Saturday, February 27, 2010

27.02.10 Using the heat

Yoga Time: 50 mins
Assisting Time: 1.5 hours

Today was so hot outside. My car overheated and stopped a few blocks from home. Since I'm still on crutches, those few blocks may as well have been a few miles. I waited for help to arrive and finally made it home a couple of hours later. Thankfully I was on my way home from assisting the yoga class, so I was calm enough to sit in the hot, hot car and wait. My sister called from abroad while I was waiting, so that also made me feel good.

When I finally arrived home, I was hot. Very hot. I had something cool to drink and sat down and did some reading I needed to catch up on. Once my core temperature was down a little, I decided to make the best of the heat. I was intending to have a day off from yoga today, but the chance was too good to pass up. I warmed up my body and focused on stretching poses that would benefit from the heat. Instead of sweating on the couch, thinking about the air conditioned places I could go if my car was working, or the cool waters of the pool or ocean so nearby, I was loving the heat, watching my head creep further down my legs toward my toes and my legs stretching away from each other and closer to the floor.

Often it's hard to think about the positives of something that is making us miserable in the moment. Often a negative situation is a positive one in disguise; sometimes it's harder to find the potential positive aspects of the situation, though. My challenge to myself is to apply this to my life at least once more this next week. When something seems absolutely terrible, I'm going to turn it around. Let's hope it isn't too hard.

Friday, February 26, 2010

26.02.10 Anticipating the Unexpected

Yoga time: 40 mins

Today I woke up feeling very sick, and so I didn't go in to the office, but worked from home. I slept a few extra hours until my head felt a little less like a nail's head. I had some fruit and tried to soothe myself. I thought about trying to do yoga later in the afternoon, but decided to do it first thing after my late breakfast, hoping to balance my body a little. I tried to keep the practice calm, but balanced with enough energy to wake my body up and get some fresh oxygen into my blood and throughout my body. I didn't know if this would make me feel better or worse, but I knew something would happen. I wasn't hopeful that I would feel recovered, but I still felt so bad that I knew it couldn't really hurt.

Once I had finished my practice, I did feel a little better, meaning I didn't go back to bed. But I didn't do much else, either. I took the day off from cardiovascular exercise, which was a big deal for me. Since I was sick, I treated myself with some extra softness. I took care not to do more than I could handle.

Reflecting back on the practice and my responses to the day, I'm surprised and yet not surprised. I'm surprised by how I was able to stay focused on my practice when I wasn't feeling well. I'm surprised by how I did feel a little better after the practice. I'm surprised by how I was able to be kind to myself. However, I'm not surprised at all the surprises. I'm on the lookout for the unexpected, and greeting it with an open mind.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

23-25.02.10 Without Internet, but not without

Yoga time: 20 min; 30 min; 20 min

I was without internet for 2 days while doing some work for the university in a rural town. BUT, I did find time to fit in my yoga each day. So even though I couldn't blog about it at the time, I'm summarizing the past few days' experiences here.

Even though I was doing work while in whoop-whoop (for those of you in the States, that's Australian slang for "the middle of nowhere"), I wasn't able to spend time with my partner, and I couldn't do some of the things I'm used to doing at home, I had some of the lowest stress I've had in weeks. Being in wide open spaces just felt good to my body. People moved a little slower and everything was easy to get to and to access. Don't get me wrong, I also hated the food options available and missed having the internet. But, something slowed down in me while I was there, too.

I had packed days; I was trying to get things completed that needed to be done while there, but I made sure to do some yoga each day. I had a big space in the room they provided me with, so I didn't feel restricted in any way. I did a lot of the same asanas I've been doing over the past couple of weeks--focusing on things that my foot will do without pushing it. However, I did feel a little more energetic in my yoga while there. I was thinking that it could be attributed to all of the fresh air, or to simply being in a new space. It could also be all of the adolescents I was interacting with while there--maybe their youthfulness seeped into my practice.

As I write this and reflect back on the short practices I was able to cultivate, though, I find myself thinking about two other alternatives for the energy I found: 1) Without distractions (people in my home, internet, snacks, friends nearby, other social options), I was able to recognize how lucky I am to have those things in my life. Even though I missed a lot of things, I knew I was going back to them. And I felt lucky to think of all the things I have in my everyday life. That sense of joy felt pretty substantial in my mind and body, and it may have been expressed through my yoga. 2) I think I'm finally gathering, collecting, and storing energy for use: beginning in my foot and healing cracked bones and cracked nerves throughout my body. Maybe that healing lifeforce was responsible for the energetic practices.

It isn't really about the causal factors though; it's about the journey of the practice. That journey has been energetic over the past few days, and I'm able to recognize that and be grateful.

Monday, February 22, 2010

22.02.10 Lengthening

Yoga Time: 25 mins
My legs are shrinking! There's no other explanation for the pain, soreness, and tightness in my leg muscles! Well, I suppose the hobbling around on crutches could explain it, but the shrinking explanation is more fun. My injury is causing more injuries (or pain, at least), but I'm on the lookout. Since my legs were feeling so bad, I decided to try every stretching pose I could manage (without standing, of course). I spent 25 minutes doing that, with a backbend and an inversion thrown in at the end.

My body felt back-to-normal by the end (except for my foot). I lay on the floor, and as I was thinking about the bodily adjustment I had just completed, and the reason for the need for the adjustment, I found my mind wandering to all the people that have been so helpful over the past two weeks. People have been holding doors, offering to carry things, and have been genuinely interested in my recovery. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming, but all of the good fortune that I've experienced throughout this difficult time is amazing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

20-21.02.10 Exercises

20.02.10 Assisting Time: 1.5 hr; personal practice day off
Today I took the day off from yoga, as I've been doing on Saturdays, and I took most of the day off from cardio. I sat on a stationary bike for 30 minutes, but it wasn't very vigorous. It was more of an exercise in killing time than cardiovascular exercise. I thought I'd assist Martine's yoga class and see how I felt afterward. I had brought a swimsuit with me so that if I felt like I needed to, I could go swimming on the way home. But after class, I noticed that I felt tired. I've been sleeping enough for the past week, but my body felt physically tired. I think it is all the hobbling, crutching, and healing that my body has been doing this week.

I decided to listen to my body: something I've been getting a little better at over the past few months. I went home and had lunch, did some work on a journal article for several hours, and then invented a recipe for dinner. I found myself being creative and productive. I was really proud of all that I accomplished. If I had gone swimming, I wouldn't have had as much time for those things, and I would've been more tired and wouldn't have been able to get much done in the time I did dedicate to working. An exercise in listening to my body: lesson learned.

