Monday, December 13, 2010

2010, 2011, and just a little bit of Right Now

My Christmas Gift to NYC yogis: A super-amped up schedule! I've already added the Friday noon class at Namaste (namastewilliamsburg.com) to my schedule, and immediately following Christmas, I'll also be teaching the Tuesday 3:00 at Namaste, the Monday 4:15 at Namaste, and the Wednesday 3:00 at Namaste. Two of those are only for two weeks, but the extra class on Tuesday will continue through March, and the new Friday noon class is permanent. Hope to see some new blag-inspired faces in the coming weeks!

Christmas gifts aside, I wish you all the best for any winter-time-holiday you celebrate, or just a warm and safe winter if you don't.

Every year I find myself feeling like I have an overwhelmingly huge amount of things to be thankful for, and this year is no different. I've grown so much as a yogini, and as a yoga teacher this year, it's hard to believe where I was last Christmas.

Of course, to risk a cliche, for me, the greatest measure of how far I've come is how far I realize I still have to go. I've honed my skills, but I'd still like to study more Sanskrit, and get more hands-on teaching about giving adjustments in the classroom.

The other day I found out I can hold down-dog for two minutes before I get tired enough that I can't hold proper alignment. That just about blew my mind. My tight hamstrings, and relatively weak upper body make down-dog one of my most challenging poses. At least, the most challenging one I confront on a daily basis. I remember not being able to take more than three deep breaths without releasing to me knees, and only being able to hold it properly for a few seconds.

That particular moment of joy came to me during a deep-rest class at Jaya Yoga East: the Kensington location of Jaya Yoga Center. I've only recently started practicing regularly there, but so far I've already improved my alignment and learned some new poses. I'm really looking forward to the coming months of study, and not just from taking yoga classes with new teachers at a new studio. I hope to be taking a level one Sanskrit chanting class, and will be auditing a 200-hour teacher training being given at a studio I have a huge level of respect for.

I know 2011 holds a lot of wonderful things for me, and I'm already getting ahead of myself, but I'm trying to let that stuff go for now, and stay in the moment. I'll take twenty minutes to practice meditation before the afternoon gets away from me.

But that's enough about me. What would you like your yoga instructor to be proficient in? What areas of knowledge do you most want your teacher to be fluent in? Sanskrit? Asanas? Philosophy? Anatomy? History? Alignment? Alternately, what areas of knowledge do you most hope to gain from your yoga practice? Is there anything your teacher never gets into that you wish she or he would? Anything she or he rambles on about that just isn't doing a thing for you?

Let me know. I haven't made my New Year's Resolutions yet!

Live Omily,
~em

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Considering What We Gobble

Today is my husband's Birthday, and I love him, so I'm pointing it out. <3

My schedule's been in flux as of late, and I've got a new private client who is someone who lives and practices omily, so as we approach that big holiday that revolves around a gobbling bird, I've got a lot to be thankful for.

And a lot to think about.

I suppose I've been doing not enough writing in relation to the amount of thinking. Well, our nation's food industry is something that makes me think (and scream, cry, want to pull my hair out) quite often. Perhaps, in light of afore mentioned holiday, it's worth talking about a little.

We've all heard it: ahimsa-do no harm, non-violence, proactively benefit those around you...there are a lot of interpretations. Personally I hold with the last one. For a lot of yogis, this pre-supposes vegetarianism, and I think that's perfectly fine. But I eat meat. I had bacon with my breakfast this morning, there's stew beef in my freezer, I love fish, chicken, etc. So what's the deal? My decision is a result of a long, complicated wisdom-seeking journey that commenced with about twenty-six hours of strict vegetarianism when I was fifteen. No, I didn't give in because my parents ordered a meat lover's pizza for dinner, or any such thing. I did a lot of research, and a lot of soul searching, and reached a conclusion that has only been upheld by continued applications of those two techniques: I am morally comfortable with killing animals for the purpose of eating them.

