Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday Morning

Well, after some lovely classes yesterday and doing my best to get a lot of my ducks in a row, I am about to sign off until February. I will be in California until the 31st of January with no computer, no cell phone and no contact with the outside world. So, when I am back home, I will be back online and back in classes teaching.

And speaking of lovely classes, both of my classes really were delightful yesterday. In the morning we worked a lot with twisting actions- parivritta balasana, parivritta parsvakonasana, maricyasana 3, pasasana We worked with lots of refinements in each pose and focused on how to twist from the back body and also how to initiatie the twist from the base of the spine. All in all it went quite well. I really enjoy the Focus on Form Class where we take poses apart a little more and work on refining them several times. Understanding as well as expression really comes along with that approach.

At 6:00 we worked with a lot hip opening and arm balancing which was fun also. Still with the emphasis of moving into the back body- eka pada koundinyasana, bakasana, eka pada galavasana, tittibasana with lots of preparation and exploration leading up to and in between the arm balances. Also, I gave people time to try some of them from sirsasana 2 which went well for a lot of people. Level 2-4 is a tricky level to teach because it spans a pretty broad range of ability many times. Although this Wednesday night class is definitely less on the 2 side and more on the 4 side and I try to give lots of stops a long the way as the sequence progresses and deepens. From what I could tell, everyone had a good attitude and watching almost 19 people all off the ground in eka pada koundinyasana is pretty sweet.

Also very awesome this week was seeing some of the old gang back in classes like Lauran and Pammy and also some new folks finding their way to The Castle like Tierson, Kathy, Ocean and Miranda. And, of course, those of you who are regular attendees in class, the class wouldn't be there without you so I thank you as well for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for the work we are all doing together.

All right then, like I mentioned earlier, I am signing off for a while. I got most of the things handled that I wanted to get handled and I am sure that anything else I left undone can wait. Have a great 10 days. See you in February.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Morning

Well, its Wednesday morning already and I am finishing up my tea this morning getting as Kelly is reading me some horrifying statistics about how many hours a day the average America child is interacting with an electronic device. Of course, I could talk about that this morning but if you are reading this it is because you are interacting with an electronic device! (Sigh)

This morning breakfast is like a new stream...last in, Kelly says Cedar allergies are predicted to get worse... okay, enough of that...time to write....

Well, yesterday was a somewhat trying day. I spent a lot of time yesterday (like 3 hours) compiling and editing a draft of my manuscript to get to John so he can edit it while I am on retreat and the computer kept not saving my work and losing the document and not sending it and so forth. I was seriously frustrated. Nor did it did not help that I had coffee yesterday morning instead of my usual tea so I was more edgy than usual! But eventually, I got the document changed, saved and sent to Mr. Friend.

On the non-trying end of things, I went down to San Marcos to have my hair cut with Ana and to talk with her about her journey as a yoga teacher and some ideas about opening up The San Marcos School of Yoga again. So that was fun. I don't think I would take on any classes there but we may collaborate on opening it as a Yoga Co-op of sorts with a somewhat small initial class offering. We'll see. Nothing definite until I get back from my retreat and I am more clear about how best to use my energy. But having the space in operation would also free me up to hold some of my 2011 trainings there.

So, then I went to Castle Hill for my 4:30 class which was fun. I had a class plan but I also took requests although oddly, I didn't really work too well with the requests or my plan because once I was looking at certain poses I went in the direction of what I was seeing in the classroom over what I had planned. So we worked a lot with shoulder and skull loop- a favorite topic of mine as of late- in vira 1, anjaneyasana, eka pada raka kapotasana and took that into some ustrasana and ustrasana drop backs and then into some urdhva danurasana work. I got on a theme about making peace with the small nation of one's own being and being sovereign over oneself as a peaceful and intelligent ruler. I thought it went well. We had a very sweet and sincere and hard working group assembled.

So- time to get ready for Focus on Form.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Morning

Well, a whole "day off" is stretching out in front of me and so that is kind of fun. The Immersion was really great yesterday. We began with a long pranayama, mantra and meditation practice and then did some technical discussion about the loops and spirals and the way they relate to one another and finished with an asana practice working a lot with skull and shoulder loop in cobra, ustrasana and heading toward pigeon droppings. (we are not quite there yet- we stopped with waving arms in ustrasana but that work paves the way to pigeon droppings.)

