Sh!t people say about yoga – part 1

Ok, so over the years I’ve heard some gooders. Little things that people say and assume about yoga and and the yoga community that are off track, false or limiting.

One that I hear most frequently when I tell someone I meet for the first time that I teach yoga, that I was reminded of when walking behind a couple at the outdoor market the other day as they contemplated a flyer for beach yoga.

“I can’t do yoga anyways, I’m not flexible enough.”

How do the following sound to you:

“I can’t go the gym, I’m not fit.”
“I can’t be a CEO, I’ve never run an organisation before.”
“I can’t write a novel, I’ve never been published.”

Illogical right? You have to start somewhere. And that is: where you are, right now.
Too often, we view a situation from an end result or condition that we believe has to happen or magically be there before we even begin. We close the doors on the possibility of a new life experience based on prejudices and expectations drawn oftentimes from a murky perspective.

I get it, maybe you think yoga ain’t your thing. But don’t knock it until you try it, and please don’t make the final decision until you’ve explored a few different styles, instructors and spaces. I believe there’s the “just right” for everyone out there as far as yoga is concerned.

Besides, the point of yoga isn’t to get “flexible,” it’s to feel good. To move through life with a bit more buoyancy, freedom and connection. 15 years into my relationship with yoga and I continue to work on hanumanasana (aka, the splits). Do I let the fact that I’ve yet to master this pose hold me back in pursuing my yoga teaching? Hells no! Would I like to do the splits one day – hmmm sure, that would be cool and provide a real sense of accomplishment. But that’s not why I get on the mat, day in and day out.

For me, yoga has awoken a feeling of aliveness and contentedness that I use to inform my life. It does not exist in a vacuum – it pervades everything. Yoga opens my body, alleviates the aches and pains that come with chasing around after a fearless, curious toddler half the time, and seated at a desk for my fundraising job the other half.

It certainly helps to deal with injury as well as prevent it. I’m convinced it’s why I had a pain-free marathon finish ten years ago. It’s opened up a more frank dialogue between my heart and mind, transforming my life in ways I could not have imagined.

Yoga is a modality that almost anyone can benefit from. I don’t teach to make you flexible, I teach to help you love your life. If this sounds like something that appeals to you, please join me at my upcoming classes.

On a closing note, what are some ways right now that you could become more “flexible” right now, get out of your own way before deciding that something isn’t right for you, or take an initially uncomfortable risk in he name of living life more fully?

Two-stepping to exciting news!

It has certainly been a dance lately. Things have dropped off, unforeseen distractions that required a lot of time and focus have prevailed, and I’ve drifted a bit. Mostly with my writing, which filled me with frustration. Why is it that the things that nurture and support us the most are the first to fall off the plate? I tried to calm the voice that insisted I should be doing this, I could do that. But to be fair to myself, life was chaotic and unpredictable for a couple weeks and I thankfully had yoga to ride out the waves. So another lesson for the future, not to let the writing go, as it likely would have given me just a little bit more of what I needed in the recent tricky patch. Thankfully, back to equilibrium for now, writing back on track. (Oh how I missed you sweet sweet writing)

In gratitude related news, mom is here. It has been heaven, having her support, especially while I dealt with aforementioned distractions. Someone to take the girl-a-licious for a bit. To walk out of the house unencumbered for a morning swim at the beach now and then, a delicious freedom that I do miss some days. To go into a store without a mild panic about racing home for a nap, or wondering about when someone’s patience will understandably wane (hey, grocery stores are only exciting for so long). And to just spend time with mom, have her in proximity for day to day stuff; someone to talk to. I am not thinking ahead, enjoying now. It’s a special time for darling and Grandma. Now there’s talk of a visit from Turd Bird’s aunt. Bring it on, can’t wait to see my sis!

A yoga-related development has arisen: I’m returning to teaching in less than a month! Hoooray!!! I’ve found a day and time that will work; I’m ready. And I’m going to venture down a new path that feels right.

I’ve gained so much from my meditation practice that I want to facilitate the experience with students. Classes begin March 18th and I cannot wait to share! If you’re anywhere near the South Fremantle area Tuesday evenings, stop into Sevenergy and enjoy a first class free during the first four weeks. It would be an honour and privelege to see you there.