That journey is too long, and too complex to share with you here, but I will point out that the machines that harvest the soy beans that become tofu, etc. kill thousands of small mammals living in the fields, never mind the habitat destruction growing enough grain to feed the world would entail, and the insane amounts of fossil fuel that would be necessary to transport that grain to countries with the wrong climate and biosphere to grow it. Actually, if you're seeking the least number of deaths in order to feed the greatest number of people, grass-fed beef is the answer.

I also buy the vast majority of my meat from the Farmer's Markets, where I talk to the farmers about the condition of the animals they raise, their lifestyle, etc. These people care very much. Most have photo albums of their sheep happily grazing, their chicken walking with dignity into their coop as the sun sets. That's good enough for me. I've got canines in my mouth, and a biological need for amino acids that are most easily provided by animal flesh. I can't stomach feeding myself an artificially complete diet in the name of eventually eradicating the existence of hundreds of species happily living out their lives interacting with humans. If you can't stomach a cow or a pig or a chicken dying so that you might live, but a mouse or a snake or thousands of caterpillars doesn't bother you, then you are living omily by being a vegetarian, and I support you. But please, offer me that same prerogative.

There will be a turkey on my Thanksgiving Table, and when my family bows its head to say grace, I will thank our view of the Creative Force for giving us life, and supplying our needs. I'll also thank that turkey for living it's life, for taking in prana, and then sacrificing its life to give that prana to me and mine. I won't forget; I won't look the other way. But I will eat. If you eat your tofurkey with a level of awareness and understanding of the consequences of that choice, both the positive, and the potentially negative, (like the farmers being sued and driven out of busy by the makers of Round-Up Weed Killer who own the patent on over 90% of soy beans grown in this country, a genetically modified species that is resistent to Round-up, an arguably very dangerous pesticide.) I thank you for caring. It's a tough choice to make, and by making a choice instead of just eating what this country puts in front of you, you are making a difference.

Happy Thanksgiving, no matter what's on your plate. What matters is what's in your heart.

Live Omily,
~em

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting it Right

My husband and I ushered in the month of October with a house-warming party. Since our previous abode had been a roomshare in a somewhat disreputable neighborhood, this marked the first time we had ever entertained on any scale beyond four people total. Aside from planning the guest lists, invitations, and the menu, we also had to get ourselves settled into our new apartment enough that it was presentable. Needless to say, I went from zen yogini to strung tight enough to snap at the slightest provocation housewife within the first week of planning. No matter how much I did, I never seemed to get enough done, and my husband, for all appearances, was hard at work doing as little as possible until the big day came. To make matters worse, as we closed in on the one-week countdown, I decided to not worry about fitting yoga classes into my schedule, since there was so much left to do, till after the party. Naturally, once I quit worrying about fitting them in, any time they would have fit into vanished completely. Even my teaching schedule began to feel like a horrifying imposition as I cleaned, organized, decorated, and made two pots of chicken stock and four pans of mac and cheese.
On Wednesday, no one came to my 2:00 class, and left with a couple hours to fill before my next class, I caught the L into Union Square to pick up some of what I needed for the party menu at the Farmer’s Market. The unstructured nature of the venture took me completely by surprise, and I found myself moseying, yes, moseying, down the rows of vendors, keeping an eye out for bargains on apples and winter squash. My mind didn’t wander, probably because it would have landed smack on the terrifying prospect of only three days left till the party; I just let my senses take in the sights, sounds and smells of all the hustle and bustle. People in a hurry to get through the crowd bumped into me, but I didn’t mind. I found organic hand-made pickles, and let the vendor help me pick out the best variety for my cubano mac and cheese. I found honeycrisp apples, a little bruised, for only $2 for a five pound bag. I debated the merits of various winter squashes with another vendor. I stopped to pick up a flyer on recycling from another booth, and cleared up some confusion about what can go into the blue bin, and what can’t. I made my way a couple blocks down to deposit a pay check that had been lying around my wallet, and then back to the train, ready to get back to the studio. I had been realizing slowly over the last hour that I felt amazing: calm, centered, serene, content, even joyful.
Sure, the honeycrisp I was munching had a little something to do with it, and the farmer’s market is always a place that can lift my spirits, but the thing that had made such a thorough difference so quickly was yoga. This was yoga off the mat at its best. I had spent the last hour of my life in the moment, absorbing everything that moment had for me, being fully present in that moment, and not needing that moment to be anything other than what it was. It was just a little taste of what planning a party, or anything else, could be like, and a very important reminder that the asana practice is only one very narrow type of yoga. Not that skipping class for a week was doing me any favors, but the more I was able to live yoga, the less I would need yoga class.

