Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Like Sardines

So the Saturday morning session with Desiree is oversold. We are going to be like a can of sardines in there. I kept saying there was room because I had not gotten checks from everyone and from long-standing experience at this, I do not reserve anyone a space until I have their money. So then, Des told me she wanted to bring an extra person as her guest and I forgot her boyfriend was coming and a few checks arrived I had not counted on and one thing led to another and it is oversold. Technically speaking there is enough space for this "overflow situation" just none of the space will be "personal." So be prepared for Saturday morning to be very full... Leave your bags, bottles, journals, cameras, small children, extra clothes, snacks and all other "nesting items" out of the room, please!!

If your check is already in the mail, do not worry; if you just casually mentioned to me that you wanted to come, you may not be on my list so check in with me.

Okay- yesterday Kelly and I cleaned out a bunch of stuff in our house as a sort of spring purge and took a whole carload of stuff to Goodwill. So that was great. I did a nice long practice and restored my body from the long plane ride I had on Monday- I try to do hip openers and inversions following plane rides to soothe my nervous system. Lately I have added in some more psoas work following trips since there is so much sitting involved in travelling.

I had a great talk with my editor Monday en route and it is going to be difficult for her to get her work done on my project in time to get the book ready for Estes Park but it might actually be possible. She has a full-time editing job and this is a moonlighting gig for her and so she cannot devote her full attention to it. But I am crossing my fingers. The worst that happens is it comes out a month or two after the Grand Gathering which, really, is not big deal. In most ways it is out of my hands so worry or hoping is a bit of a waste of energy. I have done my part. She did say she thought it was inspiring.

So I have some book things to do today, some things to do for the workshop and some things to pack up and get ready for my trip to Denver. Since Des will be here all weekend and the weekend is full, I have to pack for Denver now. She and I leave almost immediately following the Sunday session for the Certified Teacher's Gathering in Denver. I am really looking forward to that. The Gatherings are always fun and this one is going to be huge.

All right then- off to enjoy the day. Classes down here in San Marcos tonight. Oh also, I added some blog links- Jen Marie has a blog and so does my friend Meg. So now they are on the blog roll. Check it out and enjoy.

Link to directions to the studio where Des is teaching:

Link from the studio to the potluck on Saturday night:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Here is the view from the house where I was staying in Montana. I took this picture on Saturday after the sun had come out and melted the snow. Pretty nice, huh?
It is hard to see in this pic because I took it through a window but there is a herd of deer grazing.

And so other than getting home and eating a great meal that Kelly made and then walking the dogs and unpacking and so forth, yesterday was pretty uneventful It was a long day in planes but I got some work done and I read a great book on this trip. Sepulchre. It is a good read in the semi-historical fiction genre which I love. (this one is very semi.) And since I finished the whole Outlander series (which Amanda D. got me hooked on last summer) recently I needed a good long book to read.

So the following little clip is worth watching and is more inspirational than anything I have to say this morning. I mean take a look at this and then consider why we work hard in asana and why we ask for strong effort from our students. A great testimony of hard but worth it.
Here is a little quote about the clip: "Arthur is a 14-year Army veteran who was discharged after a botched surgery left him disabled and only able to walk with the help of leg braces and canes. Over the next 15 years he gained a considerable amount of weight and became despondent. Eventually he began looking for an exercise program in hopes of relieving his constant pain. What he found transformed his life – and in less than a year. The link below will take you to a YouTube video clip that chronicles Arthur's amazing transformation. The clip is a promotional video for the exercise program Arthur used, called YRG or Yoga for Regular Guys. But I think you'll easily get past the promotional aspect when you witness the extraordinary power of a determined human spirit."


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Night

So we finished up the workshop this afternoon with some grueling hip openers and the "calves of butter" sequence. I will have to teach that soon in Austin, seems like a long time since I have taught that one. Everyone worked hard and it was a good weekend.

The sun came out yesterday which was really great. Today it is totally sunny and warm. I think this is a common northern kind of spring. Sunny days, snowy days, etc. I keep thinking how in Texas people are hanging out by the river already and working on their tans! Crazy. You can get on a plane and in less than a day be somewhere that is completely different.

Okay- so I leave bright and early in the morning to travel home. Kim teaches Tuesday, I am teaching in San Marcos Wednesday and then Thursday I will be in Austin. Then I will miss two Thursdays in a row. I have a trip to Denver for the Certified Teacher's Gathering and then I go back to Montana for a seminar my teacher is giving. Yippee.