21.02.10 Assisting Time: 1 hr; meditation time: 30 mins
Today I was feeling unsure for the first half of my assisting time. Martine was moving through poses rather quickly, breathing in and out of things, leaving little time for me to correct people in their poses. She always moves a lot at the beginning of class, but I felt a little overwhelmed in this large room packed with people. I tried to keep an eye out for people who looked like they were having trouble or who were new to class. Everyone looked fairly comfortable and fairly correct, and I was a slow mover on my hobbling foot, so I felt awkward trying to quietly and gracefully move around them as they were practicing. So I observed for a little while. Then, as she started to slow down, I felt more comfortable moving around the room and providing tweaks and assistance. I was able to provide assistance to about half the room (Martine got the other half), and I felt really confident about all of the assists that I made. I talked to Martine afterward about how to manage such a large room when moving through vinyasa. She suggested walking up and down the aisle and providing little assists here and there while looking for beginners to work with a little more. I'll try that next week.

After the class, I participated in the guided meditation. I really enjoyed practicing a guided meditation without leading it myself. I've done meditations on my own, but sometimes I get anxious in them, wondering how long it's been since I started, or my mind wanders to think about what the next part of the meditation is. It was really nice to participate in one without expectations and without having to focus on anything but the meditation. I thought Martine would provide more direction, but she only focused me on my breath. I kept my focus there the entire time, and the half hour seemed to fly by. I didn't experience any breakthroughs, but I did feel relaxed and ready (for whatever) at the end.

Friday, February 19, 2010

19.02.10 Working Through

Yoga Time: 20 mins; Teaching Time: 1 hr

I spent my 20 minutes today focusing on what I could teach today. My foot was sore, but I couldn't find a cover, so I had to think about what I could teach that wouldn't hurt my foot. So I spent my 20 personal practice time prepping instead of focusing on me. And, since my foot was sore, I was especially frustrated with things today. That meant I should've really taken time out of my work schedule to focus on me, but I didn't. Therefore, I went into teaching feeling pretty upset.

The class that I taught went really well, thanks (in part) to the prep. I was able to focus on the participants' needs. I taught what I could from the front of the room, and walked around doing corrections when I couldn't do something. I helped students into poses and challenged them to try some new things. I had a few students talk to me after class, ask me questions, and thank me for the class. Once everyone left, I sat down and reflected for a few minutes. Even though the class wasn't for me, I found that I had finally found my peace for the day--through teaching and assisting others.

I know I enjoy teaching... that's why I do it. But finding that I could get some peace through the process, especially when I really needed it, was good to learn. And I think that it is a good life lesson also: sometimes it seems that nothing can make us feel better, but we keep seeking something. Perhaps all we need to do is to find a way to give something back to someone else.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

17-18.02.10 Mind in Body

17.02.10 Yoga Time: 20 mins; Meditating
Today I was feeling tired and my foot was feeling sore. So I decided to try 20 minutes of meditating. I wanted to experiment with my ability to sit still and connect without physically using my body. I went to the meditation exercise that I had used with a class I taught a few weeks ago. I tried dropping the question "what is stillness?" into the center of my body. I tried to feel stillness inside, and determine what it felt like. Only, instead of feeling stillness, I felt intense action. I could "feel" mitochondria playing their role as the powerhouse of the cell; I could "feel" oxygen oxygenating cells; I could "feel" t-cells attacking any invaders of my immune system... and whatever else is currently happening in my body. All I could imagine was the amazing processes that were running all on their own, all over the inside of my body. I felt so electrified as the power and energy in my body made itself known to me. Then I focused on my energy emanating from my body, and how the power was radiating into the world around me. I felt the air leaving my nostrils, imagined the water evaporating from my skin, imagined old cells flaking themselves from my body... all becoming energy around me.

When I finished meditating, I felt excited. I felt connected to the world. And I felt proud of myself for meditating 20 minutes.

18.02.10 Yoga Time: 30 mins; Connecting
This morning I had an important meeting at 10am. So I got up early and spent half an hour playing at some yoga before I showered. But, since I was nervous about the meeting, I decided to use the yoga time to center myself. So throughout each pose, and between each pose, I tried to focus my mind inside my body. I tried to continually think about "me" inside me. I tried to continually center that me inside myself to find a balanced place to start my day from. I wasn't as focused on what I was doing physically, how far I was going into poses, or what poses followed each other. Rather, I kept my focus on what I was feeling, and how I could orient that feeling inside my body.

I enjoyed the 30 minutes and it passed quickly... and then my meeting went amazingly well! I was calm and focused throughout it, and was able to answer questions and be on-target with all of the things we had to discuss. I like to give credit where credit is due, so I'll say "Namaste" to myself, for sticking with my daily practice and incorporating it so well into my day, and to Martine, my favorite mentor, for her fantastic encouragement and recommendations. xo

Monday, February 15, 2010

15-16.02.10 Being in Stillness

15.02.10 Yoga Time: 20 mins
Today I took my crutches on the train to work. That meant that it took me quite a while to crutch to and from the train stops. I talked to my doctor on the train ride home from work and he told me about the fracture he saw on my bone scan. I really didn't want to hear what he said next, but he said the dreaded "no weight on your foot for 4 weeks... at least." I was feeling pretty upset as I tried to get home, and the 10-15 minute walk home from the station took me 45 on crutches. I was frustrated and very out of sorts when I got home. My foot hurt from being used too much and from all the traveling I had done. So I decided to try being still.

I set my timer for 20 minutes and laid in an open savasana, with the soles of my feet together. I tried to focus my mind, find my breath, and continually direct my thoughts back to being present. It was hard. It was really hard. My brain kept thinking about the coming weeks, and how I was going to have to modify everything I do in my life and how I do it. But, somehow I was able to keep coming back to my breath. At times the 20 minutes seemed to be dragging on, but I knew that it was important that I keep trying. Feeling that I could accomplish something was important to me at this point. I re-directed my focus again and again.

While the 20 minutes was a virtual eternity for the state of mind I was in, there were small seconds of peace that I could identify: when I felt my hips relaxing to the floor, as my back and shoulders released some tension, and a few moments of quieted thoughts that occured when I reconnected to my breath.

This certainly wasn't one of my traditional practices, but I knew that my body (read: foot) needed the rest and reconnection. I won't lie and say that I felt amazing when I was finished with the practice. But I did feel better than I had on the 45 minute walk home.