Live Omily,
~em

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Namaste

It's really important to recognize your desires, and then release them to the universe, trusting that what is best for you is what will happen. It's really important to not get attached to the results you hope to attain by a certain course of action. Just enjoy the ride, and let what will happen, happen. This can be a very helpful mindset when something you really want just doesn't seem to be in the cards, or in spite of your best efforts, aspects of a situation you can't control are keeping you from a given goal.

On the other hand, sometimes this mindset sets you up for an incredible surprise from the universe, when that thing you so desperately wanted, and released into the universe, comes dropping into your lap out of nowhere!

My current teaching schedule:

Tues: Loom (loomstudiosnyc.com) 2:00 open level vinyasa
Namaste (namastewilliamsburg.com) 4:15 intermediate-advanced level vinyasa

Wed: Loom 2:00 open level vinyasa

Thurs: Loom 4:30 open level vinyasa

Fri: Loom 2:00 open level vinyasa

Notice anything different? :-)

Namaste!


Live Omily,
~em

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What I Learned on my Summer Vacation

Although it appears that the month of August is a black hole in my life, the opposite is in fact true. There was a great deal of goings-on with extra circus classes, lots of subbing opportunities, and a lengthy visit with the in-laws, that, when taken all together, had me reeling. I also took a manipura chakra workshop which was a lot of fun, completely fascinating, and very useful.

The manipura chakra is the chakra located along your spine behind your belly. Manipura means "jeweled place" and it's called that because your manipura chakra shines like a jewel. It is your own little sun that is always inside you. It is the seat of your will, so someone able to work hard and get what they want will likely have a well developed manipura chakra, and someone who simply will not take no for an answer regardless of the consequences probably has a somewhat unbalanced manipura chakra. If you spend most of your day clenching your tummy in tight, it would likely help you to relax and be more accepting of the divine will in your life if you take some time to fully soften your belly and maybe even give it a little rub! If you let it all hang out all the time, you'll protect your organs and prevent back pain by pulling your tummy in slightly while standing, walking, and sitting up, as well as boosting your confidence in your abilities to achieve what you dream of.

Just fyi...

Live Omily,
~em

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ohi Yoga

So I'm visiting family and friends in mid-Ohio right now, which affords some amazing opportunities to reconnect with people who have known me since I was teeny-tiny, and to teach yoga to those same people! It's a pretty perfect combination of laid back vacation and still doing what I love to do, and staying sharp at it! I'm making use of all the carpet everyone has to work on my headstand.

Even in such zen surroundings, I'm still dealing with my headspaces. There are things that I'm worried about that I know I need to step back from and let the universe handle in its own time and its own way, and it's such a challenge! One of those things I'm facing all over again from what feels like square one each and every day. Well, I'm not giving up. I know the person I want to be, and I know I'm not there yet.

Man, headstand seems so easy all of a sudden...

Live Omily,
~em

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yoga Teachers

You never know who's going to step onto the mat with you. It's such an honor to have this chance to touch people; to show them something within themselves that they can reach.

It can be scary too. Yogis sometimes can treat you like you're one part doctor, one part counselor, one part mother, and one part best friend. In a way I guess we are those things, but mostly we're not! We're just fellow yogis, helping to lead you down this path you've chosen for yourself.

Honor the teacher within yourself first and foremost. That's the one with the answers you seek.

Live Omily,
~em

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Woohoo!

