Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Blogiversary! A giveaway for followers!

Many thanks. Today is my blogiversary!

Last year I started this blog as the dream of attending Bikram Yoga Fall Teacher Training 2009 materialized in my mind. Teaching yoga is something I knew I wanted to do from the first moment I sat down to stretch with a book I received as a gift – The Supple Body http://www.amazon.com/Supple-Body-Fitness-Strength-Flexibility/dp/0028604415. I learned the routines and practiced them on a family trip to China for three weeks. As we cruised along the Yangtze River I awoke and stretched on the upper deck of the boat, watching the fields go by. The air was murky, the water a churning yellow, and the landscape serene in the morning sun. The quiet and calm of purposeful stretching inspired an introspective mental state that felt like home to me. That was in 2000.

As the spring Bikram teacher training gets under way, I reflect on all the changes in my life since I made that decision to go to training last fall. It was a grueling experience and I am indeed fireproof (as Bikram would say) for having come through it. I am pleased that trial-by-fire training was my first. I will teach lots of yoga in my lifetime, only some of it being Bikram. Not everyone is ready to step into the hot room. I will go to them; I believe in the power of practicing and learning about one's own body. In my opinion, everyone needs to experience the vessel through which they experience life - in an intimate and personal way. Yoga is the method I use for that work (any yoga butt that ensues is a definite plus ha ha).

My goal as a teacher in the workplace and in the studio is to be a model of self-acceptance in the practice of yoga. I strive to practice patiently with a good attitude and a smile, whether I'm falling out of standing bow for the umpteenth time or doing restorative practice surrounded by pillows. I have fulfilled a life long dream and my life is much fuller for it.

I'm giving away a fabulous prize to express gratitude for my blog followers. Thanks swankysoothers (on Etsy.com)! I got one for myself too. Hey - it's my blogiversary - I can relax if I want to.
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These awesome 100% organic wraps are made with flaxseed and rice for ultimate heat therapy! They are lightly scented with soothing lavender chamomile and smell sooo great! They are made with swanky, designer fabric- you will look good while relaxing :)! Can be used hot or cold. To heat just warm in the microwave in 30 second intervals (they come with instructions). Eye soothers can be warmed for 1-2 minutes. Eye measures approx. 3x10. Flaxseed is great for retaining heat and moisture and giving a calming effect. Rice is also great for retaining heat. ****lavender and chamomile create a calming and soothing scent, great for right before bed!****

Here's the deal :
  • If you are a PUBLIC follower as of 5/1/10 at 12am
  • You live in the USA (shipping costs, people!)
  • Please leave a comment in this post asking to be entered to win the eye pillow
  • Make sure I have an easy way of emailing you or contacting you either through your blog or profile.
I will do the drawing this weekend by letting my hubby pick a name out of a hat. I'll contact the winner by next Monday. My family members are not eligible to win.

Thanks for reading. Here are some linky treats for you!

A really cool guide to mudras. I don't know much about hand positions for meditation. I liked this guide.

My blogger skills aren't great right now I know these links should be renamed and "hidden" but I guess I still have more to learn. Always!

Thanks readers and friends for being with me on this fabulous journey.

When the universe says "try it another way" what do you do?

The Universe wants me to try it a different way. This morning I was about five minutes late running out the door. Trying to prep for a headshot first, but also have all my yoga clothes, props, shot list, etc ready to go. Hence, I was five minutes late and feeling that urge to make it up on the roads.

I was going about the speed limit in a construction area where they had pulled up pavement recently and POP goes the tire. Thankfully there was a place to pull over right there. I spent about ten minutes trying to do what seemed like fifty things on my phone at the same time, resulting in an increase of "have to fast" energy. You know, the kind of energy where you rev everything up - mind, heart, body, tension, blood pressure and circulation too I'm sure.

