Monday, February 3, 2014

Opportunity. Patience. Opportunity.

In Kundalini Yoga and Meditation class last night, this title is what the theme was. We did mantras and a chant in regards to when opportunity shows up in our lives and how we respond/receive it. This nailed it for me! This was so in align with what's been happening in my life, and I've been receptive and open to what's shown up.

In January, I felt that itch for change in my life. The area is career. There are lots of things I LOVE to do, which I do part time and make some money doing it. But I also, have so much fun doing them. My day or "real" job (if I even want to call it that) is as an Office Administrator at a CPA firm. I've been doing office work both full and part time for a LONG time. I've gained great skills and training along the way. But ya know what? It's JUST. NOT. ME....ANYMORE.

Although, I want the "security" that I receive from my current day job at the moment, I know I can find another place to work that is more ME. I'm a health and wellness individual.

So it's no accident that my current job is taking on an Integrative Medicine Center that offers Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Yoga, Integrative Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, etc. It's NO accident that I happen to be modeling for a figurative drawing session with an artist who knows the owners personally (she even told me she would pass my contact info along).It's NO accident that they happen to be looking for an office person for one of their new locations.

Mind you, I'm NOT reading or analyzing too much into this. It's just information I'm receiving. I'm not writing my resignation letter as we speak.

I'm allowing myself to hear, see and feel what is being presented to me. What's showing up. Of course, I put it out there that I want a change in career with specific details, and I even told my husband and a few other people. So it's out there.

Now, the patience comes in. Oh Boy!

How can I not get excited about this? How can I not jump for joy? Oh sure, I can. But the patience is, in a way, what is going to protect me from getting too attached to the result. I'm not saying you can't get excited about things or opportunities, but I know for me, in the past, I would be stuck on the ending result; therefore ending in incredible disappointment. Seriously, I don't know if I'll like these people; the way the place runs; the location/commute; the compenation; benefits, etc.

I want to be open about this information and opportunity. I've got the skills, but is it a good fit? I feel a "yes" now, which could be my ego most definitely. I have days at my job where I get antsy and don't want to be there anymore. But who doesn't? It's not frequent. It may be stronger on other days. But, hey, it's paying my bills at the moment and I'm grateful to even HAVE a job!

Opportunity presents itself in many different ways and areas of our life. Pay attention. Take a breath. Practice patience, especially if you're waiting. Nothing is definite. It's all very challenging stuff, I know, and writing about it in this blog, is actually helping me a lot. I hope it gives insight to others too.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Classes, New Formats, New Year!

I will be teaching new classes with new formats! Check 'em out below, and you can also view them on my website.
I'm so excited to be able to offer, along with my yoga class, other types of classes. I'm still vamping/revamping my movement class, so stay tuned for that.
I accomplished a lot in 2013. So let's celebrate that: willPower & Grace Phase I training; Subbed new formats at the gym; completed and got certified as a Group Exercise Instructor; and completed two Beachbody home workout programs.

I'm also thinking about intentions for this year. So what do I want for this year? What things do I want to do that I didn't get to do last year? I'm still meditating on it and that's fine with me. No pressure. I'm creating intentions throughout the year, month, day, hour anyway. I don't believe that you HAVE/MUST start at the beginning of each year. Why not now? Or tomorrow? Next week? What's doable for me? That's what I ask myself, because as a recovering perfectionist, I can be hard on myself.

So write them down, share them with someone, put them on your fridge or wall. Celebrate what you DO accomplish.

Join me!
Tuesday evenings 6:30-7:15pm
Best Fitness - Albany, NY

Wednesday evenings 6:00-7:00pm
Cardio Flow
Best Fitness - Albany, NY

Great for any kind of teaching!

This is a great article from the Mind Body Green website about 10 New Year's Intentions for yoga teaching. Although, it's focused on yoga, it totally applies to any type of teaching you may do. These are great!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kundalini Yoga

I took my very first Kundalini Yoga class last night. I was "humming" if ya know what I mean. I was "blissed out" if ya know what I mean. Boy, do I like to feel high from a yoga class and no drugs involved!