I'm officially teaching Vinyasa and Power Vinyasa at Loom Studios in Bushwick.

At the corner of Knickerbocker and Flushing: two minutes from the L Train at Morgan, or 10-15 minutes from the J train at Flushing.

Thursday: 6:30 and 8:15

Friday: 2:00 and 8:15

Hope to see some of you guys there!

Thank you Universe...

live Omily,
~em

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Your Job Is Driving You Up the Wall...

I work at a coffee shop in the village. I spend my entire 7-8 hour shift on my feet on uneven ground covered in coffee beans and coffee oils. By the time I get off, my feet are not happy campers, and to add insult to injury, I still have a respectable number of blocks to cover before I get home, and even then usually half a dozen things to do around the house before I can get off of my feet. All too often, my feet are still not happy campers when I wake up the next morning.

That is, until a couple weeks ago...as previously noted, I've been taking a restorative class every Sunday, which has been absolutely fantastic. Almost every week we spend ten to fifteen minutes in a pose quite aptly named "legs up the wall." The most complicated thing about this pose is getting into it: you just lie on the floor with your sit bones against the wall, and your legs extended straight up the wall. This pose puts a gentle stretch in my tight hamstrings, gives my back a chance to realign itself against a straight, solid surface, and most refreshingly, gives my feet the joyous experience of being on top instead of the bottom. All that blood goes rushing back down to parts unvisited, and my feet can just fully relax. After five to ten minutes of this occupation, my feet are all but whistling. All things considered I can't believe it took me as long as it did to make it part of my nightly routine!

Now I do legs up the wall every night just before rolling over and settling down to sleep. Going to sleep with feet that don't ache was the most immediately palpable perk of this practice, but of course, not the only one. As someone who consistently struggles with building and maintaining an at-home yoga practice, having the proper motivation to practice asana absolutely every night without fail (albeit only one asana) has been incredibly eye-opening. It is so grounding to end each day with yoga. Of course, most days I take a studio class, but on the days I work, that's not really an option, so legs up the wall becomes my yoga oasis. It's a beautiful and beautifully simple practice and while I'm practicing patience as far as expanding my nightly yoga routine, I suspect it will evolve to include perhaps at least a couple more poses...

Omily Yours,
~em

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Setting my Intention

Woo, so, among the whirlwind of events that has been my life as of late, I've started doing work study (karma yoga) at a studio in Williamsburg. It's a really nice studio. I'm a fan of the style of the classes, the over all atmosphere of the place, the various and varying workshops that are offered, the hypnotic fragrance of lemongrass and lavender forever in the air, the lovely people I've met there, and the size of the operation (compared to Yoga to the People: very small!). All of these factors have made my work study a three hours a week that I very much look forward to. What I find most relevant to myself as a yogini and teacher, more even than the chance to help maintain a space and interact with students, is the study this has been in that often puzzling and usually frustrating Hindu concept:

You're entitled to your work. You are not entitled to the results of your work.

It would be a lie to say that I wouldn't be thrilled to get a chance to teach at this studio. It would be a lie to say that fond daydreams of that possibility played absolutely no role in my taking part in the work study program, though continuing to practice at this studio without draining additional funds from our budget was the prime motivator, the chance to help out at a place I had a lot of respect for being a close second.

I don't have a problem admitting that, and I don't think it's a problematic thought pattern, but the minute I let teaching at this studio become the goal of my work study, I've just sucked all the joy right out of it. It's possible that eventually I'll get a chance to audition at this studio, since the owner does have a chance to see my dedication to my practice and the space, and my interactions with students, but it's also hugely possible that the owner wants to stick with graduates from this studio's teacher trainer program, or teachers with more experience, or people with prenatal yoga training, or any number of things. If work study is only a means to an end, the odds are pretty good I'll wind up feeling disappointed, bitter, even used.

Whose fault would that be? There was nothing in the work study ad about any possibility for the position to lead to a job opportunity. I would have made a huge assumption, and I would pay the price for it.