I made arrangements to cancel the shoot, cancel my two yoga classes for work tomorrow which are about 1.5 hours away, and get AAA on the way. Really, the way I got myself worked up... you'd have thought something much more serious had happened. I was very lucky - close to home and husband's work, relatively close to the tire shop, and my day job is very pleasant and understanding. Everything was and is fine... the shoot has been rescheduled for Friday. I actually got to talk to the photographer a bit once I calmed down. She is a friend of a friend and so I didn't do a lot of in depth planning with her - she got my shot list and sample photos of most everything yesterday. I think the job will be a bit bigger in scope than we planned so I'm happy to have talked with her a bit. I think it will go better Friday than it would have today.

So... this brings up quite the feeling of wonderment within me. Here I am, just cruising along, planning, planning planning, then executing. I'm very methodical and detail oriented. I spent yesterday planning for the shoot and had all my ducks in a row. I pride myself on accurate execution - good planning means things are done on time, on budget, etc. So one tire goes and it sent me into a place where I have tons of tension in the body to unlock. As my husband was driving me home from the tire shop, I had the urge to scream. I don't mean a high pitched girl-sees-mouse-in-the-fifties scream. I mean a power scream from the alto range. Nothing but rage.

When reality disagrees with my expectations I have deep patterns. I have worked a lot on this in the past few years, but apparently it's still there - probably will always be there, just have to work on how I recognize it first, then handle it. So I'm relaxing and unwinding, appreciating the rainy day in my living room with my kitties abounding. Since I did a blasting hard Bikram practice at 6am to open up my body and get loose before the shoot, I'm going to relax today for sure!

Thanks from the deepest part of me for your support about the photo shoot. It's going to happen! And with all the kind words, I'm feeling great about "putting myself out there." Namaste friends.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A photoshoot tomorrow

Hi friends! Here's some campanula to start your day courtesy of All Posters.com.

I'm quite excited today and a bit nervous. I am doing a photoshoot tomorrow to capture some of the poses that I teach in the workplace so I can make up sequence sheets with non-pirated images. Most of what I teach in the workplace is very low impact - viniyoga moves, and gentle yoga. Things that can be detrimental to yoga for beginners in the workplace: weight bearing moves, balancing, strenuous or deep stretching, and vigorous pace. Instead, the focus is on movement and stretch while keeping the body as safe and relaxed as possible.

A big focus of this session will be on capturing low impact moves. I will however stick in a few more advanced postures just because I'm not sure when I'll have this opportunity again!

Which brings me to my very human admission of some body issues coming up as I prepare for the photo shoot. To be honest, I feel less-than as I look at beautiful long-limbed lean yogis online doing perfect sun salutations. My husband and I talked about this, and he said, what's the spirit you're bringing to this?

My answer is this. Self-acceptance and emotional growth are the basis with which I mark progress in my personal practice. Not the perfection of asana. I may carry extra weight as a result of my battle with and subsequent and ongoing recovery from compulsive overeating disorder, but I am strong and I am proud of all my body can do for me.

The decision to share some photos with the online community and with my students around my state in workplaces is a kind of coming out, a kind of acceptance of myself, a marking of a point in time, as I continue to grow and change.

So... I'm hoping to have some cool stuff coming up and I am excited and nervous, but I know I'm heading in the right direction. I can feel it. We shall see how the pics come back!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Home Practice: Asana to Savasana

Image Courtesy of Jar0d on flickr

This is a substitute for a pic I took of my daffodils yesterday that's still on my camera.

This morning I woke up early with hubby. Really early. I made myself some parsley ginger mint green tea and did yoga while it steeped. I have begun my exploration of Gary Kraftsow's lower back, hip, and sacrum series. I'm trying to learn it and get it "in my body" so I can teach it.

Viniyoga is so interesting. Most "postures" are two postures in one - one movement to be completed on the in breath, and another movement on the out breath. I'll talk more at length on this subject in the future - it's one of the main tenets of viniyoga. The first series on the DVD is 23 minutes long. I toyed with it yesterday afternoon, and instead of doing three of every movement (timed with the breath) I opened up the practice to six of each movement.