All right- after the Immersion, Kelly and I walked on the greenbelt, which was great because after being inside in a slightly warm room all day I definitely needed some fresh air. We came home and made dinner and I fell asleep early. All in all a good day although Kelly and I got in a talk about all the changes we have made since we left Arizona and I realized how many things I miss about being there. It is an interesting thing because I also love so many things about here. So it is one of those cases of "both", I think. Missing a place, missing my friends and endeavors there sits right along with the fact that I like what I am doing here. So there is, in the missing, no impetus to try to recreate what was, just an acknowledgement of a certain time -a lot of which I really loved- having passed and feeling the feeling associated with that.

One thing I really miss is having my own studio. I work for great studios here so I do not miss it because I am not involved in great things now. I am involved in really great things here. It is just something I really enjoyed that I am not doing now. Truly, I am gone way to much to run a studio as a sole proprietor in the way I did before- as we know, I can barely teach my 4 public classes a week as it is, much less 10-15 classes on a weekly schedule with advertising, marketing, cleaning, managing teachers and so forth- so it is not really a practical consideration either.

Anyway, those are today's musings from Christina Sell. I am looking forward to a nice long practice today and perhaps a walk before I do some work to get ready for my upcoming trip. I will be gone from January 21-31 on a personal retreat and so I have some things to get ready to go before I head out. I will be teaching my regularly scheduled classes at Castle Hill on Tuesday (4:30 Level 2-4) and Wednesday (9:30-11 Focus on Form and 6-7:30 level 2-4) so please come and join me this week or I won't see you till February which would be sad!

Have a great day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Morning

I was sleeping so deeply until about 4:30 when one of the dogs began to howl at the moon which woke me up! I laid (or did I lie? I never know.Or did I lay? ) in bed for another hour and then got up and did my pranayama and meditation practice and now and doing a little writing while my digestion turns after which I will eat some breakfast.

Hmmm... I am enjoying teaching Immersion a lot this weekend. I usually enjoy it so it is not that I am saying I like it more than other times or anything like that. It is just that what I like about Part 3 is that so much of the outlining of the UPA's is actually done so the asana is less structured around disseminating the method in a step-by-step process and more integrated into people's bodies which is really cool to see. By Part Three we know each other pretty well and so that affords a lovely freedom as a teacher and the group that has made it this far is always of a high caliber and a high level of commitment. It is no small task to commit to a 108 hours of Immersion Studies. It is a big deal. It really is.

So- also, as we near the final weekends of Immersion studies we begin to turn our minds every so slightly towards teacher training which is just around the corner. I really hope some of you who have already done an Immersion or a 30-hour teacher training with me can join this group for teacher training. This is the only local teacher training I will be doing until 2011 or maybe even 2012 and so it is a great opportunity to refine your skills. I just cannot do a lot with individual meetings, mentoring and so forth so this is a great way to get support in the certification process. We have 100 hours of TT on the books which is also a great because we get to really work together- not in a piecemeal fashion. Also- the group has a lot of experienced teachers in it so I anticipate the level of conversation being quite interesting.

Don't get me wrong. I like training teachers of all levels, I really do. But experienced teachers have a whole different relationship to teaching because they have been on the front lines,so to speak and so the challenges and delights of teaching asana are based on direct experience which makes for a very interesting conversation.

Speaking of Teacher Training, for those of you who live outside of Austin, Texas, please consider joining me in Costa Rica for a week of work with Sequencing strategies. Morning with me and the afternoons with Martin Kirk diving into anatomy and the science of the UPA's and evening kirtan with Shantala- all while you eat great food with awesome people in a beautiful place. (Shameless plug, here.) But really I do not know when I would do another training just like this. Seems like two years ago I did a sequencing training in San Marcos, so it has been a while. For more info go to

Well, I did not get online this morning planning to do commercials but while I am at it- there is still room in the Mexico Retreat in February. All levels are welcome and I am very excited about a week of yoga, sun and surf. Check it out.