And one week from tomorrow Kelly officially begins his program at The Texas School of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is a very exciting time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Night

I made it to Bozeman where it is snowing! We had a great class this afternoon working with twists and thigh/psoas stretches and inversions.

I realized I did not get a chance to check in about the rockin' Thursday night classes before I took off. We had a great class on drop backs at 4:30 working with rooting the legs, lifting the chest and coiling in the upper back. The poses are really coming along plus the mood in the room was fun and yet attentive/serious which is the best blend, in my opinion.

The 6:00 class did great work with twists of all kinds, lots of refinement work and a foray into eka hasta bhujasana. We got way off the basic syllabus in that hatha class which was great. The thing is that at some point in the hatha classes you have to push the envelope a bit and teach a few harder poses so that when and if people ever "end up" in an advanced class they are prepared for some of what goes on in there. ( Then again, how would you "end up" in an advanced without walking in there of your own accord... but I digress...)

Anyway it was great to see people in class. I realize I have been living in strict accordance with the Top Three Ways to Decimate Your Yoga Classes' Attendance:

1. be gone a lot- in some cases, for weeks at a time
2. when you are in town, make sure the schedule says someone else is actually teaching.
3. when you are not there make sure the schedule says you are teaching so your students will come to class expecting you and then feel betrayed.

(A side note and a bit of Teacher Training advice for free- The fourth way to decimate your yoga classes' attendance is to lecture the people who actually come to class about how important it is to come to class no matter who is teaching and to support the class itself and not just the teacher. But I did not do the fourth mistake in this particular instance. Really I did not because I have learned the hard way that this is not a good thing to do. But you teachers out there keep in mind it is in the top 5 ways to alienate yourself from your students. I learned that the hard way in my earlier teaching years! But really, they are the ones in class and therefore not the "problem". Reward these people with a kick ass class even if there are only 4 of them!)

Unfortunately, this is how it is going to be for a while. My calendar is packed and I am doing my best to stay with my local commitments. I really am. So I appreciate your understanding. I will try to tune into the points 2 and 3 more carefully although the last two times those mistakes were made I had called the changes in accurately. Oh well.

So I am in Bozeman for the weekend and then teaching this Wednesday in San Marcos and Thursday in Austin and Then Desiree is in Austin. Yippee! On Sunday she and I go to Denver for the Certified Teacher's Gathering and I will be gone for a week.

Okay- time to soak in Paula's massive hot tub/bath tub.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Morning on the porch

So- I am having my tea and milk out on the porch this morning which is quite lovely, I must say. It is a beautiful sunny spring morning here with a definite promise of more heat on its way today. After this entry I am going to go practice asana before lunch, then I have some things to help Kelly with and then I will get myself ready to go up to Austin to teach.

Last night's classes down here were fun. We worked with the theme of Consciousness being conscious of itself (thus its name, after all) which is the second attribute of The Absolute according to Anusara Yoga philosophy. Last week, as you may or may not remember, we worked with Essential Goodness, the first attribute.

The 5:30 class worked a lot upside down- headstand, handstand, pinca and shoulderstand with some surya namaskar, some twists and some forward bends. The 7:00 class worked a lot with rooting principles and shoulder principles. They learned up dog and ustrasana and practiced shoulderstand which has really come a long way for that group. In fact, at the rate that the 7:00 class is progressing the difference between 5:30 and 7:00 is really going to diminish quickly. That will actually be great because then we can join the two classes perhaps. Too soon to tell.

Mostly what is on my mind these days is practice and how anchoring it is to have daily practices. When I was up in Idaho for a list of reasons, I made my plane reservations home on Monday a lot later than I usually do. Usually after a weekend of teaching I am pretty darn ready to get home and so I book an early flight home to try to get back as early as possible. In this case, because of the later departure time, I had time to do my morning practices and an hour-long asana practice before leaving Karen's house. So as I was in the midst of all of that I was so enjoying myself and this feeling of "home" washed over me. (this is the best way that I can describe why I like to practice asana and meditation- this feeling of "coming home" always - always; never fails- arises. Anyway, it occurred to me that my practice is as much home as my house and all of those external things I tend to think of as home.