I'm entitled to my three hours a week. I'm entitled to enjoying the fragrance while I mix up the mat spray. I'm entitled to sit outside for a bit and pet the resident cats if there's nothing at the moment that needs done. I'm entitled to meet new people who may become friends, business connections, both, or neither. I'm entitled to the soothing and zen-like occupation of sweeping the studio floor. That's good enough for me.

Live Omily,
~em

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Restoring Order

For several weeks running, I would go to my 4:00 circus class of earlier blog post fame, then go to a 7:00 Vinyasa yoga class near Union Square. The timing was nice, since I could walk to the L from Circus class, but that yoga class absolutely took everything out of me there was! I sort of liked it...but then I would go home at night and find myself unable to even make dinner for myself. It was just too physically draining to keep up. Then, a friend of mine told me about a yoga studio that just happened to be walking distance from my circus class that just happened to have a 4:00 hour and a half Restorative class, and my circus instructor changed my circus class from 4-6 to 6-8. Now I take the train to my restorative class, and walk to my circus class feeling relaxed, centered, and aligned. In the last few weeks, I've improved my trapeze work by leaps and bounds! I'm still sore Monday morning, but I can get myself out of bed without wincing.

I like it this way better.

Lesson 1: Pushing yourself to find out what you're capable of is a good thing, but when you find out that maybe you're not so capable of going as far as you're pushing yourself, it's good to back off a little.

Lesson 2: The Universe will provide you with everything you need as long as you open yourself up to its own mysterious workings.

Ever try a restorative class? Especially if you're a power Vinyasa devotee, I challenge you to give it a shot.

Live Omily,
~em

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Week's Motivation

A few weeks ago, my friend Mona and I had a conversation about the violence that can be done with words. More specifically, how easy it is to say something to someone that will take that person a lot of yoga to deal with. We all have these neat ideas about who we are and how we think and behave, and though we don't often think about it, we do often assume that the way we think we are is the way we come across to other people.

It's really easy to say something to someone, based on how we perceive them, that is completely out of line with how that person thought they were. That is a hell of messy moment. Trying to integrate this opinion, trying to decipher the legitimacy of this opinion, even assuming that every opinion is formed almost entirely because of personal stuff going on with the opinion holder and not with the thing the opinion is of, can take a lot of effort. Integrating the parts of it that may be true, setting in motion the journey of change if the parts that are true don't jive with who you want to be, that's a lot of yoga. That's a whole hell of a lot of yoga, and much more challenging than the most intense power vinyasa.

I bring it up, because the most perfect example of this situation happened to me not one hour ago. The simplest comment, not meant in the least to shake to my very foundations my views of myself as a yoga teacher...did just that, at least for a moment. Well, all the better.

I'll be doing a lot of yoga this week.

Live Omily,
~em

Monday, April 26, 2010

Press Play

So I take circus classes. At the moment, it's a playdate I have with myself every week. Just a chance to do something that is just for fun. No one's making me be there. It's not "good for me." It's not necessary to maintaining quality of life, like chores. It's play. I don't know how thorough an explanation that is, but it's the most honest one. I'm having so much fun with it, and I'm picking it up pretty easily, so it may morph into a sideline of sorts eventually, but once it does that, it stops being play, so I'm not in a huge hurry for that to happen.

I bring it up because, in a lot of ways, it's very un-yoga. When you've got your feet wrapped in the silks, you need to hold yourself up until you unwrap your feet or you will fall. You can listen to your body, sure, but your body can't be the one calling the shots. Your arms may want to relax, but they just have to wait. With the exception of cloud swing, a lot of aerial dance isn't terribly intuitive. You just have to listen to the technique explained, and watch it being practiced, and then do it until it makes sense and becomes intuitive in your body. You really can't just "move in a way that feels good." Your body doesn't really feel all that good when you haul it high above the ground and make extensive use of every major muscle group.