All right- enough of all that for now. I had a great conversation last night with my friend and colleague Emma Magenta, an awesome certified teacher up in New Jersey, and after some business we got to sharing about teaching yoga and she said something so cool and inspiring I thought I would pass it along. We were talking about our dharma and how much we love our work and she said, "You know sometimes I am teaching and I find that I am saying things from such a deep place and I truly feel like I am being an instrument for something Greater." She said, "It is not every day but it is at least once a week that I feel that way." We went on to talk about how lucky we are to have work that puts us in such a flow and delivers us to that sense of service and how much more we like teaching yoga now than when we started. The journey is more fun, more interesting, more refined now than when we started. And so, instead of doing this for ten years, twelve or however many years and feeling burnt out, we both feel more inspired now than when we started. How cool is that?

Time for food.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Satruday Morning

Well, let's see... I have been pretty darn busy since my return. I feel like except for some time out to practice or teach I have been chained ot my computer- making travel arrangements, sorting out 2011's schedule (which I am very excited about. Yes, I know it is only the beginning of 2010 and I am also excited about what is in store for me this year but some fun collaborations are in the works for 2011- New Year's Eve with me and Christy Nones in Miami, two Immersion cycles with Darren in Tucson, Immersions and TT with Karen In Idaho, Manorama will come teach in Corpus Christi and TT I will offer there, a weekend here and one in Denver with me and Amy Ippoliti teaming up for "double the shakti," as well as a return visit to Oklahoma, South Carolina and some other adventures brewing.)

But back to the present moment... Thursday night we had class at 4:30 which was fun. The class was a little smaller than usual but so great to get a chance to really go deep. We worked with twisting and hip opening and got to yogi dandasana and explored the clasp in Maricyasana 3 a bit. Lots of revolved forms led the way. Then I drove up the road to Breath and Body for the first night of our beginning series there which went really well. We had a nice full room although many of the folks in there were there for purposes of Teacher Training, not because they were beginners. But still, the beginners did great and I had a super fun.

And here is a short video clip of me introducing the chant to the new group last night:

All right then, yesterday afternoon I joined Desirae for her 4:30 flow class at Breath and Body whcihw as super great. she is a caring, professional, sincere teacher and it was fun to be in her class. Then we had the Immersion. We start the final phase this week, and after some introductions and a review game which most people did not feel was very fun at all, we did an asana practice incorporating the top 5 tattvas into the theme, with special emphasis on the 3,4, and5. What are they? Will, Knowledge and Action or Iccha, Jnana, Kriya or sadashiva, isvara, shuddavidya or Heart, Mind, Body or Attitude Alignment, Action. So many ways to say it and point to the same notions. So we worked with brining these three aspects of ourselves into the practice. I think it went well.

Although, admittedly it started as a kind of challenge with Dale asking me if I would really teach something like the tattvas in a public class and implying that it couldn't or shouldn't be done. And those of you who know me, know that I love a good challenge in the domain of teaching Anusara Yoga. Just tell me things like '"you cannot teach alignment in flow", or "you cannot teach philosophy or alignment to beginners," or "you cannot teach heart qualities to alignment people," or "you cannot teach this to seniors," or "you cannot make a flow person watch a demo," or "you cannot make this gentle," or "you cannot make it hard enough," etc. and so forth and I will just smile and say, "Watch me!"

Anyway, the point is some population and circumstances of teaching this are easier than others but if you really get what we are doing in Anusara Yoga, like really grok it, you will begin to see the genius in our method is in its broad range of application. You cannot teach these different groups the same way but you can maintain the integrity of the method in a variety of circumstances. It is a philosophy of totality and so really, it all depends on how interested we are in developing our skills in such a way that the method doesn't encumber us but frees us as teachers. This is what I love about it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Morning

So I got home last night around 10:00 and after unpacking some of my things I went straight to bed. Here I am this morning, eating breakfast, having some tea, and reflecting on the last week.

