Saturday, April 25, 2009

yogini in bikini

wheel and post wheel at cafe del mar in singapore.

lost a client the other day. said i was too expensive for her. doesn't feel very good, but i've already determined i can't lower my prices anymore and continue to teach in shunyi, so trying to let it go.

i have not been feeling well lately. homesick, upset stomach, headache. usually this means a lot of drawing my chin into my chest, child's pose, etc. but surprisingly i've been running on the treadmill and practicing a fairly strong private vinyasa set. it feels good while i'm in it, but afterwords nothing. don't want to get into now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

useful yoga pose #1: extended child's pose to recover from post rock show ear buzziness.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

yogis--they're just like us!

so i'm sitting outside on this little patio of a burrito bar in beijing's western hipster area, waiting on benjamin and some friends for dinner. i sat down and immediately after setting my bag down, there's a blond woman in front of me, sitting at my table. SARAH! she exclaims. wait, that's me. i don't know anyone here. how does she know me?!

and then it dawns on me. i teach her and a friend of hers at 630am thursday and friday mornings. we just spoke this afternoon about me coming tomorrow at 730 for a saturday morning class. of course i know her. but she's wearing make up, and a beautiful jacket! i'm about to order a beer! the shock of being noticed out of the element makes me an awkward chatter.

but then the best part: she tells me, loudly, so the whole patio can here, how great i am! you're fabulous! she says. we loved your class! and i'm all like, oh, yeah, oh great, oh yeah i know, right., playing it cool. like i just live and breath the power yoga at 630 in the mornings, ain't no thang, babies! i flip my hair, newly shorn i might add, and smile peacefully. yes. i rocked you, didn't i?

i know, i know. it's not about me. it's not about me! it's not about me!

but can it be a little bit about me? just for tonight?

ok fine. i'm over it.

oddly i bumped into another yoga client in salitun a few hours before. i feel so famous.

but yeah. yoga is going well out here. slowly but surely racking up more clients and building my business. saving my money. i'm beginning to invent my own sequences now, relaxing into my own flow. teaching is feeling more intuitive, as is my own practice at home.

stuff we've been working lately are the following:

warrior I
wheel and/or camel depending on the client and day. i've been borrowing from scott blossom's wheel debuted at the crib. everybody digs it and we all feel badass dropping back.
lots of chair and chair variations. i don't know why. i'm into the thunder thighs feeling lately.
and weirdly, triangle. i used to hate triangle, and now i'm teaching like three different variations. also been dealing in the bound side angle business, which is a crowd pleaser.

what else. breathing. keeping it fresh. dealing with my own shit and doing my best to keep it out of yoga classes. it's amazing the intimacy that's created by a one on one session. the things we feel inspired to share. working on listening.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Home Practice

Why do I always crave tea after doing yoga?  I'm sitting here at home, post yoga, drinking some yummy Mediterranean chamomile tea, still listening to my savasana playlist (Tracy Chapman at the moment).  This morning I got up early, but just a few minutes too late to catch my bus to Stephie's 7 am class.  I was up, though, so after bumming out about it for a few minutes, I decided to do some yoga on my own.  For motivation I downloaded a couple new dance tunes as suggested at elephant.  Music is soooo helpful for getting out of my head.  

My tailbone area has been hurting so I decided to address that immediately with a yin baddha konasana (my sanskrit spelling is a little rusty right now, sorry).  This is probably my favorite pose because I can always do it no matter my energy level.  Hanging your head down and shutting out the world while opening up your hips is always therapeutic.  I could feel my tailbone and pelvis spreading and opening into a new state of spaciousness I desperately needed.  

I eventually rolled forward into malasana (squat) and settled my weight into my pelvis and hips and felt my low back start to soften.  From there I immediately jumped to down dog but the pain in my sacrum area was still a bit too much to straighten my legs and tilt my tailbone to the sky so I dropped to all fours and and did a few delicious rounds of cat/cow tilts.  Next I did a frog and finally my hips and low back started feeling more open.  I did cat/cow again for good measure just because it felt good.  I don't know what came over me (it was probably the dance music) but I was in the mood for strengthening so I did some core strengthening work from all fours, which really heated up my body and let me release a lot of physical and emotional tension.  

I had thought maybe I'd take notes on what I did and try to design a yoga lesson I could teach to others.  Or come up with an idea for another YouTube video.  I got out the Lulu Bandha's Teacher Training Manual for ideas.  I started doing the very simple Lunge Salute Sans Vinyasa on page 93 and I kept repeating it.  