As a yoga practitioner for (Wow) 13 years now, I ALWAYS enjoyed that "high" after a class. You feel light as a feather and happy as a clam. Of course, I kept going back to get that "high" and sometimes I would get it, and sometimes I would get something else. But after this class, I had that high!

People I know who practice Kundalini Yoga have explained it to me, but I just never got around to trying out a class. YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! Taken from good 'ol Wikipedia, "Kundalini yoga derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of meditation, pranayama, chanting mantra and yoga asana. Called by practitioners 'the yoga of awareness', it aims 'to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.'" So it's not all asana (poses) in most yoga classes out there. It combines breathwork (pranayama), meditation and mantra, and poses. In addition, some lovely, inspiring affirmations through music.

It's for for all levels and no prior meditation, yoga experience necessary. Just tell the teacher and they will support you. If you get tired from the poses, breathwork, exercises etc., take a break. There's chanting involved, so if you feel weird or uncomfortable doing it, just listen. I listened a lot before participating, and I have to say, just being there with everyone chanting was quite calming, soothing, and healing.

I tend to have a very active yoga and fitness practice. In other words, even in my yoga practice, it's more on the active side. I have fallen out of incorporating some restorative sequences every once in awhile. In fact, once a month is ideal. We all need to rest, recover, relax and renew our whole body from whatever we're doing, and from whatever is happening in our lives.

I knew I needed to slow-it-down, and by going to this Kundalini Yoga class, I did. It was a step toward stillness. If I'm not at my job, I'm teaching, rehearsing, or filling the time with something. A couple weeks back, I acknowledged the fact that I needed a refresh and a rest from that, and I'm SO happy I took action towards starting it.

The class that I went to and will BE continuing to go to is on Sundays from 4:00-5:30pm at Heartspace Yoga in Albany with teacher, Sat Kriya Kaur. She teaches on other days and at other locations as well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When yoga makes you feel bad....

I have to be honest in this blog post. Why does yoga make you mad sometimes? Or feel more tense, when you expect it to release tension and everything will feel better again? Not that I was super tense prior to my morning practice, but I was a little sore from rehearsal last night and knew my physical body could really use it.

So....why did every little freakin' thing start to trigger me? My wet bath towel falling into the litter box. Do I wear this sweater? That shirt? These pants? Or fuck this outfit! Let's wear something else. Only to go back to the exact same thing I put on first. Do I eat the leftover soup for lunch, or a salad? Then....where the hell are all these cars coming from and why can't a space clear for me to turn onto the road?! Yes! I could go on and on with everything little, but don't worry I won't. However, I know you can relate ;-)

Could it be the moon? Perhaps. My menstrual cycle? Of course, that too can play a part in it. But as I drove to work this morning, I thought about my yoga practice. I recall it feeling quite invigorating and relaxing during and after. All the lengthening and stretching of my side body really helped bring space into my shoulders and hips. AHHHH! That was so nice. But, why didn't that feeling continue?

Throughout my 10 (now almost plus) years practicing yoga, I remember coming out of a class or practice feeling amazing, and not so amazing. I recall teachers I studied with discussing how yoga shifts the whole body on many levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically, and spiritually (also known as the five sheaths). You could call them layers as well like tension can have layers. If you've heard of the metaphor peeling the layers of an onion, there are quite a few, wouldn't you think? So, when we start to practice yoga and go deeper, layers begin to peel off and "stuff" happens. Sometimes we have NO idea what it is. For instance, we start crying in the middle of pigeon or savasana; We envision ourselves reaching a goal we have been working on in some area of our life: Or simply, while standing in tree pose, imagine that we are actually a tree!

Whatever it is, yoga brings us home to ourselves. It shows us those light and dark places. When the dark parts arise, we may resist, and create more tension in the body. Perhaps, this is what was happening to me. Maybe something was trying to acknowledge itself. Something from the past or present that needs to be heard, seen or let go. We have so many layers, upon layers, upon layers of within ourselves, sometimes we, after years of practice, may just scratch the surface. Unless we are willing to go there, that is where we find the answers, and the healing can begin.

