i am green

April 12, 2007

it’s been so friggin’ long i forgot how to log onto this thing!
the tide changed and i found myself with very little time for posting – i’ll blame it on the holidays and working alot even though those reasons don’t tell the half of it!….
3 very good things- my love successfully QUIT SMOKING! and i managed to dump the adulterous yoga man off my schedule without hurting anyone in the process! AND, in his place i’ve found a new yoga student/friend/partner-in-crime who is challenging me to move into parts of myself and my teaching i’ve been hiding from for too long!
quite frankly, i’m scared to death and having growing pains that feel like “spiritual anxiety attacks” at times but as my fortune cookie mantra says:

good to know. it’s all “practice” to some extent or another!

life is so good that even the psychic (eek!) that i went to see with a friend couldn’t stop telling me how good i’ve got it!…ESPECIALLY in the love department. i couldn’t be happier and she could clearly “see” that too.
teaching has been steady but in 2007 i’ve managed to rearrange my schedule so that i have alot more free time to take the pup to the park and get some sunshine on my face which makes my soul light.
recently too, i’ve been digging deeper spiritually. had to come face to face with some “issues” involving an invitation to easter mass from the boyfriend’s mom. she and i have never had “the talk” about my religious choices/beliefs but she’s strict catholic and at some point it’s going to have to be addressed directly. i thought this was it – but it seems it was not. which is good!
it’s given me a wake-up call to really search within myself for what fulfills me and how i define my beliefs (which is something i hesitate/have hesitated to do for quite some time) and look at how i will deal with this issue in the future.
i’m excited about it actually. a new fire lit under my ass to keep the search on!

in other, more mundane, news: i’ve been sewing up a STORM! i got a machine for christmas and have been obsessed ever since. it was something i always knew i’d be good at and enjoy if i ever just got around to dedicating myself to learning – and i was right! something about the way my mind and creativity work allows me to catch-on to it with ease and that makes me happy! reminds me of going to sleep as a child with the comforting sound of my mom sewing in the other room. that gentle vruuuuur and the hummmmm of the vaccum cleaner are very nastolgic sounds for me!

okay – here’s to posting a bit more and growing everyday!


starting over – HOORAY!

October 8, 2006

so my new yoga client and i were talking about ways for me to introduce her to what i call “the finer side” of yoga. and we decided to start with the yamas. we’re gonna take one a week and be mindful of practicing it for the week and talk on our friday lesson about what we’ve discovered. i try to be mindful of the yamas and niyamas all the time but actually having weekly discussions and teaching her about them to is like starting over and learning them all over again. and it’s so awesome to freshen up and renew that passion for my non-physical practice. and in re-reading judith lasater’s “living yoga: translating patanjali’s yoga sutras into everyday life” in “the joy of yoga” i got a nice little kick in the ass when i came across this in reading about ahimsa (our focus this week):

“to practice ahimsa is to be constantly vigilant, to observe ourselves in interaction with others, our thoughts about those interactions and the intention behind our words. try practicing ahimsa by observing your thoughts when a smoker sits next to you. your thoughts may be just as damaging to you as his cigarette is to him.”

wow. point taken.

(i am really proud of my bf. he’s been holding strong and using the gum to keep him from smoking. he even made it through an entire night of our friends’ wedding (which by the way was great! the venue was having 2 events that night but it was well arranged and all was well) -plenty of drink and plenty of temptation- without smoking a single cigarette! still walking the line between being supportive and not nagging or judging. but i know we can do this!)

