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