Albany yoga basics workshop

Over the weekend Curt and I were in his hometown.

Curt is from a small Missouri town. So small that they don’t have yoga among other things.

I held a yoga workshop for members of the community.

I love finding ways to bring yoga to anyone who wants to experience the practice.

It was my first workshop, which I called Albany Yoga Basics Workshop.

I taught the ladies basic yoga poses while also focusing on alignment and our breath. I also taught them some basic Restorative Yoga poses.

I was able to work on my language and really focus on teaching true beginners, which I feel is my specialty right now as a yoga teacher.

I really do enjoy teaching.

This was extra fun as all the women were familiar with each other and many are close friends.

They laughed and made jokes and enjoyed themselves.

They all got to take home a copy of the sequence we practiced so they can practice at home or even with each other.

I plan to try to get inventive and continue to bring yoga to a community that enjoys it and wants it. Stay tuned Albany, Mo.!

Being mindful of me

I practice a lot of yoga. And I cycle (while teaching indoor cycling) five times a week.

I teach 11 yoga classes a week (and sometimes a private session) along with my cycle classes every week.

As a teacher I give to my students physically, emotionally and mentally.

All teachers need to take care of themselves.

On Wednesday night while teaching my evening yoga class I started to notice my low back aching (not an uncommon thing).

Once class was over I noticed it more. And by the time I got home it was quite bothersome.

I had my dinner and got ready for bed. I then practiced a couple of Restorative Yoga backbends: heart opener over a rolled blanket and supported bridge with a bolster.

I have Kyphosis (upper hunch back) and Lordosis (lower sway back). Low back discomfort or pain happens at times for me.

I took it easy the next couple of days while teaching. Cycle I didn’t ride as hard. I was mindful with my modifications with students in yoga. I like to be helpful with props and getting what students need. I made sure to be careful and not bend over as much as I usually do.

I … Continue reading

My regular Restorative Yoga practice

I love being a teacher. A teacher of yoga. And also teaching indoor cycling classes.

Because of what I do I have a weird schedule. Every day is a little different. Three out of my six teaching days I have a 9:15 a.m. class, a noon class and a class in the evening. Most of my days I have a gap from about 1:30 to 5ish.

This is when I run errands, have my lunch, get things done around the house, work on the blog, work on playlists and yoga sequences, catch up on e-mail, etc.

But I also hit a low in the middle of the day and get sleepy. Because I physically work I know at times my body needs rest.

My norm had been little cat naps. Sometimes they end up being longer. Somedays I feel great after my nap and other days not so much.

About five or six weeks ago I decided to trade my nap time in with a 30-minute Restorative Yoga practice. (I have been doing this about five times a week.)

Mondays are one of my harder days as I have three classes and it is my “Friday.” I don’t normally teach on … Continue reading

Being a yoga student

Twice this week I headed to Turtles Yoga & Wellness and took yoga classes. I was a student and not the teacher.

I do truly love teaching.

And I have a regular home yoga practice.

But when you get to take a class and let someone else come up with a plan and you get to discover things in your body and learn new things it can be absolutely amazing.

I really tried to let myself go and just be.

Sometimes when I am in a yoga class I think about how I would have done it differently (or dare I say, better).

But this week I let all of that go and I really enjoyed being a student, while also picking up a few things I will use as a teacher in my classes.

I am hoping to take a class or two a week at Turtles regularly.

I took Sefana’s Slow Flow on Tuesday at 10 a.m. I liked the pace of the class. I worked but in a slow and mindful way. I felt so relaxed when class was over.

Last night I was able to take Rachel’s Restorative & Yoga Nidra class. I need more Restorative … Continue reading

My Turtles update

My first two weeks at Turtles have been great.

My very first class (on June 15) was a Monday night Gentle Yoga class. And I had 13 students. (The max is 15.) My students seemed receptive. And I heard from the front desk that I got lots of great feedback.

My first Thursday night class was a little smaller. Some of my Monday night students came to my Thursday night class.

I also added a third class to my Turtles schedule: Saturday mornings at 10:15. It’s Yoga Align to Restorative. I am so happy to be taking a little more Restorative Yoga teaching on. I love practicing Restorative Yoga and sharing it with my students.

In Week 2 I am already starting to have regulars, which I really love. I want to get to know my students and make their yoga experience the best that I can.

And I am having some amazing connections with students.

I worked a front desk shift the past two Friday afternoons/evenings. I am learning a few things along the way. And I am able to help out with signing students in, getting their info into the system, etc.