saving the day

October 5, 2006

tonight i was watching tv – well, ok, i was hanging up clothes and the tv was on so i could hear the weather forecast and fight off that creepy feeling i get when the bf is at work & i’m home alone at night – anyway, i hear this ad for the local symphony’s concert this friday night and the “after-party” they are having AT THE SAME VENUE ON THE SAME NIGHT AT THE SAME TIME that my friends are having their wedding!!!
so of course, i call my friends – the male 1/2 answers and in his totally un-alarmist nature says “oh yeah, my mom called and mentioned something about that today”. so in my calmest voice i suggest, strongly suggest, he check into that ASAP. but i get off the phone with him and am still not satisfied i’ve sufficiently saved the day so i get online and check it out. and there too the website indicates that the venue is double booked for friday night. AAACCCKK! so i send out an email to the symphony folks to bring it to their attention just in case my guy friend really IS dense enough to go “oh, i bet the ad’s just wrong”.
and i realize i’ve done more than my share.
and i should leave well enough alone – but it’s eating me up inside because i want to KNOW! and i want to make it right if it’s wrong! i want to save the day!
but i must surrender and let the chips fall from here – crossing fingers it’s not as much of a (excuse my potty mouth) clusterfuck as it appears!

on another note – i had a super strong practice today. felt good (except i had to be cautious about my low back a bit) and did lots of cool inversions i hadn’t gotten around to in a while! nothing beats standing on the ceiling 🙂

October 4, 2006

ah, so i finally have time to blog and my mind is blank.
guess i’ll start with the fact that things seem to be better with the bf – he’s back to trying to quit smoking and doing quite well. we’ve had some pretty serious conversations about “us” lately – marriage, babies, “the future” and the fact that if any of those things are gonna happen i need his catholic mother to know ahead of time that i’m not down with the catholic faith and those imaginary babies won’t be either. all of that is brought on by the christening we attended for the bf’s nephew this weekend. it just got under my skin to sit there and hear that priest hold that precious, beautiful child and say over and over again how he was “unclean with original sin”. i’m sorry but i think that baby (all babies) are perfect – no sin – clean slate. hell, i do my yoga practice just to be like that sweet being!
the conversation about babies was good because he knows i want them someday but he has apparently been freaking out that i want them much sooner than he would be ready for. and yes, it’s hard when my friends are getting married and having babies (or at least planning for it) and i feel that anxious little thing creep up in my belly. i kind of wish it didn’t because i’m not ready yet either. so, i’m thinking of it more as an awakening… a “head’s up” so i can at least think about it… and we can talk about it. and maybe in a few years i’ll be ready and he won’t be so freaked out.
my guy friend claims that no man think’s he’s ever really ready and that they think of it as the ultimate gift they give to the woman they love…. until they are a part of the miracle of birth and then it all comes home when they see the face of their own child. i don’t know if that’s true but it was interesting to consider.

teaching is going well. got a new client amazingly enough! she inquired about lessons via email and i wrote back saying my schedule was super full but i could offer her these two days at these two times (thinking the chances were slim she’d be available for them) and she said “great, i’ll take them!” so i’ve added her on twice a week. very nice woman – very high powered – and extremely rich (like the kind that allows her to have an outwardly beautiful and immaculate life and makes me a little nervous if i have a hair out of place). haven’t quite felt her out just yet… we’re still getting aquainted but i think she’s a good person and means well. she confuses me though because one of the things she stressed in our first lesson was how she really needed to get away from the physical (she has a personal trainer for that) and delve into the more meditative and spiritual side yet she’s said several times since then that i can “push her more” and she seems to be really attracted to the fancier postures… hum?….. one good thing is that she is really eager for me to help her learn the sanskrit names and so i’m having to freshen up on those!

September 27, 2006

my horoscope yesterday said that what i think is a bad situation may be an illusion and may indeed lead to a change i’ve been looking for. crossing my fingers this means the bf is ready to take the step to quit for good this time. we’ll see…
i’ve told him that i want to support his quitting in any way i can and that i know it’s hard and that everyone has “slip-ups” but that by the new year it will have been a year of trying and by the end of january i’ll need to really evaluate if i need to look for a new place to live when our lease is up in march.
yogamum, sometimes “harsh” is really just “true” and i appreciate your honesty.
see, i may be kidding myself here, but i think of it more as being honest than setting forth an ultimatum. (when i ended my previous six-year relationship he said he didn’t see it coming even though i said i was unhappy all the time – thus, i’ve learned to be straight-forward and honest no matter the cost). better to let someone know where you stand and let them make their decisions knowing the consequences.
so there it is.
cross your fingers for me – i love this man and i don’t want something so stupid take him away from me but i’m a smart enough cookie to know i have to love myself even more and if it comes to it i’ll have to make that hard decision for my own good.