By the end yesterday I was working so hard - lying on my back in my yoga room, doing seemingly "easy" poses - truly working within in my body to increase circulation in the lower back by moving slowly, with control, and with the breath. (Ujjayi breath for anyone who cares) Boy did I feel the "work" aspect of the practice!

This morning I was up early and knew it was the perfect time for an exploratory, moderate practice while my tea steeped. I did six minutes of Sat Kriya Pranayama breathing, then I did the viniyoga lower back hip and sacrum therapy series, moderating the range of motion in the movements, deepening my attention to the sensation of the breath. Low and behold, as I moved slowly and rested fully between each posture, I felt amazing shifting going on in my lower back and hips.

It reminded me how much we must take the time to soak in our yoga practice, not just gut it out and practice. Asana to Savasanaas they say. Asana being posture (where there is typically most of the emphasis), Savasana being the corpse pose, lying on one's back, palms up, receiving benefits and resting between postures. Moving with the breath and taking the time to rest and reflect between the postures allowed for movement, and healing. I could feel my left piriformis muscle release finally, then feel the left adductor tense up. I could feel the layers of this chronic tension release. After the adductor released a bit later I could feel all these little muscles in the left hip, shoulder, and if you'd believe it - my lower lip - all this lateral tension in the body melted away.

During savasana, I relaxed completely and tried to let the body breathe me, instead of trying to breathe. It's a strange sensation but the body will breathe on its own - you don't have to be out in front of it as it were. It's an amazing softening that comes with relaxing the breathing mechanism deeply. Now that's balance. I got up with extreme excitement and hoping that the early light of summer helps me wake up and do this practice more often.

I will write more about effort soon. Sometimes we must take things down a notch to experience true healing.

If you made it this far, linky treat for you! I really enjoyed this post recently.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Practice, practice, practice.

The Bikram teacher training is starting again, and it's bringing up a lot of feelings for me as I just completed the last training this fall. I remember what I learned about any issues that came up for me then - practice, practice, practice. I have been a little like a wandering puppy who wants to wander away, but needs to come back to the Bikram studio where my newspapers are, so I can stay "on track." How many metaphors can you mix? I can mix a lot at a time!

It's such a beautiful thing, really, to go into the studio and work it out. With a Bikram practice, it's same series each time. It does truly turn into a moving, open-eyed meditation. Yesterday I was thankful for our studio's renewed focus on explaining a locked out knee - that it's not just pushing the knee back to its full range of motion but squeezing the heck out of the thigh of the standing leg, pulling up on the kneecap.

I fell fewer times that usual in standing bow. And I added in some viniyoga at the end to help loosen up my back and hips. So much external rotation and "contracting the thighs" is detrimental to my body without requisite balancing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taking Yoga for Granted

This morning I was debating what to do after work. Yoga is my standard on Wednesdays but the last few weeks it has been unseasonably warm and we've gotten a jump on some outdoor tasks in the afternoons. Sometimes that results in a workout, sometimes it does not. All the time it results in body conditions that need to be "undone" by yoga (like bending over, lifting, and reaching.)

It took about a heart beat for me to get my yoga clothes together. I was dragging a bit though. I realized - I'm so lucky - I just have to show up! I get to practice for free at my studio, with a great fun teacher who's class I haven't taken for three weeks or so... How can I take this for granted! It's a day that I don't have to teach after I take so I can actually rest in savasana, and do some pigeon pose to work on some hip tightness I am experiencing. I'm really looking forward to class now!

This morning I was up a little early so I transcribed the yoga sequence from the Gary Kraftsow DVD for acute lower back issues - stabilization and rehabilitation. I'm going to practice it a bit (quite a bit) and really get it under my fingertips so to speak to be able to teach it at worksites.

