Sunday, September 13, 2015

The wobbly monkey

It's no secret that I often hit Dutch Brothers on my way to the studio before I teach.  The coffee is yummy and the people there are priceless.

One day a gentleman asked me where I was headed, like usual.  I told him I was headed to the studio to teach yoga and he asked me if I had any special poses for this class.  He then asked if I was teaching the Eiffel Tower.  I said that would be like what I call Extended Mountain, only the feet might be a little wider and the hands would be clasped above the head.  It wouldn't be much different.

Then he asked me if I might be teaching the wobbly monkey, to which I responded that I teach that all the time.  In reality, every day we are just wobbly monkeys trying to figure out this thing we call life.  Some days are better than others, but I doubt anyone truly feels completely stable every day of their lives.  We are always learning and trying our best.  We try to balance and we fall and get right back up.  Sometimes we get the help of our friends or family, and sometimes we don't.

It's ok to wobble, to be unsure of ourselves.  It marks our humanity.  I love that a simple, quick conversation over coffee brought this up.



Friday, June 5, 2015

Remembering to push myself

Yoga is more than poses on a mat.  We are taught that what we learn on the mat, we can use in the world around us.  Recently I have been reminded of this lesson.

A few weeks back I realized that I became so used to bending my knees a lot in standing forward fold, due to tight everything in my legs, that I wasn't getting much of a stretch anymore.  I have been consciously working on straightening my knees enough that I actually feel a stretch once again.  I have to remember that only by pushing myself, will I grow.  

When I first started yoga, my forward fold looked more like a weird squat because I really was that tight. Through my own practice and teaching others, I'm much closer to that folding in half I am looking for, thanks to pushing myself.

Now, what does that have to do with life off the mat?  During this same time frame, a new opportunity was dropped in my lap.  I have been searching for a new job for sometime.  My growth has been stunted for a number of years in my current position.  A recruiter called me out of the blue, had a job that she was trying to hire for, and set me up with an interview.  I have had a few interviews, one I have even recounted on this blog.  After being at this company for six years, I felt out of sorts.  Lots of questions and doubts hanging over me.

Then I remembered that the reason I have been looking elsewhere is I am ready to grow.  Thanks to my practice, and many of my loved ones, I found the courage to make this happen.  While I am still not officially at the new place of employment, I have set all the pieces in motion and am waiting for that first Monday coming up very soon.

I am remembering to push myself.

Namaste my friends,


Thursday, April 2, 2015

The interview

I have been working for a number of years now and had plenty of interviews in my life.  Some have been quick, some have been long and drawn out.  One was a panel of three people grilling me for about 10-15 minutes, asking me questions as quickly as possible.  None of them have been so weird as the interview for a local yoga studio.

Shortly after I got my 200 hr. YTT certificate, I discovered a yoga studio that was opening up down south.  I sent in my application, but hadn't received a response.  A fellow student and friend of mine was already teaching there and said he would pass along my name.  Shortly after that I received an email from the owner asking if I was still interested.  Of course I was and we set up a time to meet.

The day of the interview I was nervous, of course, but also excited.  It was a new studio so I might get to teach a couple times a week there.  I could be part of a new yoga community starting up from this little studio.  I worked my day job, which kept me from spiraling too much.  I arrived at the studio and found it was inside an office building.  It had a great entryway and a cute little reception area window, much like doctors offices have, except this was out into the hall.

I met the owner in the hallway, though I can't remember his name now.  He was tall with a thick beard. He told me that the studio was created by a research company that he works for.  This company had discovered yoga was a hot commodity along the Western Range and wanted to create a small network of yoga studios.  I didn't particularly want to get into a corporation of studios, but I wanted experience and figured this was a good way to do it.

We moved on to the actual interview, got interrupted by a couple of ladies who were interested in classes, and then continued on.  The first part was fairly normal.  He sat there asking questions like "What kind of music do you listen to?" "What is your experience with yoga so far?" etc.  Then he had me demo my teaching skills.

This is where it got weird.  He had me teach to an empty room and sat there watching me.  Mind you, in my training program, we were taught to watch the student, to give hands on assists, to interact with the students.  So I had to walk around an empty room, pretending there were students on their mats. Lest we forget, he was still watching me do this.

I have no training in acting.  I'm very scientifically minded, and my imagination is pretty minimal. This was THE most awkward thing I have done, that I can remember.  I know I sounded robotic, just regurgitating what I'd learned from my training.

I managed to get half way through my sequence, when he told me to stop.  We completed the interview fairly quickly after that.  He told me my energy wasn't right for the studio.  I thanked him and walked out wondering what the hell just happened?

It wasn't a fair interview in my opinion.  However, I know a few things now that have changed my views a little.  That studio has closed shop.  They didn't do very well at all.  I also know that I may have more bad interviews, but they probably won't be that weird ever again.  Even if they are, it won't feel so weird because nothing can compare to teaching an empty room how to do yoga.

Blessing to you,


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Finding the courage to continue on

Some days are good and some days are bad.  We are all human and we have our ups and downs.  Some days when I have yoga to teach toward the end of the day, I question myself pretty harshly.  I have seen a few posts recently that say the same thing, so I know I'm not alone.

The thoughts that go through my head sound pretty abrasive when you read them.  Who am I to teach these students?  What makes me so special?  There are thousands of other yoga teachers out there, I will never get anywhere with this.  Those other teachers are better than I am.  I'm not a skinny yogini, I don't eat a Vegan diet.  Who would want to come to my class?

The things I need to remember, however, are that I'm the one who went through the training to teach something I love and feel anyone can benefit from.  I'm the one who worked hard to create my website and made sure I have a space to rent for teaching classes.  I need to take pride in that.

Also, the proper students will find me when the time is right for them.  So what if I'm not skinny?  That may mean that someone who isn't thin as well might look at yoga in a different light.  I eat meat, so what?  A lot of people do.  I love animals but I also need to take care of myself.  Realizing that is part of yoga, too (ahimsa for those who know a little more of what I'm talking about).  I also don't like exhaustively hot classes, which means others who don't like that will come to my classes.

In the end, I have friends and family who believe I can do this when I'm having a rough day.  Just when I think I am going to throw in the towel and give up, my phone rings and it is a lovely man who wants to come to my classes.  He's so sure of my classes that he is willing to pay for my 10 class card before even trying one.  Each time he comes to class, he tells me he loves my class and as soon as he's done with this card, he will buy another one.

Then I remember, it's not about me at all.  It's about the students.

Namaste my friends,