16.02.10 Yoga Time: 30 mins
I started this morning with some super gentle yoga. I hate gentle yoga. But I tried to start with where I was yesterday and not push my body/foot past its limit. I started on the floor as I had yesterday, and spent several minutes connecting and centering. I then slowly moved into some gentle things that wouldn't aggravate my foot: seated forward bends, seperate leg stretching (seated and reclined), some twisting... I tried to only move into poses that wouldn't put any weight on my foot at all--not even a little.

Like yesterday, it was a struggle to keep my mind trained on my body and my breath. The hardest part was to keep telling myself that I shouldn't do things that put weight on my foot. I know myself, and I know that I'll push my foot more than I should. So this morning I tried not to. I thought that if I could focus myself to spend this time in a more still place, then maybe I could make it through the rest of the morning without being so focused on the next several weeks of healing.

So I made it through half an hour of gentleness, and came out of it feeling soothed and refreshed. It's possible that I could make it through the entire morning... and maybe even through the weeks of recovery.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


13.02.10 Yoga Teaching: 1.5 hr, personal practice day off
Talk about energy! The class I taught yesterday was so much fun! We did heart openers and then worked in partners, learning to trust our bodies and those around us. Billy came to demo the partner work with me. I was nervous about the partner work, since it isn't something we traditionally do in that class, but I was hopeful that the participants would be open to it and willing to try something out of their comfort zone. Luckily, everyone seemed to be open to the ideas I presented them. The chattering and communication between partners was energetic and constant. The partners in the class worked together and experimented and tried new things. I was so proud of them.

After the class, I wanted to try new things; I wanted to be impulsive and daring! So Billy and I went to see a movie in the middle of the afternoon. I know, I know. It doesn't sound that crazy. But it wasn't planned! It was something we just randomly decided to do! And that felt really daring in my over-planned and structured life. Sometimes just little things that are out of the ordinary feel amazing. I hope that my class was able to experience a little bit of that today also.

14.02.10 Yoga Time: 20 mins
Valentine's Day! Time for love. I took a small piece of the day to love myself. I did a lot of folding in and opening up. I went back and forth between forward bends and hip openers. I enjoyed the time to myself and felt, as I often do, that giving myself a little time makes me a better person and makes the time I offer to other loves in my life more complete. So, after completing my me-time (and then blogging about it), I'm going back to my life to share the love a little more. xo

Friday, February 12, 2010

12.02.10 Practicing Partnership

Yoga Time: Personal: 30 mins; Partnered w Billy: 90 mins

Gearing up for Vday weekend! I'm teaching Martine's class tomorrow morning. So throughout my personal practice as well as my partner practice, I was preparing things that we'd be doing in the special edition class tomorrow. I asked Billy to come with me to class tomorrow to demo some partner work, and he agreed. I'm pretty excited about it, but a little nervous.

Billy and I are great as partners--we work together well (unless it's math--we both do that well but TOTALLY differently), and we enjoy doing things together. But Billy isn't a regular at yoga. He likes it, but he doesn't practice often. So in some ways he'll be a perfect model--because he isn't flexible and doesn't instinctively know where each asana is headed. But in some ways it makes the demo process a little more drawn out and difficult. It was a good test to try to explain things today so that he could practice the partner work with me. And he tells me when he doesn't "get" what I'm saying. Which is frustrating to me, because I think, "THEY'LL KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING!" ...but then I think, "well, most of them will... but maybe not everyone." And it is really good for me to try to think of new ways of explaining things so that my yoga classes are accessible to everyone--even the newbies!

I enjoyed my practice time today because I'm excited about what we'll be doing tomorrow. But I also enjoyed spending time with Billy just moving our bodies around and exploring. I'm not sure that he enjoys it as much as me, but he at least enjoys that I enjoy it so much. Now that's a good partner!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

11.02.10 Shoulder/Mind Opening

Yoga Time: 30 mins

I kinda feel like I have been faking my life over the past few days. I've been trying to accomplish things, get my foot to heal, exercise in some way, and still keep relationships with others and myself alive. But somewhere in the middle of all that, it was too much, and I started faking it. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but I notice myself smiling and nodding way more than I intend to. And not expressing things I really want to.

As I went to my yoga, I began by spending a full five minutes in meditation before jumping into asanas. I've gotten better at spending time at the end of a practice in meditation, but not the beginning. I'm always jumping into the asanas because I'm short on time. Today I wanted to center myself so that I could build the practice on a firm foundation of balance. I enjoyed framing the practice, and I felt peaceful as I started: my breathing was already calm and my mind was open to what the practice would bring.

Before beginning the practice, I was thinking that I wanted to feel more open. So I tried to focus on opening something that I don't usually focus on. I went to my shoulders. I looked up a shoulder and heart opening class that was posted online to get some more ideas on how to open my shoulders. I really enjoyed practicing some of the suggestions I found there, and my shoulders felt more relaxed and released when I was finished.

My experience today was opening more than just bodily, though. The openness I had from the beginning meditation stayed with me throughout the practice. I felt centered throughout the yoga and into the evening following the practice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

10.02.10 A "reason" for injury

Yoga time: 25 mins

Having an injured foot makes everything take longer. I have cut out most of my travel time, since I've been working at home, and yet my days seem shorter than normal. Yesterday I got to my yoga later in the evening, and was too tired to blog about it by the time I was finished. Even though it was hard for me to get to the yoga, it was not hard for me to spend time there last night. I replicated most of what I did the day before, using poses I knew my body/foot could handle. By choosing poses this way, I was doing something I knew I could do. I wasn't challenging myself, but I was okay with that. I needed to be doing something that felt comfortable and doable.

Sometimes connecting with my body is about seeing what it can do, and sometimes it is simply about enjoying what it is able to do. I'm used to pushing myself in so many areas of my life, and enjoying something "just because" is a nice feeling. I had already begun to find this in my daily practice, but being forced into a little more (via the injury) is interesting. While I do not enjoy the injury, I am enjoying some of the effects. Maybe everything does happen for a reason?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

9.02.10 Grateful

Yoga time: 20 mins

I came home late-ish to find Billy with dinner prepped, just waiting for me to walk in. I wanted to spend some time connecting with my body, though, so I asked him if he minded waiting 20 minutes. He agreed, and I went to the living room to see what type of asanas my foot would agree to. It was feeling less throbby today, so I started with a couple of seated forward bends and then tried a few bridges. Those were easy non-foot threatening things. I then tried a couple of arm balances, thinking my foot could handle being perched on its big toe for a moment or two. However, I discovered that my wrists were sore from all of the crutch-action they had been put through yesterday and today. Feeling frustrated, I went back to some seated forward bends.

