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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vacation and Yoga

Brad and I went to the beach from Friday-Monday last weekend and it was great!

First we went to the Aquarium and USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. I love the aquarium. I really love water and fish, so it was neat to see them all, but I feel bad that they're locked up in captivity for our viewing pleasure. I bought a peace sign aquarium magnet in the gift store. I found that ironic when I was on the Lexington. "I just bought a peace sign magnet, and I'm on a giant battle ship!" Brad really wanted to see it because it's an "engineering marvel" and everyone says it's neat to see. I was more interested in the view of the ocean from the ship than the actual ship (which is how I got a little sunburned from hanging out on the ship).

The ship was interesting to see. I watch a lot of Star Trek and sci fi shows about space, and it's neat to see how much of the space ship talk is based on the real ships. I went into a little gun thing on the deck and saw the giant bullets as it played an emergency "Man your battle stations" announcement. I'll admit that was neat enough for me to do it again while taking a video (to get the audio).

Then we toured around the ship to where people slept. Holy crap they had tiny little triple decker bunks. I guess you can't get lonely living like that. Their "closets" were itty bitty lockers. It helped me realize just how spoiled I am. The sick bay made me sad and serious. People died horrible deaths RIGHT HERE! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek. :(

Finally it was passed check-in time at the Mayan Princess. We got to the condo where we'd stay for 3 nights. It was almost the size of the apartment Brad and I had before we bought our house with a beautiful view of the pools and ocean. There was a full kitchen stocked with pots, pans, bowls, plates, measuring cups, EVERYTHING! Very nice.

We enjoyed relaxing in the pools and ocean, flew a kite on the beach, and had a great time. On Sunday we went on a dolphin tour out of Port A. Fishermen who know where dolphins hang out have learned that they can make some easy money giving tourists boat rides around the bay. It was really neat to see dolphins in their natural habitat. I didn't feel bad for them because they weren't in captivity. The giant fishing boats made me think of the Little Mermaid and why humans are a terrifying evil to the sea life, and the drilling equipment made me think of offshore drilling and the horrible oil spill that keeps getting worse. Serious moments aside, I had a really great vacation.

But that's not all! When I got back to San Antonio on Monday, I made the evyogaschool website and watched the 24 series finale. Then on Tuesday, I got to meet and hang out with my buddy Wayne. He works on our layout from the Princeton office, so I've worked with him for 4 years now. We've been through late nights to meet deadlines (later for him because of the time change), goofed off on email, and keep up with each other's Facebook updates. I really knew him as a friend without ever seeing him in person. I instantly recognized him when I saw him because I'd seen all his Facebook pictures. We went out to breakfast, then I took him to the office to meet everyone he hadn't already met Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and a bunch of us went out to lunch. While I was at the beach everyone else took him to the Riverwalk and all the San Antonio stuff that he was interested in, so I was having a hard time figuring out what we could do. I impulsively said, "Do you want to go to Austin?" Yay for my iPhone so I could find things to do and their addresses during lunch, and yay for my GPS navigator for getting me there. We walked around the art museum which was a treat for me because Brad would follow me around trying not to sigh and look bored if I dragged him to one. Then had dinner at East Side Cafe where they grow a lot of the vegetables they serve behind the restaurant.

Then I came back to work. Ugh the first day back I had so many emails to go through, but the day went well and my lead and supervisor made it a point to tell me that I'm doing great work. Whooo!

Last night was my first time back at yoga in a few weeks. I had a bad cold, then I went on my trip. Luckily, I got better just in time for the trip. Forward bending has always been difficult for me, and it's a big thing for me since I used to be a diver, and I just couldn't do the pike position because I was so inflexible that way. My back bends are super flexible which is why I was really good at back dives, but I digress. Last night in the first seated forward bend of the primary series I almost got my face to touch my legs. Lisa helped me get down lower, but I had to stop her when it felt like too much. I was soooo close. Then we got to Janu Sirsasana (a seated forward bend with one knee bent and the foot molded against the inner thigh) I got my face to touch my leg...on both sides! Whoa! This was huge. Then we got to the seated forward bend after the backbends and I did it. Face to thighs! They just barely touched. I can't press my face into my legs, but they touched! Before I went to bed for the night, I tried again, and did it AGAIN! I try to keep my perspective on yoga. It's NOT a competitive sport. It's NOT for ego trips or "Look what I can do!" It's taking good care of my body and mind. BUT OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reflection on Yoga Teacher Training