In spite of these very serious differences, I love circus. I'm just wondering why. It certainly provides balance. I do enjoy putting my body through its paces; making use of its incredible capabilities. But, I think also, in some ways, yoga isn't play. Yoga is my job, and of course, it's also a life style. Circus is something I can pick up when it is of use to me, and then put down again when it's not. It requires a lot of discipline while I'm doing it, but the next day when my pecs are sore enough to make spreading my arms out in Warrior II more or less unbearable, I don't have to get back on the trapeze. I do have to do Warrior II.

I hugely endorse yoga as play, which makes me think I need to rethink my mindset on my yoga practice a little bit. Surely yoga can be both work and play...I think this is the point, four paragraphs later, that I was working my way up to: Yoga should be play. Yoga can be incredibly effective as an exercise routine because yoga is always playful, and always about listening to your body, and feeling good.

On the other hand, a lot of those asanas on the mat don't feel so very good at first, let along intuitive. Maybe circus is just discovering yoga, in a bit more of a kick-ass form, all over again. It's a lot of food for thought for me. But then, it's a rainy April day. What else are we going to do? I've got a suggestion for you. Take ten minutes, and then more if you're having a good time. Roll out your mat, or pick a hunk of floor, and play. I dare you.

Live Omily,
~em

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yogi Math

After nine and a half months of being thrilled to be getting by, the prevailing season seems to be cautiously optimistic! My husband is at a very promising interview right now, I'm having an amazing time gaining experience and insight through the community classes I'm offering at my church, and there's a job in the works for me, too!

Spring is always a great time to step out of that nose-to-the-grindstone bubble and thank the Universe for sunshine, sound sleep, chocolate-covered cherries, or whatever it is that does it for you. It's pretty cool that there is so much on the horizon besides those simple joys to focus on. Of course, I'm totally guilty of getting bogged down in the day-to-day. There is so much I need to get done today, and it's already 2:30! It's exhausting. Staying positive is a choice, and sometimes it's really hard work. Times like this it helps to keep my yoga off the mat philosophy in mind: integration, baby!

Wishing things were different (assuming you can't take steps to make them different) inevitably leads to unhappiness because things aren't different. If you can give your full attention to the present, not everything else on your to-do list, and definitely not on the work week ahead, you'll often find that there's actually nothing to be bent out of shape about. There's only a problem once you decide there's a problem. So is there really something worthy of being a problem at this exact moment? I'm typing up my blog at the library. Nothing in that sentence presents itself as a problem. Problem solved.

Just a yoga thought on a pretty April Day...

Live Omily,
~em

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

St. John's Is Down, Dog!

So, on Monday, I taught a yoga class to the youth group at my church: a group of roughly fifteen teeh-agers! Oh my, what an experience that was...I hadn't worked with that age group much before, and had no idea what I was getting myself into before I got there: would anyone be properly attired? Would there be three confused kids, or a big rowdy group? Would they actually be interested in anything I had to share with them? I was nervous enough to feel like I was going back to high school, instead of just going to work with high schoolers.

But once we got started, I had the best time! They were a great group of kids. There was definitely plenty of commenting and snickering, but after about twenty minutes, a funny thing happened...when some of the kids would start to talk, some of the other kids would go, "SHHHHHHH!!!!" Now that was gratifying. I had set up the flow to take roughly forty-five minutes. In my living room I flew through it in twenty, but teaching it to my husband took fourty-five minutes on the dot. I figured that would leave time to explain each posture, with a brief discussion at the beginning or end.

We got started probably around 6:30, maybe a little before, and wrapped up at 8. It was really amazing helping these kids to look at and feel their bodies moving through space with awareness for the first time. What a privilege! It was definitely a little more challenging for all of us than I thought it would be. It sucked me right back to the early days of my practice, when my downward dog was Old Yeller: in desparate need to be put out of its misery. It's still like that sometimes, but now there are also those moments when it's just a woman's best friend.

I did give a brief explanation before we began, and we had a great discussion afterward too. I really feel like I gave them something; planted a seed. It was so beautifully affirming of my choice to do this for a living.

