Tag Archives: yoga teaching

Entitled

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I’m feeling entertained.
What was meant as an insult
has provided endless laughter.
This means progress.
I was told that the body part upon which I sit
is entitled.
I was told to get off this particularly entitled body part
and get a job.
I have two things to say:
1. I have a job. Actually two jobs. Actually three.
I have been mothering for 9 years
and teaching yoga for 14
and it is a full time job being me,
it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it
and I’m the most qualified for it—
AND I AM DAMN GOOD AT WHAT I DO,
AND I WILL KEEP DOING IT, THANK YOU.
2. Yes, I am entitled,
and not just the body part on which I sit.
All of me is entitled.
All of me is entitled to:
love
respect
joy
beauty
care
kindness
compassion
understanding
abundance
and gratitude
(among other things, but the list is getting too long, so I’ll stop there. For now).
I am entitled to these things,
because this is what I give out.
Oh wait, there is a third thing I have to say:
3. YOU CAN’T HURT ME ANYMORE.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns,
just talk to the aforementioned entitled body part on which I sit.
I’m sure it will make itself very clear,
in one way or another.

Somewhere Around 3am

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I awoke in terror
in the middle of the night.
I tried to sleep,
but eventually got up.
It was 3am.
I sat, breathed,
forced myself to smile.
I read from my daily devotionals
(nine in all),
ate some breakfast,
went back to bed.
It was 5am.
Then my son woke me up.
It was 6:30am.
I asked him
to get himself some cereal.
At 7 years old,
he can do that
(thank God).
I tried to sleep.
I did, for a little while.
Then I got up. Again.
It was 8:42am.
I made it through final preparations
for teaching a yoga class
and leading a training.
The sitter came to watch my kids,
I drove to the studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of students.
It was 11:45 am.
I taught my class,
drove to another studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of teachers.
It was 2pm.
I led a four hour training,
drove back home,
took care of my kids,
got them showered,
settled down here at my desk.
It was 8:51pm.
Now I’m feeling crazy.
It’s 9:08 pm.
I have no idea where my mind is.
Probably wandering
somewhere around 3am.

I’ll Keep Working

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Most of my work is invisible,
and the fruits are so sweet,
but only I can taste them.
I want to share this work,
these experiences,
but words fail me.
They tell me to get a real job.
I have a real job…
two of them, in fact:
I am a mother
and I am a yoga teacher.
I work and work,
mothering and teaching yoga
but somehow the numbers don’t line up.
Then I wonder about the unseen world.
Could it be that the work I’ve done there
will at some point be made visible here?
All I know is that I must keep doing this work.
I pray for the strength and the faith to keep going
when I’m not sure how I’ll make it through the month.
I’m tired. I’m lonely. I want connection. I want closeness.
I’ll keep working,
and maybe the path will be made clear.

The Universe Opens

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Valentine’s Day is coming
and I want to teach a class
on heart opening.
So I research this and that pose
that helps to open the heart…
backbends, twists, forward folds,
lunges…
And I don’t have time
to practice a sequence.
And I want to be more prepared.
And I worry that I’m not good enough
as a yoga teacher, as a mother…
And it strikes me
I’m missing the point.
How can we open our hearts
to the world
if we haven’t opened our hearts
to ourselves?
So I start to open my heart
to myself.
I let myself feel compassion
for this woman
who tries so hard to be good,
this woman
who worries that
she never quiet measures up,
who compares herself to others,
who dreams about
being far away from the noise
somewhere in nature
somewhere quiet
and peaceful
and beautiful.
Now let me keep my heart open.
Let the compassion
continue to flow.
If I can help my students
reach this place
the postures really won’t matter.
What our bodies are doing
seems far less important
when seen from a perspective
of limitless connection
with all that is.
When the heart opens
the whole universe opens.

Look Deeper

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I subbed a yoga class this evening.
I went into the ladies room
before I taught
and nearly ran into a woman
changing
right in front of a full length mirror.
I wondered why,
with all of the benches around,
was she changing right there,
staring at herself in the mirror…
This young woman ended up
in my class.
She was quiet and graceful;
I wondered if she was plagued
by the same body dissatisfaction
that is sold to us by our
body obsessed culture…
or maybe does she love her body??
After my class
I nearly ran into yet another woman
changing
right in front of the same mirror.
This one exclaimed
“SHIT! I forgot my pants!”
She was not as quiet
and maybe not as graceful.
I keep thinking about these two,
wondering about how we learn
to be preoccupied with our appearance,
obsessed with our reflection,
needing to see ourselves doing
the simplest things.
Maybe this is why
I often ask my students to close their eyes.
You don’t need to see to breathe.
Sometimes what we see outside
is such a distraction
that we have no attention left
for what’s inside.
Why stare at yourself
as you change one shell for another?
Could we learn to look a little deeper?

Listening to Another Part

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Afternoon and I
am drowsy…
Today a nap is possible;
I am on a retreat
teaching two yoga classes a day
and there is so much space,
glorious space,
to just be.
One part of my mind says
Create!
Knit!
Write! 
Connect!
Socialize!
Another part replies,
Zzzzzzzzz.
I think I’ll listen to that second part.

Go to Bed Now

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It’s getting late
and there is much work to be done
but I need to sleep
I teach yoga in the morning
But what will I do
if I don’t get it all done?
Facing my first workshop
offered independently
of the yoga studio
The workshop is on self-compassion
and I have some finishing touches
I want to add.
Now wouldn’t that be ironic–
beating myself up
for not being perfectly prepared
to teach others how to be kind to themselves?
I think I’ll go to bed now.