And today is the start of Week … Continue reading

Teaching teens Restorative Yoga

Two Sundays ago as I was rolling and carrying all of my props into my Restorative Yoga class (I teach Restorative at the fitness center in my community complex and bring my own props) a woman came up to chat with me.

She said her daughter and her Girl Scout friends were learning about breathing and she was wondering if it would be OK for them to come to class the following week.

Of course!

On Sunday I had three girls come to class, one was 14 and the other two were 13.

I told them about conscious breath. We worked on inhaling on a two count and exhaling on a three count. I told them that a longer exhale can help us support the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). (The sympathetic nervous system is the fight, flight or freeze.)

We started our practice in a seated mediation to work on the two count inhale and the three count exhale.

I asked all of my students to start in a comfortable seat where we would stay for a few minutes. They had blocks, bolsters and blankets and could use whatever they wanted to be comfortable.

I was impressed with the … Continue reading

Using props in yoga practice

Most weeks I teach yoga I have a theme. It could be feet, twists, low back, balancing poses, groins, etc.

Whatever sequence I teach my classes for the week I am also practicing at home.

Many of the places I teach currently don’t have props. Which has been a good challenge for me as a teacher.

Last week I taught what I called props vs. no props.

I travel with a few blocks and straps and remind my students that they are welcome to use the blocks or straps during class. A couple of students have said to me over time that they don’t know how to use the props.

Huh, OK, that hadn’t occurred to me. This prompted a sequence for me to show my students how props can be used in various poses.

I don’t have enough props for everyone nor can I travel with 30 blocks and straps to every class I teach (sometimes I have more than 30 students and I have 22 blocks and 23 straps). But for last week I made it a priority to carry around 22 blocks and 23 straps, which aren’t heavy, just bulky. (I asked my students to bring any blocks … Continue reading

Getting back to the yoga teaching

For the past week and a half or so I have been making contacts at gyms and yoga studios.

I joined LA Fitness and have chatted it up with a couple of cycle teachers and a yoga teacher. I have been applying at gyms in the area where an application is accessible. I have found smaller gyms and studios near me and contacted them.

Surprisingly I have had a good response.

So I have some possibilities coming up for my teaching. I am just trying to be patient.

At the town house community Curt and I live in there is a fitness center. Three times a week there are free yoga classes for residents.

I went to one of the free classes on Thursday night. It was pretty good.

After class was over I introduced myself to the teacher and asked if she taught all three classes. She told me that she does.

I told her about my trainings. I also told her that if she ever needs a sub I can sub for her.

Sunday nights are Restorative Yoga. I told her I did a separate 20-hour teacher training specifically for Restorative Yoga.

She didn’t teach last night because she … Continue reading

I took on the Savasana challenge

For the month of December I took part in a 31-day Savasana challenge.

My teacher Vickie who was my first Restorative Yoga teacher (and one of my regular yoga teachers) challenged her students to do a 31-day Savasana challenge.

Savasana is a relaxed and restorative pose where you can be supported by blankets and bolsters (as you see in the picture to the left) and where your head and heart are on the same level. This is a time to quiet the body and the mind.

The month of December is stressful with the holidays, food, alcohol, family, parties, friends, end of year …

When we don’t think we have time for ourselves, whether that’s yoga, Savasana, time reading a good book, taking a bath, just sitting down for 10-15 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, etc. is when we need it most.

For the most part the challenge was fairly easy for me since I am not working full time.

But there were still times when I had to try to squeeze that 15 minutes in. Like the day I had an all-day training to become a SPINNING® teacher. And then almost immediately after that went … Continue reading

Celebrating bumps and curves

Recently I saw stuff about Jennifer Garner and her baby bump.

Jennifer Garner admits she has a baby bump but is not pregnant on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

She’s had three kids and now there is a bump and she says it ain’t going away.

Society as a whole is so obsessed with women and their weight.

Why don’t we talk about men and their bellies? Wow, he musta put down a 6-pack last night and a bag of Doritos! How is he gonna show off his body in that bathing suit next month??!!

In the silly movie, Couples Retreat, all the women are in super amazing (dare I say, unrealistic) shape and the guy’s are a bunch of out of shape slobs. I realize our bodies can’t be perfect, but what message is that sending? This is the best picture I could find of the whole main cast.

Guess what, friends? You can have a “baby bump” and have never even had a baby.

It’s called a big meal, being bloated, stress, water retention, bad posture, a little extra weight on the tummy, etc.

Most of my life I was “skinny.” I seriously hate that word. And then … Continue reading