Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Animals Strike Curious Poses

Meet Shashi, one of three reasons I have been offline a lot more often lately. Shashi means "moonbeam" in Hindi, and more obscurely, Shashi Desphande happens to be one of my favorite authors. I won't overwhelm you with pics because my internet connection is slow as molasses, but don't worry, Victor and M.I.A. will be starring in a blog post soon. I'm hoping I'll catch a chicken doing yoga. You never know; the Polish hen was trying to ride my bike the other day.

I had to give them a stylish home, of course. I found these stickers of the London skyline for six bucks at Target, et voila!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cute Kid Teaches Me About Fun

This kid has totally tapped into his own totally awesome flow. The words might be nonsense, but he's got the ukelele down! Not only is he super cute wearing that fat tie and those suspenders, but he seems to be really enjoying himself!

Huang Mei Days

Man, it's a hot one. It's been raining on and off for about a week and half, and when it's not directly raining, the moisture hangs in the air like a thick, suffocating curtain. The locals call this season huang mei tian, or yellow mold days. In about three weeks, the rainiest part of the season will have passed, and it'll be time to set out shoes and coats to dry in the sun. I'm pretty much over it. 

This morning my friend Phoenix came over to do a yoga video. We switched on the air con, but it was still too muggy. The video was Kino MacGregor's Ashtanga practice, it's okay. We ended up just chatting on our mats and stretching mildly. My personal practice has been dampened with all the rain, the last few weeks I've been, to put it kindly, wilted. Most of my private peeps have left for their summer holidays, and since coming back from my own holiday, business is slow, or even bad. So I've been slow, and even bad. Instead of rolling out my mat, I've been rolling out dough: I've made coconut bread, banana bread, spinach/carrot/ginger muffins and countless attempts at frozen yogurt. I cooked a quiche and a loaf of brown bread. Not to mention the huge pot of popcorn I've been making every night for dinner. Summer so far is an eater. 

I don't mind saying I haven't been feeling much joy lately in practicing. It just feels like work. Teaching wise, the next big gig is a pre-natal class twice a week. I'm looking forward to that one, pre-natal yoga is a true pleasure, and a constant learning experience. If anyone out there is doing pre-natal or has in the past, I'd love to hear what you love doing in your classes. 

More to come soon. Ben just turned on "The Pacific", part four. Better go grab myself one of those spinach/carrot/ginger muffins. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Baaaack!

After a long and desperate time of no VPN, I'm pleased to say I've come out from behind the Great Firewall triumphant! Let us celebrate with this photo of a Five Pointed Star pose in a pool in Xiamen, China.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reclining Buddha.

Good morning! And now, a completely gratuitous cute cat photo since we have cat fever right now at Lulu Bandha's. Here's my stray cat (named George Clooney) laying in Reclining Buddha pose.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So I'm a Yoga Teacher Now...

Wow, sometimes I can't believe we have followers! We share our hearts and our yoga sequences and sometimes our silliest thoughts. We forget to post sometimes. We post too much sometimes. So thanks for following whether you're on the public "followers" list or you just read in stealth. Apparently, a few of you do. Love you all!
This is also posted at Lulu Bandha's new online yogi community, called The Garden. Please join and post your very own blogs!

I am so lucky to be a teacher at Lulu Bandha's. Sometimes I feel like it must be the happiest place on earth, and that happiness radiates out from Ojai to the universe.

I suppose I should talk about the experience of being a new teacher. But it's been so BIG and....not overwhelming exactly...but consuming. In a good way. Like finals week in college used to feel back in the day. Tons of prep time and fretting, but also pride in the work. And a sense of exponential learning, which is such a satisfying, dynamic feeling. I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy teaching, even though I often get frustrated with myself or insecure about endless silly things.

As usual, attending Kira's classes helps so much in unexpected, deep ways. Before my own class the other day I was feeling nervous and unprepared despite hours of doing everything from drinking liver-cleansing tea to watching videos to reading books to simply getting people to come. So I tried changing my thoughts. I said to myself, from as genuine a feeling as possible, "This is going to be a good class! It will be fun." And arriving with that expectation and attitude in my being, it was! It seems as though there's a fine line between suppressing feelings and letting go of ones that are holding you back.

I'm starting to notice that there are many instructions in yoga that seem simple but are in fact incredibly rich in meaning and have continued to reveal new flavors over the years. Things like "breathe into it" and "listen to your body" and "accept" and above all "relax." One day I'll suddenly 'discover' breathing, and it'll feel like I've never quite breathed before in my life. And now that I'm teaching I'm 'discovering' relaxing. I almost have a feeling that all the time on my mat has been solely to prepare me to be brave enough to show up at the studio 4 times a week and sit in the teacher spot. So that then and only then, I could finally begin my learning and relaxing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Photo-Illustrated Haiku

Pastry love from Lisa.

Farm girl, dancer, yogini.

Mountain mustard blooms.