Then something amazing happened. I noticed that I was easily folding in half. I was further in my forward bends than usual. I wasn't sure how my body had gotten there. I smiled to myself and then started to think how amazing it was that even though I felt so un-able, my body was showing me that it was still very able. It was showing me that there is more than one way to be strong; more than one way to accomplish something.

I spent some more time in forward bends, since I was suddenly enjoying them so much, and then finished with shoulder stands, fish, and reclining twists. I laid in savasana observing this feeling of gratefulness, and how it made my whole body glow. My whole being was glowing. I was smiling up to the ceiling, feeling this sense of gratitude radiating from within. My mind then drifted to Billy, and how he had willingly sacrificed his comfort for me to spend this 20 minutes with myself. Tears came to my eyes as I realized I was lucky in so many ways.

180 from yesterady... and even from how I felt earlier today. "Thank you."

Monday, February 8, 2010

08.02.10 Injury!

no yoga. no peace.

i need to find a way to make my foot better. i bought some crutches today so that i could keep weight off my foot for a larger percentage of the day. it was hard. almost as hard as when i sprained my ankle and had to stay off of it for 2 weeks or so a couple of years ago. i'm thinking that if this injury persists this could be much harder... seeing as how driving most of the places i go isn't really very convenient. i love the train... and walking and being active. it also won't be as easy to have billy help me get around, since he and i aren't working in the same immediate vicinity like we were at that time.

tomorrow i'm going to try spending 20 minutes connecting with my body, whether or not my foot is up for any type of yoga.

that's about all i can write today.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

05-07.02.10 Weekend of too much

(blogs originally written in my journal on train/bus to wknd events)
05.02.10 Prepping
Time: 25 mins
I scheduled today so that I could make it to a yoga class after work. However, work went crazier than planned. And I ended up having to miss the class. So I went home to do a brief personal practice and see what I could find inside... before running out the door to see a friend's play. I focused in on trying to find some peace. I wanted to move toward stillness and create a sense of calm that I could return to for the rest of my weekend. I tried a lot of balances--including arm balances, standing balance flows, and headstands. I wanted to feel a sense of stillness, internalize it, and use it later in my weekend.

I enjoyed my practice and felt calm when I finished. The calm didn't last long as I rushed to shower, make a train, and get to my friend's play. However, on the train, as I write this, I'm able to return to my feelings and feel them again. I think that I easily lose track of my mind/body connection as I focus intently on accomplishing something or getting somewhere. Finding peace or stillness in my day is hard when I lose track of myself. I enjoy the journal process because it gives me a chance to return to my body and focus on the connection. But, unless I'm constantly writing in my journal, I haven't yet discovered how to stay present.

06.02.10 Teaching energy
Time: 1.5 hrs
Personal practice: day off
Today I taught Martine's Newtown class. Before the class, a woman told me that she had just had IVF and that her doctor told her that she should go ahead and treat her body like she was pregnant. She asked me what she should do differently in the class. I told her that she should do what she felt comfortable doing, and should listen to her body. She stayed with the rest of the class for most of the practice and then put her legs up against the wall as we did some inversions.

We were pretty full, with 30 participants. Two students ended up leaving part way through the class, and I was pretty upset. I know Martine and I teach differently, but I was feeling good about the class, where it was going, and the energy we were creating. I tried to focus in on some students who looked like they were intently present in the class. Finding some students that looked like they were really enjoying themselves was helpful in bringing my mind back to the class.

We continued through the class and ended in savasana about 8min before the end time. I was able to make it around to every student for a brief adjustment and then to finish the class calmly. Several students came up to chat or say thank you on the way out, and I was feeling back in touch with the class.

07.02.10 Pain in life... rest in yoga
Time: 10 mins
So I hurt my foot last night. Bad. We went to an afternoon running event that involved running from place to place. I was wearing my fivefingers shoes. I've been doing 15-20K in them over a few days each week for the past couple of months. I thought I'd be able to do more running in them, so I wore them to this event. I probably did about 9K before my foot started throbbing intensely. I slowed down and hobbled along for another K before I quit trying to keep up with anyone. Even though I didn't run anymore, I had to stand around at the event for another couple of hours before we could get home. My foot wasn't swollen or discolored, but it hurt really badly. I went to bed with a plan to wake up early, have time for a run and personal practice, shower, and go to St. Leonards for assisting in yoga. However, I couldn't walk when I woke up. Putting any weight on my foot was painful.

I skipped my morning plans but had to teach cycling and Pilates in the afternoon. I didn't stand any in the cycling class, and taught the entire Pilates class on the mat, without any standing portion. I minimized the time that any weight would be on my foot, but it was still a little more sore than it had been before the classes.

I thought that I could still do some personal practice, though. Not so. Sitting forward bends involved pressure as I pulled on my foot. Reclined hero involved pressure on the top of the foot. Camel and plank involved weight on the foot. I couldn't kick up to try head or handstands. So I went to some reclined twists. I tried to quiet my frustrations and be okay with "quitting" trying to do more than my body was able to do. I also tried to avoid thinking about potential diagnoses (i.e. stress fracture) for my foot, as that was upsetting. What I'm really concerned about, and scared of, is that I might have to take off more time than I want, both from exercise and yoga.

Which, I suppose, will be a great test of how my living yoga is going. But let's hope that I don't have to test that yet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

04.02.10 Yoga, Interrupted

Yoga Time: 1 hr teach + 20 mins personal

I taught a small class this morning to 2 participants. Both were occasionally regular with practice (my judgment based on what they said plus what they did). We did a few challenging arm balances that I could tell they enjoyed, though were a little unsure of. We also did headstands in the middle of the room. Neither of them had done headstands before, but I encouraged them to try and I showed them set-up and then came to each of them individually and gave a hand so they felt comfortable trying extend the whole way up at least once. Both did a headstand with me there, and one participant did another one and rolled out of it. They were both excited at their accomplishments, and I was excited to see that in them.

Since I'm more confident with my headstands, I've been more confident in teaching them. And I think that is making my teaching stronger. I'm not as afraid that some participants will be more advanced than me with their asanas. Which is slightly crazy, I know. But a lot of people expect their yoga teacher to be super bendy and super strong and super full of balance. And that isn't exactly a requirement of yoga teachers. But I suppose it is something to aspire to. Which will, of course, only occur through my own daily personal practice.

So after the class, I spent another 20 minutes in the big beautiful room. I went through some triangles, revolving them and then lifting a leg. I did some more arm balances, I did a headstand and an L against the wall. And then I was interrupted by someone who wanted to talk businessy stuff. I felt violated as she came up and interrupted my practice. I thought, "Can't you see I'm in the middle of something?" but didn't say that. I listened to her and responded appropriately, even when she told me that I should be wearing a uniform shirt because my tank top could "put people off" ...whatever that meant. I look good in my tanks!

