Archive | December, 2007


30 Dec

Vacation is great. Sometimes there’s nothing better than dropping off of the face of the world for a while. If only dropping off of the face of the world meant landing somewhere warm and tropical. I’ve found myself frozen in the middle of Springville, Utah.

 So far, here are somehighlights:

*watching baby girl enjoy the snow. She’s amazed by it. (just whose daughter is she, anyway? I watch her play from the window) Thrilled to get a fresh few inches for Christmas day.

*enjoying Dan’s family and watching the cousins adore each other. Christmas morning was a blast of youthful enthusiasm, and shreaks of excitement. (baby girl hid on a lap all morning overwhelmed by the chaos of six other kids, loved the $.99 cent slinky she found in her stocking.)

*finding a fun and funky yoga studio in Salt Lake City… yoga flow which has an ecclectic assortment of teachers that seem to channel Shiva Rea. My hubby actually joined me and it was the warmest I’ve been all week. Thank you Jamie at Yoga Flow for turning up the heat!

*Doing no other yoga all week long. When in Rome… I guess that explains all of the eating…

*shopping… yep, when in Rome… these Utaahns have a lot of shops and malls. Guess what? It’s a fabulously warm place to spend time. I am now the proud owner of a much needed new pair of jeans. As any good Mormon would, I got a great deal.

*learned something new… I suck at ice skating. I hobbled around the rink while my boys and neices and nephews left me in the dust. I finished my one lap – terrified that the hoards of children (this is Provo, Utah BTW) would knock me over and I’d break my tailbone or snap an ankle, removed my skates and found the a warm spot where I watched my kids demonstrate amazing lack of fear. Watched my seven year old hit the dust over and over, get knocked over by rude kids and parents, thus proving my fears true, both making me feel smart to leave the ice and helpless to protect him. Found myself wanting to go shake said thoughtless adults.

*Lost all ability to form a sentence or use punctuation.

*excited to come home and start World Yoga Practice Month in January… woyopracmo. Looking forward to my own bed and kitchen. And yes, can’t wait to see you all in class on Wednesday!


speaking of children…

21 Dec

My dear friend sent out a fabulous Christmas letter. She happens to be one of those amazing mothers who manages to stay zen and keep her sanity. Mind you, she has 4 children under the age of 10 and is expecting #5. I thought her letter summed up so much of what it means to be a parent and work at making peace.

I thought a description of last night would pretty much sum up the mischief that has characterized our 2007; which year will hereafter be known as “The Year of Narrow Escapes”.  As I made dinner, the girls all starting putting on chap stick (I think they were extra hungry because they just kept licking and re-applying).  Twenty-month old Rachel (a.k.a. “The Boss”) followed suit, only she used a glue stick instead of lip gloss and carried the application well beyond her lips to include her face and hair.  At least she was smart enough to stop licking after the initial shock of the taste.  She looked cute all smeared in blue, but darn if that “washable” glue didn’t turn out to be stubborn!   During dinner, this same Rachel managed to fit a 1-inch piece of asparagus up her ¾ inch nose – completely concealing it from view.  Marc noticed that she was bothered and breathing funny but couldn’t grab the slippery little fella.  He creatively coached her into blowing it out.  Did I tell you she’s amazing? 

The last of the nights’ surprises came when our 10-foot Christmas tree crashed down during the decorating, landing squarely between four children and only resulting in one broken ornament.  We simply righted our tree into its stand (which was made to hold a tree UP TO 7ft.) and kept on decorating.  Since then, the ornaments have been re-positioned at least hourly according to who is home at the time.  It’s an on-going creative process over which I have no control.

I love that… an on-going creative process over which I have no control! Those are the perfect conditions for a series on Advanced Yoga Training!

imagine that

21 Dec

Imagine that. A holiday in December that actually encourages togetherness! In the Shambala tradition of Buddhism, the winter solstice is celebrated as “Children’s Day”. The children are honored and parents and adults take time out on December 21st to actually go out in the world and honor their children.

