Monday, November 21, 2011

Local Food and Lots of News


Hello my friends!  So much for that "blogging every Monday" business, right?  Well I have a new idea...every other week I'll blog about a particular posture in the Bikram series rather than write a whole long newsy post.  I find that my readership is including more and more students and teachers who don't want to hear about my mom's first class (oh yeah, that's coming up later!) but DO want to hear more about the yoga itself, and as I learn more and more about the series, I might as well share it with you!  What do you think?

Lots of bibs and bobs to report today, but first and foremost...we've got a guest post from the lovely Lyn of Lyn Life Style.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Six Weeks in Cleveland: I Have Become Mr. Rogers

Who's ready for an update on learning to be a good Bikram Yoga instructor?  It's been a fascinating, busy few weeks, and I wanted to share a bit on what I've learned and experienced.

But first...I'm finally living by myself!  I have a cute little carriage house in Cleveland Heights.  The previous tenants were: a fellow who was commuting back and forth to Detroit for a year...and before him, a woman who lived there for SIXTEEN YEARS.  Well, first she lived in the house (according to oldest of the three young daughters who live in the main house, she "came with the house") and then she moved to the carriage house, where she gradually went a little bit crazy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just call me "Bikram Blogger Extraordinaire"

My Cleveland friend Amanda, who has been mentioned in many posts, generously gave me some blog space to introduce her readers to Bikram Yoga.  You can read the original post on her site here, but I've pasted it below too - just so I don't have to write TWO blog posts this week...I'm a busy girl!  But looking forward to telling you all about my adventures in Cleveland's non-Bikram yoga offerings, my snazzy new apartment, and my inability to drive in reverse.  Enjoy the last gasp of beautiful weather here on the East Coast!

AMANDA SEZ...While I’m enjoying a weekend with my incredible in-laws in New Jersey, a friend from my Philly theatre days shares how Bikram Yoga’s recent arrival in Ohio led her to “flee to the Cleve.” I’ll be back Monday with an (overdue) recap of my first attempt at a Cleveland Clam Bake!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"I'm So Happy I Get to Do This Because This is What I Love."

The quote above is from one of my new students, Sheila.  She's maybe a little older than middle aged, and probably part of the reason I can't pin down her age is that she swims EVERY MORNING AT 5AM (the photo above is of the gear I would need if I swam every morning at 5am.  You think I'm joking...).

At a time when I'm either still in snoozeville or dragging my sleepy ass out of bed to teach the 6am class (because when I teach 6am, I wake up 15 minutes before I need to leave the house...but tomorrow I move into my sweet, peaceful, non-basement, non-loud-roommates-above-me-all-night-stomping-around one-bedroom apartment, so I am entertaining dreams of waking up well in advance of class and sipping coffee in my brightly lit all-to-myself kitchen, perhaps reading the paper or a yoga book, so that I am refreshed and awake in time for 6am class.  But let's be honest, I'll probably still roll out of bed & into the studio.  Anyway...)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bikram Yoga Cleveland is Incredible (and I Don't Know Much About Cleveland...Yet!)

Well hello my friends!  After five days of driving, and three days of recovery in Pittsburgh eating my way through my Mom's kitchen (and getting a new tattoo with my brother...maybe not the best idea right before starting at a new hot yoga studio?), and five days of throwing myself into the joy that is teaching and taking yoga at Ohio's first official Bikram studio, I am FINALLY ready to catch you all up to date!  But first and foremost...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Updates Galore: Road Trips, Yoga Postures in Odd Places & Fleeing to the Cleve

Hello my friends!  I know, it's been a long time (long time, shouldn'tve left you) and there's lots of news to share.  We'll start with my sister's and my road trip all the way up to Victoria, BC and back down to San Francisco for our stepbrother Rod's wedding.

I was lucky enough to both teach and take class at a number of studios on the way.  My sister and I also planned to take photos of all 26 Bikram beginning postures on our way up and back for this very blog, but we got a few of the good ones, pre-boredom, will be illustrating this post as we go!

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Month In: Helpful Hints & Was It Worth It?

