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16
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 22

Hour of Power with Jennifer Fu

Last week I took a seminar on “Crucial Conversations”. Most of it was stuff I already knew and used– basically how to have difficult conversations with difficult people, my specialty. One of the key take-aways was that those who are the best at these “crucial conversations” use whatever facts they have and create a win-win story from those details, spinning things in a positive direction and creating opportunity for better mutual understanding between both parties. Today, I had a crucial conversation with myself and practiced the skill of telling myself a positive story during an excruciating yoga experience.

For whatever reason this morning, I wasn’t feeling it. My body didn’t want to and my mind didn’t want to even more. When I realized my negative attitude, I decided to change the story. My body may’ve been feeling less than perfect (my balance and flexibility this morning made me look like a wobbly beginner, major ego buzz kill), but instead of constantly reminding myself that I sucked, I tried to focus on my breath, to focus on the fact that I had made the effort to get there that morning, on the fact that I wouldn’t have to work out later in the day, and on the fact that, despite my ego, I am very often not perfect. It definitely wasn’t the most fun yoga experience, but certainly good practice at modifying my own attitude and perception.

16
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Days 20 & 21

Day 21

Foundations of Flow with Susan Love

Class went a little slow for my liking, but the woman behind me releasing an epic toot during that quick crazy shhhing belly breathing I haven’t quite figured out how to do made it all worth it. Plus I got my sweat on.

Day 22

Cheating

Two sun salutations and five minutes of child’s pose was what I needed today. Sometimes life is hectic and you just need a few moments to settle down.

13
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 19

Massage with Kim and Megan’s Greatest Hits Round 2 with MMB

Yoga is working!! I had a massage today, and for the first time in about six months, my rock-hard shoulders finally softened.  Ahhhhh…

And then there was Megan’s Greatest Hits Round 2. Pigeon, hamstring stretches, even a few planks– all while watching “Say Yes to the Dress”. Crap TV is the ultimate sign that I’m actually relaxed and relaxing. Non-traditional to be sure, but hallelujah for stress relief!

12
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 18

Vinyassa Flow with Roxanne Rashedi

Let me just say sorry to all. To those behind me during forward folds (especially half lifts), sorry that you had to see my pinkish purple undies. To those in front of me during down dogs, sorry if you saw more of me than you would’ve liked. Today I wore a new pair of Lulus my mom had willed me. They were too small for her and fit me pretty well… just a little big in the waist. (Note to self… big in the waist means when you bend over, underwear will be seen by all.)

When I realized my pants were going to be an embarrassing issue, I decided to embrace them. In fact, when Roxanne asked us to dedicate today’s practice to something, I dedicated it to my pants. “I dedicate this practice to my pants. May they please (please GOD) stay on and not show too much skin, and if they do, by chance, show more than I’d like, may I have the self-will and presence to adjust swiftly with lots of laughter and smiles.”

I know no one ever wants to see a whale tail, but hey, at least I was wearing cute undies today.

11
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 17

Hour of Power with Melissa Carlson

Today’s schedule required 6am yoga, so I gave it another try. With lights on, Melissa leading the class, and a bit more alertness and awareness in my body, I actually enjoyed early yoga. I must say though, my balance is absolute crap that early. Maybe my baby muscles just aren’t awake that early. Feeling good!

10
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 16

Guided Meditation Fail with iTunes

Michael and I tried to get through a 17-minute guided meditation on peace, but came out giggling and mocking it instead. My breath became smoother, but I didn’t understand at all what the podcaster was getting at. I suppose I could use more practice with the meditation stuff. Meditating is kind of yoga-cheating, but it was a long Tuesday. Back to the studio tomorrow…

9
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 15

Hour of Power with Wendy Howell

6am yoga did not do it for me this morning. The studio was dark, lit only by a single lamp in the back of the room. The class moved too slowly, I consistently failed to focus on my breath, and I didn’t even break a sweat. I felt like I was sleep-stretching. From now on, I’ll stick to practicing yoga after sunrise only.

8
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 14

Power Yoga with Angela Majic

Day two at the brand new YogaSource and loving its version of “crowded”. The room was full of yogis, but I still had space to maneuver around my mat without bumping into neighbors. Angela is a fantastic teacher. She, and today’s experience, make me miss YogaSource.

I also brought Olivia along with me today and helped her rekindle her very own addiction to yoga. Two weeks and going strong!

7
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 13

Restorative Yoga with Jeannette Goudallier

Wow! Today was my first time in the brand new YogaSource Los Gatos and it is AH-mazing! The studio, probably 5 times the size of Yoga Belly’s (and there’re TWO of ‘em!), was spacious, modern, and absolutely gorgeous. Despite having so little to do with YogaSource’s great achievement and big move, I felt proud to be there today– like being part of a monumental Silicon Valley zen.

I took a back seat today and opted for a restorative class– more meditation than exercise. Restorative is usually too slow for my attention span (which generally requires constant, challenging movement to stay focused), but today it was just what I needed. I left calmer, softer, and feeling like I had just woke up from a refreshing nap after a day at the spa. Mmm.

7
Jan

30 Days of Yoga- Day 12

Power Yoga with Edna Barr

Being flexible has its downfalls. Often, instructors think because I can do a perfect needle or splits, I must be stretchy everywhere. False. My hamstrings are tight, my hips are tighter, and my back barely bends into a standard wheel pose. Also, of course, just a few hours after reading this article from yesterday’s NY Times titled “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” (which mostly points to pushing yourself too far, bending the neck too much in things like arches and shoulderstands, and teachers pulling bodies into “proper” position during class as the main causes for concern) I found myself being asked to arch a lot, perform shoulderstands (however, armed with the proper technique), and being pulled into poses I didn’t know I could do.

The pulling wasn’t all bad though. Edna coaxed me into a deeper wheel pose than I had done since my pre-vaulting gymnastics years, and it actually felt really good. For a moment, I imagined myself not in a dark yoga studio, but back in a brightly lit gymnastics warehouse on that slightly smelly bright blue floor being pulled into submission by a kind, but demanding gymnastics coach from my youth. It was nice to be pushed again.

Also, there’s this video. Which I find beautiful and poetic. On to day 13!