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Last weekend I attended Erich Schiffmann’s ‘Freedom Yoga’ workshop at yogaview.

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It was exactly what I needed in that moment in time.  I’ve never been to one of Erich’s classes although he teaches at the studio in Venice Beach where I did my teacher training.  He opened the three hour workshop with about 5-7 minutes of silence.  He walked into the room, sat down, everyone became quiet and he just looked at every single person in the room (there was about 80 of us) and didn’t say a word…He broke the silence by saying ‘now that that is out of the way’ and then he giggled.

His main message during the workshop was: ‘Yoga is a lifestyle, not just P.E.’

He also spoke about the fact that people are constantly making assessments and judgements even if we don’t want to, or try not to, it’s a natural behavior.  His advice was next time we want to judge or access a person–to instead simply think of that person as a ‘sister’ or a ‘brother.’ 

Example:

Some dude cuts you off on Lake Shore Drive —‘brother.’  Some girl in yoga class on the mat next to yours is checking her cellphone during savasana—‘sister.’  So simple, and yet it blew my mind how often I’ve used this advice in the last couple of days.  It’s an easy way to recognize that all beings are connected (even squirrels and aliens.)  If we all did that and let go of our anger, what would happen?

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My om-girl, Erica Smith is visiting this weekend.  She ventured from Kansas City to attend my Kids Teacher Training.  It’s been a weekend of yoga and shenanigans.  It started after my Candlelight Class at Yoga Loft, I went to dinner with my friend Bridget and then did handstands in the El station as we waited for Erica’s arrival. 

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el2Later, some acro yoga with Miss. Erica

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Saturday morning, my out-of-town visitor was a trooper and took all three of my classes, two vinyasas and even a prenatal class.

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Tomorrow is our Kids TT.  Should be a hoot.

me!This is my last week of being twenty-six years old.  I am looking forward to what year twenty-seven has to offer me and what I have to offer twenty-seven.  Each year I see myself becoming simpler (I work pretty hard at simplifying, actually) and this brings more ease and ultimately, more happiness.  Sometimes I cringe when I look back at my early twenties (don’t even get me started on my teens or tweens)… If I had to name the college and graduate school chapter of my life it would be entitled: ‘Damage Control.’  ‘Damage Control’ was my theme for dieting, exercise, studying habits, relationships and definitely the theme for my all weekend-boozing behavior.

I’m becoming more comfortable in my skin and I enjoy taking care of myself these days.  My ‘Buttz and Gutz’  workout days are over (I used to teach a ‘Buttz and Gutz’  toning class my junior year of college) and my step/sculpt days are long gone. I only practice on my yoga mat now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My yoga practice feeds me more than my ‘Damage Control’ body toning and StairMaster sessions ever did (I realize this is a personal experience and know some people really love toning/cardio exercise).  But at the end of twenty-six I’ve noticed that taking care of myself is no longer a chore, it’s a lifestyle. 

As far as educating myself, I don’t dread reading books in order to study for a test that I will lose a night or two of sleep over.  Now I get excited about new information and can’t wait to discuss it with friends and apply it to my life.

I’m not as anxious and scared as I was a couple years ago.  I don’t need (as much) validation and approval that I looked for in the past.  I know I have a lot to learn, and some day soon I might look back on this post and laugh, but I am grateful for my twenty-six years.  Some people don’t get twenty-six years,  so I will try to not take them for granted.

Om Shanti.  Thanks for reading.

With Valentine’s day coming up next week you better believe there will be a lot of heart-opening happening on the yoga mat and out in the world. I teach three classes on V-day. I will hop on the heart-opening train next Thursday (why not?) We will also counter it with heart-closing (think: garundasana, bakasana, marjaryasana…) Because you can’t walk around with your heart wide open all the time.  First of all, it’s unbalanced in the body, and it’s emotionally unbalanced too. Let me be clear: I believe giving love and receiving love is essential to a happy life. However, not everyone is bursting out rainbows and kittens on Valentines day.  Taking care of yourself and curling inward to protect yourself when you need shelter from a broken heart is part of that balance.

I love yoga! Heart shape for your design

Happy Valentines Day!  Heart opening (and closing) happening all day!!

Tula Yoga Studio–6:30am and 8:30am

Chicago School of Yoga–12:00pm

February got you down?  Come to Tula February 23rd 5pm-7pm.  We will play with inversions and arm balances.  It will be light-hearted and fun. Not to mention, the effects of inverting include:

  • Improved circulation and mental awareness
  • Calming of the mind
  • Stimulates the endocrine system
  • Help to relieve depression & anxiety

Let’s fight the winter blues!

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See you on the mat.

kATHRYN!!!

One of my favorite yoga teachers is Kathyrn Budig.  She is quirky and hilarious.  I love her Arm Balance/Inversion workshops and master classes.  Originally from Lawrence, Kansas she is one of the most popular and recognized faces of yoga.  Below is an article about her in Forbes Magazine on how to be a successful business woman in the yoga world.  I had no idea that she was only 29 years old.  Amazing.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephaniechristensen/2012/01/05/evolving-passion-into-business-yogas-kathyrn-budig/

Yesterday, I was reading an article on MindBodyGreen about 5 good books to read if you’re in the business of yoga and I realized it was written by Tula Yogi Andrew Wicklander (who helped me build my website).  I’m excited to read some of the books from his list.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6624/5-Books-That-Every-Yoga-Professional-Should-Read.html?fb_action_ids=10151227889328088&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

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