Monday, June 25, 2012

Catching up: Kripalu retreat experience

Hey there, I've been kind of busy lately.  I just came back from an amazing four days at Kripalu in the Berkshires for the final graduation ceremony and retreat of my teacher training.  It was heart opening, inspiring, incredible, and too much for me to put into words at the moment.  So I thought I'd post some pictures and thoughts instead of writing out a full post.

Also, I'm teaching at Hosh tonight, which I am very excited about.  I would love if you came!

A view of Kripalu
I took the above picture on the last day right before I left.  I miss it already.

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Inquiry on Inquiries

Can I talk with my hands during a
silent retreat?  Please!?
So I've been thinking a lot about the concept of inquiry.  I've been obsessed with Pantanjali's first yoga sutra "atha yoga nushanam" throughout my training.   This translates to "now the inquiry of yoga" and each part of that sentence has so much to unpack!  I taught both a practice teach and a class at Hosh (second real class ever!) that focused all around the idea of the now.  How can I stay in the present in my practice?  I'll stick a Gide quote in here because I'm pretentious. "Seize from every moment its unique novelty and do not prepare your joys."  

I had taught a practice teach earlier this year centering around the word inquiry, but I have returned to it as of late.  In my class, I had focused the idea of inquiry around the  movement, inviting the students to make each pose an exploration of the posture.  However, I'm beginning to realize more and more than the idea of inquiry can be applied to many aspects of my life...

Friday, June 8, 2012

TV Recap: Breaking Pointe 2

Welcome to week 2 of Breaking Pointe!  Thank you for all the readers who checked out my post from Katie and Allison's retweets.

I have to say now that I know that people actually read this thing, I know I am snarky but I really don't mean it.  I called Allison a psycho in my last recap and I want to make it clear that I don't think reality TV is a reflection of what's real at all!  She definitely got a bit of the crazy villain edit last week, but I'm sure she and everyone else on the show are actually lovely people in real life.

Anyway, it's not really fun to be rational and fair-minded when writing about pop culture, so let the snark begin!

I have to admit that this week's show was a bit of a let down from the fantastic season premiere.  As a reality TV junkie, episodes tend to work best around a theme.  Last week's episode was great because it focused on this idea of competition and hierarchy; this week's episode was kind of centered around romantic and familial relationships, but definitely not focused enough to be interesting. Other viewers must have agreed with me, as the Nielsen ratings dropped from 1m to 700k this week.  I must implore you guys to spread the word about this show!  Even though this current episode wasn't great I'm still hooked.

On this weeks episode, the big questions are: will Ronnie renew his contract (yawn) and what will happen to our lovely crazy young couple in love Ronald and Katie?  Full recap with SPOILERS after the jump.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Teaching Moment

I'm not sure what a pigeon has to do with anything,
 but I took this picture and I like it.
If you follow me on Twitter or in real life, then you'd know that I've passed my certification for yoga teaching!  Anyway, I have been teaching family and friends throughout my training, but had not taught strangers in a class...until yesterday.

My planned debut was actually supposed to be next week, Hosh, a non profit karma yoga studio where I normally practice.  (I will still be teaching next week, probably Wednesday morning, so stay tuned for announcements!).  When I found out I was going to be doing a trial class for Hosh, I decided to stop by Yoganesh where my teacher training had been held, to talk to one of my teachers about it.  Yoganesh is also having a crazy $30 for 30 days of yoga deal right  now*, so I decided to stop in and have class and maybe a chat.

I got there a little early for the 12:15 Lunch Express class and sat talking with with the lovely owner of the studio, Norma.  A few minutes before class starts, I ask where the teacher is.  Norma hastily makes a call and it turns out that the instructor was in Massachusetts!  I tell Norma that she should teach the class instead, and she said, "No, you should teach the class."  So I did!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TV Recap: Breaking Pointe

I know I'm pretty late to the game on this Breaking Pointe thing, but better late than never right?  I was going to write about how reality TV is destroying civilization and such, but the truth is I LOVE REALITY TV.  I was also going to pretend that I'm really picky about which reality shows I watch, like I'm so superior because I only watch Real Housewives of Beverley Hills and not any of the other Housewives series.  But I think too many people know that I've watched Kimora Lee's Life in the Fab Lane to pretend I am classy about my television at all.

 The CW's Breaking Pointe is no RHOBH (an impossibly high standard), but it's not like it's The Surreal Life Fame Games (probably the worst thing I've ever seen on TV).  The easy referent for this show is obviously Black Swan with bitchy ballerinas being cutthroat at each other, but I think Breaking Pointe is more analogous to All About Eve.  Or maybe I just hope that this is true because All About Eve is a much better movie and would make for a better reality TV plot.  More after the jump with SPOILERS.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why I Love Chanting

I suffer from an anxiety disorder.  I take pills for this; I go to doctors for this.    One of the symptoms of my anxiety disorder is ruminative thinking.  My medication helps with this, but I still struggle with this every day.  Just yesterday, I had to deal with a rather unpleasant client at work.  When she slammed her phone down on me, I began to think, "Did I really do enough for her?  Do I suck at my job?  I must suck.  I suck, I suck, I suck."  Even after my colleagues reassured me that I went above and beyond in terms of customer service, I could not stop thinking "I suck, I suck, I suck...."

When I first encountered mantra, I was very ambivalent about it.  I loved it because it sometimes comes with singing, and I love singing!  I also felt calm and at peace while chanting.  It made me happy.  But the feeling that it was a hymn or a prayer was acutely uncomfortable for me.  I was raised Christian and I had consciously turned away from organized religion because of its dogmatic nature.  Yoga teachers will tell you that yoga is not a religion, and it isn't!  But mantra is a part of bhakti yoga (devotional practice).

I spoke to my therapist about this feeling, and he had a lot of wise words for me.