Now do not get me wrong, I love my house, my things, my hubby, my dogs (not necessarily in that order, mind you) but I felt so great getting on a plane having seated myself in practice first. It was a totally different kind of experience. I may experiment with that as I travel and see what this yields. That is really the thing with practice for me. It is not something I have to do, or something I should do, but something I get to do, that I want to do and in many ways, really need to do. Sometime over the last several years, the yoga police stopped watching me and I realized I was practicing for me. I realized that I love a life that is steeped in practice and in the Teachings of yoga. It is a gift to myself (and frankly my practice is a gift to others because I am not so nice without it!!!) to live a sane life where I make wholesome choices and endeavor to respond according to the dharma. Is there a more loving thing we can do for ourselves?

Anyway- enough on all of that for now. Time to change gears and do something other than write on this blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Morning

So at Karen's house in Idaho there were Peacock's in her backyard. I thought this was pretty fantastic and took a few pictures. On Saturday night as Chris (Karen's Hubby) was making a fabulous meal, the male actually spread his tail feathers and was trying to woo the female. It was really incredible- his tail, that is; not the fact that he wanted to have relations. She was more interested in eating than she was in his offer. (Nice to know that phenomena exist cross-species, huh?) Okay- at any rate, here are some pics of the peacocks. I kept thinking they must be cold in the snow and was trying to convince Chris that he should let them into the house. He assured me they were very warm in their down coats. But see how this first on is right up against the house just shivering?!!!

And so back to Wednesday...

Kelly and I slept in this morning then I did my morning practices. Now I am enjoying a cup of tea with milk, honey and Chyavanprash. Yummy. I am in a phase where I am finding it increasingly difficult to make myself wake up early if I do not have to. I think the travel I have been doing is tiring and throws my schedule off a bit and so on the days I am home I have found I have a lot of "catching up" to do on sleep. Since I am someone who tends to push myself, I have to just lay down the cattle prod on these days, be content to get less done and allow myself the time to sleep more. In some ways that is easy- being that, like I said, I am finding it really hard to rouse myself unless it is absolutely necessary. The next step is not beating myself up that I am indulgent, lazy and without any tapas whatsoever. I am doing reasonably well on that front but I am strongly wired towards the "you can sleep when you are dead" model of life. (Of course, Craig informs me that life without sleep will insure that I am dead sooner rather than later! Craig did not put it that way exactly, but he does insist repeatedly that sleep is the #1 thing we can do for our health.)

Yesterday was a reasonably busy day with lots of catching up things to do in domains other than sleep... I updated the San Marcos School of Yoga website- a little- mostly with workshops information. Check it out under Special Events- scroll down and the information for Darren's visit is posted. You will also notice that Sianna's workshop is no longer listed. That is because she and I discussed how ridiculous it would be to try to do a weekend here in September right before we both went to Estes Park to teach with the whole Anusara Yoga Grand Gathering. So look for her to come in 2009 instead. Also- Please make a note that while I am hosting Desiree in a few weeks, her workshop is in Austin at Clear Spring Studio, not in San Marcos. There seems to be some confusion on that point.

Okay- with Kelly sick I took his hair cut appointment with the very talented Ana Johnson. (Many of you in the Immersion know her.) At any rate, I have a snazzy new haircut- well, not entirely new, just a little shorter and a little sassier. I got through most of my homework for Carlos and managed to do an almost 3-hour practice which was great and from which I am pretty sore. But I did not get to the farmer's market and I did not watch the certification video I was supposed to watch. I am considering just putting that off until I am on the plane on Friday and doing my review then. (Remember my earlier pep talk about being contented to get less done?)

I have classes tonight down here which I am looking forward to. Then I will be teaching in Austin on Thursday no matter what the YY online roster says. I am coming. I will be there. Please come so I can see your smiling faces! Also, please support Kim J.'s Tuesday night classes at Westage. She is kindly filling in for me and she is a great teacher with lots to offer.

Okay then-the day beckons. Time for some asana.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Well, I made it home around 9:30 last night and unpacked, started some laundry and went to bed. I slept until I woke up this morning which felt totally indulgentsly wodnerful and then I did my morning practices.

Kelly is sick with a cold which is too bad. I am doing my best to think positive thoughts so as to stay healthy while he is sick.

As far as today goes, I have some work to do today on my computer- stuff for my book, a certification video to watch and then my homework for Carlos. Plus an asana practice and a visit to our farmer's market this afternoon.

Fun, fun. There are some things on my mind percolating aorund that I reflecting on but I am not so much in the mood to draw them out right now. I feel the day calling me onward.

More later.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


We had a fun session this morning with the theme of Bringing Effort to Grace. We worked on arm balances and back bends. It was a really good morning. Lots of people tried the poses, many of them made progress, people were so enthusiastic and positive about their own efforts and about helping one another. It was a real pleasure for me to teach such an open group.

