Thanks, Piedmont and farewell

There are so many great things about taking yoga classes, especially at a studio. Establishing a yoga community is such an important part of the practice.

While in Oakland I regularly took classes from two yoga studios.

Piedmont Yoga Studio is where I did my yoga teacher training and also took classes from teachers who were also teaching me how to be a yoga teacher.

On Saturday Piedmont Yoga Studio will close its physical doors.

In 1987 Piedmont Yoga Studio was founded by Rodney Yee, Richard Rosen and Claire Finn.

Until recently I regularly took classes from Richard. In November I took a master yoga class with Rodney Yee and his wife Colleen Saidman when they were in town. And earlier this month I took a class with Claire Finn. I told her after class that I had to make sure I took yoga classes with all three of the original Piedmont founders.

Piedmont will become “a studio beyond walls that is open and accessible to all.” You can read more about that here.

Even though I was only part of the Piedmont community for a little more than a year I have an attachment to it, what it represents and the … Continue reading

Listen and notice

I feel very fortunate that I was able to take a master yoga class on Wednesday with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman at Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland.

As expected, the class was packed even though it was 9 on a Wednesday morning.

It was a 2-hour class. But it didn’t feel like two hours.

Rodney started the class by chatting with us for a bit. I love when teachers start class like that. Sometimes they just want to chat. Other times it is a way to introduce the theme of the class.

What I took from the class was to listen and notice …

As we were listening and noticing what our bodies were telling us Rodney also reminded us to check our breath. If the breath wasn’t free and flowing then the pose our body was in was not benefiting our bodies.

We need to listen and notice in yoga but also in life. Listen and notice what is going on in your body. And check your breath.

There are so many styles of yoga and styles of teachers out there. Some of the lineages of yoga are quite long and some are much shorter. The lineage of … Continue reading

My Triangle transformation

A little more than a year ago I applied to the Piedmont Yoga teacher training program, which I graduated from at the end of June.

An optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), which is the picture in the top left corner, taken last May/June.

The bottom left photo is from an anatomy long-term homework assignment where we were instructed to pick three poses we could do but found challenging and do a write-up.

My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).

The bottom left photo was taken in mid-December 2013.

We took our first set of photos and did a write-up and turned in.

Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.

The photo on the right is also from the anatomy long-term homework assignment. That photo was taken in early May 2014.

Over this past year I have learned how to work with my hyperextension in my front leg and eliminate it. (I can clearly see hyperextension in the first photo, … Continue reading

Bringing Your Heart Into Backbends

DY Flier-web-version-2As a yoga teacher challenges can come up in a class you hadn’t planned for or expected.

Last night my friend Sandra and I co-taught a beginner yoga class, which is part of the Summer Series fellow Deep Yoga teacher graduates and I are involved in.

We taught a beginner backbend class, which we titled Bringing Your Heart Into Backbends.

In the Bay Area we are having a sort of heat wave. It’s no Arizona heat wave. But when you don’t have air conditioning or ceiling fans it can get pretty sweaty.

With any sort of physical activity you have to be careful with the heat. About a third of our students were true beginners. We wanted everyone to take care of themselves and be safe.

Sandra and I didn’t plan for the heat or some of the challenges some of our beginner students were going to have in class. But all of it was a great learning experience. And that was what this was about, learning and getting some teaching under our belts.

I was much less nervous this … Continue reading

Upcoming first official yoga class

In EIGHT days I will be a certified yoga teacher.

This has been a long journey at Piedmont Yoga Studio’s Deep Yoga teacher training: 10 months of school, homework, yoga classes, observing and assisting, weekends, Thursday nights …

Days after I graduate I am heading to my hometown of Tucson to have some R&R, visit family and teach my first official yoga class as a certified yoga teacher at Mindful Yoga Studio.

My class is called Do Good While You Feel Good, a donation class to benefit Tucson’s Community Food Bank.

Here is a link to the event invite on Go Fit Girl’s Facebook page.

This event is open to anyone. Please invite your friends. It will be great support to me, Mindful Yoga Studio and the food bank.

I have learned so much over these past 10 months. And now it is time to put them to practice. It will likely be a little rocky at first. But the more I teach, the easier and better it will get.

I’ve already been working on the class I’m planning to teach. It’s part of my home practice. I think it will be a great beginner practice or … Continue reading

Establishing roots, structure

Doing a yoga teacher training and teaching yoga changes your relationship with yoga.

~Vickie Russell Bell, last night in class

Last night was my first night of yoga teacher training class.

I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed, tired and ready to learn.

One of my regular and favorite yoga teachers, Vickie, taught class last night.

The first Thursday night class was three hours of introduction to standing poses.

Just taking regular classes from Vickie has already provided me with a lot of knowledge about yoga and the body. But I know really focusing on alignment and knowing more will make me a better yogini and a good teacher.

Class consisted of talking along with instruction with a good amount of good questions, some note taking along with a lot of actual standing poses.

Alignment was a big focus last night. It’s important. And I don’t think I spend enough time really thinking about the placement of my body while in a pose.

Alignment is something that some of my teachers (like Vickie and Baxter) focus on. Not all my teachers focus on it as much. And I definitely need more of that.

I took a yoga … Continue reading

GFG! BIG announcement

In the past 10 months or so I have been doing a lot of thinking, exploring, reflecting and starting to make changes in my life.

I am excited and nervous about the opportunity I am about to take on.

Starting next week I will begin a 10-month yoga teacher training program at Piedmont Yoga Studio.

Going through this program is something I have been thinking about since last October/November.

Everything is lining up for me in my life with signs showing me that this is the right time and the right opportunity to take it on.

My life has been transforming and becoming more focused on health and fitness, including really focusing on Go Fit Girl! and how the blog helps me and my readers.

Two of my favorite teachers, Baxter Bell and Vickie Russell Bell, studied at Piedmont and they are teachers under the Deep Yoga program I will be attending.

The timing is just right as this program only starts in September. And I can still fit in my full-time job and most personal things in my life.

If you are familiar with the yoga world you have heard of Rodney Yee. According … Continue reading