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Archive for the ‘classes’ Category

Of course, every day there has been a good day. I really enjoy the folks there and have liked getting to know new people in town.

I got an email today from a yoga teacher in Michigan. There’s a workshop the weekend that I’m going home to see my mom and I registered for a session on Sunday while she’s at church. I’m really looking forward to it, since my practice has slacked while I’m acclimating to the altitude. I’m just hoping a week away doesn’t mean I start all over when I come back.

My reading record so far in 2009 isn’t too bad, so I’m considering keeping track of the books here, with an impromptu review if I feel the need. I haven’t made up my mind as yet. I’ve officially used all my remaining book gift cards and I’m looking forward to all of them showing up. Some of these are books I’ve wanted for ages and several are by authors I love enough to buy in hardcover (with someone else’s money).  It would be amazing if some of them arrived before my road trip but I’m not holding my breath.

Now that I uploaded my pics and took care of Daily Leadville, I think I’m going to head to sleep.

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It is completed. It is excellent. It is not uploaded to imeem because I have been doing mover stuff all day and now have to cram for a Micro final tomorrow morning, right after I teach yoga tonight.

I have not had a nap; I have not cried. I cannot promise that one or both of these things will not happen later.

Okay, that’s melodramatic. I’m not going to cry unless Carly wants to watch P.S. I Love You.

Maybe when I start procrastinating later, I’ll upload.

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The vast majority of our work is done. The office is almost finished, and the kitchen is done. We have no dishes that are not paper or plastic. Fast food, here I come!

It is currently dumping a metric asston of snow on my area. Unlike Colorado, we do not get powder. The snow is wet, heavy, and in the process of freezing. I think everyone’s hoping for a snow day. I wouldn’t complain, but I think it’s unlikely.

I really enjoyed the yoga class I attended tonight. It was just the right amount of work and mindlessness. I worked up a really nice sweat and got really loose. Possibly I’ll work up another yoga post tomorrow.

On to the TV!

Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion. Oh. My. God. It was CRAZY. The very best part was when Dwight came out and called them all “Très, très, très de classe.” I almost fell off my couch. It was brilliant. From NeNe calling Kim a hooker and a racist, to Kim claiming she had cancer and then saying she didn’t have cancer and then claming she never claimed she had cancer, it was sixteen kinds of reality TV trainwreck (if the train was carrying cars full of gunpowder). It was wild and I’m really hoping they do something with this show for another season.

Psych had another holiday episode! I love this show. It’s the funny version of The Mentalist, although it was around before the mentalist. The chemistry in the cast is fantastic, Dule Hill is a comic genius, and the storyline did not disappoint. The show is consistently funny and sweet. Love it.

Criminal Minds was fantastic this week. I generally think it’s fantastic, but it was a very cool exploration of first impressions, dating, and breaking out of your own awkward shell. That, plus serial killers! It’s another cast with great chemistry and solid crime plotting.

Bones was delightful, as ever. Love the Brennan/Dad interaction (with a side of Booth).

The Mentalist continues to be fantastic. I think the part I like most is Simon Baker. The character he plays has suffered an awful tragedy but they show him as a regular guy. He’s not swallowed up by his tragedy, he still enjoys life and has a sense of humor. His history is his history and influences his actions, but he’s not some morose lump. He gets along, as people do.

Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not sure WTF is going on there, but this whole Denny/Izzy thing is just creepy and icky. It’s too bad, because her storyline with Alex was starting to be interesting and now she’s a whacko and he’s going to get the shaft again. Also, sex with dead dudes = creepy. On top of that, her dead dude is a stalker. Worst kind of dead dude, ever.

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I have mentioned previously that I am not cute when I work out. I don’t ‘glow’ or ‘shine’. I sweat like an NFL linebacker – or, more accurately, like any member of the Detroit Lions offensive line. ;) As a result, I’ve never been a huge fan of hot yoga.

I took a great class in Boston (Hip Hop Yoga) that was in a heated room – 80 degrees, not the Bikram 100-110 range (which I still think is crazy). I liked the class but when I was in my triangle position, I had to mop off my face with the leg of my pants. All of the other dancers in the room (what you get when you take a class near a conservatory) looked lily white and perfectly cool, while I appeared to have inhaled Chinese Five Spice and chased it with jalepenos.

This is apropos of the classes I’ve been taking lately, which are also heated at about 75-80 degrees. As the weather has turned colder, I’ve got a better appreciation for the warm room. You still have to warm up your muscles, but the base temp makes that much easier. It also helps to loosen the muscles sooner, so that you can get deeper into asana earlier in the practice. I’ve been enjoying the classes but I’m still not loving that sweat drips off of my face and onto my mat. Not because I’m sweat-phobic but because it’s a distraction when there’s sweat running up my nose or down into my eyes. Having to mop down with a towel is a distraction, too.