In the afternoon we had a Teacher's Session where we worked with Developing Heart-based Themes. It was a great group of experienced practitioners and teachers. People were really open and interested in learning about the certification process and about how to improve their teaching. I really love working with teachers as it always asks me to refine my presentation and to get more and more clear in the way that I teach. Plus I just love to teach yoga so being around a bunch of people who also love to teach yoga is just great company.

We came home from the studio today to Karen's house and the delicious aromas of Indian food emanating from the kitchen. Karen's husband, Chris, has been our cook in the evening and he is fabulous. He made a great Chinese feast last night with rice and a cabbage dish, a garlic string bean dish and a mixed veggie stir fry in some kind of awesome sauce. Tonight he informs us we have several dishes to look forward to. I am not sure what they all are but they smell fantastic. YUMMMY. Karen asked me what I like to eat and I said, well, pretty much I eat vegetables and rice. Well, this weekend "vegetables and rice" has been elevated to an art form. Lucky for me.

Tomorrow morning Karen and I Are going to take a walk around the lake before heading to the ariport. That is if there is not too much snow. There were flurries on the way home from the studio! Kelly says that on Tuesday (the day after I get home) it will be like 93 degrees in San Marcos. Crazy.

Okay then, enough for now.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Checking in from Idaho

So after a long day of travel, I landed in Spokane and my friend Karen picked me up and brought me to her place in Idaho. I taught a class on Friday afternoon and then we went to Terri and Steve's very lovely house for dinner and a birthday celebration for Karen. She turned 52 on Friday which I did not know until I got here. I was pretty tired by the time we got home- I did not sleep a lot on Thursday and then the travel, the teaching and then the 2-hour time difference all kind of added up to make me one tired pup.

I got a good night's sleep last night and in the mornings the time difference works in my favor. I could sleep in and still have plenty of time for pranayama, japa and meditation. So that was great. We had good sessions this mornings. Karen has great students who pay attention and really know how to work with details. This does not surpirse me because Karen is a great teacher and a great practitioner and so she has taught her people well. They are easy to teach. And this is not always the case!

I am working with themes from The Kularnava Tantra this weekend. That is the text that we get the word Ansuara from. Last year Dr. Phillips and I worked together translating it and so I am working from my notes from our work. We talked about studentship and preparation on Friday night's class, inspired by the way the text begins. Shiva is on top of Mount Kailasa and Shakti climbs to the top of the mountain to ask her question. I love this image because she does not yell to the top of the mountain, "Hey Shiva, will you come down here, please. I got a questions for you..." She goes to where he is, to where the teachings are. So even when any of us make it to yoga class or to do a practice at home, on some level we have climbed a mountain of our own. We have made a sacrifice to be in class or to practice. We have had to arrange our life to make it happen and so we, like Shakti, have "climbed the mountain" to ask our question. It is good to acknowledge that sometimes. This path is not easy. A lot is required.

After Shakti asks for the teachings Shiva tells her that many people are not ready for the truth. They are too unstable, they are at the mercy of their sense organs, their resolve to practice is wavering. He tells her that she is one who stands in the truth and so she is one who is worthy of the teachings of the Kula Path. So we worked with tattva-shithau this morning-- Being one who stands in the truth. I was a super picky task master on hand placement and activating the forearms in surya namaskar. We works on some standing poses and then we did some great work on cobra, setu bandhasana and ustrasana to help lift the chest and open the heart. (Of truth, that is.)

The story goes on to talk about how enjoyment need not be at cross purposes with the path of yoga. (Bhogo-yogayate) and so we did a hanumanasana class about drawing in and expanding the heart of enjoyment. I took the moans and groans for enjoyment. (At least of a certain kind... you all know how it is...)

Tomorrow we have more intermediate back bends in the morning and a teachers class in the afternoon. I am looking forward to both.

On my break today I did a lovely inversion and restorative practice and it really occurred to me- "I just love this yoga stuff. I mean, wow. REALLY works!"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Night

I had hoped to type up a scintillating description of "working with Carrying angles in back bending postures" for my blog entry but I may have to table the entry for another day or so. I got a ton of emails about it, which was great. So many that I thought the best place to talk about it is here but it will take a bit more time than I have to devote to a blog entry this evening.

