29 August 2010

My favorite yoga class is like an old friend

I haven't managed to get to my Therapeutics class for a few weeks - last weekend we were down in OC to visit my father in law, and the week before was the introduction to the teacher training.

So today I'm looking forward to being back into my regular routine, for one week at least. Once the teacher training begins, I will only be able to attend Therapeutics class every other weekend - I don't have the stamina to do an additional 1.5 hours of yoga on top of the 5 hour training.

And I'll digress to a bit off topic here... My body is sore from all the belly dancing - I spent a large part of the day on Friday practicing at home, then it getting ready (makeup, makeup, and more makeup - oh and a costume too). Then we were off to the fair to perform...  It was a lot of fun and once I was on stage, it went so quickly!  I wished I had been able to dance in a few of the other numbers, but as such a neophyte to belly dancing, one was enough this time.

My belly dance teacher said in class that she does yoga to support her belly dancing...  I guess I'm the opposite - my belly dancing will support my yoga. I had a hard time earlier in the week when I watched myself in the mirror at the last class. I am not happy with my body right now - I've put on weight since having my son and have had to buy larger clothing. I considered not performing... but decided to just put that uncomfortable feeling aside because I was pretty certain I would regret NOT performing more than I would actually performing. So I bought myself some new eyeshadow and costume jewelry to distract me from my lack of confidence, and I managed to get up on that stage and have a good time despite not having a "perfect" body.

I need to work on accepting my body for what it is, as it is, and just move forward with my dancing and yoga and work to clean up my diet.  The body issues will resolve themselves if I focus on these things - I know that, but sometimes it is a challenge to ignore the mirror and the mental ideal I wish I could be. I hope that through my teacher training I will learn more about acceptance and how to bring it into my heart and mind. I am going to get a copy of Ram Dass' Remember Be Here Now to read along with my textbooks for the training... It's something I have struggled with for a long while - not just in relation to body issues, but other issues as well.  I am looking forward to the growth possible on this path, and hope I will become a better me for the changes I work into my life.


23 August 2010


Oh Friday I received an email that began with:

Hello Yogi,

I am excited to let you know that you have been accepted into the September 17 – March 20, 2010 YogaWorks Teacher Training led by Dani Ibarra. Congratulations!!!

So. In roughly 25 days, the journey really begins. I'm doing my best to ensure I am adequately prepared, though I'm not even sure at this point what else might better prepare me. I'm rereading one of our textbooks that I started years ago (Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar). I need to purchase my other textbooks this weekend so I can review them a bit before training starts.

Oh, and there's homework already, a three part writing assignment:
  1. What is Yoga?
  2. List injuries or medical issues
  3. What do you want to get out of this course?

I need to get started on the writing assignment soon, but I have to admit my focus is a bit off of yoga this week. Someone talked me into taking belly dance classes a few months ago, and then further talked me into dancing at the AV Fair with the class.  So, this week is belly dance week at our house.  Tonight there was a full show run through. Tomorrow I'm getting my pre-performance pedicure. Wednesday is our last night of class before the Fair. Thursday, well, ok Thursday isn't belly dance related, but I'm booked (preschool orientation!). And then Friday, we perform.  I must be insane to be doing this. I'll look fabulous at least - Trish loaned me gorgeous harem pants and a skirt and Coli loaned me a fringe scarf and all sorts of shiny things. And Mindy told me about some kind of makeup for the tummy that will help me be not so glow in the dark white. Now all I need to do is PRACTICE so I stop messing up the transition into doubles. Ugh, that spot gives me the most trouble!

We're performing this Friday night at the AV Fair. The show begins at 7:30 on the community stage. Be there and see the best belly dancers in the AV! (Um... no ego, I'm not really including myself in that statement. But some of the other ladies are really fantastic!!!)

14 August 2010

The Journey Begins

Today was my yoga teacher training information session at YogaWorks. It was a two-hour meeting - the first hour of which was asana, basically an Yoga Works Level 1 class.  We did Surya Namascar, which I haven't done regularly for quite some time - I just don't have the upper body strength or wrist stamina to spend that much time on my hands.  So it was very challenging.  And even more challenging - we did handstand (well, I didn't, but the class did).  I did a half-handstand with my feet on the wall (which everyone did a few times before progressing into a full handstand). And wow, is my upper body weak.

Generally, I focus on hip openers and abdominal strengthening since I do yoga to reduce/prevent my back problems. And I could really tell that's where I put my focus since I was so physically challenged in today's practice. On the one hand, I was familiar with everything we did, having done it all before (ok, except handstand, which I haven't done because of strength, not unfamiliarity) - so that was great. But on the other hand, I found myself frustrated at the weakness of my upper body.

However, I felt great after the practice - I made it through everything without having to make many modifications.  Not that there's anything wrong with modifying, especially in the type of yoga I want to teach (therapeutics/restorative). But it's reassuring to know that when I challenge my body within reason, I can do what I want to do.

After the asana practice, the teacher trainer (Dani, who teaches the class I normally attend on Sundays) and the training administrator talked about the training and its benefits, then we had a Q&A session. Dani signed my application after the class, so all I need to do is complete and submit my application. I can't believe this is actually starting. It's both awesome and scary.

On my drive home an idea popped into my head. When I was a kid and went on Wider Opportunities with Girl Scouts, I sent letters to different community organizations requesting donations to support my Wider Op. (Wider Ops - they have a new name now - were themed Girl Scout "camps" for older girls that usually lasted for 2 weeks and were all around the country, so - not cheap.)  After my trip, I went to the organization and gave a presentation on the trip - my experience, what I'd learned, etc.

Like those trips, yoga teacher training isn't cheap... $3250 if I pay by the early registration deadline of
26 August. My idea is to write to similar organizations - maybe businesses too - to ask for sponsorship for my yoga teacher training in exchange for a free class (or multiple classes) for their group after I complete my training. I am also considering tossing out the idea of personal sponsorship too - i.e., perhaps some friends would be interested in a private lesson for a donation. I need to develop a schedule of XX donation = XX classes. I have no idea how it might go over, but I'm thinking even if I could raise a small amount of "scholarship" money this way, I'd get three benefits. First obviously - financing. Second, I would have a few places lined up after my training to get experience.  Third, I would make contacts in the community which could lead to people interested in private classes.

I just need to work on a letter... Obviously it needs to give the benefits to their organization, which is easy enough to do - the health benefits of physical activity in general plus yoga in particular are fairly well known and so I shouldn't need to be too detailed.  I'd ideally want to keep the letter down to one page - brevity is the soul of interest...