I talked at the end of the Immersion about how an Immersion- particularly in the 6-day format- is a rite of passage in many ways. (For those of you who do not know- rites of passage, initiation and so forth were the topic of my Master's Thesis.) Anyway, across cultures rites of passage have several things in common:

1. There is severance with the ordinary world, with the ordinary, mundane, day-to-day existence we call "normal life."

2. In the Vision Quest ceremony, the initiate actually calls out for a vision and states very clearly to themselves and the Universe that they want Higher Knowledge. They ask for it in a formalized, ritualized way.

3. There are trials, tribulations- externally or internally- where the initiate faces their mortality. Where they have a near-death experience or- if it is internal, actually may die to something that is part of the old life.

4. There is a scarification process. Typically the initiate is in some way marked, branded (like as in getting a tattoo or something- to signify to themselves and others that they are no longer who they were. Something significant has occurred and that they are accountable to live the change.

5. There is a return into the community. Part of this return is that they share their vision. The idea was never that the vision was for the seeker alone but it was for the community. One person's work on his or her self is for the benefit of the community in which they live.

So it occurs to me that when we get on a plane and go somewhere for a training, or when the training is in our home town and we arrange our life so that we can participate in it, we enter into an age-old process of initiation.

(1) We, to greater or lessor degrees, sever our ties with the mundane world and enter Immersion World. Many people travelled great distances to be there this last week but even if you just came from across town, this was not an ordinary 6-days. Every morning and Every afternoon we go into the field of initiation. It is like chamber or sometimes we call it a crucible. It is Sacred Space.

(2) We contemplate big ideas, we ask ourselves what we long for, what our vision is and we invoke the help of Grace in seeing ourselves more clearly. We write, we talk, we discuss and we put this questioning into our bodies through our asana. Every time we chant, we are calling out for the Highest Vision of who we are to be brought forward.

(3) And there are trials and tribulations. At least once in a week, on some level, we feel as though we might die. We come face to face with what must die inside of us for us to realize who we most truly are.

(4) And we are changed forever. And whether or not we get a tattoo to commemorate the change, we have tokens, mementos and imprints on our heart that remind us, if we allow them to, that we shifted, we expanded and we stretched in new ways towards our capacity.

(5) And we return to our lives. Changed, inspired and renewed, sobered by the responsibility it is to have a vision of Light in a world full of darkness. We return, humbled by the good fortune it is to have great company when so many are lonely and grateful to have teachings and teachers to guide us when so so many people are lost. And we endeavor, in our unique way, in our individual spheres of influence, to share the light, to create authentic communities, to offer the teachings to those who want them.

And so the Immersion really never ends. We are initiated into a life of service that stands on a commitment to becoming who we really are. What I think I love most about teaching Immersions is that I enter that transformational field every time along with everyone else. These trainings work on me in the same way they work on the participants and every time, I shift, I grow, I assess, I face my shortcomings, I assert my truth and I am forever changed by the process and by the group.

And there is no other thing I would rather be doing with my life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Morning

so the days are just packed it seems and getting the time to really write about everything that is going on seems difficult. One thing that is we start every morning at 8:30 so my usual blog writing time is not so available. And then I practice at lunch and the a bit after the afternoon session and then its dinner, debrief and planning for the next day and so on.

Anyway- Immersions are really full experiences- they really are. There is the whole pressure cooker environment for people of just being in a room with 50 other people for 6 hours a day for 6 days straight. there is the immense download of information about the method, there is a fair amount of very focused asana and there are the probing questions out on's personal life and a commentary about that. It is amazing watching all that arises for people, myself included, when you invoke a space for transformation, try to teach a very full curriculum of material and so on. It is very intense, but it is one of my favorite things to be part of, for sure.

One of the themes we are working with for the week is "What is your deepest longing?" Again, I think this questions is right in line with my "try really hard" theme in a sense. Those things we would try really hard for, would certainly be, as Dale suggested, those things that matter most. And while we are going to have to try really hard to attain and experience that which we long for most, also, it is an act of tremendous vulnerability to step into our longing and to really know it, experience it and let it become a guide.

In a lot of ways I think we have a culture of "not giving a shit" and playing life "cool" and I do not mean that as a criticism. Anything like that- if we do it- we came by honestly. I know for myself that in a lot of arenas I had big longings and when I didn't get what I wanted, it was painful and even embarrassing. So unconsciously, I found it was actually easier to just not want anything and then to stop knowing what I wanted and so on. We also have a culture of immediate gratification where living in our longing isn't a skill that we come by easily or naturally.