Wednesday was a great night of classes in San Marcos. We cancelled our Monday night classes due to the increase in my travelling schedule and Kelly starting school on Monday nights. There is really just no one here to teach it. But we still have Wednesday night happening and the Level 2/3 did lots of upside down work. They made their first foray into handstand, we did headstand and pinca and shoulderstand last night. And some great work in danurasana. The Level 1/2 class has made great strides under Kelly's guidance while I have been gone. Supta Padangusthasana 2 was so impressive, almost everyone had their toes down to the floor!. Love it!

I spent 2 hours this morning in the dentist's chair today having my tooth drilled on for a new crown. Not my favorite way to spend a morning, let me just put it out there. It actually left me feeling a bit rattled all day and a bit out of sorts.

My classes in Austin tonight were super fun. I had been really looking forward to seeing a bunch of folks tonight but so many people were not there. It was a bit odd. The advanced class has never been that small even when we first started it. Several people said that the schedule did not list me being there, which is too bad. But anyway, I loved seeing the people who were there and I think we covered some awesome material in both classes. I, as always, wished we had more time in the advanced class because just as we were really getting into the meat of things with the carrying angles in back bends we had to stop because time was up. Oh well, more for later. And the Hatha class was nice and intimate and so people asked great questions made super refinements and I really had a good time teaching.

My joke was that it was an all time low in the 4:30 class because I had two people walk out within the first 10 minutes! I was not even being intense yet. I was not even warmed up! We had only done 5 poses! Anyway- it was kind of funny. People walk out. It happens. It actually hasn't happened to me in a long time but that class has a certain flavor and if you do not want that flavor, it really is best to leave, I suppose.

I enjoyed being back in Austin teaching and I had a lovely chat with Tabatha (My one double dipper tonight) and Pamela and Jess G. I got some great support from the gang about my schedule I am attempting to sort out- which was awesome.

All week I worked with the theme of Essential Goodness. It is the first of the six attributes of The Absolute that John outlines in our Anusara Yoga philosophy. It is a lovely theme in my opinion because the whole of Anusara Yoga philosophy kind of boils down to this central idea. That there is a Flow of Grace and That Flow is Essentially Good. We are part of That Flow. Therefore, we, too, are Essentially Good. Furthermore, through yoga, we can discover and express That Goodness. That is it. Really. You can study the Gita, The Sutras, Kashmir Shaivism and the rest of it. Really, you can and I think you should. But when it gets down to it- this is our philosophy. There is fundamentally Good Pulse to EVERYTHING and we can tap into that Goodness and learn to be established there. To me, this is a very inspiring thing to consider. And it is never boring. (I mean, really, what are you going to say? "Blah, blah, blah, yeah, yeah, yeah... I wish she would stop talking about how good we are...I am so tired of considering my essential worthiness..." I don't think so.)

All right then. I get on a plane at 7:30 am to go to Idaho to teach this weekend. Perhaps in an airport along the way I will get to the carrying angle post. Be patient. It is coming. Now, I have to go pack.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday Morning

So- I got up bright and early for a totally inspiring phone call with Carlos Pomeda and our study group. We are reviewing Patanjali's Yoga Sutras this month and there were just so many fascinating points of review and learning. I am still a little out of sorts from just leaping out of bed and into the discussion without my preliminary morning rituals but this morning I chose sleep over meditation since the phone call began at 7am and I just did not want to get out of bed at 6. Following this post I will go and do my morning pranayama and meditations, etc.

One of several inspiring things that came up in our discussion was a about how one should practice. In verse 1.14 Patanjali says that Practice becomes well-established and solid when you do it for a long time, without interruption and with loving dedication. He uses the word satkara for loving dedication. Carlos said it is the same word that is used for how you treat a welcome guest in your home. So we should regard our practice as a guest that we love. I think that is so fantastic. Instead of practice being some imposition, some list of should's and should not's it can be a welcome guest. Love it.

Speaking of which, on my agenda today after my morning meditation is an asana practice, an appointment with Craig and then I am teaching my Wednesday night classes here in San Marcos. I have some homework I need to do and some work on my book project that Regina gave me based on her first read-through. So- really, never a dull moment. I probably won't get to that homework stuff until tonight after I teach.

Okay- so there it is- today's post. I am looking forward to tonight's classes.

A reminder for everyone is that Desriee Rumbaugh will be teaching in Austin May 2-4. If you teach locally, please try to get your students to go to the workshop. It will make your life of teaching Anusara Yoga so much easier if your students can see what you are doing in the context of a larger vision. Desiree is one of the most inspiring teachers in Anusara Yoga and is one of the best at helping stiff people get moving. We have a few spots left- so please try to get your students to go- it is not for teachers only!

