Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Post Yoga Adventuring Brain Swell

Do you ever get that feeling that you're so full of stuff, of ideas, of new information to process, when you have so much to say and share, that you could just burst?  It's May 17, 1980, just before a quiet St. Helens blew her top; it's the year 78 AD, just prior to the Plinian eruption of Mount Vesuvius that all but erased Pompeii from the map.  A moment of seeming calm preserved at the hand of Vishnu, before Shiva brings destruction so Brahma can create anew.

Since mid-November, I've been in a sort of learning mode.  Practicing with and learning from all my favorite teachers in the local community as well as some of the bigger names in yoga-land. Over the course of the last month or so, I've studied postural patterning with my local mentor and friend Pat Donaher (check out his blog), practiced with internationally known Shiva Rea, started a 500-hour teacher training with local Kundalini and TriYoga teacher Daniel Orlansky, and got immersed in the therapeutic side Acroyoga.

As a yoga teacher, I immediately look to assimilate all the new good knowledge into class material.  But my biggest lessons in all of this have been profoundly personal.  As a practitioner, I'm struck time and again by how I'm forced to compassionately confront my flaws, reexamine supposed positive attributes, and let it all be good.  All the while, there's this backdrop, a community that generally walks its talk and will pick you up when you do fall down (because there's also a recognition that it happens and it's normal).

Slowly, but surely, it'll all get out of my head on to (digital) paper.  Right now though, I'm planning to happily ride and nurture this yoga high...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gone Droid and Loving It

I accidentally got myself a gift on Black Friday.  Well, I intended to get a Droid, Black Friday made it free.  Free is more gift-like than the sans contract, sans holiday discount price creeping towards $400.  

Considering the fact that I pretty much use Google for everything, the OS is ideal. Gmail functions nearly exactly as it does in browser, which is a step up from iPhone, where you could accidentally delete messages but archiving with labels was inconvenient.

I was reluctant about the service provider change, not because I had a strong affinity for AT&T mobility.  Mostly out of habit, I think; I had been an AT&T customer since it was Cingular; I've never had another carrier.  AT&T's loss is Verizon's gain -- the service tends to be more reliable, in my house (which had been a problem), on the way to the studio (also had been a problem), and on the roads I often travel... 

And thankfully, all the apps I didn't want to give up from my iPhone are there and much less buggy so far.

Returning to gratitude...
The technological age that we live in is a mixed blessing.  It is simultaneously wonderful to have access to instantaneous information and constant contact, and disappointing when we don't connect the way we now expect or believe we should.  Our expectations warp around our technology.  Hundreds of years ago we relied on horses to carry letters, there weren't phones, voicemail, texts, status updates or tweets; I highly doubt people were wringing their hands waiting for a reply to a letter reply--there was no way to know the original correspondence got to its destination at all.  Instant information creates amazing opportunities; I'm grateful to have a phone that enables that.  Now, if only I can keep my (interpersonal) expectations in check.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Flow & The Real Bird of Paradise

A week ago today, I taught a half flow, half restorative class to prepare folks for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.  We had a pretty good time, and a rockin', if not slightly nutters, playlist to practice to...  This is one of my more diverse ones, and I had some requests to post it publicly, so here it is:

  1. Devotion, Stephen DeRuby
  2. Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits
  3. Just Dance, Lady Gaga
  4. We R Who We R, Ke$ha
  5. Bizarre Love Triangle '94, New Order
  6. Raise Your Glass, Pink
  7. Letting Go, Sean Kingston & Nicki Minaj
  8. One Tribe, Black Eyed Peas
  9. Like This, Kelly Rowland
  10. Heart of the Matter, India.Arie
  11. Thank You, Dido
  12. Govindah, Rasa
  13. Love, ANAHATA
  14. Gift of Tears, Vin Mitchell
  15. Silent Moment, ANAHATA

The Real Bird of Paradise? 
I split my Thanksgiving between the kitchen and the yoga studio.  And as such, my fella inevitably made a crack about the bird of paradise, a reference both to the bird I prepared (above) and the yoga pose (featured to the right).  The pose is quite challenging -- it's a balancing pose, with a bind, with some serious hip opening; it took me about a year to get the balancing and the bind, without the full extension of the leg.  Comparatively, the other bird took four and half hours to cook, and over a week later, we're still munching on the leftovers.

Which is the real bird of paradise?  You tell me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah to all of you out there celebrating tonight!   
May you eat all the fried goodness you can handle.  I know I'll be thinking about sufganiyot, a delicious Hanukkah jelly doughnut.  I might just have to get myself to a dunks for an American version of the yummy, Israeli treat.  

On Gratitude: 
Gifts are always a good reason to be grateful.  Last week, I got a NookColor as an anniversary (and Hanukkah and Christmas and my next birthday) gift.  Of course gifts are great, but gifts that keep on giving are better.  For the bookworm in me, this is truly just that.  

I'm still stocking my virtual bookshelves.  Book suggestions are more than welcome!