Posts Tagged ‘yoga classes’

I taught my last class at the gym yesterday and my last class in Michigan tonight. It’s a little sad and totally strange. My life has kind of been dicatated by my teaching schedule for the last three years and I’m going to be a little lost without it. I also had really, really great students here and I’m going to miss them. On days when I didn’t feel motivated to teach (yes, it happens) they motivated me. Watching them grow and get stronger was awesome.

I’m getting ready to close up the house – little last minute things to get it in order. Paint the bathroom, empty the cupboards and fridge, take out the trash, get the canoe down and load it up, get the chimes off the effing tree (I keep forgetting). Possibly the most challenging will be packing the car.

Given my list, I won’t be doing much blogging today and then tomorrow I’m on the road. I’ll be giving road updates on twitter because I love the text to tweet function.

All of my belongings are arriving at my house in Leadville RIGHT THIS SECOND.


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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 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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I know I get gushy about this probably more than people want to hear it, but I really really love my job. There has never been a single class where I’ve left and thought “Wow, that was crappy” or “Man, I totally just wasted my time.” In every single class, someone has an ‘a-ha!’ moment or at the end of class, there are big sleepy smiles. I get to put a little awesome in someone’s day and it is the best feeling ever.

It makes me sad that I’m leaving this area, just as I’m starting to REALLY have a following, but it’s nights like tonight that convince me I’ll keep teaching wherever I’m at. 

First classes are hard. I used to get really nervous that I’d trip over my words or give fumbling descriptions, or that someone would injure themselves. Now I don’t really get nervous. I worry that someone will leave and not have enjoyed the class, but that’s a subset to making sure that everyone in the room feels comfortable. I think I’m pretty successful at that. First classes are tough because there is SO MUCH STUFF going on in every stretch that you can’t talk about all of it. So trying to get enough in that people can choose the work they want to do, without overloading them or chattering nonstop, is a fine balance to strike.

Based on the feedback I get from students, my style seems to be very approachable and laid back. I show that I don’t take it too seriously and the students get comfortable pretty quickly. I also talk about how I’m lazy and cheap, so I think that helps. ;)

So yeah. Tonight was a nice class in a new place. Makes your brain work differently!

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I made this mix a week or so ago and have been listening to it kind of nonstop on my Zune. Fair warning – I just pulled it up on the lab computer on campus (killing time before Micro lab) so I haven’t actually heard it. I’m hoping all those songs are the originals. It’s also missing Woman! Man! by Gomez, so when I get home maybe I’ll upload it.

Related to that, it was awesome to see Adele on SNL last week. I really love her album and I would not have picked it up if it weren’t on eMusic.com

I’ve got to say that as far as websites/apps that I’ve used the most in the last year, imeem and eMusic are right up there. Imeem lets you find out if you like something before you buy it. Emusic lets you pick up loads of music for way cheap and has a metric asston of awesome indie artists. If you like Hem, eMusic is Hem heaven. ;)

Micro midterm was meh. I’m not thrilled with my performance, but I guess I’ll wait to get the final results before getting overly worked up about it.

I am still way tired – ostensibly left over from the weekend. I’ve got to pick up my costume today (alterations done) and my bra for the wedding (ditto). My major plan after that is paying bills and sorting/boxing books. I live a life of wild excitement, I’m telling you.

Last night was the Bandwagon Book Club. I always enjoy the discussion there, though I sometimes feel conspicuous with my English degree. Last night it meant an explanation of Gothic literature. It’s weird because I’m in a group of mostly retired teachers and I’m also the youngest person by at least 10 years. This month’s book was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I really enjoyed it and thought she did a great job of incorporating the Gothic style and themes, but making it a more modern and interesting story. I’d recommend it (gave it 4 out of 5 stars).

If you’re looking for something fantastic, read Infidel by Ayan Hirsi Ali or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseini.

TV Notes:

Heroes- WTF? I mean, really? WTF.

Sarah Connor Chronicles (Terminator) – Getting wicked awesome. Also, Brian Austin Green has NEVER been this hot. Not ever. I dig that the kid playing John is able to convey a lot of emotion with a minimum of dialogue. I also like that Sarah is starting to see things unravel. Love.

