Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the here and now

goals, goals, goals, goals (please sing that in your head to the tune of Jay-Z's Girls, Girls, Girls, Girls.)  I love them. You know that by now. I love a to do list, a plan, an achievement. As the year comes to an end its only natural to reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re going. Buy into the hype that you need a resolution for 2015. What is your year going to be about? What will you achieve? How will you be different? I started to think as 2014 is wrapping up where all this goal setting is getting me.

I know it gets me thinking about the past. A lot. And planning for the future. Even more. Neither of these are really what I want. Be present, stay centered, live in this moment. That's what yoga preaches to us right? Yet, here I am bouncing myself between my past and my future, stopping on my mat in between on occasion. I can do it on my mat, so I know it’s possible for me. I get on the mat and for that hour or so I stop. I’m just present. Whether I’m teaching or practicing I don’t leave that room.
I do have those moments where I look around and think, "Thank you God. This is pretty perfect." It happens often, but I have a hard time staying there. I say thanks and then I start to plan how to make it happen again instead of hanging in that moment of pleasure, extending it, savoring it.

2014 was an incredible year for me and I am so grateful for every single moment of it. I learned more about myself this year than I ever have before; I’ve come to realize just how much more I want to learn about myself.

I can't say I’m not setting goals for 2015. I’m not just going in, seeing where the chips may fall, and then loving my life. I haven’t grown quite that way this year, I made a goal for 2015. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a person who doesn’t set goals, but I know that I can set a goal that gets me going more in the direction I want to be headed.

I sat down over the weekend and talked with one of the smartest, most accomplished people I know about goal setting. They might be even crazier than I am about schedules and goals. I knew having a conversation with them was going to bring me clarity about what 2015 has for me. As we sat talking about what our year would be like, I settled into exactly what my goals for this year are. I’m not splitting it up into work, personal, teaching, like I have in the past.

This year is going to be about enjoying the moment I’m in. Feeling that satisfaction I’ve been trying to hunt down. Figuring out what kind of space I want to take up. Following my heart and my gut even when it terrifies me.

2015 is going to kick ass.


Monday, December 22, 2014


Transitions. That moment in handstand when you engage your fingertips and start to bend your elbows. You're either about to look like the coolest, most graceful yogi, or come tumbling onto your face.

Last Friday night I was in a class playing around with a transition when I started to lose my balance. I should mention something at this point in the story,  I was in the front row about 6 inches from a mirror. I started to do the right things, use my finger tips, engage my core, press through my heels, but there was no saving me. I went full throttle into the mirror. Then came sliding down onto the ground like a cartoon, landing with an "oomph." "Are you OK?" my teacher had seen the entire thing. "Yep, I'm good." I was hysterically laughing. What else can you do in that situation? (As a side note I have a pretty badass eyebrow bruise to show for this feat of submission to gravity.)

It was such a perfect mirror of my life right now. Just when I though I was going to stick that landing, here I am sliding down the mirror.  I'm working on moving, adjusting my priorities, figuring out what exacting sticking the landing is going to look like for me. The hardest part about this transition is I have no idea. No idea where I'm landing, no idea how to land, no idea what the landing is supposed to look like. This just might be the first time in my life that's true for me... so that's scary.

What's comin' will come and we'll meet it when it does. -Hagrid Harry Potter Quote Printable by JessicaWolff on Etsy, $3.50

I am a planner. I don't just want to know what I'm doing for the rest of the day, what am I doing April 18? Not knowing what the future holds is terrifying to me. I don't want to say I'm calculated because there is a connotation to calculated that is negative, but I'll tell you everything I do is written in a planner at least a week ahead of time. If you want to make plans with me, act accordingly.

I realize how crazy this is. I realize spontaneity is beautiful; waking up and doing whatever you feel like doing that day is the perfect way (for some people) to spend their Sunday. I am not that person. I feel unstable and anxious not having a plan.

So, the past month or so has been a real challenge. I'm trying to feel comfortable in those moments where I'm not sure what's going to happen or how I'm supposed to get there.

Am I feeling any more satisfaction? Shockingly- yes. Even when I'm not sure how I'm going to land I am positive that even if I go catapulting into the mirror, I'll look bad ass with that bruise.


