align

Today was a beautiful, light day right from the start.  I woke up and did a nice Balasana stretch in bed and really worked my pelvic tilt to lengthen my back, and ooh, just started my day right.  Yeah, it’s silly, but it’s true.  I had a delightful shower, sweet meditation and pranayama, nourishing rune reading, and a delicious juice. Then headed off  on a beautiful bike ride to Yoga Oasis central to teach 11am yogahour and 1215 expanding.  Both classes went great.  I so value my students. And the amazing people I work with!  The word of the day was ‘align,’ as in, ‘with what do I align?’  When I start my day in remembrance of my highest intentions and bring that alignment into all that I do, I get more done, I feel better about people around me and myself, and I have a much better day.  It’s so easy to get thrown off track.  Sometimes my morning intentions can be out the window before breakfast time is even over–hollering at my boyfriend, or complaining about this or that, or spazzing out about running late.  It’s so important to bring ourselves back into the moment to realign ourselves so the experience is nurturing and beneficial rather than detrimental and depleting.  Similarly, in yoga asana we align our physical bodies with optimal form instructions to enhance the state of our being.

Yogahour is so fun to teach.  I continually work new ways of sequencing and challenge myself to come up with more creative ways of doing things or new poses to work.  My music mix this week begins with a beautiful Manorama chant to Ganesha and includes some Donavon Frankenreitor, Trevor Hall, Bronwin, Beats Antique, and others.  It’s always nice to make a new mix to play.  Today I guided yogahour through surya namaskar-type warm-up, standing poses–Pk, Trik, V2, AC, Prasarita, Fierce Pose aka chair pose, Warrior 3, Malasana, Bakasana, Leg Lifts, Succirandrasana (hip stretch with ankle over knee) and advanced (arms around shin and other leg straight), Supine Ab work with Astavakrasana (crooked in 8 places pose) legs and actions, Eka Hasta Bhujasana, Astavakrasana, Bridge x2, Antanasana, Parighasana prep, Parsva Upavistha Konasana, Baddha Konasana, Ardha Matseyendrasana, Dandasana, Paschimottanasana, Savasana.  Sweat and Smiles.

In expanding we played with the following:  Adho Mukha Svanasana, Uttanasana, 1 surya namaskar, Dolphin Pose, Sirsasana 1 with a few variations (5 minutes), Sequence: pk- trik- V2- Reverse V2- AC- ACC. Vira 1. Parvrtta PK- Parivrtta Trik- Parivrtta AC- Parivrtta ACC. Handstand.  Utkatasana 50 seconds. Handstand booty on the Wall.  Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana sequence.  Vira 3.  Malasana.  Handstand feet on the wall (like a big back bend). Malasana.  Pasasana (strap and blanket option).  (sorta silly backwards sequencing, but it worked…).  Marichyasana 3 with bind.  Ardha Matseyendrasana 1 with bind.  Pinca Mayurasana.  Block in upper back (leg position = your choice). Pinca Mayurasana booty on the wall.  Supta Virasana.  Pinca Mayurasana 1/2 scorpion.  Urdhva Dhanurasana x3. Pinca Scorpion. AMS. Parsvo T. Utt.  Great group.  I love my job.

I had the night off.  I usually massage on Thursday nights, so it was nice to have what felt like extra time.  I made a big yummy salad, cleaned, swept, looked for my missing food processor (lost in the move), found a couple of treasures at a thrift store, went to Aqua Vita for water and scrumptious groceries (i love it there), met with a yoga buddy to exchange notes and talk shop, stopped by to say hi to my fella, went home and talked to Tierny while he did his homework and I dorked out making kale chips.  I’m going to read a little and go to bed.  Lovely, full day.

There’s so much drama in the yoga world currently.  I feel like I’ve been hiding out a from social media.  I’m a little resentful and a little apathetic about the mess… if one can be both simultaneously.  It seems as though I’ve fallen through the cracks of a big earthquake (visions of The Land Before Time pop up in my head…lol).  I’m not sure where the pieces are going to fall with it all, but I’m grateful to be here in Tucson.  I’m so honored and psyched to be a part of Live the Light of Yoga with the three Greats of the Greats –Darren, Christina, & Noah!  I love my work.  I cherish my home.  ***That upon which we we focus our attention expands.  That to which we pay attention grows.  We attract what we put out.***  May everyone everywhere experience peace, happiness, and love.

love6

Seasons change

Tucson’s hot summer comes to a theoretical close as we step into August.  Last night a student asked me how my summer was and I giggled and said something about how it’s still blazing.  She explained that she was a teacher, so for them the summer is sort of over…

My neck alerted me it was time to visit the chiropractor this morning, so before my classes I went to The Joint and got fixed up by Dr. Eric.  He’s such a gem.  My neck muscles still spasm, but I’m getting a massage tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to ease.  Perfect inspiration for my classes, as I tend to overwork myself, and therefore to bring balance, I aim to rest more, to give myself nurturing time to heal, to practice what I preach.

I taught Yogahour at the central Yoga Oasis today 11-12 and Expanding at 1215-145.  I themed on balance.  In Yogahour I taught a lot of one-legged balancing poses, which I love to play with anyway, and handbalancings like Sage Prep and Crane.

In Expanding we did the first part of our practice using a block as a helpful teaching guide to find the midline of our bodies and to practice drawing into it, for our ease, peace, comfort, balance lies in the middle.  The Buddhists call it ‘The Middle Path.’  When we practice not identifying with either extreme and instead reside in the middle we know peace.  This is a step-by-step practice, a daily, moment-by-moment practice of detaching from when things are awesome and exactly as we’d wish them to be and from when things are horrible and we feel like we cannot go on.  Neither will last forever.  “This too shall pass.”  ForMG9883-M our asana practice we did a Surya Namaskar A with a block between our shins, Surya B with a block except for Warrior 1, which was kinda funky and awkward, then handstand hops with a block between the shins, one with bent legs and one with straight legs.  oooh, good stuff!  We did some abs with the block (inspired by Desiree’s Practice back in the Scottsdale days), a variety of one-legged standing poses on a block, (inspired by Noah from many years ago, he taught an intermediate/advanced workshop with all the standing poses on a block)  I love getting inspired by other teacher’s great ideas!  It was a perfect way to embody the theme of balance.  Then we brought our warm bodies to the floor for some grounding work:  Some good ol’ “Yummy Thigh Stretch,” as Ulla used to call it, Runner’s Stretch, Hanuman work, Pigeon, Pigeon Thigh Stretch, twisting, more Hanuman, Parsva Upavistha Konasana, Upavistha Konasona, Marichiasana 3, Marichiasana 1, Ardhva Matseyendrasana, Triangmukaikapada Paschimottanasana, Krounchasana, Marichiasana 5, Bharadvadjasana 2, Paschimottanasana with a block between our belly and thighs to ground the femurs.

It was Sam’s last class for the summer, I’ll miss having her in class.  Ronni said it was her 2nd to last class too!  Seasons change, students change… the practice continues.