I tried to complete my practice after she left. My flow was gone. I had been shook up. I felt untrue to myself because I had wanted to tell her that I needed to finish what I was doing and that I could come find her and chat in a few minutes. I hadn't told her that, though, and was left with a broken practice as a result. I tried another inversion and then released, twisted, and came to savasana.

I know that it is important for me to tell people what I need, whether it is telling someone something in a business situation, talking to a friend about an issue that's between us, or telling myself to slow down and relax. I can only express these things and hope that they are well recieved.

So that is my intention for the rest of the day. To not be afraid to tell someone. Something.

03.02.10 Looking In

Time: 20 mins

today i found myself reacting really strongly to everything. every response was intense and i felt a profound desire to retreat from people all day. work was especially hard with several meetings with several groups of people. i felt like i was having to act just to function around others.

i wanted to push a reset button, to reprogram my emotions and my responses. i couldn't seem to do that, though. once i got home from work and fitness, i made dinner and finally found time for yoga at 930. i listened to what my body wanted. so i did some forward bends, some separate leg stretching, some reclining poses, and then some shoulder stands.

when i finished my asanas, i tried to reflect on my all-consuming emotions. i tried to find the root of them. i let my mind traipse around, looking for reasons, examining my day, and inverting myself a little.

my inspection didn't result in any answers. but the act of inspection left me calmer. not necessarily ready for the world, but less ruffled.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

02.02.10 Life mimics yoga

Yoga Time: 20 mins

As I sat down to write my yoga blog today, I began reflecting on my morning practice and on my day. I tried to think about what my yoga had given me today. I tried to figure out what I had gotten from the morning practice. I couldn't think of anything. But I did realize something:

1. I felt lazy this morning. I spent twenty minutes trying to change how I felt, but I had a lot of trouble focusing on my yoga; I didn't feel myself responding to the yoga.

2. I went to work and had trouble focusing and responding to people and work situations around me.

I realized that the way I had responded to my yoga this morning was the same way I had responded to everyone and everything throughout the rest of my day. I don't know whether that is exciting to anyone else--perhaps it seems like common sense, that I respond consistently throughout the day. But to me, noticing how I react in different situations, and noticing how I react physically and emotionally, is a big deal. The fact that I could recognize my responses, how I was feeling, and draw parallels between facets of my day, is a step. Small step or giant leap, a step is a step.

Week 3 Blogs--before the blog existed

Tues, 26.01.2010
Time: 30 mins
Title: Managing Being
Australia Day! Surfing! Fun! A day off… until I freak out and can’t handle it. After surfing and then seeing a movie with Billy, I couldn’t focus. I felt panicky. So I ended up going for a short thirty minute run. I then felt a little more relaxed and was able to do my daily practice. I was calmer, but still not able to focus on yoga. So I pulled out Erich Schiffmann’s Moving into Stillness book and started flipping through it for inspiration. I decided to pick poses I didn’t often practice and try them out. I ended up doing a bunch of reclining poses, several fish variations, and then working on my splits. I was able to breathe and be with my body, and to be impressed by some of its flexibility.
After practicing for half an hour, I got restless, so I decided to try to treat my body a little. I ran a bath and soaked in it for 20-30 minutes and meditated on accomplishments I’ve been lucky enough to achieve in my life so far.
Somewhere between the run, the yoga, and my bath, my mind quieted enough for me to have dinner with Billy and then to focus my attentions to a Powerpoint for tomorrow morning.

Wed, 27.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Copycatting
Tonight I practiced several of the poses I practiced last night. I just needed something easy I could do without thinking. Similar to last Wednesday, I intended to practice in the morning but didn’t get to it until late tonight. I felt crazy today. For about 80% of my day. I was really regretting not getting to my practice in the morning. I’m wondering if Wednesdays are an extra-stressful day for me… or if whether I’m currently pre-menstrual. I tried to really focus on how I felt today so I could identify the reasons I felt upset and stressed. For some reason I just wasn’t able to manage my feelings or my stress today. By the time I got to my yoga tonight, I was anxious to get to it. So I copycatted my last night’s practice and tried to slow my breathing and leave the rest of my day behind.
By the end I felt better. No feelings of enlightenment appeared through the practice, and no epiphanies occurred at the end. But I still felt better. And that’s enough for now.

Thurs, 28.01.2010
Time: 60 mins
Title: emotional
i'm continually surprised by the change having a daily practice has made in my life and in my yoga practice. today i attended an early morning practice with martine. i was tired. (when am i not?) but as i moved through the practice, forgetting my outside life, i concentrated on nothing but breathing. i shrugged off the things bothering me and found myself in a beautiful room with an amazing teacher. i found revolved triangle to be so much easier than i remembered. i found myself in a headstand in the middle of the room. i found myself in full wheel for several breaths longer than i thought possible.

as soon as the class had ended, though, my head was back to crazytown. i was thinking about the stresses of the day that lay ahead. i began crying as i talked briefly with martine. i was feeling upset, and i felt stupid for feeling upset when i have so much and am so lucky. i am healthy and intellegent and have a home and a love to go back to at the end of the day. and yet, there i was. crying in a yoga room with another 14 hours of my day to go.

from this point, i showered, bought myself a coffee, boarded the train, and went to work. after working for a few hours, i found that i was unable to focus. my mind kept focusing on why i was upset and i needed a way to relieve the anxiety and the pressure i was feeling. i decided to push play on my iPod and go into an empty room to breathe for a few minutes. however, on the way, i got pulled aside to work on a project with a quickly approaching deadline. two hours later, i felt better.

Friday, 29.01.2010
Time: 25 mins
Title: Yoga swagger
I got up late today. By late I mean in time to get ready for work, but not in time to have any time for running or yoga. All day I focused on deadlines, with the plan to leave early so that I could have enough time to workout. But the deadlines didn’t let up, so I didn’t leave until pretty late. So I got to the gym and started working out around 530. I spent an hour and a half doing cardio to try to make myself feel better; to try to make up for the candy overdose I had last night. The 80 minutes of cardio didn’t make me feel better. And they didn’t make me feel good about my body.
After the cardio, I was going to go home to do yoga. But since I was still feeling bad, I was afraid I might not do it when I came home. So I decided to do yoga in the boxing room. I invaded it (bc other people were using it for some personal training) and yoga-ed. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I had my headphones in so that I could tune out the rest of the room. I upped and downed dog. I warriored. I felt strong. I went upside-down several times in several ways. I pigeoned. I felt strong, confident, limber, flexible, and… calmer. Amazingly. Calmer.
As I walked out of the boxing room, I noticed my hips swinging. I noticed the curl of my lips. I noticed that I was better. I had a yoga swagger and I couldn’t believe it.