Also that Thursday night she will be at Kula Yoga for a DVD release party. One of her friends and students named Monica is on the staff there and is hosting that event so make sure you go to that. More details on that event can be found through Kula Yoga in Austin. I will not be going as I teach my classes that night but it should be a fun time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Some Personal Time

So-- it has been really great to have a few days off and to have some personal time to regroup. Yesterday I did a nice, long 3-hour practice and made myself so very sore. I am working with the instructions John gave me in Urdhva Danurasana relative to my carrying angles to help me get deeper into my upper back. Now I have known him almost 10 years now and I have never doubted his genius and expertise but every now and then I see it with new eyes and great gratitude. So with this little piece of info he gave me in Costa Rica about how to work my arms along with the tip about the 4th toes he gave in Tucson and I must say that viparita chakrasana is coming right along. WOW. I have been able to do that pose for quite some time but I can see the implications of this work and the opening it is generating for some other poses. At any rate it was nice to have the afternoon to practice with no scheduled appointment/class at the end of the day. It was quite freeing even though I missed seeing everyone who normally comes on Monday night.

I also did some very mundane things like laundry, cleaning out under my bathroom sink, organizing some spring clothes and so on. I think most of that was under the category of "nesting", which felt very grounding to me.

Today I slept until I woke up, did my morning pranayama, japa, meditation and pujas. Then we walked the dogs. I did some gentle asana and then we went kayaking which was great. THe sun is just perfect and sparkling on the water and I am always just so happy to be in my little pink boat.

On a side note several people up in Vancouver mentioned how surprised they were to see me wearing pink (This is when I bought a pink Lululemon outfit on my trip) and how they did not think of me as a "pink person". And I kept saying that "Well, I do not know why- I have always loved pink!" So then I got to thinking of all the things I have that are pink- I have a pink kayak, a pink paddling jacket, a sparkling pink helmet, a pink watch, a pink cell phone, a pink silk sari from India, some fabulous pink necklaces, lots of pink clothes from T-shirts to dresses to blouses. I even have a pair of pink plaid sneakers, two pairs of pink sandals and now a very cute pink Lululemon outfit! Anyway- pink is a great color. In fact if Kelly would have let me, our bedroom would be pink. But anyway, I digress.

Kelly and I ate lunch on the porch and in a little while we will walk over to the farmer's market. I am hoping they will have the fresh strawberries this week. Then I am planning another long practice and then some homework for Carlos later this evening.

It is really nice to feel myself unwinding a little. And what an amazing day of weather. Spring perfection. Really.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Immersion Weekend

It is the final stretch here with this Immersion Cycle. I think the weekend went well. I have some concrete plans for what to cover in the next two weekends to fill in some gaps and to bring some clarity to to where we seem to be confused as a group. It was so funny to me to feel kind of blank at certain points with some of the philosophy after the week long philosophy intensive I had done in Vancouver when I felt really clear and focused on that subject matter and the historical time lines and so forth. But in that case we were so immersed in that subject only that in some ways it was easier. I really felt the lack of continuity that exists with this extended format and how I kept thinking "well we jsut talked about all this" but really, the History of Yoga discussion and DVD viewing was back in August for the first group. No wonder you cannot remember where the Gita fits in! So- we are going to review a bunch of that stuff. Not to worry.

One thing I was very pleased with this weekend is how far along everyone is coming in their asana practice. I really turned up the volume a bit on the level of poses we practiced and the intensity and the length that we practiced and everyone really did a great job with that demand. So that is awesome. It was super great to see how far along arm balances have come and how good the backbends are getting. (AND HOW LITTLE WHINING THERE WAS!!!)

Also I am so pleased with how many people are interested in pursuing Anusara-Inspired status and working toward certification. It is a great thing to me to see so many people want to keeping growing in their practice of Anusara Yoga and to learn represent the method and its teachings. Definitely, this makes me happy. Think about how cool it will be in Austin, Texas with more than a dozen certified teachers throughout the city. And really, its not that far off and it might just be you!

