Each day is a gift …

FryeWe need to remember how precious each day is and live life to the fullest.

I recently lost a student in cycle class. It was traumatic and scary.

The very first cycle class I taught in the Portland-area I was a little nervous to teach as I was still new at teaching cycle, I was taking over a class where the students were used to their regular teacher (who went on maternity leave) and later I found out the group had been cycling together for years.

But he introduced himself to me and made me feel welcome.

He was a kind man and had a big heart.

His loss is a big one.

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to know him and have him as a part of my life.

In this tragedy I have gotten to know the family of my student, I have gotten closer with many of my cycle students and staff at the gym and I am reminded about what is really important in life.

Tell those you love that you love them. Tell those that … Continue reading

My life a year later

A year ago today I left the corporate world.

(Tomorrow will be the year anniversary of my first day of FUNemployment.)

A lot happened to lead up to my decision. And I won’t go into details here why I did. But it was time for me to go. (I have talked about it somewhat in the past if you want to read undoing with new chapter and pursuing happiness and finding your paradise.)

I am not talking badly about those in the corporate world. I understand it. I lived it for more than 15 years. Because of it I am able to live the life I do now.

There were advantages to working in the corporate world. It afforded lots of amazing travel; ease of living in the Bay Area; lots of three-day weekends; a lifestyle I enjoyed; shopping for clothes, shoes and purses when I wanted; us able to donate a considerable amount of money to charities (and Uncle Sam); not living paycheck to paycheck; me the opportunity to work with many great people and learn a ton; and making some friends for life …

It wasn’t my intention to be a full-time yoga (and cycling) teacher. My plan was … Continue reading

A year later

A year ago today I graduated from my yoga teacher training at Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, Calif. Wow, it’s already been a year? Wow, it’s only been a year?

Marilyn, my mother-in-law, asked if there would be video of my graduation. I told her no, but there would be photos. Curt did end up taking video. You can watch it here.

I had some idea of what I would use my new knowledge and skills toward. But I had no idea I would be where I am today.

It’s better than I ever imagined.

Two days after I graduated I headed to Tucson for some R&R and some time with my family.

I taught my very first yoga class at Mindful Yoga Studio as a donation class on that trip. It was a scary, but great experience. I appreciated that Hilda let me teach the class at her beautiful studio and all of the students and friends (and family) who came to support me (and Tucson’s food bank).

I started subbing at Alameda Athletic Club in August and September for the regular teacher. She went on maternity leave in October and I took over her classes while … Continue reading

My new teaching gig … at Turtles

About two weeks after moving to Portland I subbed my first yoga class at the fitness center in our town home community (free yoga classes where we live!) and a couple of days after that at a gym near me called The Xtreme Edge.

Six weeks after moving to Portland I started teaching at LA Fitness for both yoga and indoor cycling.

I teach six regular classes a week at LA Fitness and one at 24 Hour Fitness with sub classes (mostly yoga) sprinkled in just about every week.

On Saturday I am teaching a special class at Turtles Yoga & Wellness, which opens at the end of this month. My class on Saturday is from 11 a.m.-noon.

At the end of this month I will start teaching two regular yoga classes at Turtles and have one shift a week at the front desk … to learn the business.

I will be teaching Wednesday mornings from 10-11:15 a.m. and Thursday evenings from 7-8:15 p.m.

My bio (scroll down a bit) has been posted. And the full Turtles class schedule should be posted very soon.

To view a schedule of all my classes, go to GFG’s my classes tab.

I am really … Continue reading

Life without contact lenses …

I have been wearing glasses since I was 4.

When I was in high school my eyes actually started to improve and I only had to wear glasses when I read, drove or was in school. That didn’t last long.

In my early to mid-20s I decided to try contacts for the first time. I wore them for a couple of years. Between not having a great eye doctor and not taking care of my contacts appropriately I gave up on them after about two years and went back to glasses.