betraying myself here…

September 26, 2006

i normally don’t like to spill my guts online to strangers but really, what’s a girl to do when she’s got a problem and her girlfriends are biased? so here goes….
my boyfriend is amazing – he’s kind and he’s funny – he loves me. my friends love him. he brings a light to my life each day. if given the choice to be right or to be kind, he will choose to be kind each and every time. he is four years younger than i am…. and he smokes.
i am a yoga instructor and a vegan and a non-smoker. i try to honor myself and others in all of my actions – i wake up each day and try to extend my compassion just as much to my stumbling, sometimes doubting, akward self as i do to each person i meet. i believe in sacrifice – i don’t think we should give into every inpulse and succumb to each desire. i believe in discipline and righteousness.
i had a six year relationship that i ended (as much as anyone ever ends a relationship) about two and a half years ago and as much as i’d like to pretend it didn’t – it has affected my willingness to extend myself past a certain point. i am in my late 20’s and very sure of what i would like to see happen in my life… whether it will or not i don’t know. in a total surprise to myself and my family, i have a new(ish) and burning desire to get married and start a family.
i’ve told my boyfriend i won’t accept a marriage proposal until he quits. and i mean it.
he’s told me he wants to marry me – but he’s not ready yet. (reasonable). he keeps trying to quit. and he keeps smoking. and he’s lied to me about it. and tonight i found out from a friend that he works with that he’s smoking at work – a fact he’s neglected to mention to me. we’ve been on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy so that i could find a way out of hounding him about it and quit playing “mommy” – but now that i’ve found out he’s smoking i am FURIOUS. it feels like a direct hit to the heart punctuated by a big fat “i don’t care enought about you to give this up” to the face.
we talk about it and he tells me over and over he is trying. he tells me time & again how hard it is and how his effort should count for something.
it sucks and it hurts.
and i’m left trying to decide where his decision leaves me.
how long do i wait? how much patience do i have? i know quitting is hard and he’s making the effort but do i wait another year? another two years? the longer i stay the harder it will be to leave… if that’s indeed what it comes down to.
i don’t want it to.
but my wants don’t have anything to do with reality. i won’t continue to share my life with a smoker. simply will not.
so what am i to do? being mad isn’t fair. holding it over his head isn’t fair. i have a decision to make – because it seems like he keeps making his decision. the cigarettes are winning. i am losing.


September 11, 2006

on a day when the rest of the world is being reflective and solemn, i find myself in the clouds. consumed with thoughts of yoga-super-stars and plagued with questions about my own future. today seems like one of those days where i can’t quite keep my head on straight – it just keeps spinning… and i don’t mind so much cause being dizzy is kind of fun. i spent the morning imagining being famous in the yoga world and what that really means.
see, i had a student in my class this morning that’s moved here from the malibu area and has crammed herself into those 200 people yoga-super-star classes – mine was full at eight people! while i’ve done quite a few workshops with the “big dogs”, she’s been a part of that hype, that celebrity, and seen what it does to a group of people. how it’s affected the class dynamic. how it may have affected the quality of teaching. the attention. the love. we talked about how they charge up to $150/hour for a private lesson…. and how she says i’m just as good as they are (a compliment i both want to believe and find quite simply IMPOSSIBLE to believe – but say a hearty “thank you!” to at any rate) but yet i don’t have health insurance and do the hustle everyday driving ALL OVER god’s green earth to make my ends meet… and think i’m rollin’ in it because i have enough to go out to eat or to the movies and not stress that i can’t pay the bills – that’s high livin’ i say!
so i daydreamed… and worried. how long can i do this hustle? how could i ever support a family? how can i continue to live my dream AND have the security blanket i so need and long for? it’s hard! and i don’t have the answers…..