Lunge has become one of those formerly simple poses that now I feel like I don't know how to do.  There's so much to think about.  I can't quite get all the things I know about it to line up.  I hang out there in lunge, thinking through the instructions one thing at a time: shoulders down, check.  Tailbone tucked, check.  Don't sink into the front hip, check.  Heart open---wait, now my low back is compressing!  It's such a beautiful pose but I feel so stiff and awkward in it right now. 

Anyway I moved at a fairly fast pace through a few rounds of lunge salutes, throwing in a vinyasa here and there.  As I got out of my head and into my body, my yoga no longer needed a purpose, whether to get me in shape, to enlighten me, or to serve as fodder for teaching others.  All that mattered was that it felt great!  Eventually I dropped down for another frog, cat/cow, side plank, child's, and pigeon.  I had planned to get back up  but pigeon grounded and quieted me so much that I simply did a supine twist, switched on the savasana playlist, laid back and let go.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

yoga snores and supine twists in singapore

Back in Singapore for a few days. We're staying in a cute hostel with a rooftop garden, where the photo was taken. I've been enjoying Singapore more than I thought I did or would. But I guess the grass is always greener in Singapore.

Last night Ben and I had dinner with some friends here, and the night ended with midnight dip in our unders in the pool and a few rides on a segue. Yes, I felt just like Job from Arrested Development. There was some port drinking at the end of the night, and maybe it was that, I don't know, but last night I woke up thinking I was teaching a yoga class, and I had fallen asleep while my students were in savasana. Panic! So I cued something like, bring your legs into your chest, straighten the left leg and draw the right knee across for a supine twist. And I was doing the twist. I was like, supine twist, always a good fall back. Phew! And then Ben was like, uh...

I woke up with my arms in a tee shape, a perfect supine twist. In bed. Ben told me this morning I was like, talking through the cues so deliberately he didn't know if he should wake me up.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sci Fi Yoga

Tonight I went to Stephie's Studio Om "vigorous" class.  Stephie is a bad ass chick disguised as a sweetie pie.  She is quiet, super sweet, and unassuming.  But when she takes off her long-sleeve shirt at yoga class, you see the lovely tattoos and the strong muscles, and you start to think, uh-oh.  She keeps smiling at you at the same time as she's asking you to do push-ups and core strengtheners and get your alignment right.  She won't let you slack off and let your shoulders crawl up.  She won't let you arch your low back, even if you can't go into the pose as deeply.  

Not that she's all business.  She just believes in getting the alignment right so that you can start to play.  I still feel free to do just about all the wiggling I want!

After class I caught my bus back home along with another student, Victor.  Victor is a trip.  He just got into yoga a month ago and loves it.  He has to bus it even further than me, so in total, one yoga class takes up approximately 3 hours, including class and travel time.  He must use his travel time to write, I'm guessing, because he has completed his own science fiction novel.  As we rode, he pulled out his laptop and started playing the latest Wah! music.  On the bus!  For all to hear!  I swayed in my seat the whole way home.  Even the bus driver said she liked it.  When I got off she bade me farewell with a very sincere "God bless you baby" and Victor waved and called out "Namaste!"  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Private Practice

The weather is warm now. In Boulder I'd be on my bike, or hiking up Green Mountain. In Beijing, I walk three blocks to the subway and practice yoga in the sunniest spot in my gym studio.

Watched parts of Paul Grilley's Anatomy for Yoga. Amazing! Kind of in this weird place where I feel like everything I learned about, specifically, downward dog is wrong. Marley called me a flexy bendy, and I got reprimanded for 'hanging out' in downward dog. Paul Grilley makes the point that as long as there is no pain felt, it's okay. So today at the gym I did some sun salutes and warrior dances with awareness on where I felt compression, specifically in downward dog. I mean, I could bring my head to the floor easily. I can feel where my joints are meeting and can't stretch any further, and depending on how I want my hamstrings to feel, I move my legs accordingly. But I was told not to do that for a long time and down dog has become this pose that stresses me out, as I try to keep my arms active and my elbows bent and blah blah, keeping my face from the floor. I don't know. Is it bad? Here's an old photo, from August, during my CPY TT:

I'll try to get another one of me in the down dog that feels the flexiest, bendiest, and bestest.

Anyhow, it's something to think about. Still working with shoulder stuff.

warrior 2
side angle
reverse warrior
warrior 2
side angle
bound triangle
bound side angle
(my chatarungas and updogs getting better every time i practice..yay!)

then i've been hitting the pool or the treadmill. Swimming is hard, yo! It wears me out. Taking my savasana in the steam room...

Thursday, April 2, 2009