I am so busy getting ready for Christmas; working, doing cub scouts, and completing that famous list of mundane jobs. I actually told my 12-year old yesterday, “I’m so sorry. I just don’t have time to listen to you right now. I’m late for work.” Ugh. I felt it when I said it, and today it hurts even more. Why am I doing so much if I don’t even have the 5 minutes it takes to listen to my son talk. Anyone with a 12-year old boy knows that when they talk, you better listen! I know I’m not the only one. As I run my errands I see children melting down and throwing tantrums all over town! There are frazzled and panicked parents who have lost that Christmas feeling.

Yesterday I was shopping in downtown Walnut Creek. I dreaded going out this time of year but I desperately wanted to replace my worn out pair of jeans. I was trying to move quickly and get out of the shopping chaos and I saw my own little fantasy of sorts.  An adorable mom and daughter couple (just the age of my daughter) holding hands, making eye contact and giggling while they shopped. The mom wasn’t frazzled or rushing her child along, they were really happy! The mom leaned down to eye level with her daughter and there was this sparkle between their eyes. The mom was so cute and happy that the cynic in me is wondering if that was really the mom, or the nanny? At any rate, I love witnessing those warm moments between people who really love each other in the moment. I am only going to get that if I stop doing so much and start being right in that current of the present moment. Why wait until the 25th to start enjoying the little buggers?

 Dec. 21st is tomorrow and I don’t care how busy we are preparing for our big family day on the 25th. Tomorrow the kids are out of school and we are cranking up the holiday music and celebrating Children’s Day. Taking time to do whatever they want to do and see the world through their eyes.

We’ll be Shambala Buddhists for the day. Yay!

 Wherever you are tomorrow… find a child and pass along a smile. If you don’t have kids in your life, spend a minute viewing the world as you did when you were a kid. Can you remember?

Winter Solstice Class

18 Dec

Join me this Wednesday night to celebrate the winter solstice. I’m teaching an all levels flow class to ring in the shortest day of the year.

Lots of fun!

7:00 at The Yoga Company in San Ramon.

faces of spirituality

18 Dec


I have a yoga student who brings a diet coke to class to sip on while practicing. Sometimes we even get to hear the pop of the can opening! It may seem a bit contradictory, as diet coke is not exactly the most sattvic of beverages, but I actually find it very refreshing. Her honesty – not the coke, that is.

I remember when I was in yoga teacher training. There were amazingly healthy people there. There were mason jars full of some type of purple sludge, lots of salad, and I myself was living at the farmer’s market that summer. I like to think that everyone was genuinely chasing down a healthy lifestyle and not posturing, but who knows. All I know is that I wasn’t about to eat any crap in front of the woman with the purple sludge.

I can only assume it was a similar environment for the next round of yoga teacher training the following year. I remember coming out of the Saturday morning class to a foyer full of teacher trainees. One of them was one of my favorite teen students; a long, lanky, soon to be college Freshman. He was by far the youngest teacher trainee I’ve ever seen. There he sat in the foyer, surrounded by experienced yoga students who are old enough to be his parents. As they sipped on tea, he sat there – calmly eating a big, chocolate donut. He made me smile that day, embracing the simple honesty, that  – hey, a chocolate donut sounds great today.

Don’t we all have our diet coke/chocolate donut moments? Are you beating yourself up over them? Does spirituality have to look a certain way?

Byron Katie says, “Don’t try to be spiritual. Be honest instead.”

My guess is that both of these students are getting a lot farther on their spiritual path by embracing their honesty. Don’t let this new diet coke ad fool you. Coke and yoga aren’t mutually exclusive! By embracing honesty, you are simply finding your way in to the real practice. By sitting with that can of diet coke and embracing our relationship to it, that is how we free ourselves from it. If we want to.

Rusty says often teases during class, “It’s not a big deal. Unless of course you want it to be.” 

 What’s your way in?

help please

16 Dec

No matter how hard I try, I just can’t figure out Dandasana. Sitting with legs outstretched, hands straight under shoulders, pressing into hands. Sounds simple, looks simple, but I simply cannot find that pose without a slight rounding of the spine.

 Are my arms too short? That’s what I’ve been telling myself for years now. There are many challenging poses for me, but I feel like I can work towards them. Something simple like Dandasana? It feels like a lost cause.

What do you think?


15 Dec

ashtanga yoga demo

Notice the jumps!