Rajasic Naptime

Some days I do better than others. Things can feel calm and collected and flow so easily despite the disarray. Others I think of all the things that I wish to do and I contemplate how to condense them into two one-hour naps and I yearn for the time when life was not carved out for just me in such small snippets.

Hubby is volunteering so I have the main chunk of today with our girl. Lucky for me we had a family outing to the beach this morning and I had a wonderful swim in the choppy waves while dad and turd bird played in the sand and shallows. The swim was tough but I enjoyed it, loved the feel of coming out of the water panting, arms a bit achy and fatigued from the effort, legs wobbling as they took their first steps on the beach. Aside, very disappointing how the WA government is treating our shark friends, who have every right to be in their habitat.

And it has cascaded from there; something about the swim put an energy in me that has me wanting to take big bites today. We came home she went down for a nap quickly. Always a few chore things like dishwasher, one load of laundry etc, unless I am completely at my wits end, which I am at times, and then I force myself to just stop.

But today, there is so much to do! I am feeling very rajasic, how to get to the sattvic? I optimistically purchase The Australian every weekend, and am lucky to get through two sections – I want to read it all and be up to date on all world issues so I can go to my imaginary dinner parties, holding my glass of wine blithely in my hand so informed about everything, so witty and relaxed, not thinking or worrying about my child at all, who is in someone else’s care and is probably doing just fine but I cannot help but think about her every breathing moment. But no dinner invitations loom, so really, it’s just something I love to do that was once just a thing that is now much harder. Oh and some yoga, meditation, maybe that can wait until the afternoon nap? What about the writing, yes I must definitely get to that today, the household has taken over my resolution a bit this week, but all to a more organised, smoother life, eventually, hopefully.

And tomorrow a big one for us, Big Day Out for mom and dad: Pearl Jam and Primus for dad, Arcade Fire for mom. A wee bit of youthful fun that has taken a lot of coordination to pull off. So perhaps I should type up some notes for the two shifts of care we have sorted for her so there are no questions because for some reason people do not call or text and just clarify or ask before making their own decisions which really annoys me because hey, there are certain things I do want done certain ways and for good reason. Or maybe it’s just a respect and manners thing, the Canadian, consultative, inclusive part of me that seeks clarity and what I would expect from others in what I can only label (naughty!) a cowboy country from time to time. “She’ll be ‘right; we’ll do it and then see what happens instead of trying to do it more right the first time.” That’s a larger, very generalised statement but I digress and I’m in the mood for a bit of snark.

And then there’s my little blog thing, which I do love and have written a few posts for but that are all living in the editing room at the moment, more yoga focused than this little unplanned, cathartic rant.

I joked with my husband that maybe I’d get more alone time if we were divorced – I was kidding. But seriously, he would have her more on his own than the current arrangement. Well, he retorts, you should speak up and say something more often. Guess what’s happening when he gets home? Truly he is wonderful and helpful.

Oh and another anticipatory note, my mom is coming from Canada for a month. Just to stay and give me a brief reprieve, where sorting the gym visit will be as simple as going out for an hour instead of having to put reminders in my phone to call the crèche because I keep forgetting. Where hubby and I can go to the odd movie and dinner without having to think twice. I wonder if mom had any plans to do something herself?

Ok, back to a speed-read of that newspaper (at least the most important bits like Review and the magazine)! Time is ticking.

Update: Bub-licious awake the moment I pressed publish! And what a delicious little treat she is. X

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

ImageI love the New Year. Although I can get very Grinch-y about Christmas (I refrained from posting my anti-Christmas piece) there’s something about marking the year out fresh that fills me with renewed motivation.

2013 was a big one. A great, tough year with a lot of new experiences plus challenged and surpassed expectations. Despite being laid up with a nasty back injury – who knew reading Where is the Green Sheep to her sweetness was so hazardous? – I am feeling very positive about 2014.

I love resolutions. I like to think I’m realistic about it but it’s always good to re-evaluate, re-assess and move ahead. There are some big long-term goals that I’ve had for awhile, and realistically I wonder if they can all co-exist.

