Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's the Final Countdown!

A quick post to update you all on the past few weeks before I do my usual last-possible-minute packing for tomorrow morning's flight.  I've got a lovely mini-vacation in NYC planned, where I get to hang out with this cutie pie and his mom, enjoy a mini-reunion with a bunch of fellow Spring 2011 teacher training graduates, do lots of yoga...oh, and perform on this stage in front of a couple hundred people for three minutes. Hey, I figure if I fall over and make a hilarious fool of myself, it's only three minutes.  I'll score my competition video to this song and just enjoy my time in NYC.

So first and foremost, training has been intense!  I just wish my training was THIS gets lonely in that empty yoga room, just me, cleaning guy James wandering in and out of the supply closet, and Weezer.

Between teaching twelve classes a week, taking at least five (and adding extra sets and exercises, or "third sets," in yoga training-speak, which has been fun...and the Cleveland students are getting used to it, and better at not blatantly watching me, although one confided after class that she's in a perfect position to watch my full camel without looking like she's watching my full camel and is always mentally cheering me on - "go go go go!"), and adding an hour or two of backbends, routines, etc every day...I've been tired.

This pose is called Sleeping Yogi...seems apt!

So I was taking lots of naps (which I've since learned repair bones & muscle, so hey, that's fine) and drinking lots of coffee to compensate.  Zeb wisely suggested that instead I work on my sugar consumption (what, you mean eating icing out of a jar with a spoon isn't good for you?)  So for the past few weeks I've cut out all added sugar, and for good measure, a bunch of other stuff (including coffee...the lovely Laura posted the following photo on my facebook wall (oh, it's a timeline now, right?) the other day and it made me want to cry):

Jacob's Wonderbar with soy milk and a little were so good to me

I tell you don't realize how sugar is in EVERYTHING until you try to stop eating it altogether.  Salad dressing.  Bread.  The soy milk behind the counter at the coffee & tea shop next door to your yoga studio.  On the plus side, I am turning into a mean, lean yoga machine...but Saturday night, NYC pizza shops better watch out!

I've also had some back trouble, but one of my Cleveland 6am-ers is a former professional football player (and a silver fox) so I asked him for chiropractic recommendations (because who better to recommend a sports chiropractor than a retired professional sports guy?).  

He sent me to this wonderful fella who, while not as effusive and enthusiastic as my San Francisco chiropractor, very brusquely and effectively snapped me back into place.  What is it about someone else manhandling and cracking your neck and spine that is so satisfying?  So hopefully full camel will look like this and not like this.

Can't THIS be my optional?

I'll sign off with some recent publicity around about the competition.  It's been interesting to see some of the negative or condescending reactions to the idea of yoga competition, which I can understand...but I genuinely believe this opportunity has not only made me a better yogi, but a better teacher.  

Training for competition has reminded what it's like to be a beginner; and how much further you can go when you give it time, patience, and determination. I know the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the five beginner postures so much better now, so I'm better able to teach them in class.  

And I'm more aware  of the body's ability to change, no matter what its current state...after all, if a previously sedentary 30-year-old can backbend her way into full camel (as I told a friend this spine says "wait a minute.  you're not an athlete.  you're a NERD!  how are you doing this?") this yoga really is a magical thing (not a sex cult though.  C'mon, Michael Broad, really?)
Yoga Posture...As an Official Olympic Sport?

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