Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gratitude Journal June 17, 2014

Last week, I was teaching a 9:30 class. It was a class full of mostly women. Many moms. Some college students. And one man, Mark Kent. The class seemed surprisingly hotter and more humid than usual. Although, I should not have been a surprise as summer is upon us, I remember it catching me off guard. Often with the seasons' change, it takes some time to accept the differences that come along with the freshness of the news.

The class was moving along with great effort and a desire to work through class with an acceptance of the extra wetness in the air.

Mark, who always seems to give 150% in each class, seemed to be having an especially difficult time and took a knee midway through the standing series, deciding to retreat to Savasana shortly after.

The class continued on with the same effort and desire as was started with.

It was halfway through the floor series, when I looked over at Mark and noticed for the first time every in my ten years of teaching the true meaning of Savasana. He was so still. His eyes, open. His breathing, normal. You could feel the fluidity of his breath and see the effect it was having on his body. One of my favorite postures to watch is Standing Bow. There is something about that posture for me. To watch someone mentally and physically move into this posture has always left me in awe. This day, Mark's Savasana was the grandest Standing Bow I have ever seen. I am not sure if I would sit in Savasana for the amount of time he did, completely present and so very still.

I told him, this class may be one of his top ten to remember.

I didn't realize until days later what I really learned from Mark and his Savasana.

In my ten plus years as a yoga student, I have found myself on many occasions, working through some of my "stuff". The stuff that often has taken me to my knees, physically and emotionally. During many of these times, I have found it difficult to get myself into the room. Although I tell myself that it is the place I need to be, I find it too difficult to look at myself in the mirror. The mirror, my biggest challenger.

On the morning of Mark Kent's Champion Savasana, I knew I was witnessing something that had a great impact on me personally. And the days following, led me to know for sure that if I can just get myself in the room on one of these days and simply be present in Savasana, I can reach something I didn't even know existed for me. Namaste.

Gratitude Journal May 29, 2014

I woke up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping outside of my bedroom window and thought to myself, "Oh god, I don't know if I have it in me to do it again today."

I hesitate as I write this and wonder will I actually click on the Publish button because I think I am supposed to appear that it is easy. I think I am expected to act and speak and write as if I am filled with great joy every second of my day with little effort.

Truthfully, this isn't so.

While I always have my to do lists for the day, it seems that, for some time now, I have been waking not knowing what my day will bring. Most days, my to do list has tripled in size by lunchtime.

Oddly enough, I find myself, one again, wondering who I am to others , but mostly to myself. I can write lists of things I do, or don't do for that matter, in my various roles as a wife, a mother, a teacher, a studio owner, a friend, a sister, a daughter. My life seems to have become a series of things to be do. Responsibilities to be filled.

However, I realize that the one place I find myself in complete peach is in the yoga room, teaching. I wish somehow I could explain the true value in the gift that has been given to me through this experience, but somehow words are not enough.

When I walked into class today, I was thankful that Choon was practicing, if for some reason, I was unable to teach. If I just couldn't do it, Choon was there to take over.

What happened instead though, as I looked around the room I saw people who I had chatted with before class started, people who I have practiced next to, people who show up and try their hardest to do their best and people who trust that I will show up and try my hardest to do my best.

I often say in class that you will leave class feeling better than when you arrived, feeling lighter and more open and filled with a greater sense of well being. I know that is true because I feel this way when I am with all of you. I feel this way when I am willing to be truthful to and about myself. I feel this way when I am willing to trust in doing what I know to be the most amazing thing. Yoga.

I am off to be and I expect that when I wake to the birds chirping tomorrow morning, that I will be filled with a sense of possibility and maybe a little excitement towards the day.

Gratitude Journal May 20, 2014

As far back as I can remember, I was always a person who wanted to know more, understand more, and was always curious enough to seek out what more was. As intriguing as this always was for me and continues to be, I find that it has often gotten me into a bit of trouble, sometimes unable to settle into just letting things be.

This past weekend I found myself forced to look at a pretty big fear of mine. And instead of asking why or how or spending time on trying to figure out how to change or fix it, I decided to do something different. I decided to react to it in a completely different way than I normally would have in the past. I decided to simply let it be. I let it be uncomfortable. I let it be filled with questions that I wouldn't consider needing to know the answers to. Remarkably, it turns out that this something I have been afraid of, that showed up for me to face, has actually been one of my greatest gifts. It has reminded me of my ability to be more than I was afraid I was not. It has reminded me to do what is right instead of worrying that it might be wrong. I share this because I have been given a great opportunity to be in the position I am in as the studio owner if Bikram Yoga Hamburg. I am continuously amazed at how the collective curiosity we share at the studio through practicing yoga together and sharing conversations together, makes us individually better because we do it together as a community.

So many times throughout this past year and a half I have felt, I have thought, I have said out loud, "I just can't do this anymore. This is too hard. I don't have what it takes to keep this thing going."

But then I walk into class to practice or into the yoga room to teach or find myself in conversation out in the lobby and I am reminded that I am hardly alone doing this. Thank god for each one of you showing up, having the patience, the determination, the strength and the trust.

Please know that for everyone of the thanks yous I receive, there are dozens said back to each one of you.