My little life coach, aka Turd Bird, has done a fine job of forcing me to focus. The juggle of motherhood has shown time’s limits, and with the squeeze I quickly notice where my heart pulls. Things that seemed important have drifted into the background while others, which I used to call hobbies, have become my lifeblood. For example, my super duper magnificent yoga studio can wait; but I can rarely go a day without some form of writing or creativity.

So I’m going to loosen my grip on the big goals, knowing they’re still there, still attainable, as I don’t want them to create pressure. I wonder if thinking about them too much makes them feel further away, preventing me from enjoying the present. Which is actually a pretty lovely place.

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brave new world

Chickadee is taking steps in small bursts. It is buoying to see her bravery grow each day. One day three steps, the next day six, then ten, and yesterday I lost count in the back yard as she trotted around on the grass! Trying to witness without expectation or overly ebullient praise, despite the swelling pride and awe. Eliza Parker of Conscious Baby Blog explains why so well.

She’s never upset with the pace of her progress; she just does what she can when she can. I have yet to see her crumple into a ball of despair if she can’t get to her destination. She knows she’s going to get there, picks herself up again or opts for a crawl. Such a wise little gem.

So in honour of the cheeky girl, I declare 2014 the year of baby steps. I’ve picked five little things I’m going to focus on:

  1. Just one – Teach one yoga class a week. I’ve noticed my mind has drifted towards what’s not possible – that studio’s schedule is full, this studio only hires teachers who have specific training etc. etc. So I have to start thinking about what is possible. First, finding a space, sorting out my credentials as my admin has waned this past year, taking steps with the intention of having my own class to teach once a week.
  2. Writing – There’s my blog, and a couple other things I’m working on, a short story, but mainly a novel. I have over 9000 disjointed words, yet the characters and trajectory are very much alive. I realise I’m slowing myself down by insisting I am in the “perfect” space and writing for one or two hours, meaning sporadic bouts of productive writing. But 15 minutes a day is going to have to do sometimes, and on a more daily basis.
  3. Fitness – The hour-long sessions don’t fit, and not working out because they don’t is self-defeating. After my back recovers(which may be awhile), I’ll continue to focus on the two per week half hour Les Mills’ GRIT classes at the gym, along with the online classes I squeeze in on fitnessglo, or self-guided asana practice, while darling naps. Life: always better after a good movement session.
  4. Thanks a lot – There are some beautiful baby tunes, that when combined with my hormones can get messy. They are such sweet, simple reminders. This song by Raffi says it all. For me: more gratitude, less discontent. Our family has been so blessed; I’ll focus on acknowledging this more, in smooth and rough times.
  5. Last but not least – She’s tall for her age but still pretty small. And she’s a real hoot. So it all comes back to her; what sort of example am I setting? Did we have some fun and meaningful interaction today? Was I in her moment with her? Where do we want our lives to go as a family? What will I tell her about the scary but brave steps I took so she’s inspired to keep on doing what she’s all ready taught me?

So what are your resolutions this year if any? Big, small or none at all?

Happy New Year!

A change in plans

Hi there and welcome. Well this blog was originally intended to be centred around yoga and all of the amazing yoga classes I was going to teach* whilst raising our one-year-old daughter, working part time as a fundraiser for an environmental charity and pursuing my other hobbies like cooking, writing, travelling and fitness.

But I’ve since realised, after having this blog for over a year and still not really feeling compelled to publish something yoga-centric, that perhaps I should just write for the sheer joy of writing. Inspired in part by Carrie Anne Snyder I’ve decided to take small chunks of time to write about whatever strikes my fancy.

In life PB (pre baby) I had this amazing luxury of time to journal and pretend that I was writing novels that would be optioned for blockbuster films that would enable our family to easily shift between our beach and mountainside properties smattered throughout the globe. 11 months into this whole motherhood thing I’ve realised the novels may be a long while coming, but at the very least I need to find something that allows me to plug into the creative urge. And maybe, one day, I can look back and enjoy this electronic treasure trove of life at this point, and that point, as our family evolves. And as I learn how to get this whole mom/mum thing sorted, which will likely be an ongoing saga.

I’m not sure how this whole adventure will turn out but I hope you enjoy.

*Refer to offerings page to see all of my brilliant ideas awaiting to unfold! For now, I happily offer my substitute teaching services….