and then, on a totally frivolous note: i am deeply considering “blinging out” my cell phone for the hell of it! i’ve always thought it would be hilarious and i KNOW i can do it myself (i pride myself on my DIY craftiness) instead of paying someone $400 to do it – http://www.nycpeach.com. and i think it would bring me some silly joy to spend hours hand gluing rhinestones to my cell phone… and even more joy each time i pull that shiny, obnoxious thing out of my purse and put it up to my ear – i think i’d smile alot!

and the beat goes on…

September 10, 2006

it’s been so long since i last posted! to tell the truth, i have been both distracted and disabled. the distraction… life. the disability…. life.
to make a long, long story short:
two weeks ago i pulled my back out and set a vertebra in my spine slightly askew. sounds fun? no. it was painful and dibilitating… but profound.
see, last year i broke both of my ankles in a rock climbing fall and i never really slowed down to heal. my mother kidnapped me for 2 weeks and took me to her house in florida to heal but truth-be-told it didn’t do any good. i should’ve known better – hell, i did know better – but i just kept truckin’ like nothing happened. i drove a car with a cast on my right foot and my left one severely sprained. i hobbled around on my crutches and taught a full schedule (sometimes i even demonstrated postures!). and the whole time i thought i was being “strong”. i was being STUBBORN. and more important, i was putting others ahead of myself. i felt the pressure of my students “missing me” and “needing their yoga” and i felt scared to sit still that long – scared they’d move on somehow.
and so this time, after putting others before my own health and well-being as a general routine and putting a student’s body ahead of my own, the lesson was offered up to me once again.
and so i lay. flat on my back on my hardwood floor. crying and moaning and wishing it would all just go away. and i began to meditate……
in the quiet of my empty house and in the dark of my dining room, i closed my eyes and listened. and after i while i began to figure it all out – the fear and the pain were something more than muscles and something more than spine. i was afraid that if i didn’t live up to everyone’s expectations (as a teacher, as a girlfriend, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, as a wiser, smarter, more YOGIC being) then i would let them down. it never occurred to me that my students actually really did miss me – that they really did look up to me and that if i was going to serve them (and everyone else) in the way i seek to serve others always, i had to be better to myself. i had to value my own body and my own time just like i encouraged them to do.
and it’s all so simple and it’s all so damn blatant and obvious and sickeningly EASY – but it’s the hardest thing in the world to practice sometimes!
and then i listened a little more… and i meditated alot more…. and i realized that part of my now valuing myself properly was not speaking up and giving a voice to some of my deepest needs. *** this became gloriously clear when i went to the chiropractor and had x-rays done and the one vertebra that was out was only visible in the x-ray taken with my mouth WIDE OPEN!!! read anatomy of the spirit by caroline myss immediately if you have not already ***
so after many more hours meditating, and many hours of self-induced therapy, i managed to heal myself and am mobile once again. a huge feat considering when my love came home wednesday night i told him that if i couldn’t walk the next day then i’d just have to wait another and was totally prepared to do that – walking wasn’t the goal – healing was/is.
and so i am practicing a whole new yoga. and it is difficult and wonderful.

all day today i’ve had that enlightened, euphoric feeling. the deepest appreciation for this life. and it’s been awesome.
i am reading a great book after the ecstacy, the laundry by jack kornfield – i haven’t read very much just yet but it is so inspiring and reassuring.

i especially love this quote from suzuki roshi:
strictly speaking, there are no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity

be well.

the ins and outs

August 4, 2006

oh my lord i got a heavy dose of TMI (too much information) when teaching “queen B” this week. when i asked how she had been since we did not have a lesson last week she told me ALL the ins and outs of her recent stomach illness. a line was definately crossed….. wow. but i handled it like a pro – i take pride in knowing my students can tell me whatever is happening with their lives or their bodies because they know that i am “safe” to talk to.
subsequently, i get lots of TMI about people’s marriages, kids, dreams (oh “queen B” loves to tell me about her dreams where she is married to someone other than her husband!), disappointments and health. in fact, one female client called me last friday night to get some advice on dealing with her husband’s ill behaviour. and i’m not a therapist but i am a friend, so i give vague advice and try to keep her calm. get her back on track.
and in more craziness, i actually resorted to just doing a little thai yoga massage on her this morning while she chatted on her cell phone! her life is so very crazy with the move this week that i figured if i could just help her release some of her body tension i’d be doing my job.