That is what yoga does for me. It is what I transmit to my students when I teach. I may not literally say in the above paragraph everytime, but I share with them, that it's okay to feel frustrated during a pose. It's okay to feel off balance one day when you were on the day before. It's okay to walk out of class not feel as good as you did the last class. Use those feelings as a learning tool and guidance.

We are ever-changing, fluctuating beings with so much more stimuli around us than years before. Our bodies and mind are always moving toward balance. Yoga is something we may not master in this lifetime, but it is an amazing tool for growth, balance and support now.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Invest in yourself for you

"You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make." - Gorden B. Hinkley

I have days when reading the quote above I will say, "You're kidding, right?" It's amazing what we ask for and the Universe hands it right over to ya. It comes in all shapes and forms and beings. It's the process towards our goals and desires that we wish (sometimes) could skip over. It's those "learning" curveballs that get thrown at us and would rather duck and cover. It's the bumps along the road that makes us trip and fall. Yes, we stamp our feet, get irritated, and we may want to stay down, but we must trust that there's a reason for everything that we experience.

I remember the time when I decided I wanted to be a yoga teacher. At the time, I really didn't think about what it involved. All I knew was that I loved doing yoga and how I felt after practicing it. September of 2004, I started teacher training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. I chose this style because my first teacher in Boston studied and taught this style, plus other styles as well. This style really helped my posture and alignment, which benefited my whole body.
To be honest, I really didn't know what to expect; however, I didn't expect it to be so demanding and intense. The teachers were amazing, but yes, there were some whose style of teaching didn't resonate with me; therefore I created tension around the situation. I didn't allow myself to be open. I didn't know how to communicate my needs or ask for support.
Since this was a 500 hour program (2 years long), by the 2nd year, I really started to question my future as a yoga teacher. I began to feel drained and not excited about yoga anymore. I didn't know how to balance it with life, so I began to resent it. I even dropped out of a class because it was being taught by that same teacher and I didn't want to deal with it. However, although there were other things going on in my life that needed more attention, it was a GREAT excuse to get out of it. I knew I needed to do this for my health, but then I began to beat myself up over it. I looked at myself as a failure and a quitter. I let that belief imprint itself within me, which then affected other parts of my life such as relationships, jobs, family, etc. If there was something I was interested and excited about doing or sharing with others, I would talk myself out of it. Tell myself why I couldn't have or do it.

The first time I taught I was TERRIFIED! But who isn't nervous doing something for the first time. Of course, as a recovering perfectionist, at the time, I had to do everything right every time. Boy, did I learn that's not how it goes! Did I get frustrated? Yes! Did I cry about it? Yes! Did I want to run out of the room in the middle of class because I made a mistake? YES!

But I kept doing it. As I learned more self-care tools, I learned to ask for support and feedback from teachers, students, friends, mentors.

Of course, now I look back on it, and I don't really wish I did anything different. Sure, it's normal to think, "if I had done that instead of that..." But, honestly, I look at myself now and I'm doing pretty great. I acknowledge the changes I have made to this point. I love teaching more now because I realized the more I did it, the better I got. I now teach other fitness formats and will be attending a training soon to become a Certified Group Exercise Instructor.


Because I have a need to contribute and connect with others. I have a need for knowledge, and I want to share my knowledge and experiences to inspire others to want to change a part of their life, and be happier and healthier. I know this now to be my intention for teaching others, but I sure didn't know it before I went into yoga teacher training.

We need to invest in ourselves, especially if we want to grow and prosper. It's freakin' scary, so we need to surround ourselves with people that are going to "Woot! Woot!" for us; and help us when we fall or want to quit.

So, in regards to the quote above, my yoga teacher training was the best investment I ever made. It broke pieces of my barriers and walls that I had built around me for years. Was the work done? Hell, no! That was only the beginning. And so it continues....