Finding my practice 

I’ve been trying so hard since the first to practice yoga, but if made excuses that isn’t worth listing. Let me just say, teaching makes it hard to practice.

I’ve judged, I know I have. But it’s hard. That’s all there is to it. But tonight I promised myself I’d get going and start practicing. Without a class, on my own. 

I felt energized and inspired by my class tonight and stayed after and got it in. I remember all the reasons I love it. My body and mind are so tired, but through my practice I feel renewed in spirit. I feel connected to myself and confident with who I am.

I can’t describe the feeling yoga gives you but it has power. Tonight it was just me and my mat. The place I should be, taking time to take care of me. 

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Yoga Family

I had surgery this Friday.  That being said, I tried to be at Teacher Training as much as possible.  Why?  It’s my yoga family. In my town!  I haven’t been to a training here in Wenatchee but it is so cool to have so many people that I truly adore coming to my home studio.  They have become a new family, my yoga family.

I feel about them like I do my “California Cousins.”  When they come to town, life as we know it stops.  You make sacrifices, you do what it takes to spend every second you can with them.

Also, they care for me.  I have people who really really care.  They don’t fake it, they don’t have to.  They don’t judge me or question it.  They are all completely real and completely real in their love and kindness.  They don’t have to try, they just do.  There is nothing like the relationship I have with my yoga family.  Love and respect.  Mutual understanding.  Unconditional acceptance.  If you don’t have a yoga family, you should.  And mine is pretty darn amazing.

I couldn’t make the hike yesterday, but I love these people.  Beautiful.  13411828_10100896627144203_772470144837506325_o

Life Changer

I’ve been through some physical junk in the last month or so. (Not to mention a kidney stone that has been brutal-still there too) A lifeguard training which I pretty much am 20 years older than all the other people in the class. That being said, my first month of teaching yoga has been an amazing gift. Every time I teach or take class, all those issues and problems fade away.

I can’t begin to describe the humbleness of leading people through something that will heal them, transform them. I know I’m not always flawless in classes but I feel a deep sense of responsibility to provide a great class. Serving my students, giving them the gift that so many teachers before me have given to me. And I can feel every class being better than the last. Tweeking and changing my dialog and improving with every class.

But the reality is, teaching and teaching training has changed my life in more ways than just in teaching. I am a completely transformed person. Starting the teaching training program is intense. It’s just plain hard emotionally and physically. Somewhere along the process I found myself. I found acceptance. Not only acceptance from others, but really a self acceptance that I’ve never had.

Not always through Stephanie, my teacher, but through the people I’ve met and come to know and love. 

Yesterday I was thinking about how my friend Lyzz has changed me.  One example from the amazing people I’ve met in this journey. Lyzz has made me feel okay to be me. To stop cutting myself down to try to be different, trying to be someone who other people want me to be. But Lyzz is no one else. She is an amazing person and friend who knows who she is and never tries to be someone she isn’t. I have removed so much of my negative self talk.

I’ve also learned to love and accept people for who they are. By loving and accepting myself, it’s easier to love and accept other people just the way they are.

It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of how much YTT has changed me. I’m different and I love who I am. I became a teacher in the process but the real inpact has reached far beyond the hot room. 

A new 50 hour class starts this Friday in East Wenatchee. If you have considered it, even if you don’t know if you want to teach. Maybe just to change your practice. Maybe just to change your life. Maybe to see where it takes you.  There are also more sessions coming up. 

It is truly an experience like no other. A gift to yourself. Your life will never be the same.  

Just one picture showing my lifetime friends. All of the people I’ve met through this are just amazing wonderful people. I’ve been so blessed to have these friends in my life. Teacher training is like nothing else. 

The beauty in Vinyasa

I talk a lot about Hatha and even Ashtanga but today I got to do Vinyasa and I was reminded of why I enjoy it. Here’s my top 5 reasons to enjoy a Vinyasa class.

1) It’s something different. By taking away knowing what is coming next and pushing yourself for the best pose. Vinyasa just lets me enjoy being in union with my breath.

2) That takes me to breath based. It is all breath based movement. So you learn to breath with your movements and keeps you in the moment.

3) There is an intention to it. I always try to set an intention. But in Vinyasa I feel like I can connect that intention to my practice seemlessly.

4) There is a natural rhythm to it that makes it beautiful and natural, much like a dance. I feel connected with my body in every way. I allow myself imperfection easier by letting my body flow through the movements.