Saturday, 30.01.2010
Time: 1.5 hour assist Martine (yoga day off)
Title: Practicing Presence
Today I tried to really pay attention as Martine corrected and quietly pushed students. I tried to mimic her approach and hand placement as I approached students. I feel nervous that students won’t like or won’t “get something” from the way I touch them. But today, as I touched students, I noticed some of the students breathing into my touch. I felt excited that that was happening and felt that the students and I were growing together.
It sounds a little cheesy as I write it, but that synthesis made me feel more a part of the class than I did for the past two weeks.
Today was scheduled to be my yoga day off. I did spend a few minutes in handstands with Martine and then in some L’s against the wall with one leg extended up once I got home.
Since I was taking the day off from yoga, I tried to remain really present with my body through the evening in other ways. I gave myself a facial mask. I soaked in the tub. I curled up in bed and read. I tried not to snack through the evening and stay present with my hunger and need for food.
At some points it was a real struggle. But, when it was hard, I thought about WHY I wanted to struggle through it: so that I could be more at peace in my life and set a good example for my future children.

Sunday, 31.01.2010
Time: 20 min + 1.5 hours
Title: Music & Meditation
I ran and then did an early AM personal practice. My practice this morning focused on soothing my nerves about driving (on the left side of the road!) to St Leonards and covering for Martine—who EVERYONE LOVES as a teacher. Since I made a yoga playlist last night, I wanted to test it out before my class. So I grooved yogically along until I needed to leave. I felt pretty confident as I went to teach.
Class went really well and I think the class really enjoyed the music. I looked around to estimate reactions, and no one looked really upset at any point, so I took that as a good sign!
The class was pretty packed, and it was difficult to run around and give everyone a press at the end of the class. But—I made it. (We just ended up finishing a few minutes later than the hour.)
For the meditation, I borrowed inspiration from Yoga Journal about “What is stillness?” I framed stillness as an antidote to all the stresses that plague our daily lives. I used some of the words and imagery from YJ and others from my own head.
As I began the meditation portion of the class. I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to lead the meditation for a whole half hour. But I did. And I loved it. And I think they did too. After class, several students asked me where I normally taught and/or when I would be back to that class. So that reinforced my confidence and felt really good.

Monday, 01.02.2010
Time: 25 mins
Title: Opening up and Letting go
I was feeling closed off—emotionally—from some people close in my life. I wanted to open myself up, so I decided to do some backbends and hip openers. I thought that by exploring vulnerable areas of my body, I may feel more open emotionally.
I put on some motivating and positive music (me, practicing to music again?!) and tried to open up. I had a lot of fun with the music and began dancing a little in the middle of a song. I was enjoying the whole experience to the fullest.
As I wound down and finished, I was relaxed and smiling. And I thought about how I could potentially incorporate a little bit of freestyle dancing into a yoga class… which I might just try this weekend!
I didn’t think about my emotional state for a while. I got busy at work and forgot about my needs. However, as I waited for my soup to warm up at lunch time, I found myself thinking: “Why am I wasting energy thinking about being upset at what someone in my life is or is not doing? I can’t control others. And I can’t carry around all of this.” So I decided to let it go. Just like that.
And I’m gonna attribute that mid-day realization to my morning practice. Which means opening up my body really did help me let go.

Week 2 Blogs--before the blog existed

Tues, 19.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Toward Side Plank (w/ extended hand to foot)
This morning I woke up and went straight to the mat. I needed a plan. So I grabbed my Yoga Journal and followed the core-strengthening, hip and hamstring opening, extended hand to foot side plank sequence. The plan included, among other things, a laying, then standing, then side plank… all with the extended hand to foot. I really like the progression of that pose.
Completing this practice while so tired was interesting: clearing my mind was easy, because I hadn’t gotten my head going yet. However, even focusing on yoga was hard—I couldn’t find any focus at all.
After doing yoga first thing in the morning (as opposed to early in the morning but after running/cycling), I think it feels best for me to do something else first. Waking up my body a little makes the yoga seem more beneficial to me.
I felt a little disappointed with what I got out of my yoga today. But, later, as I was walking around the hospital during work, I noticed obese parents and overweight workers. I noticed children with injuries and in wheelchairs. Seeing all of these people who were limited in mobility in so many ways as I hurried through the hospital hallways, I thought again about my morning practice that I had been upset with. I thought about how lucky I was to be able to do what I had done this morning. And then I slowed down my hurried walk (a little).

Wed, 20.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Using My Yoga
I was so stressed today. I intended to do my yoga early this morning, but I couldn’t get out of bed. I got up a little late, had to rush to work, and got home late after my aerobics class, around 815. Billy wasn’t home yet—dinner was far from ready, and I had over-the-top stress deadlines at work. All I wanted was to get to my yoga. Billy came in as I was prepping dinner stuff and I still hadn’t yoga-ed. I snapped at him as he asked about my day. I stopped the prepping and just went to the living room. I grabbed my Yoga Journal to do the evening routine—lots of forward bends and some reclining twists.
I focused on my breath and on finding some internal peace. Through the first couple poses I felt like I was cheating—using the yoga instead of enjoying it or seeing where it would take me. But as I kept moving through the poses, I started to forget about that. I don’t know when it happened, but somehow the feelings disappeared.
Once I finished the 20 minutes, I was different. It changed my outlook and my feelings. I walked back into the kitchen and finished dinner prep and began talking with Billy.
When I started to think about it, I still kinda felt like I “used” my yoga… but I also didn’t care. But I think that I need good coping skills in my life that are there to be used. And discovering that yoga can be one of those is a valuable piece of knowledge.