In addition, I'm designing a help go to sleep protocol (brief yoga series) for a PATH Adventure. I work for PATH (actually a sister organization) and our next health action plan is going to be for sleep. So I'm designing the series! Anything help you get to sleep?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Mini Getaway

If you have three minutes and can close your eyes... you can enjoy a mini getaway at your desk!

Plant your feet, and move your hips toward the edge of your chair. Chest up toward the ceiling, and there you are - sitting with great posture. Pick up your hands and drop them onto your thighs to help relax the arms.

If you've heard anything about meditation, you might have heard something about "turning off the thoughts" and "just focusing on the breath." Well that is a difficult and confusing thing to do! The mind thinks. That's what it does. That's its job! So for a quick toe-dip into the world of meditation, try working with a simple phrase repeated continuously. This serves to tie up the energies of the mind while giving you a break, and the chance to feel yourself breathing.

Palms up on the thighs, return to your attentive position, and close your eyes. Wait! You have to finish reading this first, I guess!

Try repeating this phrase over and over. You can do it with the breath, or at whatever pace feels good.


Repeat this neutral phrase, eyes closed, with relaxed shoulders and jaw, for three minutes. Experience bliss!

Turn up the Heat

Last night I practiced hard. It was great. It's not that I don't normally practice hard. But yesterday I was in the zone and was working every posture during class. I am beginning to feel something of a six month itch, I think. My six month anniversary from coming home from training is coming right up! I have the urge to do a 30 day challenge sometime this spring - probably after I get home from New Orleans.

My goals in class right now are to really really try to hold standing bow without falling out. I fall out so much that I know I'm not getting the effects of the posture in my body a lot of the time. So I'm really, really trying to hold it. Most of this has to do with (duh) the standing leg. When the muscles are burning, you're so present with the body. A momentary lapse of attention and the leg loses stability. I have a nice deep bow - good flexibility, but need the strength and stability to hold the darn thing!

I also want to use my core muscles more in standing head to knee. Well, there's a lot about the standing leg I want to work in this pose too. I am prone to external rotation in the hips so it feels like I'm always being pulled outwards. These are the goals, it seems to me, ongoing!

The Bikram series is so amazing. It's continually a place to work. In other news, the scholarship I'm applying to in Bali (teacher training, viniyoga style) at www.YogaTrex.net is pretty much good to go - I've submitted most of my materials and a marketing plan and now I sit back and wait. I would love to be a social media ambassador for this training. The thought of Bali is with me always - and it's alive on my desktop a click away... all day long.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bikram as a Voluntary Practice

Yesterday in the yoga closet I had a pretty amazing practice. I love practicing with Bikram's CD because having the boss cajole you into the standing series postures is something I downright enjoy. Also... I need help and motivation to stay in my standing poses long enough to continue to gain strength.

When I hit the floor I just did not change the CD. I worked with the breath, the dialogue in my mind, and held different postures for different lengths. In many styles of yoga, the goal is really a daily personal practice, where there is no teacher spewing information - it's more about listening to the body and following the breath.

I love Bikram, but if restorative yoga burned as many calories, I'd be there in a heart beat. I adore restorative yoga and a slower pace. You can still work very intensely and deeply with adaptive yoga. So I took that spirit to my floor series yesterday, though I was moving to my maximum in the postures. It was so lovely, sinful, like red velvet cake, to practice Bikram quietly and at my own pace, holding, feeling the breath, stretching, and coming back to rest. How joyful.

I want to note to my friends out there in the Bikram blogosphere that I am going to be generating more non-Bikram specific content on this blog. I hope you stay with me! I want to start chronicling some of my other yoga stuff and health stuff that I do for work and professionally. I'm just all about yoga and want to open access to these wonderful teachings to people who are not yogis yet. Hence outing myself on my blog and joining twitter and all kinds of stuff. I appreciate your support and feedback always.

Five ways to sneak yoga into your day.