In my early 30s I started regularly exercising and practicing yoga. I found glasses to be in the way with cardio while sweating and they would fog up and whenever I needed to towel my face those dang glasses were in the way. In yoga they move around and make it difficult to see. Removing my glasses doesn’t help because I actually need them to see.

At this point I started with a new eye doctor in my old Rockridge neighborhood. (If any of my readers in the Bay Area and are looking for an eye doctor, I recommend Dr. Yokoi at Rockridge Optometry.)

Dr. Yokoi thought I was … Continue reading

Mirroring yoga students

I learned a lot of great things in my yoga teacher training.

Mirroring your students as a yoga teacher was highly advised.

I get why that is a good idea. It makes it easier for your students to follow you in something, especially if the pose or action is complex and/or has a lot of moving parts and language just isn’t enough.

But for the teacher it can be quite challenging.

I already have issues with right and left. Yes, I know they are basic and we all learned that in kindergarten.

The first time I tried mirroring with a student was a home yoga practice with my mom a little more than a year ago when I was still in school.

It was a complete disaster. But it was just the two of us and at least we got a good laugh at it.

When teaching (especially a twist, which is the ultimate challenge) I look at … say my right arm and tell myself it is the right so I should say left. I tell them to bring their left arm and hug the right knee for a seated twist while I bring my right arm to hug my … Continue reading

Supporting, encouraging & challenging students is what teaching is about

I am currently working at LA Fitness (and soon another gym) as a cycle and yoga teacher. Click for my schedule here.

I have taken indoor cycling classes as a student for seven to eight years.

Indoor cycling is a cardio workout on a stationary bike where the students are guided by an instructor to ride hills, sprints, jumps, etc.

Even though I have started to teach regularly I still try to take a class occasionally from another instructor. I like to just be a student sometimes. And I can also get ideas from other teachers and maybe even hear a new song.

My philosophy as a cycle teacher is very similar to my philosophy as a yoga teacher. I believe you take care of your students in a loving manner. You remind your students to honor their bodies. You encourage, support and challenge but never humiliate or make them feel bad. Things, of course, can be misinterpreted at times. We are human beings. I try to be careful as a teacher to never make my students feel bad when I ask them to make adjustments (whether in yoga or cycle).

Before I moved to Portland I was a fairly … 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

Intensive yoga weekend

This past weekend at yoga teacher training we had something called an Intensive Weekend.

We had class three hours on Friday, six hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday. (Four hours on Sunday if you wanted to participate in an optional hour conversation about meditation before our three hours started.)

Friday night was my annual company party and the first one I have missed since working there. But I made a commitment to my schooling and becoming a yoga teacher.

Even though I was bummed to miss the party, the Friday night class was so much fun. We all took about five minutes to teach something to the class that had nothing to do with yoga.

Everyone taught something different and with so many different styles. I taught the class how to make salsa. Because I didn’t want to bring all the supplies and ingredients with me I took pictures of the items and showed pictures as I went step by step by what you do. I wore my onion goggles my friend Monica gave me, which I reviewed for the blog. And I brought some chips and salsa for everyone to taste.

We learned how to make … Continue reading

Be flexible with your inflexibility

Over my winter break from work I was able to “teach” yoga to three friends to work on my teaching skills and give them a “free” class.

Every practice was different and in different locations (gym, my house and a hotel room). Thanks again to my friends for giving me the opportunity to work on my teaching skills. Hope the “class” was beneficial for all of you as well.

When I worked with my three friends the main thing I heard was, I am not flexible.

I told my dear friends that your body is your body and it does what it can. I also told them that flexibility is not always a good thing. Being flexible or overly flexible can be a liability in yoga or any type of exercise or activity.

I also reminded them that it is safer for your body to be less flexible than more flexible. There is a smaller chance you will hurt yourself as your body just can’t over do it.

When you know you have an injury, an issue, are over flexible or under flexible, etc. you make modifications, adjustments or utilize props to help you get into the best yoga pose for … Continue reading