One more thing-at the end of the day Lindsay asked me a question about whether or not I feel wiped out after a day of practice with John Friend. I said in some ways yes. And in some ways no. (But we never really do six hours straight with him-- although when I was at the immersion I guess I did because I practiced with him on the breaks but that is another story.) But I also want to use this opportunity to tell everyone that if after two days straight of 6- hour days you feel so tired that all you want to do is have a drink and watch TV, do not worry. It is very intense undertaking what we are doing. Holding a focus for 6 hours and interacting and learning and practicing and considering deep philosophical concepts and processsing your own emotional material is not easy. So if it wipes you out a bit, just trust the process. Rest, rejuvenate and so on. Be prooud of yourself. Remember it is called an "Immerison" not a "Getting your Feet Wet" for a reason.

Speaking of wiped out- It is past time for bed for me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Brief Recap

I had a great day. I went to meditation, did some asana, cooked lunch at the ashram, picked my 14-year old friend up from school and went hiking. Then she and I met up with Rakini to cook dinner for a bunch of folks. We all ate the dinner which was great and hung out for a while. Then I came home, talked with Rachel and now it is time for bed. Past time for bed, in fact. I am super sleepy

Tomorrow after meditation I am going to teach a class at Prescott Yoga, which should be a lot of fun. And then I will practice and then meet Allison, my mentor, friend, and former landlord for lunch. Then I will meet my 16-year old friend Neith for a hike and then out to the ashram for the evening programs and then I leave first thing on Friday morning.

It is fun hanging out with my teenager friends while I am on this visit. I used to teach them cooking class and yoga class when I lived here because they were home schooled then. So I have known them for so long-- since they were like 6 and 8 years old--and now they are driving and growing up and so it is great to connect with them and catch up with who they are becoming.

It has been a great trip. If I get a chance I will check in tomorrow but if not, its because I am busy with my visit. I have had lots to reflect upon on this trip. Mostly I am really aware of how great a place it is here and how great a place I moved to. I am pretty damn lucky when you get right down to it. Lots of love everywhere I turn. What great fortune. I am really looking forward to the Immersion this weekend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Today has been a nice mellow day. I had a lot of down time and personal reflection time that I have been craving. I went to the ashram for meditation, had breakfast and lead and asana practice there. I got a chance to talk to my teacher about some practices and then I drove out to Granite Mountain and went for a hike. It was totally gorgeous and so great to walk along the trail. Of course, I missed hiking with Kelly and the dogs but it was quiet and expansive and just really great to be out in nature and to spend a little time alone. Then I met my friend Rakini for a cup of tea and visit. Then I came home to Rachel and Dan's and did a little work and now i am getting ready to go back out to the ashram for dinner, a talk and some satsang.

I was really touched by the sweet feedback and encouragement that everyone gave me about some of my schedule plans. It can be a hard thing because while everyone truly does want their yoga teacher to be happy and healthy, no one wants their yoga class cancelled or changed! I understand that part of the formula as well having had yoga teachers over the years who changed their schedules in ways that were inconvenient to me! So anyway, it means a lot to me to get some words of encouragement. It is an ever-evolving experiment- the schedule. Years ago a great counselor of mine told me that I had to set limits on things so that the things I loved would keep being the things that I love. (Thus avoiding burnout and so forth.) Anyway- there are lots of fun things coming up this year. Like what is one or two classes compared to a trip
to India with me and Genevieve? Anyone want to go?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Brief Check In

It has been a busy day- I got up and went to meditation. Then I had breakfast and taught a class on the ashram. I spent the morining cooking lunch at the ashram. After lunch I had an appointment with my bodyworker friend Eric. I always say that he is part physical therapist and part shamanistic exorcist. At any rate, it was somewhat cathartic and kind of provocative in a certain way. The session gave me lots to work with but nothing I feel like making public quite yet. Mostly things to process internally before sharing. And it helped my psoas. It is much looser.

After that, I came home and wrote and then cooked dinner for Dan and Rachel. I made an excellent pasta primavera. I did a little more work and I am now just taking a moment to check in.

I am having a great visit. There are so many people here to see and to catch up with and yet I also am feeling the need for some quite introspection. So that has been an interesting thing to be with. Excitement about seeing everyone and also really needing some down time. Mostly I am jsut trying to absorb the love that is here because I have so many long-standing friendships and relationships here that have been so important to me.

When I get back I am going to have the lovely Kimberly J. teach my Tuesday night classes for about six weeks. This is because I am super busy right now -- like I come home teach an Immerison, then go to Idaho, then to Bozeman, then Des is here, then we have the Teacher's Gathering, etc. Anyway I figured out that I need a little break in the week where I have a day or so off. I realized that these 21-day stints of teaching are just not functional for me over the long haul. Or even in the short term! So I will teach in San Marcos on Wednesdyas and in Austin on Thursdays and then in mid-May I will pick the Tuesday night class back up. I love everything I am doing rightt now but I am doing too much to really take care of myself well. So that is something I have been chewing on a while and I have decided this week.