Thurs, 21.01.2010
Time: 20 mins + 1 hour
Title: Teaching and Learning
This morning I taught Martine’s yoga class at 54 Park St. Only one girl came to the class, and it was her second ever yoga class. I moved my mat next to hers and we explored the class together. The class was very informal and we talked as we moved through poses. She asked questions and I jumped in and out of poses to assist alignment.
At one point she had her right hand on a block in down dog. I didn’t know why so I went over to help her. She was using the block because her bones were placed slightly differently in her right arm and the length or extension was different. But it seemed to be throwing alignment off, so I asked her to try the pose without the block. She said that it felt okay, so we went with that.
I tried to really pay attention to her strengths and frustrations through the class. I wanted her to have fun but also to challenge her a little. I had her try some headstands, and she really liked trying them.
However, like Martine told me about corrections, I didn’t correct everything. I let her enjoy postures and try to get into some things herself.
It was difficult to balance all of the corrections/cues/paying close attention to her… but I think I did well because she really enjoyed the class and said it was the perfect start to her day.
I didn’t know what it was—whether it was because it was the first class I’ve taught since starting personal practice/journaling, or whether it was because it was the first class I’ve taught since learning more hands-on corrections, but either way, I felt like I elearned more in this class than any other. I cant even really put it into words. I just felt more… well… teacher-y. Maybe because I was feeling confident in my own practice, or maybe because she was new to yoga, but afterwards, I felt like I had really imparted wisdom.
After the class, I stayed in the room and spent 20 minutes going back over a few things I didn’t get to focus on in the class because I was helping her. Maybe that was what made the class feel so differing and teachery—that I was totally focused on one person’s yoga—and not mine. So going back to my yoga after the class felt very internal/personal… and pleasurable. I also loved being in that big, nice space and having exploration room.
When I made it out to Westmead for work, I was a little later than I wanted to be. But I felt so calm, I didn’t let a few minutes break my peace.

Fri, 22.01.2010
Time: 20 mins + 1 hour
Title: Unsettled
This morning I did twenty minutes of yoga after a run. Most of the things I did concentrated on leg stretches because my legs needed it. I was feeling pretty powerful, so I tried a few headstands farther from the wall. I went up and down twice without touching the wall at all. I felt so good as I twisted and relaxed at the end. I’m so surprised how quickly my headstands have evolved. Only a couple of months ago, I was terrified of them and never practiced them (similar to my current relationship with handstands!).
Later today I took a yoga class from Amy at FF George St. I felt a little uncomfortable in her class because I felt rushed. She seemed to hold things for a few breaths and then hurry on. I as wondering if I felt uncomfortable because I had been getting so used to practicing on my own. Maybe I just wanted to be in charge? So I tried to breath and really let go of any expectations of which pose was next or how long we’d hold a certain pose. I was able to release most of the tension I had.
Then, as we got toward the end of class, she ran around adjusting everyone. Working with Martine, I learned to ease into touching participants, and not to rush any part of it—including the placement of hands on the body. I felt more unsettled after she adjusted me (in child’s pose) because of the rush. I don’t remember ever feeling like I didn’t like an adjustment before, but it could be because I hadn’t been trained in how to do them well. So perhaps I was just more sensitive to what makes a good adjustment.
Feeling that adjustment helped me understand the importance of how I touch someone, though. SO even though I didn’t like the adjustment, it helped me learn how I’d like to adjust.

Sat, 23.01.2010
Time: personal practice: off; 1.5 hours adjusting
Title: Touching
Today was so busy: Big Day Out was all afternoon, so I didn’t have a chance to get any personal practice in. So, I am using it as my yoga day off. I did run in the morning, though. I think this might be a better strategy for me—to take a yoga day off once a week and a cardio day off once a week, but on different days. I think that might help me feel better with my time off. I probably really need the yoga on my cardio day-off to help get my head to a safer place.
I really enjoyed my assisting again today. I wasn’t as nervous today and instead was very excited about the opportunity to learn from Martine as assisting and correcting. Most people love receiving adjustments, so it makes my job easy. I tried to practice the approach I used with people today. As I walked up, I would try to find their breath and breathe with them. I also eased my hands slowly on to their bodies. When I took my hands off, I tried to do it as more of a caress off so that it didn’t feel sudden.
I felt that my assisting was more complete today. But I still felt a little unsure in a few poses. I think the participants felt comfortable with me, and that is my main concern right now.

Sun, 24.01.2010
Time: 40 mins
Title: Upside-down
Today I have been a little crazy. I taught two classes this morning, and I have two more this afternoon. Right now I’m cooking for a diner party tonight, and between it all, I got Billy to hold me upside-down.
I was feeling so psyched, so I did twists, stretches, balances, and some headstands. I then wanted to spend a few minutes doing handstands. I got Billy to help, but I was having trouble kicking up. After several minutes, I got really frustrated. Billy wanted to help me, so he tried kicking up into a handstand to see what I was missing. Of course he got up on the first and second tries, which made me feel worse.
After trying again, I asked Billy to just lift me up so I could spend a couple of minutes in the handstand. He did that for me a few times. I felt so lucky to have him there helping me and encouraging me. I was actually surprised that I didn’t feel frustrated anymore.
I think it was the upside-down perspective; it turned me around.

Mon, 25.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: A case of the Mondays… resolved.
I’m convinced my body is in rebellion today after teaching four classes and the personal practice yesterday. I’m sore and tired. I taught 6am cycling this morning and came home, looking forward to a 20 minute yoga break before getting ready for work.
I felt mentally tired, so I turned to a sequence I hadn’t done before from the YJ—the 15 minute morning practice. Unlike when I did one of the other 15 minute practices, I didn’t alter this one. I didn’t have the energy. I was hoping to cultivate some for my day through my practice, though. I made it through the forward bends and tree and subbed headstand for a handstand. Today I did the headstands in the middle of the room—all alone! I almost didn’t believe I had done them there! I then went through the sun salutes. I was so tired, though, that they were very slow and I used my knees for all of the planks, and I used cobra instead of upward facing dog.
I then took a full five minutes in savasana. As I lay there today, I tried to concentrate on energy. Breath as energy. The blood pumping through my heart as energy. The tingling sensations in my fingers as energy.
When I got up, I felt more tired… was that possible? So I went back to bed for 30 minutes. I felt a little let down that I couldn’t force myself to have energy. But I also felt good for slowing down the practice, resting more in it, and listening to my body. I’ve noticed that over the past couple of weeks, I’ve really paid more attention to how I feel and the sensations in my body.
I’ve been able to keep a lot more balanced view of my body, too. I even feel like I might one day be able to stop keeping a daily running tally of calories consumed in my head. Feeling like that was a realistic goal has never been part of my mindset before.
My mind seems to becoming healthier. I think I’m healing without working at it… which is the opposite of what I normally feel. I often feel that I work so hard at healing… but that I’m not moving anywhere.
As I started writing this today, I felt upset about the morning practice. But , as I finish this, I feel that I have resolved that feeling.

