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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011!

Highlights/Lowlights of 2010:

January: Began teaching part of yoga classes at a Yoga Shala with my yoga mentor, Ken. He's a wonderful teacher and an amazing person, and I'm lucky I met him when I did and got him to agree to be my mentor.

February: Presented my thesis for yoga teacher training. I volunteered to go first and didn't have to worry about it anymore. It went really well, and I was able to organize the basics of my favorite style of yoga in writing.

March: Finished the mentoring part of teacher training.

April: Graduated from Yoga Teacher training. Something I've wanted to do for years, and I'm glad I actually did it.

May: 1. Went of our first vacation since the honeymoon and had a great time in Port Aransas. (Although next time I'd like to go to a prettier, less seaweed covered beach.)
2. Decided in the pool at the Mayan Princess that we're both ready to have kids.
3. Met Wayne Palmer in real life. I've worked with him for years through email and the phone since he lives in New Jersey. We became friends and finally got to see each other in person. That was neat. He's coming again in a few weeks.
4. Was recruited by the Yoga School Director to build a new website because I'm the most tech savvy person she knows and she desperately needed one immediately because of the Texas Workforce Commission. I told her I didn't know what I was doing, but promised to try my best with Brad's help, and did it. Sure, a real website guy could do better, but it's pretty and functional.
5. Touched my face to my shins with my knees straight and my feet flexed. This is a big deal for me because it has been my flexibility weakness all my life.

June: nothing comes to mind. Sorry June.

July: 1. Brad's dad had a heart attack. Someone did CPR and saved his life. Then he had a double bypass. That surgeon saved his life again.
2. Saw Weird Al from the FRONT ROW.

August: Got hired as a yoga teacher at Spectrum. Started substituting classes until one that I wanted opened up.

September: Found out I was pregnant.

1. First appointment with the obstetrician. Saw the fetus's heartbeat. Announced it to the world, because a heartbeat means it's good, right?
2. My good friend, Eric's sister had a miscarriage at 11 weeks.

November: 1. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. Had to announce that to the world, because can't just wait and hope they forget, can you?
2. A coworker suddenly died of a heart attack.

December: 1. Started teaching my own yoga class at Spectrum. At a convenient time and location for me!
2. Eric's 2-year old great dane, Goliath, suddenly died from bloat.
3. Got a badass computer that gives me 60 fps in WoW with all the settings turned up.
4. Brad got a promotion, and will actually be people's supervisor.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WoW Cataclysm, Yoga Practice, Work, Yoga Teaching

The latest World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm came out a week ago today. It raised the max level from 80 to 85 and added a ton of new content. A lot of people are already level 85; Brad and I are 83. The only way to be 85 this soon is to blow through the new areas as fast as you can without doing much else in your life and without taking the time to enjoy the game. I think that's sad. Why is it a race? I like taking my time enjoying the time I spend playing, and doing other things between playing.

I went to my first Ashtanga Primary Series class with Lisa since August. That was great. I should have gone to her Monday class yesterday, but I chose WoW over yoga. Tomorrow, I'll choose yoga over WoW again. I could go to Kimberly's class tonight, and I probably should. I think I'm being lazy. Going to a 6:00 class at Yoga Shala means giving up my entire evening. I used to do that all the time and love it, but now I only want to do it once or twice a week.

Last week was a busy week at work. It was the last major week of our peak season. There's still some loose ends to tie up before the books go to print, but the worst is behind us. That's another reason that WoW wasn't a priority for me. I was lucky that I didn't need to work any overtime, but I came home exhausted and just wanted to rest. Sitting at a computer for a few more hours was the last thing I wanted to do.

My second yoga class as the regular teacher was on Saturday. I was nervous as I waited for the class ahead of me to end. The attendance of this class would be the first time it was a reflection of what they thought of me as a teacher. Two or three people hovered by the door with  me, but that was it. I hoped that wasn't the whole class. People came pouring in. The first class had 9 people, this class had 13. Yay, it's growing! I know it will fluctuate up and down and that's fine, I'm just glad it grew by 4 the first week rather than shrink.

The pregnant student wasn't there. I was both relieved and disappointed. I ended up not teaching anything a pregnant woman shouldn't do. I forgot to teach Bakasana and Navasana as I'd like to. Normally by the time we get to that point, class is nearly over. I remember when it seemed agonizing to fill an entire hour with yoga poses, now I really think an hour and a half or 2 hours would be more productive. I always struggle to decide which poses to leave out this time. That's a good problem to have, so I can't complain. I'm also thinking about throwing in some lunges, twisting in lunges, and binding in the lunges like Ken used to teach. That will mean deviating more from the primary series that I've been clinging to for dear life. It's a good foundation to start from, but I'd like for my class to be different every time. I remember getting bored of my first yoga class because it was the same every time. Then again, primary series can be practiced consistently for years. I could drive myself crazy thinking of this. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Class as the Regular Teacher (for money)

I've been the regular yoga teacher at my office for a year, but that's a free thing I do to be nice and for practice teaching.

Saturday was my first day as the regular teacher at Spectrum. A week ago, I attended this class and was very nervous and anxious because while it's called "Yoga Flow" the former teacher's style is VERY different from mine. My original intention was to make the class what the students are used to and gradually "make it my own." After attending that class, I thought about it a lot and got some advice from experienced teachers who have been through this. Then I decided to just teach what I'm used to teaching. I can't try to be someone else, nor would I ever want to.

I taught a modified Ashtanga Primary Series, some stuff cut out because it's too hard and I only have an hour and some stuff thrown in for fun. That's what I always do. I change up what I cut out and what I throw in so it's not the same every time. The Ashtanga Primary Series is very therapeutic and leaves students feeling good afterwards. That's what I love about it. I'm so grateful for the teachers who have come before me who came up with this series and passed it on through the generations, eventually making it to me, and then my students.

A lady came up to me at the beginning of class and asked for adviced for pregnancy. Oh, wow, ok good thing I just researched this. She was 12 weeks along, barely out of the 1st trimester. I told her not to do the chaturangas or any deep twisting, and I didn't teach any strong ab poses, but if she's back next time, I will, but I'll need to have alternatives for her in mind. I'll probably get her to do cat/cow or her choice of any pose she'd like. I think I handled that well both as a teacher and as a woman who lost a pregnancy a month ago. I'm proud of myself for feeling helpful and compassionate rather than jealous or angry. I would never wish bad things to happen to people.

Also, after the Kino MacGregor workshop I just attended where she emphasized that muscular burn is ok, even a good thing, I'm going to change my attitude towards pain in practice. I used to say not to push yourself into pain, but I'm going to explain that muscular burn is ok and that it's an individual decision how far you push through the burn.

As class ended I said, "Please let me know if you have any questions or comments." That's when they surprised me. They weren't rolling up their mats and running out of there. They stayed seated on their mats and told me how much they enjoyed the class and how good it made them feel. Awww shucks :-) I'm really glad I've had the opportunity to practice on my coworkers, because otherwise I wouldn't be nearly as prepared to teach a room full of strangers as I am today.