We don't always get to practice. In fact some people spend years thinking about practicing yoga before they even try it! So if you're a newbie or an oldbie everyone could use a bit more yoga in our lives.

1) Head to the Bathroom.
What??!!? No really. The bathroom, in many workplaces, is the only place you can go to make funny faces, floss, stretch, do EFT, or a little bit of yoga. Guys - find a stall!

2) Rock out - in Mountain Pose
Plant your feet, hip width apart. Make the knee joint soft, not locked. Relax the butt - no tucking under here. Lift up out of the waist, imagine someone pulling your hair up to the ceiling, and stand tall. Let the arms hang loose off the shoulders. Chin neutral so the back of the neck is relaxed.

3) Close Your Eyes and Breathe.
Do you pay attention to your posture for most of the day? Neither do I. When you stand up straight, you free up your breathing mechanism - the heart, lungs, and the diaphragm. Feel what it feels like to breathe. Nothing fancy.

Feel the air go in through the nostrils and fill the lungs. The belly expands slightly as the air fills the lungs. Then everything contracts naturally as the air leaves the body on exhale.

4) Four part neck stretch
Stand in mountain pose and do this gentle four part series:
- Drop your chin to the chest, wait a beat, return to neutral
- Drop your right ear to right shoulder, wait a beat, return to neutral
- Drop your left ear to left shoulder, wait a beat, return to neutral
- Lift your chin toward the ceiling, wait a beat, return to neutral

5) The return
If you can, meander by a window on your way back to your desk. Or step outside for a breath of fresh air. Look at one specific thing - be it a car, a bird, or a tree. Recognize it's realness, it's being, and appreciate it for what it is. Say a silent thank you to yourself for taking this time to nourish. Make yourself a cup of tea and get back to work!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm out.

I have officially outed myself... so hi... my name is Anna!

Exciting Opportunities Abound.

So much has happened in my mind in the past few days that it's hard to stop and write! I feel this urgency and excitement about my life, about yoga, about the world. It is very exciting - but I am committing to taking some time to just be this afternoon... just be. Don't do, just be! And maybe work in the garden when my hubby gets home.

The report - I missed the Saturday morning class I was going to go to - we arrived and it was full. However it was so beautiful in Boston on Saturday! We walked around looking at the yellow forsythia and beautiful pink (insert proper flower name here). Trees were blossoming, row houses with brick sidewalks, blue sky. I had great fun with my friends from boarding school who live in Boston.

Sunday was the conference. My first class was a kundalini workshop. It's so very different from all the other styles of yoga I've done. I find the chanting a little daunting but easier to do in a group setting (where we're all doing this weird stuff). I have some kundalini videos at home and I'm never bold enough to make the SAT-nam vocalizations as strongly as I learned they are meant to be made. Kundalini yoga is all about moving energy up the spine. Find it, open things up get them moving, and move it up the spine.

Rapid spinal flexion with powerful short breaths was the warm up... and the exercise of Sat Kriya for six minutes was extremely challenging and fired up my body. I won't get into how to do it here but you can read about it if you like http://kundaliniyogabootcamp.com/sat-kriya/. There was music and chanting and by the end of class I had a huge grin on my face. I have tons of respect for anyone who does Sat Kriya for many minutes each morning. It's something I would like to incorporate. So much yoga to do!

Gary Kraftsow taught two workshops and I attended them both. The first was upper back, neck and shoulders work and the second was lower back, hips and sacrum. I have been inspired by his teachings for so long that I was pleased to get right up front in both classes to learn as much as I could, to try to get a feel for him as a person, not just a teacher at a conference. I admire his quiet demeanor and quiet demands of excellence of the students. His cues are made up of completely non-metaphorical language. This is because much of the work he's done with the American Viniyoga Institute is aimed toward creating evidence based practice. Meaning, they apply for funding to study back pain, COPD, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), etc. They have protocols written up in medical journals.

