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Monday, August 30, 2010

I Love My Yoga at Work Class

Today was my usual yoga at work class, but instead of my 3 or 4 regulars, 13 people were there because I had an all-staff email sent out last week letting people know about the class. (The last all-staff email was sent back in November.)

It was fantastic. I had to tone down the difficulty a bit for the beginners, I only had them do 2 Surya Namaskara As and that seemed like enough for some of them. I figured Surya Namaskara B is for another day. One man in particular was really struggling, but had a good attitude about it. I reminded them to focus on breathing and that it doesn't matter how far it goes, not to push too hard, etc.

At then end of class he said that this is why he really needs to do this. YES! He gets it! Yay for taking care of himself. It's so rewarded to bring yoga to people who wouldn't do yoga if I didn't make it convenient and free. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Slippery Yoga Mats

Slipping during yoga was a problem for me for a long time and I threw a lot of money around trying to solve this. Now a lot of my students are having the same problem. I just wrote this out as an email to a student, but I decided to put it here to share it with both my readers. ;)

Jade Yoga mats are the best I've found. They come in 2 different thicknesses (the standard mat is 1/4 inch, so even their thin one is thicker than regular mats)

3/16 inch and 5/16 inch

I have the 3/16 inch one (2 actually) and I love it, but I wish I had the 5/16 inch one. In Ashtanga 3/16 is fine, but in Anusara, you do a lot of weird stuff with your knee digging into the floor and more padding would be nice.

(You're never supposed to put your weight on your knee cap, always in front of your knee, it hurts like hell right on your knee cap. DON'T DO THAT! I think I'm going to rebel every time I'm asked to dig my knee into the mat, there has to be a better way to stretch my quads.)

There's also yoga towels that you can put over your mat. I've tried those and they're not bad.

Yogitoes is good.

OMG they have a Groovy Yogitoes towel! I don't need it. I won't buy it. I don't need it. I won't buy it. I don't need it. I won't buy it. I don't need it. I won't buy it.

The Manduka towel is also alright.

Don't buy the Manduka black mat! It's supposedly top of the line awesome. I have one, and it's like a freaking slip 'n' slide. I can barely even attempt yoga on it without a towel. Biggest waste of money ever.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Class at Spectrum

I subbed an Ashtanga-lite class at Spectrum today. The room was full and people kept trickling in, eventually 20 people were there. I'd never taught an entire class this full before. I taught some Sun Salutations at my big graduation class, but never the whole hour and fifteen with more than 6 or so people. One of my students from my work class came. It was nice to have a smiling face of someone I know.

I was nervous, hoping I'd talk loud enough to be audible and they'd enjoy the class. It always looks so easy when someone else is doing it. I hope this gets easier with practice. I feel like I'm full of book knowledge and I need the confidence to pass it on and share it with others. It went well and I enjoyed it, I hope the students did too. Now I need to bug people about getting me my own regular class.

At the end, one of the students told me that I have a good yoga personality and that she thought I did really well. Yay! :) I'm pretty laid back and easy going. I don't really care what my students are doing unless they're going to hurt themselves.

I'm very grateful to everyone who has helped me get to this point.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Get Your Asana Outside

Christi, my yoga friend from teacher training and me backbending together!

My First Yoga Injury

Last week, at Wednesday evening Ashtanga Primary Series, I was doing a vinyasa between seated poses and noticed my right knee hurt. Uh oh...what did I do to it? At the moment, I was thinking about what I should do to keep myself from hurting it worse. Now I wish I had paid more attention to which pose it was after and what I did that caused this pain.

My first guess was Trianga Mukha Ekapada Paschimottanasana. My quads aren't very happy in this pose and pull on my knee if I'm not careful. I usually do it with my hip on a block, but I forgot to grab a block before class, so I did it without one. The more I thought about it, the less that made sense. If I hurt my knee during that, I would have felt it and backed off before hurting myself. It was drilled into my head at teacher training to never tolerate any pain in the knee during a pose.

Then I remembered that I botched up one of my jump throughs...maybe the one before I noticed the pain? I don't remember. I can't jump all the way through, so I always jump to cross legged. That time my feet hit the floor earlier than I'm used to and because of my super grippy mat that's awesome in down dog, my feet stayed put and my knee took the momentum of my jump. Oh right, oops.

My knee wasn't injured terribly, but it hurt enough to make sure I didn't forget about it. I decided to keep practicing on it, since wasn't a severe injury. I sprained my ankle pretty bad a few years ago, and this was nothing nearly that bad. Thursday I rested, iced, compressed, and elevated it while watching some Star Trek in bed, but Friday I went to an Anusara-ish vinyasa class. I didn't do any jumps, but camel was fine on my knee. Lunges and warriors were a little scary, but I could do them without hurting myself. Saturday, I was able to do jump throughs and jump backs without a problem. It was a good reminder to land lightly as I always should. Sunday, my practice was back to normal. My knee hurt a little, but didn't slow me down. Afterwards we were playing with acroyoga stuff and "flying." I would have tried to be the base if my knee were perfect, but holding the weight of another person on my legs and arms seemed like a bad idea in those circumstances.

Today it feels almost completely normal. Yay! Injury is very scary. I'm glad that mine was very minor and healed very quickly. It reminded me that I'm not invincible and that I need to be mindful in my practice. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teaching at Spectrum

It feels like yoga teacher training ended a long time ago, but it was just a few months. I put a lot of thought into if, when, and where I want to teach for money. (I still have my free weekly class at work.)

I subbed a little bit at one studio, but didn't push for a regular gig there. I still haven't been paid for the last time I subbed. I'm sure if I push them they'll pay me, but it's annoying that I had to push for my first paycheck, and then will have to push for my second.

There's a new studio opening up off if I-10 in the Leon Springs area. That's a bit of a drive for me, but I've made peace with the fact that I have to drive at least 30 minutes to get to a yoga studio. They're having auditions and I thought about trying to get in on that, but I decided not to.

I decided to teach yoga at Spectrum! They eagerly hired me thanks to the very kind recommendations of some friends who teach there. Spectrum is special to me because it's the first place where I practiced yoga. I used to go to 4 classes a week to get my money's worth out of the monthly membership fee. I went to 3 different teachers and they were all great! This is where I learned the basics of yoga including to never push myself to the point of pain. These teachers taught me so much and sparked a desire to learn more on my own.

I'm really excited that I'm starting as a teacher at the same place that I started as a student.