Being a Yoga Teacher Is A Great Gig

On Monday I had an amazing yoga class. 

Here’s what happened.

I started them in Mountain pose. There were about a dozen of them, a mix of men and women,— mostly people who’ve been practicing together for years.  

They know each other. 

They like each other. 

They’re yoga friends.

I started them in Mountain pose and then I called on them, one by one, to take us into the next pose. 

 It was like a Choose Your Own Adventure class. 

Nobody could predict what was coming next, or when their name would be called. They had to be thinking all the time: What will I do next if she happens to call on me?

And I had to be thinking all the time: Who is going to pick something challenging here? And: Who is going to pick something easier?

So I was kinda orchestrating it, based on what I knew about them, and what kind of practice they like.

I told them at the start the only 2 poses that were off-limits were Child and Savasana. 

They groaned. Then laughed.

What transpired was freaking amazing.  

Warriors, a triangle, a balance pose, and a Surya B.

There were some lunges, pigeon, and a bridge. Then fish, and a twist. 

Each person talked the class through their pose. Their sequencing was intelligent and fun. I did it with them. 

It was awesome. They were amazing. I’ve been telling everyone who will listen, about it.

I’ve had a perma-grin since Monday.

Being a yoga teacher is the best gig ever. 

Especially here. With these people. 

I’m so lucky.

Struggling With Consistency

I can’t seem to get any traction going. I can’t seem to get consistency on my big rocks

My scorecard this week: 

Writing 7/7, 

Meditation 5/7, 

Yoga 3/7. 

I blogged last week, so Blog 1/1 

The writing is the easiest. The blogging is the hardest, but since the blogging is only once a week, I managed, at least for the first week, to gut it out.

I credit Nanowrimo for getting me in shape to write 1K a Day. After having to hit that 1667 word-a-day benchmark every day in November, a thousand words a day is puh. 

As for the meditation, even though I haven’t been consistent, I really like the new meditation app I’ve been using. It’s Sam Harris’s Waking Up Course. There are daily, ten-minute guided meditations.  And even though they are talkier than I would normally be able to tolerate, I find, at this stage in my meditation practice, I kinda welcome his intellectual guidance. Having spent decades on the cushion doing zazen, and other techniques, and not quite understanding what the hell I was  doing, Sam’s guidance is causing some of the the mist to dissipate. 

My greatest resistance is to my 30 minute daily personal yoga practice.

Is it that I just don’t want to confront how inflexible I’ve become? How physically weak? 

Could be. 

I haven’t come up with a good time-slot for it, either, and that is a stumbling block. Plus, I have this thing about changing my clothes. I hate changing clothes. It takes everything I have to get out of my pajamas into day clothes. And then when it’s time to teach,  I resist getting out of day clothes into yoga clothes. It’s a ridiculous struggle. 

I was talking to a fellow yoga teacher friend and she practices first thing, in her pajamas.  But I don’t like yoga first thing. I like yoga, like third thing, after writing, and meditation. But then the puppy needs a walk, and then the day often derails.

The solution would be to take a regular yoga class. Plop down a lot of money and commit. I’m an Obliger. I need accountability. But there is no regular class or teacher around here. Mine are the regular classes. I am the teacher. 

This needs to be figured out. 

Mantras For The New Year

I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to think about what my word for this year would be.

People like me who don’t make resolutions sometimes pick a word or a theme to guide them through the year as a kind of north star.

 I was having trouble this year. I shuffled through my Feeling and Needs cards, but nothing resonated. 

Then I noticed a Thich Nat Hahn book on my side table: This Moment Is Full of Wonders.

I flipped through it and found some juicy contenders:

Listen

Mindful

Let go

Be Free Where You Are

Go As A River

Are you sure?

Now Is The Time

This Moment Is Full of Wonders 

No Mud No Lotus

This Is It

 No Mud No Lotus made me smile. Yes, I thought, this is perfect for times when I struggle; for times when I want to jump ship, and abandon the project.

Mud stands for hard work, darkness, not knowing, not being sure. Mud is lack of clarity. 

Clear as mud.

Lotus is the flower, the fruit, the result of the hard work, the deep introspection.

No mud no lotus.

So I decided this would be my mantra for 2019.

But it seemed a little dark, a little hair-shirty.

I needed something for the times when I wasn’t in deep struggle.

This Moment Is Full of Wonders.

I liked that. I liked that a lot. 

I like the word wonder

Wonder is an attitude of amazement. It is also a attitude of questioning, of not knowing. And that’s a space I’d like to learn how live in more comfortably, for sure. 

If it became my mantra it could remind me to look for those wonders in every moment. 

I could use it on the yoga mat, This moment is full of wonders, as I’m breathing in a posture. 

This moment is full of wonders as I’m filling the dishwasher. 

This moment is full of wonders as I fold the laundry. 

This moment is full of wonders as I walk Stella through the town and countryside. 

Today I road tested it  as I sat in the periodontist’s chair: This moment is full of wonders: the light glinting off the adjustable lamp, the sand-colored paint on the walls, the sound of the sonic tooth blaster thing, the dentist office’s version of Bohemian Rhapsody playing softly on the radio. 

This moment is full of wonders.

If I were forced to pick just one word for this year though, it would have to be Wonder. 

Wonder in the sense of amazement, like in the Mary Oliver poem where she wants to be “a bride married to amazement.” 

But also Wonder in the sense of curiosity and not-knowing.

So for 2019, it’s 2 mantras and Wonder. I think I’m off to a good start.

Happy New Year.