More tomorrow. It is a more mellow day, I think.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Been a while

So-- on Thursday I was still so tired and overloaded from being gone and getting ready to go again that I decided to ask Anne to sub my nighttime classes. What was great about that is that it cleared my day so that I could take care of myself and also spend some time with Mom and Dad before they went back to Georgia. We all went out for a really great dinner together and I had time to pack and organize myself for my trip to Arizona. I had really been looking forward to teaching that night but I also really needed a night off. I was feeling closer to the edge than I like to feel. And from all reports, Anne taught stellar classes and so that is good.

I left home on Friday at 6:3o to go to the airport. The flight was uneventful. I managed to catch up on my homework from the study group with Carlos on the plane and when I got to Rachel's house. So that little task is done. Now all I have to do is get prepared for this week's lesson!

The workshop has been great. The group is a bit smaller than it was the last time I was here but it is such a great feeling to be back teaching at Prescott Yoga and to see everyone that I know so well. One thing that me and some of my yoga teacher friends who teach workshops always talk about is how difficult the Friday night class can be to teach in a weekend workshop. It is generally a "getting to know you" kind of class. The students have to learn how to take your class and what you mean by the what you are saying different or the same from how their teachers might say the same thing and so on. So as the Friday night class was so easy to teach and then Saturday morning was the same way, at some point I realized that it was because everyone in the room knows how to take a yoga class from me! They took classes from me for over 5 years, some of them! So it has been an easy and smooth feeling weekend because of that. A real pleasure for me to teach and to see how everyone's practice is evolving and growing.

The weather in Prescott is at its best- cool air, gentle breeze, warm sun and blue sky. So nice. I went to meditation this morning at the ashram, taught three classes came home and Rachel and I cooked an awesome meal of veggies and rice (my favorite thing to eat these days- variations on the "veggies and a grain" theme) and then I went to The Raven to see my friends' band, SHRI, play. It was awesome. Now, time for bed.

Lots more to say as I have a lot on my mind these days but now I must wind down. Tomorrow is a big day. I am going to teach in the morning and then go out to the ashram for an afternoon and evening of activities. I will hopefully get some time to write either late tomorrow or sometime Monday.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Update on Mundane Details

I got home from Vancouver on Monday around 7:15 pm. Kelly was teaching. So after he got out of class around 8:15, we headed down to San Antonio to pick up Mom and Dad who were returning from their trip to Italy. (Which according to all reports sounded fabulous.) We finally got to bed around midnight.

Tuesday was reasonably uneventful. Laundry, dog walk, yoga practice and then I went into Austin to teach at Westgate. It was fun to see everybody. I worked with the theme of Light in both classes- the light of the heart, the light of awareness, the light of divinity. That sort of thing. Susan, Susan, Mike and Katherine double-dipped.

Yesterday after breakfast and a small interpersonal matter, I practiced asana. Then I took Dad to his appointment with Craig. During his session Mom and I went to REI where I got some supplies for my upcoming trip. Then we met up with Kelly for lunch at Central Market and a trip to Cavendar's so that Dad could buy a cowboy hat. They all went back home and I had an appointment with Craig. Then I came home and taught my Wednesday night class while Kelly took Moshie the greyhound to the vet and got dinner ready.

So that takes us to this morning where I am catching up on my blog and munching on apples. I think after breakfast we are going to do a dog walk and then I am going to do an asana practice. Then Anne is coming for lunch and the afternoon before my Thursday night classes.

Tomorrow I am headed to Prescott to teach. I will be gone for the week after that, I will get home on April 11th and then we have The Immersion! Part Three! The week after that I have some friends visiting so I will not teach on Tuesday night and then off to Idaho and then the following weekend to Montana and then Des is here. The week after that I am in Denver at the Certified Teacher's Gathering. Okay- so it is a busy, busy, busy time for me.

But speaking of Des- if you have not registered, please do so- the workshop is almost full. Also Brigitte is going to host a potluck on Saturday night at her home and so plan on coming to that. Significant others are welcome. We have lots of folks coming from out of town so I am hoping that they will come to the potluck and give us a chance to connect with one another.

So that is the mundane detail update. I do have a few deeper things on my mind but not the energy to write about them right now. Mostly this week at home has felt like a transition with more to do than I have time to do it in.