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Guest Post: Jennifer Schmid

This is a Guest Post by Jennifer Schmid (www.jenniferschmid.com) who used to practice at Main Street Yoga before moving to California 2 years ago.  While she was here, we taught a 6-Week Yoga for Weight Loss session, which I have to say, was one of the absolute highlights of my collaborative teaching experiences.  Jennifer did the “diet and nutrition” part of the course, and I did the yoga. I wish to this day she would make her handouts for that class into a book!

I opened my inbox this morning to find this“Comment” under my post yesterday called “Getting Good At Yoga.”  I have been loving ALL the comments from the “Virtual Challengers” this month (and you too, Archan!) but this one seemed especially juicy, and rich, and deserving of the spotlight.

Jennifer Schmid

I’ve definitely noticed a change in my yoga, particularly in the poses that challenged me most intensely — 3-legged Dog, Pigeon, Frog, Bridge, Camel (finally got it last night. Yay!). I don’t look like a protege of Rodney Yee, nor do I want to. But I *like* the poses now. I absolutely struggle (and I’m sure I look silly), but I have gotten to the point where I’m starting to soften what needs to soften, and activate what needs to be activated, and I can still breathe (barely).

This is especially true with Pigeon. I guess I’ve always “liked” Pigeon, but it wasn’t until I decided to make it my “must do everyday” pose that I started to see a shift. Finally, after the 7th day or so, I softened. I walked out my back toes just a hair. I breathed. I found the bandhas. Yeah, baby.

More importantly, though, is how my yoga has changed me on the inside. I’m not taking things as personally. (This is huge; I was born under a Cancer sun and moon, and sensitivity is my specialty.) I’m setting boundaries and not taking on everyone else’s s#!t. I’m figuring out what the heck I want in this life. I’m more intuitive. And my heart is opening, thanks to all those hip-openers and back bends.

When I finally got to my yoga last night (day 28, whoo hoo), I was thinking about why all of those changes have been taking place, wondering how yoga makes that possible. It came to me during Happy Baby. I was imagining Brynne in her Happy Baby (thank you, Brynne).

When we do yoga, we’re opening our chakras. We’re letting in the light to those very special centers of our being. Happy Baby opens our first chakra; Mountain pose opens many, but especially our crown (7) and third eye (6). Back bends are particularly important for our hearts and emotions. It’s impossible to do a back bend while closing off your heart — you have to be open.

Kath, can you imagine facilitating a workshop called “Chakra yoga”? 15 minutes of gentle centering, then some writing about areas in one’s life where one struggles (this doesn’t have to be shared, can just be for self-exploration). Next comes a workshop on the chakras and their meaning (including a little centering to “feel” each one), then 60-75 minutes of yoga, exploring which chakras one feels opening during each pose, followed by a long savasana… I get tingly just thinking about it.

Lastly, because I’m sure everyone is wondering how much coffee I’ve had this morning (for the record, none, just yoga, green tea, and the energy that comes with life’s uncertainties), I was wishing in my practice last night that there was a “moon salutation,” because it didn’t feel right to be doing suns at 10pm. I just Googled it — there are a couple different ones, but I really like the one that was put together at Kripalu. (check out http://www.lauracornell.com/moon.html) Kath, we’ll have to do this under the full moon. 🙂 (At Fred’s, maybe? Think he’d go for that?)

**note:** I recently ran a 6 Week Chakra Yoga session at the studio that didn’t follow that exact format, but was really well-received!!  And yes, I do think Fred would go for that!

Author:

I’m a small town yoga teacher who says motherfucker a lot. I hate anything woo. I’m into neuroscience. And facts. I’ll lead the chanting of “om” sometimes, but it makes me feel awkward. I want to access flow states. As far as yoga helps me do that, I’m into it. Dopamine is my fave neurotransmitter. Don’t tell anyone I told you this.

7 thoughts on “Guest Post: Jennifer Schmid

  1. Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom Jennifer! I visited the moon salutation site, jotted down the poses, and did 3 sets tonight (even tho the moon has yet to rise … wonder where it ’tis???) during my 30-minute session in “The Tree House.”

    I have always wanted a moon salutation, due to numerous moon yoga sessions, but I never bothered to look around for one & never stumbled onto one! What a gift!!! And, it arrived at jjjjjust the rrrright time! Thank you!!! I moon-worship you!!! 😉

    This morning, I was late getting up and didn’t have time for a session, but I did “breathe up the sun” with long counts of arm sweeps & breaths. It took me 24 of these sweeps/breaths (24 has been my favorite number since childhood!!!) and I wasn’t even trying to arrive at 24! Glorious! I think I might write a book called “Breathing Up The Sun.” De-LIGHT-full.

    Well, I must be disciplined (per Kath’s post about getting to bed early!) and get into bed so I can get up at 5 am to meet & greet my 30th straight & twisted day!!! I MUST do a great session in the morn so I can arrive at the finale partay feeling “complete.” Ah, but the finale is just the beginning, ya know …

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    1. oh, gee, maybe I didn’t explain my “sun breathing” too well … here goes: I was watching for the sun to rise and saw just the slightest glint-of-it on the horizon, so that’s when I started sweeping my arms & taking deep breaths … and, from the start of the sun rising ’til it was finally fully full (fully full??), resting on the top of the mountain ridge, that took 24 long sweeping breaths … there, maybe I explained that a little better … ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz … nnnnnnnnnighty nighty 😉

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  2. Cindy, you are a riot. Any book you write, I will happily read.

    Feels strange to be writing a comment under my own post, but if I don’t report my 29th day of yoga, I won’t get my sticker at MSY!!

    Day 29: Got up at 5:30. I loooooooove morning yoga so much more than evening yoga. Evening yoga is nice, but it’s more like the cherry rather than the actual sundae. Explored the chakra theme more with different poses.

    pranayam, wind reliever, hamstring stretch, side twist, butterfly, happy baby, bridge, 6 suns, wide angle forward bend, triangle, half moon, warrior I & II (w/ back bend), extended side angle, dog (ahhhh, it felt so good after all that power), pigeon, 3-legged dog, child, camel, child, savasana.

    I’m a bit sad about tomorrow being the last day of the challenge. Kath, I hope you have something good up your sleeve 😉 Namaste, and sweet dreams, Cindy!

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  3. HAPPY BABY!!! HAPPY BABY!!! HAPPY BABY!!! OMG!!! I am ssssoooooo JOYFUL!!!

    DAY 30 straight & twisted: OK, so I got up at 5 am and THE FULL MOON was STILL UP. It was in the south sky just wwwwwaiting for me. Facing it, in our “Tree House,” I did moon salutations and 45 minutes of pure joy, then, I could see light coming from the other side of the house, so I moved downstairs to the kitchen & faced East and spent 35 more minutes there, breathing up the sun, sun salutations, etc. etc. … OMG!!!

    So, after 1 hour & 20 minutes of DE-LIGHT-FULL devotion, I could not stop smiling and I was GIDDY GIDDY GIDDY!!! I went around the house, kissing my family members who were drowsily awaking. Aria gave me MY FINAL STICKER to place on MY FULL CALENDAR: a STAR that says “CONGRATULATIONS!” … I can barely contain my JOY!!! Like, REALLY!!!

    I have so many thoughts about this morning & this month, but they will need to compost a bit as I need to WORK. Looking forward to HUGGING YOU later Yogamama!!! THANK YOU for inspiring this JOY!!!

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    1. whoopsie … minor clarification: it wasn’t a fully full moon this morn – it ’twas a full-moon-minus-one-day, but it sure looked full and so was I!!!! 🙂

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