5) When I connect my mind and my body this way I feel whole and connected to the person I am and the good that I can in turn offer to the world from my individual unique person. I don’t have to try to do anything, I can be me and that’s enough.

If you have a free Saturday, I highly recommend Jessie’s Vinyasa at 9:30am at BeYOUtiful Hot Yoga in East Wenatchee. You will not be disappointed with the love and light you can find in yourself on the mat.

It never gets any easier (if you are doing it right)

I’m reading the book Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lore. Recommended by my friend, Alexis.  It’s basically one guy’s look into Bikram training. So I take it with a grain of salt. 

That being said, it’s very interesting. A little salacious but a good read.

One of my favorite Bikram lines that I feel confident that he says because now I’ve heard it from two different sources. It’s “It never gets any easier (if you are doing it right.)”  

This refers to the Bikram 26 Beginner Yoga class, frequently called Hatha.

It is such a great reminded how important that base practice is and that there is always farther to take a posture. And if you are doing it right, it never gets easier. 

Many people when they are ready to advance, move to more Power or Fusion type classes. I encourage you to not give up Hatha, push yourself in these basic postures. Learn more about what I mean in a posture clinic where a teacher has the ability to show you the next step in a stuck too easy posture.

For me, I’m not there yet. You can be a beginner for 10 years. For me, it’ll probably be 15. But either way, until I cal hold standing forehead to knee for a full minute, I’ll be content in the beginning class. Working the basics, appreciating the benefits.  

 

Fear

Fear can be the basis of many problems in my life. 

I don’t know how or when I started to become this nervous person. Let me get BRCA + for a minute. Maybe 10+ years of fighting a hypothetical disease, can cause some normal fear. 

But then you do the surgery to remove the risk. And you are left, well, I was, with a misplaced fear that has morphed into some irrational fears. I won’t even began to get into moths. But also just a general nervousness has manifested in day to day nerves.  
Yoga has started me on the track of settling the thoughts of fear and seperating them from true threats. Which are usually not there at all. 

Yoga has also taught me to put my fears in perspective. So many poses are easier than you think. Just that first step, the first time, once you pass that mental block, nothing can stop you.

Except the moths, those things are gross.

Teacher Refresh

I was so blessed last weekend to spend two days with my Master Teacher, Carlo.  He is a gift to yoga that many don’t know about.  But when you spend two days with him, you want to do yoga.  You want to do it right, you want to do it constantly – you want to make yoga your life learning mission like he has.

Spending two days after graduating is amazing.  The pressure is off to memorize and study and you can immerse yourself in learning.  I learned so much, I do every time I get to sit in front of this yoga treasure.  My life has been changed, there is no doubt.

It makes me want to share what I have learned with everyone I know.  I want to get everyone’s spine moving, but it also brings me back to my practice.  How important it is to have a dedicated practice.

But what you learn most sitting with this man is humility.  In yoga, there is no room for ego.  If you struggle with it, the humbleness of sitting in front of someone that knows infinitely more than you, will always always get you humble.

Even the little things – music.  He brings me back to the basics, the root, the core of yoga.   I will never give up an opportunity to learn from him.

Then there are the things that you learn from everyone else.  A few things I learned over the last two days (I hope I don’t embarrass anyone) and these are just the people I got to connect with – there are many more;

Carlo: The root and basis of all things yoga – he is a true master of the art

Stephanie: love and acceptance and how to stop and listen so that you learn from the masters

Kiki: what a beautiful studio space, starting a Moses Lake Tribe that I am lucky to be a part of watching you grow – WillPower was one of my first classes and I love that I can continue to learn from you

BenJAMIN: the basics of meditation and calming the mind.  I am so glad I got to have a little religion talk with you and Alexis.

Alexis: what true motivation looks like – if you think you are motivated – meet this girl, you will be wowed.  Watch out world, she is going to change you

Danielle: how to laugh so hard until you cry

Stacy: how important clarity of the mind is

Lyzz: acceptance and contentment – I am so proud of you!  Proud of us, we started together and I am so glad we got to be there for each other at the end.  Eye to eye, we will always be connected.

Jill: Your strength is amazing.  I am going to get to know you better, well, when you have a free second….. Thanks for sitting with me.

Camas: what dedication and commitment to practice can do – you define a Sattvic practice

Taylor: arm balancing beyond my wildest dreams and how humor can ease the soul

I truly love all of you.  I am blessed to have you in my life.  Thank you for sharing your practice and your life with me.