First, a quick update on teaching.  As of Friday, I'm lucky enough to now be working at TWO studios - Mission Yoga is my first love, of course, but I'm also teaching a few times a week at Bikram Yoga Walnut Creek, the home studio of friend and fellow trainee Tiffany, pictured below with the boss's watch.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week Nine and After: Tales from Inside and Outside the Yoga Bubble

Many of my loyal readers (well, my Mom) have been asking for a wrap up post.  What happened in Week Nine? How was your first class? What happened in Vegas?  Did it STAY in Vegas?  There's so much to tell about the past three(!) weeks, and going back through my pictures trying to decide what to write about has made me all nostalgic, so I'll try to keep this relatively short and sweet, but still satisfying...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weeks Seven and Eight: Three Days Left!?

Wow.  At the start of training they told us that time would fly by, but with 95 classes staring us in the face that just seemed absurd...but now here I am already deep into Week Nine, with a mere four classes to go! 

So in one of those weird sort of karmic coincidences, turns out my buddy Kelly from my group (GROUP 8 IS GREAT!), happens to be from the same tiny Arizona town, Waddell, that my aunt and uncle live in...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week Six: Portraits, Pointing and Pizza (or lack thereof)

Here we are, already two days into Week Seven and I'm already behind!  Even though its late and I am fried from post-Posture Clinic study group, I will spend the next 52 minutes providing you, my loyal readers, with a few quick updates.

Week Six is generally known as the week when hormones rage, tempers boil over, meltdown frequency increases, and everyone's emotions are at a fever pitch.  But believe it or not I have stayed shockingly stable, beyond the giggle fits and the fact that my sense of humor is now that of a 13-year-old boy.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weeks Four and Five: Dreadlocks, Decisions, and Steak Dinner

 How could you not love Kelly's face in this photo?

So here I am, kicking off Week Six, and I genuinely have not had a spare two hours to put together a coherent blog post.  The speed of posture clinics has picked up, meaning that we need to memorize and deliver a new posture an average of once a day, and as  a result weekends are the only times available to catch up on studying, do laundry, food shopping, and okay, watch the 11pm episode of the ridiculous over-the-top HBO show Game of Thrones to which Kelly and I are totally addicted.  

But I'm sure you're ALL waiting with bated breath for an update, so I'll just share a few snapshots and thoughts and see how far I can get in the next 37 minutes.  If I suck at delivering Wind Removing Pose, I blame you all!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Week Three: in which I am SO THIRSTY (but life is good!)

Week 2 may have crawled by at a snail's pace, but Week 3 went by FAST!  I think this was mostly due to all the changes - we broke into smaller groups of about 20 each (yeah Group 8!!) and spent a few hours each day with one of the other groups and several visiting teachers, who listened to us deliver dialogue and gave feedback.

Posture Clinics alternated with Anatomy lectures by the incomparable Dr. Jim Preddy (Dr. P).  Bikram was out of town so most nights we were in bed by midnight (shocking!), and his wife Rajashree taught almost every day.  Lots of changes - lots of strong classes - lots of studying - it's been a good week!  Here's a few highlights/lowlights/points of interest:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week Two: Highs and Lows and Epic Jumping Shots

 Steve and Juicy (and Pepper!) arrived last night and we all went out to dinner.  Good times!

Not quite as much interesting stuff happened last week, hence I'm late in my weekly updating!  I'm really grateful for my readership and your lovely comments online and off.  I hope I can continue to keep y'all entertained!

But first, a quick note: so I was telling my Mom on the phone this afternoon as the car wash guys finally scrubbed the bug mortuary off the front of my car from my drive down from SF (seriously, was it a high pollen time or something? because that was GROSS) that I'm starting to feel very self-involved.  I spend a little too much time thinking about ME - how I'm feeling, how I'm doing, what I'm eating, how much water I'm drinking, what does what I'm thinking or how I'm reacting at any given time say about ME!?  It's a weird state of mind to be in, for sure.  I'm lucky to have this introspective time, and it'll make me a better, more empathetic teacher, but still!

So are you ready to hear all about ME and MY week!?...Week two started off with a bang when the SF ladies lined up to deliver our Half Moon.  We were preceded by four girls who knew their dialogue, but lacked variety and enthusiasm.  Bikram said (and I quote, of course): "What happened? Did you have shit weekend? Why is everyone boring today?"  Then Kelly took the stage ... who I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, was anything but boring! .... 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week One: Bikram, Bibs and Bobs, and the Bottomless Pit that is My Stomach

Wow.  Where do I begin?  The few times I've caught up with people outside BYTT land they say "so how is it!?" and it's impossible to adequately describe this incredible experience in a way that doesn't result in bafflement, shocked dismay, or eyes glazed over (or all three).