Chuck – I started watching this season after having caught a couple of episodes last season. This show is great. Funny and slapstick spy show with heart. I cracked up at several points.

Yoga notes:

If you don’t normally read The Yoga Journal, I’d recommend picking up this month’s issue. They’ve got a great article on Warrior I as described by people from various yoga disciplines (Kripalu, Anusara, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, et cetera). I love it because it highlights that everyone teaches things in slightly different ways to accomplish different things (I tend to go with the Viniyoga approach to Warrior I). It also shows that just because someone is describing one variation, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Most importantly – EVERY VERSION talks about safe knee position. I’m a stickler for knees.

My class schedule is changing slightly and I’m excited about it. Life is about to get wicked hectic, though.

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Oh right – Wednesday. I taught two yoga classes today and attended Spouse’s farewell gathering at work.

Both yoga classes were pretty great. The morning class had 7 students, evening had 14. For tonight’s class we used the hip hop mix (a personal fave). I think my classes are amused because whenever a song comes on, I’m all “I LOVE this song!” It shouldn’t be surprising since, yanno, I MADE the mixes. What happens is that I rotate through my music and I’ve got several different things I use. So by the time I play a mix again, I’ve kind of forgotten what was on it, or what order the songs are in, and it’s a pleasant surprise every time because I love the songs.

A woman attended my class this evening (Power Yoga) for the first time. She was new to yoga and 8.5 MONTHS PREGNANT. What? I was able to structure the class in such a way that she could participate (though I would have probably had a stroke if I’d known how far along she was BEFORE the class started) but I’m still kind of in shock.

Speaking of shock, I MISSED the Wipeout finale last night! Totally disappointed. I did catch The Closer finale which was crazy and kind of bizarrely ended like a regular cliffhanger episode and didn’t really have a finale feel to it. Weird.

I’m going to admit to liking this interior design on Bravo. Tonight was all about designers from Project Runway and it is completely awesome. I love Big Daddy, not the least of which is because people call him Big Daddy.

My life is utterly lacking in excitement right now so I’m going to get some Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

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I teach a class tonight before the holiday weekend and then not again until NEXT Wednesday. The gym is having an issue with sorting out their fall schedule which means I get a longer than usual accidental vacation.

My 1990 mix has been pretty popular in class but, unless there are a couple of specific students there who haven’t heard it, we’re going to be doing Hip Hop Yoga tonight.

Microbiology is pretty much exactly what I expected it would be – not fun. I’m also taking The American Presidency, which should be pretty interesting.

With regards to the move, we are having lots and lots and LOTS of conversations about what in hell we’re going to do with our house. I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around how a $100,000 house in Michigan costs $200,000 in Colorado. It’s mildly horrifying to me. Okay, it’s more than mildly horrifying. We’re giving serious consideration to buying land and building but there are ALSO no apartments to rent (to speak of). So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

Packing has not yet commenced. There are a lot of decisions hinging on this weekend’s trip and I don’t want to get so far ahead of ourselves that we end up backpedaling.

Currently I’m on hold with the U’s financial aid department. I think University financial aid offices, when they aren’t run properly, are like the third circle of hell. No one really knows how to answer your question, but they THINK they do and then you end up getting transferred three times, disconnected, and then finally some old lady in the back room just tells you to come to the office and she’ll get you straightened out. It’s kind of shocking to me that this shit isn’t all online yet.

For example, I came in on Monday and filled out necessary paperwork. They can’t locate the paperwork now. But if it was online, I guaran-fucking-tee that the shit would be processed already. Unfortunately, everyone at THIS university likes to NOT apply logic to their processes. They’d rather do it backwards and then be able to whine and complain about OMG we had to see EIGHT BAJILLION students and handle OMGSOMANY problems, but we did it, even though we were understaffed and undereducated and just generally SWAMPED.

I’m like, DUDE. The students are PAYING YOUR CHECK. You should be making this stuff as easy on EVERYONE as possible. WTF? It’s as though they all lack basic reasoning skills.

It’s just one more thing in an INCREDIBLY LONG list that makes me glad to leave this godsforsaken place.

And thanks to that annoying bit of runaround, I have to do EXACTLY what I THOUGHT I’d have to do on Monday (which no one could tell me) so I’m going to get myself French Toast Sticks as a reward. Because I deserve it.

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