Monday, July 30, 2012

Yoga on the Road

Amelia Island
Some people go on vacation and practice yoga in their hotels with spiffy Manduka travel mats, while their travel companions chow on free breakfast buffets.  Some people go on vacation and serenely meditate on the beach, while frolicking children and dogs join them in the surf for impromptu tree poses.  I am not that person.  On my vacation to Amelia Island last week, I was the person who mostly drank beer, ate fried seafood, slept in and napped on the  beach a lot.  I actually have a Manduka travel mat, but it didn't even occur to me to pack it.  To be fair, I'm horrible at packing and my process basically is throwing all of my clean underwear and semi-clean black dresses from the floor into a duffel bag.

However, I AM the kind of person who researches local yoga studios as soon as I have a travel destination. (Well, I research it second, after reading about where I can get the best food.)  And I am happy I do, because it always gives me a chance to try something new!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Sometimes a class just comes together.  Mirroring left and right just comes naturally.  Everyone laughs at your jokes.  The students audibly breathe.  There is an exchange of energy.  We come together into a sangha (community), while plumbing the depth of individual practice.

I taught two classes and went to one yesterday.  They were AWESOME!

Happy weekend!  Here is a beautiful cool yoga video.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer project...capoeira?

Summer always seems to fly by doesn't it?  I feel like I have a ton of projects that I wanted to do, and I haven't even begun many of them!  

Sadly, I am taking a hiatus from ballet until the fall.  I didn't write about this previously, but I had some meniscus and other knee problems in my left leg.  My left leg gives me trouble in a lot of physical activities; it's one of the reasons why I no longer run.  I've casually asked some dancers and podiatrists for their opinion, and apparently my left leg turns in at the knee and my alignment is all wonky.  The turn out required in ballet creates additional torque, which is what creates the pain.  The pain coincided with my ballet teacher taking a break from teaching for the summer because she just was ordained as a Episcopal priest, and so I decided to take break as well.

Anyway!  This does leave me with time to do other things, although not nearly enough time.  I definitely want to take modern at Mark Morris (I think I will take my first class this Wednesday evening!) and do more circus arts, especially aerial silks.  My grandmother, a tai-chi master, advises that I take that up as well and I found free classes in Bryant Park on Tuesday mornings.  And, speaking of martial arts, I have some vouchers for Budokan classes I have to use.  I also noticed that a capoeira center opened up near my boyfriends apartment and am very curious about it.  Capoeira is a blend of martial arts, dance and music; doesn't it look nifty?  

What are your summer projects?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The greatest thing you'll ever learn...

The more I teach, the more I learn.  And the more I learn, the more I realize I do not know.  And then the doubt sets in.  Do my students hate me?  Am I doing this completely wrong?  What if I am the WORST TEACHER EVER?

As I mentioned before, I am prone to anxiety (you know, having a anxiety disorder and all).  Part of this anxiety is a crippling perfectionist tendency.  When I am objective about my classes, I think they are pretty okay!  But the little slip ups...a mix up between right and left, forgetting to balance both sides equally, even a stumble over a me to obsession over my doubts.  It doesn't matter how many students tell me they enjoyed the class afterwards.  It doesn't matter that I have been a student that has enjoyed less than perfect yoga classes.  It is the one mistake that I will linger on.

One of my fellow classmates once said I was a natural at teaching!  And admittedly, I love performing, I have no fears of public speaking, I am naturally sociable and chatty.  I am always the first to volunteer for audience participation, always the first to break the silence in class discussions.  But this easiness does not belie the demons in my head and does not silence my harshest critic.  

But there is one thing that I am learning...