But the spiritual path actually involves recognizing our Deepest Longings and allowing them to be full inside of us. And when we acknowledge them and let them grow full inside of us and cultivate this state, they become a light by which we can see and by which we can guide our efforts. There is this story about Lance Armstrong that when he was training for The Tour, he evaluated every choice in his life by "Will this help me win The Tour?" And he said it made life remarkably clear.

So the process of digging deep, of uncovering the longing within us, bringing it to light t=so that we might truly know what it is a profoundly Big Deal. We may not be world class athletes training for a race but in some way each one of us does have a race to ride, a purpose to fulfill and longing to realize. Pull on the thread of these questions long enough and it can take you to some interesting places, that is for sure.

Onward. The day beckons.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day Two

Well, it has been a lovely time in Tucson so far. We started Thursday evening at Darren and Bronwyn's house for the introductory session. It is such an intimate and sweet way to gather together. Although I must say 52 people fitting into their living room was more than a little cozy although it worked beautifully.

I guess 52 people in the room at Yoga Oasis is a bit cozy also. But we snuggled in together the next morning and for the next week. We have a diverse group of people and practitioners. Lots of Tucson folks, Kumiko from Japan, Andrea from Asterdam, a few from Idaho, some from Canada, Los Angeles, Colorado, New York and Gia even came back from Austin. We have Anusara-Inspired teacher, soon-to-be-inspired teachers, folks new to Anusara yoga and everything in between. I believe the age range spans a few decades as well! And while I have pointed out how different and diverse the group is it is also quite unified. There is a sweet receptivity amongst the participants and a strong desire to learn and understand the method that is really delightful. Everyone is very willing to "go for it" on a lot of levels so that is also really inspiring.

We have been sticking as close to the curriculum as possible and still allowing as much as we can for the questions that arise a long the way to get answered, Yesterday we worked with Set the Foundation/Open to Grace in asana and today we had a "Hello to Muscle Energy" class which ended in dynamic arm balancing practice- bakasana, eka hasta bhujasana, dwi hasta bhhujasana, bhujapidasana. Great fun hugging the midline!

So- the thing to me that is really strong as we are teaching is just how much I love teaching Immersions. The opportunity to be with a group of people who have reserved 6 straight days of their life to immerse themselves in practice, teachings and good company is a most wonderful thing. to have the time and the opportunity to dive deeply into the teachings is so fantastic.

After class today I did a practice, ate some kitcharee and then Stephanie gave me massage which was so just plain great. Not plain great. No, it was more like fantastically great, supremely great, Absolutely Great. So while there is plenty more to reflect on tonight, I am going to sign off so that I can enjoy the afterglow of my massage treat.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Try Really Hard

Okay- so I have been talking all week about resolutions and how to me, a resolution is a completely different thing than an intention. I think an intention has to be at the source of a resolution for a resolution to be something other than a "self-improvement project that is doomed to fail." I definitely think that the more clarity we have around what we most truly want and intend for ourselves then the better we off in terms of manifesting positive growth and change in our lives.

But when it comes to true change we need a lot more than intention, in my mind. We need resolve. We need resolution. We need strong disciplined action that is going to bring the intention to life. Think about how you might have the intention to eat moderately for the New Year and maybe lose some weight. If you do not have resolve, that intention is going to last about as long as it takes to drive to Starbucks for a double mocha with whipped cream and a cookie. (Or whatever your thing is.) Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against tasty treats, I am just pointing out the difference between intention and resolute, committed action. Both are super important but we should not kid ourselves that they are the same thing.

At the core of this for me is the daring position it is in the world to step forward and really go for something. To really commit ourselves fully to an idea, an act, a practice, an aim, a goal is a huge risk and takes great resolve to carry out. So often I hear people say, well, I can set a goal because if I fail then I will feel bad. (Or something equivalent to that.) And the thing is, we do not have to feel like shit about ourselves if we set a goal and fall short of it. We do not have to ride the downward spiral to the bottom of the chute just because we didn't realize our high aim.

