Monday, June 4, 2012

Yoga, Moving.

As we start getting ready for our big move, yoga sometimes struggles to make the to-do list. How frustrating. What moving needs is yoga -- the breath, the flexibility, the strength, the stillness. Moving is about turning everything upside down, moving everything around, getting everything from here to there. Yoga is about moving only inside to just be, right where you are, right now. It is such an interesting juxtaposition. Even while I'm running around in the whirl of the move, I'm thinking about that stillness, looking for the crystal of yoga which just exists within. Breathing. It isn't easy, but that is the yoga. Tonight I'll get on the mat. Then I'll lead some yogis in their practice. I know I'll find the yoga there. But then I'll step off the mat back into the mess of boxes. I hope I can bring the yoga with me. That's the point, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm really enjoying teaching my series Yoga 101: FUNdamentals at Shakti Yoga & Living Arts. (So much so, in fact, that Yoga 201 is coming up soon!) It got me thinking. Of course.

There is so much I am not good at when it comes to yoga. Yes, yes, and I know, "practice and all is coming," but we all want to be "good" at what we do, right? Well, I can't reliably do handstand, bind, or even step my foot forward in surya namaskar. Sometimes it makes me feel silly to announce myself as a yoga teacher when I can't do some of those sparkly poses -- or even some of the "easier" ones. But I do practice. And practice well. And as much as I love asana, I like my practice to be about the big YOGA -- not just the stuff on the mat.

Interestingly, I am pretty good at teaching. I was a teacher before I was a yoga teacher, so I came to the top of the mat with a bit of experience. A bit, mind you. There are so many incredible, long-time teachers out there to whom I bow. I am awe of their practices, in many cases. But if you are a great teacher, I'm really in awe. It means you are connected to your students, have that presence, that voice, and a great approach that is serious, but not too serious. And in some ways, that's really what I want to be as a yogini. The teacher that makes you want to come back.

A few in my Yoga 101 series asked what would happen when the series ended. Would they be able to come to my class? (I must have blushed with delight! What a compliment!) And then it hit me -- it doesn't matter that I can't do titibasana (yet). They don't care. They want to feel safe, soft, open, strong, challenged, and successful in their yoga. These gracious yogis have bonded with me enough to want to practice with me more. Well, right on. I'm confident we'll have fun on the path together and find the yoga we're all meant to share.

For me, teaching is a big part of my practice. Spreading the love, opening the door to yoga that someone maybe couldn't find, or worse, had been turned away from. I never really thought about that before. I am so lucky to have these students that help me rethink everything I do on the mat. I take that with me off the mat. Hari OM.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I don't know

SO much.

Or, there is SO much to try/read/learn/practice/know. It's incredible, really. Lately, I've been thinking about how many of the things I've enjoyed doing in my life: singing, writing, yoga (heck, GOLF, even!) require lots of practice, study, and self-inquiry. I'm kind of a junkie.

I'm reading a book (finally) recommended to me by a fellow yogini, and it is just great. It is practical, historical, and key to moving my practice and teaching to the next level. I'm pretty sure I'm not one of those yogis whose hallmark will be doing lots of WOW! poses -- that's just not me. Though who knows, practice and all is coming -- but I digress. Rather, I like the idea of introducing students to and using in my own yoga practice on and off the mat the depth and breadth of riches that yoga has to offer. There is history, culture, poetry, anatomy, music and more to be explored. It is, in fact, what makes yoga such a colorful, wonderful thing.

Sometimes I feel lucky to not have the strongest, most flexible practice. Not being an athletic juggernaut on the mat in part allowed me to be open to the other elements of yoga: it's philosophy, language, music, ritual and more. And each time I pick up a new text about it, I am reminded just how much of a beginner I am, of how little I know. It's so freeing to approach life this way -- just being in the moment, empty and open to all that is.