Week 1 Blogs--before the blog existed

Tues, 12.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Yoga, anywhere.
My new year’s resolution/my yoga “goal”/my wish for my inner yogini… is to develop a daily practice. So, I started. My life is crazy-busier-than-usual because of the play. So today I stole 20 mins of my day and hijacked it for some “yoga anywhere.” I practiced in the middle of a busy Fitness First with headphones in to try to block out the bass and the grunting. I’m not used to listening to music while practicing, but I put on the Garden State soundtrack and went inside myself. I found that I was able to tune out everything and everyone. I did a lot of down dogs because I had just been reading about them in Yoga Journal. I focused on really getting the outward rotation in the arms. I felt fearless and alive. The twenty minutes I took there rejuvenated me and made my day bearable. My anxiety about fitting in enough cardio and my lack of productivity due to dress rehearsal tonight disappeared (somewhat). I am thankful for my body and my abilities. Yoga. Anywhere.

Wed, 13.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Exploration
Usually I practice yoga in a class, or I set aside a long block of time and complete my own “class” at home. Today I found that having a 20 minute period gave me more freedom. I thought ‘What do I want to do with my 20 minutes?’ And, knowing that I have 20 minutes every day, I wasn’t worried about making sure to fit in specific aspects of yoga.
So, I used the 20 minutes to go through a few flows. Then, I felt like exploring some shoulder stands and variations. I spent a long time moving my legs, scissoring them, and bringing them into a lotus position.
I felt very free—open to whatever my body wanted to do. The freedom and ability to explore felt amazing. I didn’t feel like I had to get to a certain place in my practice, or that I had to spend a certain amount of time doing a certain thing.
That freedom—the absence of a structured class feeling—was amazing. I felt yogini.

Thurs, 14.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Allowing for Relaxation
I’m a pusher. I like to get the most out of everything. Until I can’t. Today I woke up exhausted. Working, working out, and the play this week has pushed me to my limit. I woke up to go to Martine’s class early, couldn’t function, went back to bed, and ended up sleeping 6 more hours. I needed the rest.
Once I got up, I took it easy with my day. At around 6pm, I found my 20 minutes for yoga. I felt strong, so I went through a warrior series. After those, I felt physically tired, so I relaxed in child’s pose for several breaths.
Since one of my year’s goals is to get to a headstand in the middle of a room, and since I was feeling strong, I decided to spend some time on the headstand today.
After a few not-so-strong attempts, I listened to what my body was really telling me. Even though I felt strong, I was still exhausted. Similar to the need for the child’s pose, I knew I needed to just move into some meditation. My body wouldn’t go into… well, anything else.
I came to a seated meditation. I concentrated on my breath, and the sensations my body was experiencing: the air that moved across my skin, the release I felt as I stopped trying to push.
I then moved to savasana and kept my body/mind open. When the timer beeped, and I moved out of savasana, I felt good. Relaxed. Renewed. And surprised at myself. For allowing my body/my self to do what it needed.
(note from the next day): I felt like I carried a secret smile with me the rest of the night. Like I had done something gluttonous—purely for me/my enjoyment. But it wasn’t anything “bad” … and that made me smile. When I got to the play last night, people commented on how excited/radiant I was. Allowing my body what it needed gave me energy/peace/happiness… an inner smile. Imagine my shock!

Fri, 15.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: Looking for Guidance
I felt “behind” all day today. I didn’t know what I wanted or needed from my practice today, so I decided to go to Yoga Journal and picked their “15 minute midday practice” which was energizing and full of backbends. That “energizing” label appealed to me, and I was grateful to have some pre-made plan for my yoga today.
I added a few standing forward bends and sprinkled some extra down dogs throughout because my hamstrings felt a little tight.
The midday practice was a good choice, and it gave me the opportunity to go into wheel, which I wouldn’t have chosen to do. As part of the pre-made plan, I didn’t mind doing it, though.
Once I finished, I lay on the floor in savasana, feeling my heartbeat and enjoying and being grateful for the energy I could feel radiating through my limbs.
Even though I was enjoying the freedom I found in my yoga the past few days, I liked having a plan today. WHICH, brings me to my mini-revelation: I need different things on different days… and I can get whatever it is that I need through my yoga practice in some way. Having a daily practice has already shown me how much yoga can offer. Even though I knew this on a mental-level before, I didn’t feel it. And, while I also knew having a daily practice was important, I didn’t really know it until now.

Sat, 16.01.2010
Time: 30 mins
Title: Playing at Yoga
Today I assisted as a body-corrector for Martine for the first time. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. I expected that I would feel jealous of the teacher OR the students. But, I really enjoyed my role. It was its own unique role—one that people really appreciated.
So, after I got home, I wanted to play at the poses Martine had taught. So, I spent a half hour exploring several of the things Martine taught in class—most everything was standing or an inversion. My thirty minutes felt energetic and exciting… but probably not quite as tiring as the class was for the participants!
My 30 minutes was playful. And fun. I felt relaxed and childlike as I went through the poses because I had lots of things in my head that just wanted to be explored through my body.
Today I felt happy and relaxed. That was reflected through my practice.

Sun, 17.01.2010
Time: day off
Title: OFF
Martine suggested yesterday that a practice was not complete without a day rest. I didn’t want to listen to her, so we thought I might try to incorporate this idea gradually. However, I ended up needing it today, so I tried it out. I took Sunday off this week, though it won’t be my “usual” day off.
I spent time in the morning reading and relaxing. I had my final play in the early evening and then had dinner with Billy on the way home.
I felt good most of the day until dinner. I felt anxious about eating because I had taken the day off. And then, after dinner, I ate a lot of snack foods. I didn’t feel relaxed or peaceful. I then felt upset that I had taken a day off for rest.
Today, I feel that maybe I wasn’t ready for a full day off. I probably should’ve tried to fit in a bike ride or swim in the morning, but I didn’t have much spare time before prepping things for the play finale.
But, at least the day off is complete for this week. I don’t have to do it again for at least a week!

Mon, 18.01.2010
Time: 20 mins
Title: True Sun Salutes
This is the first time I have done my daily yoga so early in the day (at 7am after teaching a 6am cycling). So, early this morning, I (of course) wanted to begin with sun salutations. I also played with some triangles and revolved triangles. I finished with a few headstands and twists. My practice flew by and before I knew it, I needed to shower for work.
After today’s practice, I felt powerful—mainly because I had held an egg tuck in my headstand without touching the wall at all. I felt confident in some progress today… and that confidence stayed with me as I got dressed and ready for work.
When I exercise in the morning (running or cycling), I always feel good. Mostly because I feel that I’ve accomplished something before I even leave the house. However, I never feel confident because of that. It was nice to feel new feelings arising out of my practice.
This experience made me want to do yoga every morning. However, I’ve also really enjoyed getting different things I need from my practice by doing it later in the day.
So, for now, no rules. Whenever it comes.