Your yoga teacher is mentally ill

“You will ultimately have to let go of all your self-images to be free.” – Christopher Wallis Yesterday, I went for a run, and when I arrived back to my apartment my hands, arms, and legs began to shake. Exercise-induced anxiety is what they call it. Supposedly, it’s fairly common. We over (or under) breathe, the body produces adrenaline and begins to shake. No big deal, right? Even when you rationally know, “Oh, this is just a body chemistry thing, and I’ll be okay in a few minutes.” Your body…

I’m working on it.

“Gain and victory to others.  Loss and defeat to myself.” – Buddhist proverb “I don’t want this shirt to be too fitted.  Nobody wants to see this.” She pointed to her belly and laughed in a self-deprecating way.  I looked at her body, and I was perplexed at what was so disgusting that she needed to hide herself in a shirt two sizes too big.  I even noticed my inner-critic chiming in with, “Well, if no one wants to see her at her size, then I must be highly repulsive to…

American Yogi

“America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!” – Katherine Lee Bates A few weeks ago, I was in Colorado teaching at a yoga festival, and I’ve been trying to find a way to write about how amazing it was.  Considering the current political climate and the recent hurricane and flooding in Texas, I feel it’s a trivial thing to talk about.  The same day I was having a good yoga cry in Matt Giordano’s “Therapeutically Advance Your Practice” class, a…

Willing to Learn

There’s this old story I’ve heard a few times that goes like this:  A person asks a master (of yoga, meditation, or a martial art depending on who is telling the story), “How can I find a good teacher?” And the wise master says, “The more important question is, “Where can I find a good student?” I’ve always been resistant to these wise words.  You see, I’m kind of a horrible student.  Maybe I was too clever for my own good.  I always had good grades in…

Depression is a motherfucker.

Depression is a motherfucker.  Yeah, I could have thought of a more eloquent adjective, but the thing about the blues is that you are so busy trying not to succumb to feeling low that you don’t have time for thesauruses.  You might get distracted from your original purpose and spend two hours down an internet rabbit hole searching for the etymology of the word, “loblolly.”  Trust me, it has happened. Another thing about depression is that it’s already telling you that everyone already hates you, so why not throw in some curse words to…

Unhooking Yourself

“I stand in the way of the things I can be.” ― Moby This week I drove to Lake Fayetteville for a run, and as I pulled out my phone to start my running playlist, I saw an email notification with the first few words of a message.  In the few seconds I took to read it, I felt criticized and irritated.  I didn’t bother reading the whole message, but the half-sentence I glanced at was enough to convince me that someone was attacking me. I was hooked.  When I say hooked, I’m referring to how…

Hearts and Minds Yoga

“Have you ever thought about opening up a studio?” That is one question that usually makes me cringe.  Being around a several studios in various stages of birth, life, and death, I know how much work they are to manage.  It also seems like you can’t have that conversation about opening a space without getting into those murky, soul-sucking conversations about “branding” or “target demographics.”  In the age of high-end yoga spaces with amenities like showers, mat storage, free filtered water, and freshly laundered hand towels, I wasn’t…

One Eye on the Goal

“When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”  – Zen proverb When I was six, I was hospitalized for a tick-borne illness, and I was unable to walk for sometime.  When I was better, my doctor had me demonstrate my run for him.  As little six year old me trotted happily down the hall, he leaned in to my mother, “Has she always run like this?” She nodded, “Yeah, that’s how she runs.” “Very clumsy child.” And while that probably was…

Bury or Heal

“All beings are Shiva, in relative degrees of self-concealment or self-revelation.” – Christopher Wallis from Tantra Illuminated A few months ago, I did my usual early morning shuffle into the bathroom.  I bent down to pull the bathroom scale out of it’s hiding place only to find it wasn’t there.   I panicked.  My husband must have moved it, but where?  I could have asked him, but that would require admitting that I had needed to see that damn number.  Nah, let’s tear the apartment apart instead.  Quietly, while he slept…

5 Reasons You Need Private Yoga Lessons

When you think of the words, “private yoga instructor” what other associations come to mind?  Unaffordable? Only for people that are way fancier and richer than me?  For a long time, I thought private yoga lessons were for people who thought they were too good to “be with the masses” in a regular drop-in class…that is until I had my first private lesson.  When I did take one, I honestly wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner.  I had a person’s undivided attention and a whole hour where I…