It was amazing to me to feel my whole life dovetail around what I learned. The practices were deep and profound while appearing un-yogic and un-fancy - no fancy standing bow pose here. The work is extremely accessible to people of all physical abilities. And it can be ratcheted up with mental effort to be challenging indeed. This work is so inspiring to me personally. It is the absolute opposite of Bikram. And... it's PERFECT for teaching in the workplace. I am quite excited to pick up Gary's DVD http://www.amazon.com/Viniyoga-Therapy-Back-Sacrum-Kraftsow/dp/B000U0C9UE and start teaching some of the sequences here that are scientifically proven to help back pain.

I found a second series to Bikram that has been scientifically proven to help with back pain, basically. And this is one I can take on the road to all types of people, not just those who enter a Bikram studio of their own volition. I have so much excitement about this, about my practice (started this morning!) and about bringing Viniyoga to my rural community. I went up to Gary with a bright shining face at the end of a long day and introduced myself and told him I can't wait to come study with him. I felt that he felt my enthusiasm.

Lastly, I found a scholarship opportunity to a viniyoga teacher training in BALI(!) in August. I am quite looking forward to applying. Yogatrex.net if you're interested in trying it out. I'm wanting and intending to be in Bali in August. My application has come together in my mind and soon shall be on paper. I hope to be an enthusiastic brand ambassador for the training.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Annaconda's Yoga Shack Open for Business

My Bikram Yoga closet is officially open for the season. Season being, until it gets too cold next fall to heat the space with space heaters. Bikram yoga - 26x2! 26 postures, 2 breathing exercises, performed in 105degree heat and 40% humidity. 90 minutes of heaven and hell interspersed like a chocolate vanilla swirl cake cone.

Let me paint a little picture for ya.

Our house is unique. It's quirky. It's got a lot of wood - exposed wood, wood slatted ceilings, unique lintels. Our criteria for purchasing the house were:
1) ability to go outside naked - not that we do much but we wanted that degree of privacy
2) not tcttr (to close to the road - we had many tools and acronyms to get us through the house buying process)
3) land
4) proximity to our town of work
5) school district

So we found this place that was originally a writers cabin which had been built onto in two large expansions. It has lovely little outbuildings, a perennial garden that I'm expanding daily, and it's somewhat homehewn (new word! yeah!) inside. There is a room on the second floor that might have been designed to be a potential second bathroom? Laundry room? Not sure if there's real plumbing, I dont' think so, but there are some fixtures. It's very rough. It's just like this extra room. So I have turned it into my yoga closet.

There are currently two flannel blankets/sheets tacked to the ceiling to create a sort of drop ceiling, diffusing the light from the raw bulb above. Our house is not particularly well insulated. We're working on that. This room has two outside walls and is in the oldest part of the house. So... it's cold and drafty in there. I have tons of old sweaters and even a sleeping bag lining the space where the walls hit the floor. Two space heaters take up space to my right when I practice (don't lose your balance, hey!) A low quality mirror balances a little off center on a ledge close to where I've stuffed "insulation" where the floor meets the wall. And on the wall is a poster of Esak Garcia and his wife extremely pregnant. She's doing a beautiful balancing stick and he's doing an advanced pose where he balances on one arm, whole body outstretched.

I hung out there for 90 minutes with the boss. Just have to get my humidifier cranking next time. Temp - 100 - 105 today. Humidity not quite there because I didn't sweat enough. Just gotta fill the humidifier. Other elements to the room that make it great are extension cords connecting to a timer - like for xmas lights. That way I can warm it up for myself (2 hrs) so it's nice and toasty for when I get home.

Today I found an awesome tweak that worked so well for my standing head to knee today. I think I have stronger external rotational muscles in my hips than internal. The balance goes that way. So I thought hard about internally rotating the standing leg to get the weight to stay over the ball of the toe. It helped me stay balancing for longer. I fall out of that pose uh lot.

