for BurnThis, so I legally can’t put the whole thing here. That does not, however, stop it from being worth reading, so click the link below if you dig this little blurb.

***

When I went to my first yoga training, I was honestly unsure of whether or not I would actually end up teaching. I had the idea in the back of my head, yet having ideas and doing something with those ideas are two completely different battlegrounds.

When I came home from training, still reeling from a week of meditating and practicing for 4 hours a day, singing, dancing and barely sleeping, I was very confident that I would immediately be the best teacher the world had ever seen.

I was very, very naïve.

Continue reading here.

Sorry I Touched Your Boob – A Yoga PSA.

I’m just gonna jump straight into this.

I touched a boob.

Specifically, a stranger’s boob.

No, it was not on purpose.

Yes, it was a full grope situation. 

And no, neither of us enjoyed it.

Internet, I’m going on my third year as a yoga teacher. I currently teach anywhere from 4 to 7 classes a week. I’m far too lazy to do the math, but let’s just say I’ve taught somewhere between 150 and 250 classes. Many classes. If not necessarily enough to have mastered teaching and all it’s nuances, enough to not be terrible.

Certainly enough to not be getting to second base with a middle aged woman in the middle of a sequence.

If you don’t know anything about yoga and / or have never been to a class where a teacher has given you an assist in a pose, it may be hard for you to conceptualize how… uh… in your grill the assistor has to get for some of the really juicy adjustments.

This video will give you an idea.

At some point he’s literally sitting on someone who’s figuratively bent in half.

So anyways, I was teaching a 35 person class the other day up at the university.

When you teach a class, you are, in effect, a juggler with a whole lot of balls up in the air. You must be simultaneously aware of what sequence you are currently teaching, what the next sequence will be, your music, your timing, your energy level, your body language, and whether or not anyone in the class is about to seriously injure themselves.

I noticed a middle-aged woman doing a pose pretty decently wrong. She was all hunched over and in pain and it was just a scene.

Here is a helpful photo.

She's not farting. That's the lower back pain radiating from her.

She’s not farting. That’s the lower back pain radiating from her.

So being a stellar teacher, I ran over to adjust her by puling her torso up so she wasn’t so contorted. Usually this adjust works by aligning your hip with theirs, grabbing onto their extended wrist with one hand, and using the other to gently guide their ribcage into place.

Except that I got distracted at the last moment, aimed a little too high, latched right onto this poor woman’s free-floating, braless boob.

4521.5c053cfb6b6be60bc4bc1f64a3d43b43

 

Lucky she was a good sport.

But still.

I’m so sorry I touched your boob, random lady.

Sigh.

#whatshouldyogiscallme2

When Baron Baptiste comes out with a new book all my friends are like:

When I’m sweaty after class and I have to be in public:

When I walk into the studio to teach:

When I’m falling asleep in half pigeon:

When non-yogi friends ask me weird yoga questions I look at them like:

When my mat doesn’t completely dry out between classes:

When I rock a two-a-day I’m like:

Watching people walk out of a hot room into the air conditioning they’re like:

When guys at the bar get creepy when I tell them I’m a yoga teacher:

When I forget my sequence sometimes I just have to stand there for a second like:

Heat stroke yoga.

You may or may not have noticed, internet,  that the weather on the east coast of the continent of North America has been abysmal recently. No bueno. Rain rain and more rain, a serious level of humidity, and temperatures ranging from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Similarly, you may or may not know that when the weather outside is tempermental, the heat inside the yoga studio is likewise. As my mother would say, it is hot as H E Double Hockey Sticks (this is less of a commentary on my mother’s retiscience to swear in class and more of a commentary on a Canadian’s subconscious urge to refer to our favorite sport whenever possible). Really crazy hot. Hot enough for the walls to sweat, and for the people to sweat so much that you could probably float a toy boat on the floor after class.

That’s a disgusting analogy. I’m so sorry. But you get the point.

Students have been dropping like flies, internet, and when there’s 24 people in a teeny-tiny space, well, there’s nowhere to hide when you’re about to go down like the Titanic.

So what do you do?

You take child’s pose or you leave the room midway through class.

Enter one of the hardest decisions you will ever make.

Have you ever been so hot that you can’t feel your own skin? So hot that your internal body temperature and the temperature of the outside air are neck and neck?

Think about being in a room where the air is stagnant and every breathe you take in feels like you didn’t even inhale. A room where there is no cool breeze, no refreshing gasp of air left in the room. Imagine being in that space, unable to even think about moving, when your arm muscles are going into miniature spasms and your legs are collasping under you. Be in that space and then tell yourself to stay there for another half an hour.

Tell yourself that you have to stay in that room even if you don’t do one more pose and you know that instantaneous relief is a four foot walk away.

Yeesh. No thanks, right?

As I’ve written many, many times before, I am a serial quitter. I like loopholes. I like easy exits. I am very much the type of person who would leave that room (reasons why I’m single #10 – serial commitaphobe).

At least, I used to be that kind of a person, but hey, this is blog post 172, and I ain’t quit this yet, right?

I’ve been making a concerted effort to make myself stay in that damn yoga room, even when all systems are down and I can’t even force myself to do one more pose. I’m going to sit in that stupid space even when I’m making my best excuses to ditch out – I’m going to pass out (no, I’m not), I’m going to puke (no, I’m not), I need to pee (it can wait), I have to check Facebook (excuse me??).

Why am I doing this to myself, internet?

Insanity.

Also, discipline. Also, because I can. Also because I’m sick of being a quitter. 

Aren’t you?

I guess what I’m trying to say, internet, is that we should all stay in the hot room.

(The hot room I’m referring to here is a complicated analogy for life, because when life gets too tough, you can’t just walk out of the room. There is actually a real hot room, but I’m being abstract. Stay with me.)

Because when the tough gets going, the going gets tough.

I learned that from the Lion King. 

 

Yoga Beauty Tips.

If you’re a regular workout-aholic like I am, you know how hard it is to stay looking fresh and clean 24/7. Some days when I wake up and (miraculously) look good, I can’t bring myself to go to workout knowing I’ll have to come home and shower and do my hair if I want to go out in public again. However, there are secret beauty benefits to going to the gym regularly besides just keeping the pounds off, and with a little routine touchup, you can maximize that payoff to keep looking good even after a workout. Here are some of my favorite beauty tips for all you gym junkies:

See more at Burn This.