So I'll try not to go on and on but if you feel like I've left something critical out (for example, "but love food so much! how do you feed yourself living in a hotel room?!"  Answer:  Sandwiches, miso soup, and eating like a fat kid at a buffet.  In the first week I went through an entire giant box of Shredded Oats, an entire mason jar full of trail mix, an ENTIRE BUCKET OF TRADER JOES GINGER SNAPS, and that's just breakfast and snacks) just let me know.  Okay, here goes, feel like I should start by giving context via...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

CAR TRIPS AND GRATITUDE: Training is About to Start!

These three lovely ladies have ARRIVED!  We're settled into the hotel, unpacked, set up our tea kettles, had our first bite of Sunday In and Out burger (can Kelly and I eat cheeseburgers every Sunday? Time will tell), ate our first hotel room dinner sandwiches, and sat through a brief orientation (favorite quote from Jim, who attended the first very teacher training (this is the 39th!) and now runs a studio in San Diego: "Teacher training is a combination of finishing military boot camp and completing a masters thesis").  Tomorrow we meet the man himself...and have our very first yoga class!

The weekend has gone by so quickly, I can barely believe I'm here. As many of you know, I'm a new driver (got my license for the first time in early 2009, at the ripe ol' age of 27) so the thought of a long car trip on my own was a little daunting.  But I learned a lot over those eight hours.  For example:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!

A quick post to share the hilarious song my family wrote for me today (my 30th birthday!).

I would share the accompanying video, in which my sister and mom sing while my 17-year-old brother gamely performs yogi dance moves in a long purple wig, but apparently he doesn't want that particular video to go public...can't imagine why!

Feeling incredibly lucky today for such wonderful friends and family - on the East Coast, on the West Coast, and everywhere in between! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hoarders and Hotels and Hogs: Two Weeks to Teacher Training!

Hoarder Me vs. Practical Me
So once again I find myself going through everything I own and selling what I can, giving away what I can’t, and (most frequently) tossing whatever is junk.  Somehow my roommates managed to find a replacement me(!), so I need to whittle all my junk down to what I’m bringing to training + what I can fit in two big boxes that will sit in my friend’s basement for the next two months.

Getting rid of stuff is simultaneously freeing and really, really hard.  I seem to attach emotional significance to things – so that ugly little stuffed mouse from the dollar store that sits in a box in my closet isn’t just an ugly little stuffed mouse from the dollar store, it was in a play! That I wrote!  That won a competition!  NINE YEARS AGO.  Oof.

I’m glad I’ve started this process two weeks in advance and not the night before the drive to LA.  There’s the hoarder side of me and the practical side, and they have to argue over everything and it takes forever.  Sample conversation:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Giving Up to Live It Up: 22 Days to Training!


First and foremost, I have a confession to make...I'm not going to finish the 30-Day Challenge.  I finally came to that realization when I was building a calendar on Monday of the seven doubles I would need to do over the next nine days, which isn't the worst thing in the world, as long as I can avoid back-to-back classes....but then my Board Meeting at Brava Theater (speaking of which, check out Oldest Profession if you haven't already, Paula Vogel & 3 aging "ladies of the night"? Song & dance? 80s era politics? Sign me up!) went WAY long, I missed another class, and it became eight doubles in nine days...and that same day one of my new FFBYTT facebook friends, Noemi, and I had been emailing back and forth about her brief potential stay in SF following training and she wrote "Don't worry about the challenge, it's maybe too much on your plate at the'll have plenty of opportunities after TT to complete challenges..."  And you know what...she is exactly right.  It's not giving's postponing!  Right!?  

Long story short, I shall follow the advice of a Mission yogi who shall remain nameless..."why are you doing a challenge? you'll have plenty of time to do yoga!  You should be LIVING it UP, man!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Camel Pose, You've Got Me Feelin' Emotions

This topic has been coming up in recent yoga-related conversations, so I thought I might blog about it!  But first, a training preparation update:

Training Update
I am now FIVE classes behind in my challenge.  I KNOW.  Yesterday I skipped the 8:15pm class so I could work on my dialogue for Posture Clinic (Did I mention that Juicy and Steve23 meet with us every Tuesday night at 10pm to help with dialogue?  Despite the fact that Juicy is two months away from poppin' out a baby?  They are awesome.  Note to self: write "Yogis Who Inspire Me" post).  Here's what a typical Tuesday night looks like:

Me in my kitchen at 8pm:  "In other words, two shoulders should be in one line.  Kicking and stretching should be equal, simultaneous, 50/50. If you lose the balance, you're not kicking hard enough." (etc, finish dialogue strong and close to verbatim) (spontaneous, enthusiastic applause from roommates)

 Me on the podium at 10:30pm:  "In other words, two shoulders should be in one line.  Um...Stretch your - no.  ...Leg up...?" (string of expletives unsuitable for blog content) (etc, dialogue trails off disappointingly)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lessons Learned in the 30-Day Challenge: Dialogue, Dentists, and Dumb Things to Do

Well hello there!  I'm very excited to have a somewhat expanded readership (but my original six-person readership will always be dear to my heart!).  Recent blog feedback and general positive reinforcement have been very much appreciated.  Please also feel free to tell me if I'm ramblin' on too long...commence the ramblin'!

I thought I'd take a moment to write about my first four days in the 30-Day Challenge, which started March 1st.  I've talked about these before; basically you pledge to do 30 classes in 30 days, and get to write your name up on a big piece of posterboard and put a shiny sticker next to your name for every class you take (like a chore chart when you're ten years old).  At the end of the challenge, there are prizes! and t-shirts!  

But this time around, I knew that signing up would not be wise.  First of all, I have a mere 42 days before training begins (I have a countdown gadget installed on my iGoogle homepage, so every time I come into the studio Steve23 asks "How many days?" and I know exactly.  I don't know if that keeps me focused and on task, or just gives me a mini panic attack every time I open Google).  My priorities over those 42 days are roughly: 

1) Meet all my deadlines and get the BBBSBA grants department nice and tidy for whomever my successor may be (know an awesome grant writer?  email me!)
2) Memorize as much dialogue as possible.
3) Get my shit together so I'm good and ready for training - build a realistic budget and sell all my stuff and have a plan and pay my taxes and all that kind of thing.
4) Do yoga. 

Bottom of the priority list, my friends.  I will be doing PLENTY of yoga for nine weeks, the last thing I need to do is cram a bunch of doubles in right beforehand.  But how could I NOT sign up?  That's like signing up for an Ironman competition and then saying to your running buddy "sorry, friend.  I would go running with you this weekend, but I'll be doing plenty of running in a few weeks, so..." I signed up.  Here's how the first four days went:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teacher Training: Spend a Lot of Money to be Yelled at by a Crazy Man in a Speedo in a Hot Sweaty Room with Hundreds of Other People

Yup, so as many of you know (or have guessed) I'm headed off to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in LA this April.  Now that the venerable Steve23 has posted a link to my blog on the Mission Yoga website, it's high time I share a few details!  I'll keep blogging about other studios when I can, but the focus of this blog will shift a bit from new yoga to the same yoga, every day, twice a day, in (as stated above) a sweaty hot room with a crazy man in a speedo yelling at me and a few hundred other equally crazy folks.  But let's be honest, I'm excited, and looking forward to sharing my progress (or lack thereof) with you all.  And what better way to kick it off than sharing my application essay?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yoga Child, Funky Door Polk, and Funky Door Berkeley: Catchin' Up

Sometimes the stars when you want to write a blog post catching your six-person readership up on your yoga goings-on, so you idly perform a Google image search for the phrase "Catching Up" and you find yourself reading an article entitled "Catching Up With...former Oriole Don Stanhouse" illustrated with a photo of this delightful 70s fellow in what appears to be a Balancing Bear.  The universe works in mysterious ways...

Anyhoo, I've been on a few yoga adventures over the past few weeks and figured it was high time to catch you up!  We'll begin in Philly and also introduce a new Guest Blogger, Guest Blogger Laura.  Let's begin!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Northern CA Regional Yoga Asana Championships: WHOA NOW

Last week I was hanging around the studio when Steve23 said "are you going to the asana championships this weekend?" I confessed I hadn't even thought about it, and then a fellow yogi piped up "My roommate's going, she can give you a ride!"  Well, why not?  It would be a fun opportunity to see talented yogis in action, meet and mingle with members of the bikram community, and generally feel a bit better about myself than if I had, as originally planned, spent the weekend with Carolyn & Co. drinking myself into a stupor and looking for Australians (long story).  So Kelly picked me up bright and early on Saturday morning, and off we went!

But first, you're probably scoffing "yoga...competition?' Let's discuss...