Best part: Their first question was, "Can you come back next week??"

I was walking on air all the way home.

Shout-out to Emily who took a card and may actually be reading this! If you are, I'm super excited about next week's flow. Get ready to work it, Baby!

Live Omily,
~em

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Variations on Awesome Yoga

Yoga can be a very serious business. You know, going inward through the koshas, exploring your edge, not anticipating, aligning your chakras, clearing your mind...it can get a little heavy, right?

I can't say for sure about achieving those ends. They seem to come and go in the most slippery of ways, but the classes that I've been the most fully present for, which is definitely a huge goal of my yoga, are the ones in which I'm having the most fun.

The classes with the most seemingly incongruous music for example, are always the classes that have me laughing through another set of utkatasana (did I just misspell chair pose? Google doesn't even know!) instead of gritting my teeth through one more breath. A great piece of dialog I've heard, and make great use of is, "Don't listen for the word release! Listen for your breath!" That's one way of staying present and in the moment, and believe me, it works, but just having a hell of a time is another way, and I think it works even better.

I was in an advanced class last night, and about 1/3 of the class was poses or variations on poses I had never even seen before. It could have been a really frustrating hour and a half, but we were focusing on shedding what we didn't need in honor of Spring, and an ego trip about being able to do everything right because I'm a yoga instructor is something I've never needed. You've got to be able to play a little bit, right? I just put myself out there, and sometimes I fell, and sometimes I amazed myself. I haven't involuntarily smiled during chaturanga (that's that glorious trip from plank pose, lowering half-way down, and pulling the heart forward into full upward-facing dog, and then pressing back to down-dog) in a long, long time.

The lesson for the yogi, and the five-year-old, in all of us is, good yoga doesn't have to be hard work, and fun doesn't have to be pointless.

Happy Spring. Live it Omily!
~em

Friday, March 19, 2010

Life Is a Mystery...

Tired, hungry, happy.

Not an unusual post-yoga combination! And when it's yoga with one of my favourite teachers, and all-Madonna music, not a big surprise at all!

The front of my shins are terribly sore from walking way too much (if that's possible) on St. Patrick's Day, so I was very relieved to find that down-dog does not tax that muscle. I won't have a chance to make a studio class tomorrow or Sunday most likely, which means I'm back to yoga podcasts. I have a really hard time motivating myself to practice yoga alone sometimes, and self-guided practices always seem to fall right back on the sequence I learned (was pounded into me) at Teacher Training.

Is this a common problem?

Omily yours,
~em

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Arms Are Sore.

I'd like to start by saying, I don't live Omily so much as I try my freaking best, and part of the attempt is, I think, helping others do the same.

I teach yoga in the New York City area, and do a lot of other things, too. There is so much to try, to learn about, it's overwhelming. Especially when I consider the fact that most of these things cost money instead of earning me money, which means that if I want to continue to do all these wonderful things, I have to also dedicate a significant portion of those 24 hours a day, seven days a week to something that brings in a paycheck. Damn. Is that what they call the real world?

Well, I'm doing my freaking best.

Graduating teacher training was rough. There was a little bit of post-partum depression, so to speak. I was suddenly flung out of the nest with little support, and only a vague idea of how to begin. I was well-trained though. I know what I can do. I'm a great yoga instructor, and I have something significant to offer. I'm avoiding discouragement by believing in that, instead of the cold fact that people do less hiring during a recession, and the field I've gone into is often considered a luxury.

Did I mention I love yoga, and don't feel it's a luxury? Love it. What it has done and continues to do for me would take a much longer post than anyone wants to read starting out. Sore as I am from circus class (the latest thing I'm obsessed with spending my time on) I'll be sure to do a gentle stretching practice tonight. Yoga's like my marriage. Even though I know just how good for me it is, it's something I have to reaffirm, re-choose, every single day. My favorite part about the yoga is, when I make up some lame excuse and skip it, refraining from feeling guilty about it is doing the most significant portion of my yoga after all.

omily yours,
~em