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August 2018

Who I Want to Become A Yoga Teacher For

Yoga_who

I was at the salon getting my hair chopped off.  Every few years I decide to cut all of my hair off and go short.  It's like a cleansing.  Also, I start Yoga Teacher Training in a couple of weeks and I don't want to worry about how fucked up my hair is looking after 532 hours of yoga.  I mentioned this to my stylist and she was really excited for me but she also said "I have this weird thing about yoga." I asked what she meant by that. 

She goes on to tell me that she's been to a few yoga studios in the area (not the one I go to) and always felt uncomfortable because she's a bigger girl.  She felt like she was being judged for her size, stared at, and she never felt welcomed.  I knew E X A C T L Y where she was coming from. I told her that that attitude is the reason why I want to teach yoga.  I've been there a lot, I still am sometimes.  Sure, there may be an asshole or two who may be like "What are YOU doing here??" but screw em! Clearly they are there for the wrong reasons and are miserable deep down. YOU SHOWED UP! And that should be commended for.  Also, I honestly don't believe that people really care about what you're doing, it's all in your (and my) head.

I told her that I have my own worries becoming a teacher wondering "Who would want to take a class with someone who looks like me??" and she said "I WOULD!!"  That is who I want to be there for:

  • The plus size woman who hides in the back of the room so no one sees her. 
  • The older person who wants to try something new for the first time but is intimidated by the younger people around them.
  • The man who is curious about yoga but is afraid of being laughed at by a room full of women. 
  • ANYONE who has ever felt like an outsider, not accepted, alone, unloved, ostracized just for who they are and need to get out of that dark place. 

Yoga helped me out of that dark place and taught me to love the things that my body can do and see how strong I really am. I still have insecurities but I feel better equipped on how to handle them. I just hope I am given a chance to share that with others. 

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Don't say I'm OK, I'm not OK

OK

I subscribe to Lion's Roar newletter and they recently shared an article, I'm Not O.K., You're Not O.K. - and That's O.K. It also made me think of one my favorite Face To Face songs, A-OK.

When scrolling through Facebook and Instagram we might see our friends and family sharing their lovely moments - exotic vacations, smiley happy selfies with friends, fabulous outfit posts, delicious meals they're about to indulge in, just living their best life.  Meanwhile you're living paycheck to paycheck just trying to get by.  We worry about how the bills will get paid next month, do you have enough groceries until payday, do you have cereal or scrambled eggs for dinner?  Ok I say "We" but yeah, this has been me some weeks. 

The article starts off with the need for people to TALK to someone, anyone, even a stranger.  Because we carry this weight that things are not OK but we don't want to others to know that.  Everything is OK! I'm good, you're good, we're all good! I mean no one wants to listen to us complain about our fears and anxieties about the world, our country, and closer to home.  But it's cathartic to talk to someone about it isn't it? They may not have solutions, you may not be looking for a solution, you just want to verbalize your worries to someone who would listen, and that's enough. That's O.K. 

One of the things that REALLY gets on my nerves is when I'm told "You sure upset easy for someone who does a lot of yoga!" 

via GIPHY

Yes, my temper can still be short and I let my worries and frustrations out not in the most practical ways but I swear the yoga is helping.  Just because I practice doesn't change my surroundings and external situations.  I'm not always gonna respond the best way to a trigger. That's one of the things that I give myself a hard time over.  Why am I not a better person now since I'm into all this yoga and meditation, why do I still let old habits come back?  When I start to think that I'm doing all of this wrong and I'm just a hypocrite that's when I stop and pause, take a breath and remind myself that I'm not perfect, I'm not always going to get things right, I'll slip up here and there, do better next time, and that's O.K.

 Be honest with yourself, be hard on yourself, and be kind to yourself. 

"A-OK"

You think that I'm invincible
It's gonna pull me down, pull me down
You think that I'm invincible
I'm going to pull me down to somewhere I don't wanna go
It's OK

You think I'm indestructible
It's gonna pull me down, pull me down
You think that I'm a miracle
I'm going to pull me down to somewhere I don't wanna go
It's OK

I don't know what you want from me
But it's probably already gone
I don't care what you think of me
Your opinion means nothing at all

Don't say I'm OK
Don't say I'm OK
Don't say I'm OK
I'm not OK

Don't say I'm not trying
Trying to do what's right
Now it's time to walk away

I don't know what you want from me
But it's probably already gone
I don't care what you think of me
Your opinion means nothing at all

Don't say I'm OK
Don't say I'm OK
Don't say I'm OK
I'm not OK 
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Yoga Practice With Some Restraints

Yoga_restraint

It's happened a couple of times at the yoga studio where someone will tell me that they enjoy reading my blog.  I always react the same way - surprised and flattered.  This is genuine shock because I don't update my blog as much as I used to but I guess it's still out there and it makes me happy that people are taking the time out to read a post or two and find something to relate to, regardless of how old it might be.

Embracing vulnerabilities...working with your handicaps - it seems like this has been an ongoing theme that keeps popping up in different places this past week for me.

I had my physical last week. I brought up my lower back issues with my doctor.  It stiffens up if I'm still for a long time or walking really slow for a while - this always happens when I go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It gets especially bad in the middle of night. I could be laying on my back and if my body turns, the pain wakes me up, and it is painful! Waking up is just bad but once I move around and exaggerate my hips when I walk, things loosen up and I feel better.  I have to be mindful going into Savasana at the end of a yoga class because if I’m laying flat for too long, it’s gonna HURT when it comes time to come out of it.

I had x-rays done and learned that I have arthritis from my L4 to S1 which is pretty much the end of my spine to my sacrum, lovely.  I posted this news on Facebook and some people responded like I just announced my death sentence LOL! I'm still doing yoga and exercising and I'm still doing yoga teacher training this Fall.   Nothing is changing that.

The only thing I can really do to relieve myself of this pain is to build my core strength and drop some weight. Easy right?   Not when you hate core work as much as I DO!  I brought this on myself.  I sometimes cheat. I don't "engage my core" as much as I should, I also don't move as much once I'm off the mat - that's the hard part about working from home.  You get your workout in the AM, and then the rest of the day you're on the couch with your laptop, you may occasionally switch to your desk, or sit on the floor using the coffee table, but that't it. So I gotta make a new plan to add more movement to my daily routine.

I'm just glad I don't need to make any changes to my practice. I've already been mindful of my twisting because sometimes I feel like there's a brake keeping me from twisting further, especially if I'm twisting to the right in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana).  I love using a block, I love using a strap, I hate using my core - so that's what I need to do more of! I refuse to let my back get any worse.  I gotta learn to love core or just not hate it so much.  There's always something new to pay attention to.

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