Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interview with a champ; posture clinic (I guess?)

A former teacher of mine won the big yoga competition (yeah, yeah, save it) in February. I wasn't as close with her as I was with most of the other teachers, but I was always inspired by her "kill them with kindness" approach to teaching classes. On the occasions I was lucky enough to practice next to her in class, I'd sneak glances over and usually think one of two things:
1) How can you practice while wearing a tube top?

So, here's a funny, but telling, interview with Brandy Winfield (thanks to Anna for the tweet).

Interview here
"I got done with [my first] class and I called [my mom] and asked, 'Are you mad at me? Why would you make me do something as terrible as that. That was the worst thing. Do you know it smells in there?' "

(In which I use "I" more than ever, possibly:)
So, last weekend I went to a posture clinic at my studio. I'd never been to one before. It wasn't what I expected. I know, I know, no expectations, but the whole reason I went was because I was expecting to have a particular experience. It had been my understanding that in a posture clinic, experienced teachers talk through the series of postures with a group of students. People can ask questions and get individualized help. And my experience included all of that, but it also felt like something was missing.

The seminar was scheduled from 1 to 3, which didn't allow for much time. The studio owner picked about 10 postures to focus on, the most-often misunderstood ones, which seemed to make sense to me. We got as far as standing head to knee (after skipping the planned review of awkward pose because of time constraints) before things kind of went off-track, I think. At that point, all the students stood up to work on it. Each of the six teachers there helped groups of two or three students.

And then, very quickly, it was 2:45 and students for the 3 o'clock class were getting restless in the lobby. I was slightly bummed out, as I expected (there's that word again) to learn "tricks," I guess; to learn ways to go more deeply into my postures. Specifically, I wanted to learn what I can do in several postures (pranayama, eagle, floor bow, anything really) to open up my shoulders and upper back. I didn't get that... When I did ask about my misaligned hips, I was basically told, "Yep, they're off. Don't worry about it. Just keep practicing."

So. I guess I need to learn to just trust the process, as they say incessantly at teacher training? That's great and all, but I am a do-something-about-it-oriented person. If we're all just supposed to trust the process, why bother with a posture clinic? I look forward, though, to the next one. It would be nice if it were several hours longer.

So: Have you participated in posture clinics or seminars (not just Bikram-style yoga, any kind)? How were they structured? What did you hope to learn? What did you actually learn? More thoughts?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Forehead to the knee

I did it. I actually touched my exactly forehead to my exactly knee during the second (shorter) set of Standing Head to Knee pose during the 10:30 a.m. class on Saturday, April 17. Both sides. Coming out of the second side, I was a little weebly-wobbly, but I did not fall down...

This post is the anti-insight, but I wanted to record this achievement somewhere, in case 1) it never happens again, and 2) I forget that it is possible. Both of which are pretty likely. :)

Inothernews — I spent much of my Sunday out in the yard, hoeing and raking and weeding. Classic rock blared from a neighbor's place. Between hourslong rounds of throwing the ball to the dog, I got some pea seeds (did you know that they are just, well, ummm, dried peas?) in the ground. In the afternoon, I went to Target and Lowe's. Today, I am whining about being sore from the yardwork. When did I become a caricature of a suburban 45-year-old yuppie?

(But seriously, I am amazed at what a good core workout I got.)

Hope that everyone had a swell weekend. How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Well, helloooo there!

Hi all. It's been a while, eh?

Since I last posted something other than a quote or a picture, I have:

Started a work-study yoga program (March 18). I was so nervous while I drove to the studio after work; my stomach was in some crazy knots and my heart was racing. "What if they hate me?" They didn't. They are cool.

Bought a house (March 19). Just like I said in that last post from 3/18, things were turning around—no, really. They did. Life has become really good, especially in the past week. It's nice to check off boxes on to-do lists. It's even nicer to unpack boxes, but I'm working on that.

Went back to yoga (March 21, 25, 28; April 6, 8). Despite scrubbing mirrors and vacuuming studios and cleaning showers and stocking fridges and spraying/hanging/rolling mats and emptying trashes and washing loads of towels, which is like an entire workout unto itself after I've already done the yoga, I love being around the studio. My goal is to be there at least four days a week, but I have to be there at least two to do my work-study. And that's two more days than I was practicing in a studio before. So I'll take it. :) It has been an interesting ride already. Didn't take long to have a breakdown (the 25th?), but the teacher was so compassionate about it... Felt like home.

Had a regular checkup with a fabulous doctor (March 30). Got an unfortunate wake-up call, however, with the reading on the scale—a full 25 pounds more than the weight at which I feel really, really good. It threw me for a loop. I knew my clothes weren't fitting, but daaaayyyyummmm. Ouch. I can make excuses all day about stress and eating and moving and whatever, but really. Really. For me, it has always come down to just doing the yoga. Which I haven't done on a regular basis since moving to NY. I feel good about getting this on track, if only in a less-in-depth-than-I'd-like way, for now. (On a good note, my blood pressure was fine and my cholesterol was fabulous! Go me!)

Cleaned out an apartment and moved into the house (March 30). Thank Sweet Baby Jesus we are done with the apartment!!! Now, if only I could be home for more than 10 minutes, it'd be awful nice to start to unpack and find places for things. And maybe cook those root vegetables I bought (three+ weeks ago) and start those lettuce seeds.

Took a fabulous, long, road trip (March 31-April 5). Went to boyfriend's mother's family reunion in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We took the dog and drove the "long" way (12 hours compared to 14 hours), but it was nice because we kept the interstate/freeway driving to a minimum and enjoyed the coast. I wore a bikini in front of not-strangers, despite the weight insecurity. The South (the little that I saw) is a strange place, but with pockets of stunning beauty, such as the massive, unrelenting groves of wisteria. Pollen killed me. I love camping. Theirs is a huge family. I got to swim in the ocean... Felt like home (right down to the 58-degree water).

Returned home with a new appreciation for my little town (April 5). Beacon is truly amazing, combining everything I love about small, Main Street-y towns with convenience to nature and BIG CITY. It's all about the balance.

Had another yoga-studio breakdown (April 8). This time, the (same) instructor had a strange reaction. But I think that experience will be its own post.

Planned a manicure (April 9). One of my 30-day challenges for March worked out, anyway! I'm in a good habit of not biting my nails now. So it's kind of cool to have a little bit of a reward.

Back to the editing...