an ah-ha! moment

July 29, 2006

okay, i wrote the name of the post and now i’ve got “workin’ for the weekend” stuck in my head – way to go!
at any rate, it’s six-thirty in the morning and i am up and typing because A) i was having trouble getting back to sleep after getting up to let the dog out and B) i figured something out.

first of all, let me explain just a bit about my new clients, “the busybodies”. this is the same gentleman i mentioned in an earlier post whom i find very demanding and invasive and his girlfriend who is so vata i do not know where to begin. they both work high-stress jobs, are very wealthy, seem to buy into a very superficial lifestyle, and “feed” off the high of running in circles. please forgive me if i offend anyone here but i am about to reveal my own awful prejudices: i knew i was up to a challenge when i drove up to their cookie-cutter home in the suburbs and found their house by locating the enormous hummer with the bush ’04 stickers on the bumper – if you’ve seen the show weeds you will have the perfect mental image here and if you haven’t, then you must immediately! he seems much more open to the true lessons of yoga and has the desire to really dive in and discover some things along this path – and note: he is the one who has arranged for and is paying for these lessons – but she doesn’t seem to have a clue or be open to getting one! she is so thin that i fear for her health and she has an enormously hard time stopping the “monkey mind” which then just spills out as incessant chatter – even in balances i cannot seem to shut her up!
the first thing they explained to me when i met them yesterday for their second lesson (after they showed up thirty minutes late and running around like chickens with their heads cut off!) was that i needed to “work [them] harder” because she was a little sore but he wasn’t at all – they just don’t get it yet! it’s going to take a while.
and so….
i’ve been looking for a way to relate to them what we are trying to find in the practice of yoga in a way that might make sense to them. the spiritual path might be a bit much for her to take all at once – she doesn’t seem to have ever taken a step down that path in her life other than perhaps praying to god for things she wants or when she is in a crisis – i should stop being judgemental, i know, but i am trying to paint a picture of the ground zero i am starting from so it will be a glorious story when (hopefully) i one day write a post about how she’s woken up and made such progress.
i suddenly began using the term “habits of tension” while teaching them the first time (i don’t know where these things come to me but they just do like i’m being told what to say from a source outside of myself – which makes me have delusions of being a prophet of sorts which is silly and fun to think about!). i began to point out, gently each of their habits of tension when a posture would reveal them…. his jammed neck and tight jaw…her contorted shoulder…his shoulders creeping up to his earlobes…her chatter…
and then as i was lying in bed this morning it made sense to teach them logically that our yoga will be a giant subtraction problem (although i don’t like the word problem in that phrase). if you are stressed in body and mind, then logically the easiest and most direct way is to seek out the sources of that stress and eliminate them/ease them/subract them. and if you decide that your job or your relationships or factors that you can’t eliminate are the source, then you have to eliminate the harmful manner in which you are storing and/or processing them. but first you must make that important decision not to let your body and mind be a processing plant for stress – you must decide that you no longer want to manufacture dis-ease no matter how beautifully you plan on packaging it and how clever your ad campaign is to sell it to the world around you.
so if body and mind are indeed connected (and getting them to change their minds is definately more abstract while dealing with their bodies is more direct and obviously something they relate to being appearance oriented and all) then working with the body is the route to take to ease their minds!
so i’m going to make a campaign to begin actively identifying their “habits of tension” and begin replacing them with “habits of peace”. i once read a great quote that said something to the effect of: if you’re standing there saying to yourself “something’s gotta change!” then by-god something’s gotta change!
so they (or at least he) has made the first step by hiring me and saying “i need help – this has to change” so let’s see how we can begin do that…. one. little. habit. at. a. time. step. by. step.
down the path we go…..