Happy practice! This weekend is a non-Bikram weekend for me. I'm going to teach tomorrow at work for 30 minutes and also Bikram at 4pm, then drive to Boston and stay with my buddy. We're hitting Ashtanga on Saturday morning and then Sunday I'm seeing Gary Kraftsow twice and attending a session on Kundalini. Fun!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Twitter anyone?

Anyone into this new agey thing called twitter?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Yay, I'm feeling human again! That was a two week period I wouldn't want to repeat, thanks very much. I didn't really practice for about two weeks - twice I came in and did the poses in a semi-heated room before I taught, that's about it. I was so dehydrated I could just teach. A week ago Monday I sat down during savasana and was woozy when I stood up!

Enough about that. It's over, and I'm nourishing myself. Thank you for all your kind well-wishes!

Last Friday was such a beautiful day. It was the first day I was feeling well enough to practice along with teaching so I popped in Bikram's CD and cranked the heat. I love practicing with him. It's a good thing, because the warm-ish weather is here and that means I can officially re-open my yoga closet for business. But I digress. On Friday, it was sunny and in the 70s and people did not come to the 4pm class! Two people showed up. Having just practiced myself, I did not opt to lead a silent class which I am allowed to do with a super small class size and experienced students.

Instead, I did a private lesson! We worked through the poses, practicing and talking about them, mostly answering the two experienced students' questions. It was so much fun. In Bikram teaching, you're getting a large group of people through a series of a LOT of poses interspersed with rest periods. There's not a lot of room for conversation, you know? You get them in, you get them out, you get them through the postures and make sure everyone is doing class safely first and foremost, and getting maximum medical benefit.

With two people, who I know pretty well, it was so nice to be able to answer questions and give them more than a quick line of feedback on the posture. I found a VERY strange thing - both students were hardly if at all touching their head to the floor in rabbit. Now I know that the point of that posture is not to press your head into the floor or create any additional pressure in the neck. I'm not advocating that AT ALL. But you do place the top of your head on the floor (hopefully after touching your forehead to the knees.) Dialogue does not say "lightly pressing" - it says put your head on the floor. It's just the way the pose is done. Don't turn your neck, don't push into the floor, and use your arms/hand grip as leverage to lift the hips up. A fabulous thing to get to do in a private lesson is to really look at warrior II precursor to triangle in the mirror, encouraging the students to SIT DOWN. You can say it a million times in class but still you've got to move on if they don't and you've got like close to 30 people in the room.

I remember Lynn Whitlow telling us at the end of training - don't even try to correct their triangles for the first few months. You'll get overwhelmed/bogged down. It's really true.

Anyway it was very interesting. I'm trying to get more students interested in a RARE thing happening in June - a posture clinic with a senior teacher in my rural area!

Another fun yoga happening in my life is that last week (during my sickness unfortunately) I was on the road three days giving presentations for wellness (for my day job) and TEACHING YOGA ON SITE! First official classes! Did some breathing work and gentle stretching with the groups, and I'm doing another workshop this week as well. Definitely butterflies-and-rainbow yoga but you have to start somewhere accessible at the worksite.

I'm heading down to the Yoga Journal conference in Boston this weekend to see a teacher who absolutely inspires me - Gary Kraftsow, the leader of the Viniyoga yoga style of yoga therapy. So interesting - on the one hand, I love the universal healing appeal of the Bikram series. On the other hand I love this Viniyoga, and teaching individually, yoga therapy, etc:

Yoga provides the means to bring out the best in each individual. This requires an understanding of a person's present condition, personal potential, appropriate goals and the means available. As each person is different, these will vary with each individual.

Viniyoga™ is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. As a style of practice, Viniyoga™ refers to an approach to Yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of the individual. As a result, each practitioner is given the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

The Viniyoga™ approach evolved out of the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Chennai, India.

-from viniyoga website

Anyway I'm very excited! Should be fun.