The solution to that whole dilemma, in my opinion, is NOT don't set a goal or don't resolve. The solution to that whole crux is self-love in the face of failure and seeing the failure for what it is and only what it is. If we go off our food plan, for instance, it does not need to equate with "I am a bad person" it is simply "going off the plan." And sure there might be some unconscious patterns that are sabotaging our efforts that we need to examine but even those should be examined for what they are and only what they are.

Years ago I realized I was more addicted to shame than I was any substance out there. I had a psychological pattern going that no matter what I did I felt bad about it- stay on the plan, I would tell myself that I was too rigid. Go off the plan and I would tell myself I was lazy. And on and on the torture (at my own hands) went. I realized that under all that was a self-sabotage mechanism where I could not let myself feel good. Anyway, the thing is, when we really see something for what it is and only what it is, shame is not present, feeling bad is not required, we just require the willingness to be vulnerable in the stark clarity of self-observation.

So there is more that could be said about this but part of the dynamic also involves daring to really want something in this life. And sure, I know we are all yogi's and into this non-attachment idea and so forth. But I think that until we can really want something, until we can really allow ourselves to go for something in our life, we cannot really taste non-attachment. Renunciation is not "not caring" or "not giving a shit". Renunciation is about the deep recognition that when we give ourselves fully to Our Work, we can let go of our attachment to the result and trust the intelligent flow of Grace to take us to the next logical step on the Path.

I see it all the time in asana. People have stopped trying to get better and they call it "yogic." I am just not into that. I think we should try really hard. I really do. I had a few words to say on the subject in South Carolina. Enjoy:

So- perhaps as the week goes on I will add to the discussion a bit but for now, that's a wrap.

Off to Tucson. We have a packed house. Last I heard, 52 people from around the world will converge on Yoga Oasis for Part One Immersion with Darren Rhodes and Christina Sell. YAHOO!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Morning

Well, I am up early this morning with a cup or tea and getting ready for the day. I woke up thinking about things this morning and found I just couldn't relax enough to get back to sleep. I do not feel worried per se more that I am extremely aware of all I want to accomplish before heading out to Tucson tomorrow morning. Also Kelly has been sick so I didn't want to risk waking him up by turning on my light to read for a while.

Yesterday went by in a flash. I had a chance to square some things away with some upcoming projects and that always feels good to me. I took a walk and then did a long asana practice in the late morning while my kitcharee was cooking. I did some lovely back bends and drop backs and used many of the discoveries along the way in my 4:30 class. After my practice I ate the cooking kitcharee and then got a lesson together for my online mentoring group. Then I went up to the Castle for my class. We worked with the theme of resolutions and keep resolute action in the legs, kidneys, pelvis and shoulders with the back bends.

It was really a class about the loops, as they apply to drop backs, but I didn't name them as such- we worked more from the actions involved and it seemed to go well. We used the wall to help support the drop back work and a lovely partner assist to come up that minimized momentum and really empowered the legs. I thought the class went well, although I was a bit tired from just getting home yesterday night. I also forgot that being the beginning of a new year, there would be lots of new folks in class, which there were. Hopefully the detailed, specific and intense work was not overly scary to them and I will see them back in class again. Everyone managed the work very well; whether they liked it or not is another story!

On a happy note, Kristen was back in town from Boulder and will be moving back in a month so it was fun to see her. And Pammy was in class again so it was as though order was restored to my personal yoga world. It is a funny thing about how people come and go from class. Even through there is a sense of continuity in classes for me, the reality is, over the course of a year, subtle shifts happen where a class which seems like it is very regularly attended by the same people can slowly morph until there is a totally different group there. On one level such a shift is almost imperceptible and yet, I do notice and miss people when they are not in class and I am always totally thrilled when someone who had been absent for various reasons comes back.

I stayed to take Gioconda's class at 6 which was lovely. She, too, was talking about resolutions, as I imagine many yoga teachers everywhere are. We did some lovely standing poses, arm balances and belly down back bends. After her class she and I went to the Castle Hill cafe for a bowl of soup and some girl time. Always fun.