Friday, December 5, 2014


 I've been in a bit of a rut of late, so I've been searching.

Searching for how to make my self happier, more fulfilled, the best version of myself.

A few weeks ago I was in a yoga class and the teacher started talking about santosha. It was as if an explosion happened in my head. "That's it," I thought, "That's what I'm missing." Santosha is the sanskrit word for contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment. Its a word that has always resonated with me - if nothing else what I want most for myself is satisfaction. For a while I thought about it all the time when I practiced, it was my intention, what I meditated on for months. At the end of each class, and even throughout the day, I would think to myself, "Yes, I am satisfied."

And then I started to let it go. I didn't think of it as frequently, it drifted and dwindled. At some point I forgot about it all together. I became absorbed with other things, life got busy, it got complicated, and I stopped concerning myself with myself.

So weeks ago when a teacher mentioned santosha again it hit me deep. I haven't been feeling that settled feeling that to me is santosha in a while. I did all the wrong things, I blamed every element around me for my unrest. I sunk deeper into the feeling that I couldn't be satisfied. I had begun to worry that the unhappiness I've been feeling might not be something I can shake. I had let that go on for months, never working on the root of the unrest: myself.

I'm someone who's almost always in a good mood. I love to laugh and smile. Of late everything has felt forced. I feel like a shadow of my regular happy self. I see pictures of myself smiling with sadness in my eyes. I cried during the entire last half of a yoga class last week (those hip openers man).

The biggest problem with feeling like you're dwindling is how hard it is to find yourself again. If you catch it before its too deep it seems like you can bounce back. I shot down that rabbit hole and found myself so deep in I forgot who I am. And I know now that's my own fault, no one forced me, no outside force is responsible for how I feel.

Now comes the real discomfort, even deeper than the unrest I've been feeling, now I have to go deal with it. I'm being gentle with myself, but I'm also engaging in what is most uncomfortable for me. I am letting myself feel lonely, feel exposed. It sucks. But I know it won't for long.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

yogi friends

I'm not exactly the friendliest looking girl you've ever run into. My friends (I swear some people have managed to get over the first impression) lovingly tell me I have "resting bitch face." I see people come in and out of the yoga studio and everyone seems to know each other, they're all buds. No one talks to me.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is popping into little yoga studios along the way, seeing what different city's yoga are like: what kind of music do they listen to, what cool moves are they doing that I don't know yet. When I'm in one of these out of towner studios I can always manage to strike up a convo with the people at the front desk or with the instructor after class. I don't as easily make conversation with the other people practicing; I'm trying to get a feel for what the studio is like. Does everyone come in quietly and lay on their mats? Is music playing and are people chatting? By the time I've figured all this out people seem to be into their routines and I have a hard time breaking in.

At my own home studio I have my buds that I come to class with and I get pretty absorbed talking to them. Or if I come alone I don't strike up conversations with people. I see it happening around me so I've started to think about why that is. I've always told myself that practicing in the studio I teach in is a little weird. People look at me, a teacher, and expect things from me. They expect me to do advanced asana, not take child's pose, not drink water, not get tired. It makes me all strange and uncomfortable. Now, I have no idea if any of this is true, but that's my inner monologue.

I think the fact of the matter is I'm a little shy. Striking up a conversation with random people isn't easy for me. I'm the kind of girl who works with my office door closed. I prefer a dinner party to going to a club. I like tight intimate relationships.

As I've watched all these people around me chatting and laying out their yoga accouterments, I started to think about whether yoga is the place that I want to be making friends. The answer was a quick and obvious yes. These yogis are totally my kind of people, after work they want to sweat, on the weekends they schedule going out around class, they spend their money on weekend retreats and juice cleanses.

So I did something uncomfortable. I sat down in class a few weeks ago and asked the girl next to me about the shirt she was wearing. We talked for 10 minutes before class started and after class exchanged a hug and numbers with a promise to grab coffee soon. Painless. I've been having those experiences almost every class now for weeks. And you know what? I'm having more fun at yoga (as if I even believed that was possible), feeling less like I have a role to fulfill as a teacher, and growing my circle of yogi friends. Pretty dope.