I’m not sure what a good compromise woud be. 70 degrees, maybe? Warm but not hot? I’m going to keep on with the classes because it’s so refreshing to follow someone else’s directions. I also really do like the classes, I’m just not entirely convinced to the hot side. I *can* say that I don’t hate it and that it won’t keep me from trying other hot classes, I just probably won’t make it a regular part of my own practice.

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It’s unusual for me to get into yoga diatribes very often. Most people I know do not practice yoga regularly and I don’t generally talk about my teaching philosophy unless I’m talking about classes. When most of the people you know don’t practice, it doesn’t come up in conversation that frequently.  This weekend, though, my mom and I were talking about the move and whether or not I’d teach yoga in Colorado.

I’d love to keep teaching. I enjoy it SO much and it would be great if I could keep on doing it. At the same time, I’m going to be in a new place setting up a new life and starting out is hard. As evidence, it’s taken me two years to get a serious following of students.

I teach to all levels and there are a few reasons for that. Most importantly, it’s because you never REALLY know what kind of limitations people are working with. Sometimes they’ll tell you if they’ve got an injury, more often than not they don’t. Second, people need to feel like they can choose their own workout. Providing modifications lets them do that. Third, when I’m doing my own asana practice I run through a checklist of things – foot placement, which muscles are active and how, how I can change the position. If it’s valuable to me after my years of practice, I’ve got to believe it’s valuable to others.

When I teach, I typically use the modified asana. It’s simple – given an option a) or harder option b), most people feel pressure to go with the harder option. By taking the modified version a) myself, I’m eliminating a competitive element in the class. It’s not about MY workout, it’s about the students. And the fact is that most students feel more comfortable using a modification if the instructor does.

This is all apropos, by the way, of my classes this week. In every single class this week, my students made their own modifications. Students who were relatively new and students who have been in my class for a while, relative beginners and folks with prior experience. In every. Single. Class. someone (or more than one someone) modified down to where they needed to be.

I don’t get all new-age catchphrase about yoga. I’m pretty pragmatic about practicing and its benefits. I don’t utilize chanting in my classes. But I’m going to tell you that it actually gladdened my heart to see my students do their own thing. It was like it filled me up with light each time. I thought, “I’ve done my job.” Because with yoga, you’re SUPPOSED to go at your own pace. You’re supposed to listen to your body and adjust your concentration. And by listening to your body you IMPROVE your concentration. You improve the connection between your body and your brain.

I’m incredibly sad to be leaving my students. I feel guilty about leaving them with limited options to find instruction. But this week, I thought “They can do this. I’ve done a good enough job. They can adjust in any classes they take.” My shoulders felt lighter. I felt accomplished.

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It’s hard to teach other yoga teachers.

Everyone comes to yoga with their own baggage (flexibility, health, stress, et cetera). Teachers have a little extra something, in that they’ve got a way of doing things that they’re used to and may think is the only ‘right’ way. In my experience, most teachers are pretty good about being able to pick and choose what they’re going to use and adapt themselves. It’s challenging though because you’re never quite sure how they feel about the class.

In the class I attended today, there was a beginning student and two teachers (me and another). It was a really good class, in terms of pacing and difficulty. I only had a couple of quibbles – and those come from my own experiences attending and teaching classes.

First, teach the modifications first. It’s difficult (especially for beginning students) to ‘drop down’. Everyone has a certain level of competiton in their nature and if you start with Hard and go to Easy, people almost never take the Easy option. If you start with Easy, more students are likely to stay there when they should. For this reason I also teach that even if your teacher doesn’t offer a modification, if there’s a mod that you like or use – use it anyhow. A good teacher won’t make you feel bad about that.

Second, make sure you’re balancing out the right and left side equally. We worked the right side a little longer in most positions. It happens pretty easily because you start describing what you’re doing and the students are holding the asana while that happens. Then you switch to the other side and don’t stay there as long because you don’t have to explain anything. This is why I wear a digital watch. I can time – to the second – how long we are where we are and make sure it equals out. Not sexy, but effective.

I really did enjoy the class and will probably be going back for more. I’m going to try all the classes to see if they’d be applicable for all or most of my students. The teacher was very nice and approachable and I got a nice solid workout.

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So earlier this week I noticed I’m having a problem with one of my teeth. I’m annoyed because I was JUST at the dentist and they SHOULD have caught this. Then, on Tuesday, I lost a contact lens. For most people this isn’t a big deal. I, on the other hand, am one of the handful of folks NOT wearing disposable lenses. So I have to schedule two emergency appointments this week. On top of that, since Spouse has started a new job, our insurance is different and it means having to find (in the case of the eye doctor) a new place. I’m still going to the dentist and I’m going to pressure them to bill my insurance because they SHOULD have caught this on my last visit and I’m really annoyed.

I think I’m going to try a local yoga class today. Two reasons: 1. It would be nice to have someone tell ME what to do for a change and 2. I can evaluate the classes for my students.

 

We’ll see.

Carly’s family arrives en masse tonight. She’s getting a massage this afternoon and we have to sort out which errands still need to be run.

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