I subbed again at Synergy last night and it was great! Only one student came, but I had fun with that. I asked her what kind of class she wanted and gave it to her. That was neat for both of us, especially since she's done yoga before and wanted a powerful vinyasa. I had fun seeing what she could do, but warning her to be careful not to hurt herself. She can bind in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. Very cool.

I've been reflecting on my teacher training and I'm really, really glad that I decided to do it. I've made some excellent friends, become a part of a great yoga community in San Antonio, learned so much about yoga asana and philosophy, and learned a lot about myself. Knowing the sanskrit names is pretty cool. I forgot how hard they were to learn until my student last night asked me how I was able to learn them.

Yoga teacher training changed my life more than I ever imagined it could, and I'm so glad it did. :-D

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I feel better now. I needed that.

I got a call from the owner of the Synergy studio right as I was leaving work for the day. She urgently needed a sub for hot yoga and already had to cancel the 4:30 class. I accepted and showed up ready to teach at 6:00. Good thing I always keep a yoga outfit in my car.

Only 3 people showed up. That's a good number for getting used to this teaching thing. Enough that it's a class rather than a private session, but small enough that it's not scary. One student was a first timer last week (on her free classes) and came back for more (that costs money now). Yay! I must have been alright.

Today felt a lot easier. Probably because the group was smaller and I didn't have 2 classes in a row (in the heat). It just overall felt better. I was able to be myself more and teach the way I teach my work group (yay for having all that practice on them). I guess I was just overcome with nervousness and anxiety last week, and coming back again meant they liked me enough to keep me on the substitute teacher list.

Where's the Becky I was a year ago?

A year ago I walked into my house and told Brad I needed to be a yoga teacher more than anything and the I HAD to sign up for teacher training. I couldn't wait to do it and finish it so I could teach yoga already. I believed that teaching yoga was necessary for me to be happy.

I went through the program, discovering Ashtanga yoga at the same time, and it changed me a lot. My body is noticeably very different, but much more has changed. I understand more about yoga philosophy, diet, the poses themselves, and much more, but there is still so much to learn.

Now that I'm official (pending yoga alliance paperwork going through the system), I'm expected to teach yoga. I feel pressured to start teaching somewhere. That's what I've been working towards, right? I poured all of this money into it, now I should get to work and start making money, right? Well...I don't know.

Yoga was never about making money for me to begin with. I have a full-time job and a stable life style. I just love yoga and want to share it with others. Sure, yoga school plus books and workshops costs us a bit of money, but not THAT much. I've deepened my practice and stuck with it. My body has healed from the problems that used to cause daily pain. All that makes it worth it.

I feel like I know just enough to know that there's a WHOLE lot I don't know, and that makes teaching scary. I've got my free class at work still going, and I love that. There's no pressure there, and it's not a big committment. For some reason committing to a regular class outside of work terrifies me. Then again, teaching the free class at work terrified me and made me very nervous at first.

My job can be pretty stressful and busy at times, and it's a priority for me to be successful at work. Is balancing that with a regular yoga class going to be a problem? It shouldn't be. I had perfect attendance at teacher training without any problems. Teacher training was a big time commitment. I basically gave up my entire weekend every other weekend. Maybe that's why I'm scared to commit to a regular class now. I just got my freedom back. Obviously teaching won't take up that much time.

Then there's last week's subbing. Subbing 2 hot yoga classes in a row was HARD. I was very nervous and I did my best. I have a lot of room to grow, and I'm comparing myself to the best teachers, which isn't fair to myself. When I came home from subbing I was stressed, agitated, and anxious. I hope they liked it...I hoped they weren't disappointed. I should have talked louder and gone slower. Maybe I made it too hard... Yoga should be a stress reducer, not a cause of stress, but starting out as a new teacher is not easy.