I am thinking a lot these days about what to do with my schedule and whether it is in my and my classes best interests to keep teaching my public classes. I am gone so much and I wonder if that absence makes for a situation where the class doesn't grow as much and or become as vital as it would be with a regular teacher in place. For instance, I am only in town for one Thursday 4:30 class all month this month. So the thing is that I totally enjoy teaching my public classes and so I am reluctant to let them go and yet, when I hear people lament that "I am never here" and so on, I wonder if it would be better to shift my schedule because perhaps my absence is painting the wrong picture about my intentions and commitment and making it seem less than it is. When I am here, I am really here and I am committed to teaching class. And really, the time I am here is a "weekend" for me and my only "free time."

Although this free time business is something I am considering a lot as well. When I was in South Carolina, Stacy told me she asked John Friend if he ever got time off and he replied, "Stacy, there is no such thing as time off- only time." So it is in many ways with me. I make a living doing the thing I love more than anything else and so that shifts my outlook in life as to what is enjoyable quite considerably. Okay, more than teaching yoga, I like to practice yoga. More than teaching a good yoga workshop or class, I like to go to a good yoga workshop or class, but its not like I do yoga 5 days a week to finance my hang gliding habit. I don't make a living at yoga but have a passion for bicycling, for instance. Seriously, I do not have a hobby that I like more than yoga that I work all weekend to be able to do.

So, this teaching when I am home is something I think about a lot. If there is no "time off" there is only time, one must ask oneself about how best to use their time and how best to spend their energy. And the need to rest is not nothing. Like I said a few posts back, I do not subscribe to the new age notion that if you love what you do you would never get tired from it. Anyway, as it stands now, I am not changing it. I figure the answers will all be clear in time. That is usually how it works.

All right, onward with the day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Well,n it sure is great to be home. We had a whirlwind of a trip. Kelly and I headed out to Georgia on Monday and spent some time in Lavonia with Mom and Dad. The weather was cold but we went on several fun walks through the woods and got a chance to do some asana at their house and share some fun meals.

On New Year's Even we drove a few hours down the road to Columbia South Carolina to visit Stacy and her crew at City Yoga. Stacy is an incredible practitioner, teacher and overall amazing person so being with her and her gang was a lot of fun. We did a candlelight practice on Thursday night and she ended the evening with a lovely release/intention practice with mantra and meditation. We filled her awesome space with almost 60 people of all ages and abilities and had a really wonderful time together.

I remember talking to Stacy years ago and she told me, "You know, I have the greatest kula in Columbia." And the truth really is she does! So many open-hearted, generous and loving people who are all committed to each other, to the studio and to Anusara Yoga. They really welcomed me and Kelly with open arms and I must say we all laughed a lot. (Truth be told, they also groaned a lot but I suppose that happens everywhere I go.)

We did an all-levels practice on New Year's Day and an intermediate/advanced practice in the late afternoon. Here are some scenes. We are going to get a new software program soon because the music glitches are driving us both crazy. Oh well. One thing at a time, I suppose. Enjoy the pics anyway-

Stacy is one of those fantastic representatives of Anusara Yoga who is smart, funny, compassionate, insightful, totally beautiful and dedicated to serving her community in a real and vital way. I found the work she is doing there so very inspiring and it made me really appreciate the value of local yoga communities and the hard work it takes on everyone's part to create one and keep it alive in this day and age. Really yoga studios are sanctuaries and places of refuge and when they are at their best you can feel the service they provide when you step through the door. It is a very cool thing.

After that, Kelly and I drive to New Orleans and spent Saturday night and Sunday night there. We had never been there and so it was a lot of fun to check that out. It is one of those places that really feels somewhat otherworldly. Or at least in the sense that it has so much fantastic character and charm that it really is quite unique. We ate, drank and made merry. I must say I had no idea the restaurants would be so good there.

We drove home today and got in right after dinner. Both of us were pretty darn tired- Kelly has been fighting a cold the whole time we were in New Orleans which was the only bummer of the trip. All in all it was fantastic- family, work, play all wrapped up in one week.

Lots more to write about but that is it for now. I am looking forward to teaching tomorrow and Wednesday and then it is back on a plane and off to Tucson. We start a new Immersion Cycle there on Thursday and I cannot wait to meet everyone.