Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where my passion lies

First, a little back story.

In high school, I was definitely overweight.  I was easily 200 pounds, though I never weighed myself to really know. I hated gym and sports.  I was never really the competitive type and was usually picked last on a team.  In middle school I purposefully took band a choir to get out of gym class. In high school I couldn't get out of it.  Let me tell you how awful swim class was for me (it was required to graduate).

After I graduated high school, I went to college like most of my other class mates.  My family isn't terribly wealthy, so I went to the local University, lived with my parents, worked part time and went to school full time.  I couldn't afford to pay for a parking permit or gas, so I walked to school.  It was 40 minutes one way.  Needless to say, I lost a lot of weight.  I went from that 200 or more down to about 135!

I took a non-western music class where I did my final project on belly dancing.  I was interested in it, so I figured it was a good place to learn about it.  I started doing the belly dance DVDs and a few friends create a belly dance club on campus so I joined them.  I learned a lot about my body during that time and had a lot of fun in the process.

One semester I found myself one class short of the full time status which I needed to keep my parent's insurance.  I decided to take a yoga class they had there, thinking it would help me become more flexible for belly dance.  I knew one of the famous belly dancers also did yoga, and she was so gloriously bendy.  The Iyengar class taught me that while I was thin, I wasn't very strong.  I found a new love to go with my love for belly dancing.

Soon, I realized that I had found some things that would keep me fit and strong that weren't competitive and were actually fun.  Sometimes that is the biggest part of working out.

Now, back to my passion.  I want to help other people like me find the value and benefit of yoga.  I am perfectly comfortable teaching people who have been doing yoga for years, who are looking for something new each time.  I also love to teach people who have never done yoga or are just beginning their journey.

Yoga can be intimidating, only because of the way that it has been portrayed.  Most people think people who do yoga are skinny and completely flexible.  In reality, they have become flexible over time by continually doing yoga.  As for the feeling that everyone is watching you in class, really all the other students in class are focusing on their own bodies, not yours.

I invite you to join a class somewhere near you.  Go find the benefits yourself.  Take the leap and try something new.

Namaste my friends,


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stretching the Truth of Yoga

You have seen the magazine covers that tout the benefits of yoga poses and promise flat abs or the perfect sex life if you just use a specific handful of yoga poses.  It's sad what our magazine industry has done.  They stretch the truth about most things, and unfortunately yoga is not excluded.

I still get email spam years later from a magazine that I no longer wish to subscribe to, which brings up this post.  The authors claim so many things that certain yoga poses will do for you.  They have taken the popularity of yoga, re-worked it to make it beneficial for selling subscriptions, and don't bother to offer anything else substantive about yoga.

I mentioned in a previous post that if people want to go to yoga classes just for asana, that's perfectly fine.  It's still a part of yoga.  However, by going to the classes, you will have the benefit of an instructor who will show you ways to align your body that will reduce stress on your joints.  You will learn breathing techniques that will benefit you outside of the class.  By working through an uncomfortable pose, you learn that you are capable of working through uncomfortable situations off the mat.

This is what you miss when you try a couple poses thinking you will get the perfect body.  Sure, those little exercises might help you to get a more fit or toned body, but you won't learn the mindfulness that goes along with yoga.  Learning to eat food that makes you feel good, which in turn will help you lose a little weight per chance.  Learning how your body moves and just how special it is; that will help your sex life more than a couple poses.

Love and light,


Friday, June 13, 2014


The other day I was talking to a friend about my plans for the rest of day, mentioning maybe working on one of my blogs.  She commented about that, stating that she wishes she could write well enough to blog.  Mind you, she knows the English language and grammar quite well, so she can write well.  Her belief is that she does not have the proper voice to write a blog.

It got me thinking about many things in life.  This woman has spent a great deal of her adult life devoted to belly dancing.  She can dance extremely well, and is always working to make her dance better.  If she spent that same amount of time working on her written voice, I bet she could do really well at it.  The problem is, we only have so much time in the day, and we can only choose so many things to work on.  Obviously, right now, writing is not one of them for her, and that's ok.

Rather than getting down about what you think you cannot do well, devote yourself to the things you think you can be fantastic at.  That is where life truly is lived.  If everyone did the same things, life would be so boring.  Allow the color and light in your life to shine, share it with others.  Maybe even try something that you think you can't do.  You might be surprised with yourself.

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." -Thomas A. Edison

Namaste my friends,


Friday, June 6, 2014


This last Friday I decided to discuss gratitude.  It is a theme I see a lot about, and a while ago I decided I need to be more grateful for the things I have.  There are many people out there who have less than I do, and have experienced much more than I have.  I suggested to my students that they work on being grateful more in their lives as well.  It is easy to get caught up in the "I want" game, and being grateful for what we have quiets that game some.

I have tried to make it a habit of posting one thing I am grateful for at the end of the day.  I do that on twitter and you can find me here if you want to follow me, or just read through some of my tweets.  Also, I have a link to the right above my blog feed if that is easier.  I use the hashtag #dailygratitude for each of those posts, so you may be able to find them that way, as well.  I encourage you to join me in my daily gratitude.  One day I would love to see that in the trends!

Namaste my friends,


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Themes for class

One of the things we learned in Teacher Training was choosing themes for class, setting the tone.  Since I have only had students on Fridays so far, I spend my whole week thinking about what I want to use for my theme.

My first class I used new beginnings, naturally.  I had a student who was completely new to yoga and a student who has been doing yoga for a while.  I thanked them for coming to my first class, and proceeded to discuss listening to their bodies while starting something new.

My second class I spoke about patience.  For me, I know that I find myself expecting things to be a certain way already.  It is hard to maintain patience.  I told my students it is something I work on, on and off the mat.  I try to take life one day at a time and I try to remember that it takes time to get some of the more difficult poses.  I am still working on crow, and that is one of the poses we learned to teach during training.  We easily practiced this one two or three times a week toward the end of training.

I will try to post my musings I use during class here for people to follow.  I think it will hold me accountable a little more, and promote my education in yoga some.

Love and light,