11/16/2013 § 2 Comments
I chose the Global Program so I could continue to work. The Global Program allows me to study at my pace according to my schedule. Prior to Sofia my educational experience had been enjoyed from the comfort of a wooden desk, listening to real-time lectures and taking notes from points scrawled on a blackboard. Now I’m learning from the comfort of my cushy green chair (or bed), reading articles from my laptop and participating in online discussions. The learning curve has been steep, at times very uncomfortable but ultimately rewarding.
When I began at Sofia caring friends asked, “But what will you do with this?” Why would I choose to put myself into debt for a degree that, even on paper, appears to be on the fringe side of academia? While I appreciated their concern I couldn’t help but feel irritated. Of course I was irritated. I knew I couldn’t answer their question and if I couldn’t answer the question wasn’t I proving their point?
But I stuck with it. Something told me I was on the right path.
And now, a year into the program, it’s clear I chose wisely. The work that I’ve completed this year has been transformative on a personal and professional level.
As my fellow cohorts and I begin the transition into our second year the program becomes more focused. We’ll begin to connect our academic and experiential studies at Sofia to our life path. That, for me, means the work that I do as a teacher of yoga. More specifically, it means the work I do with populations who have yet to experience the new dimension and healing potential a yoga practice can add to their life.
During our second year at Sofia we choose electives as part of our course work load. I chose to apply to Niroga Institute’s Yoga Therapy Teacher Training program. Niroga is in Berkeley, founded and led by the inspiring BK Bose.
Last week I was accepted into the Niroga program, which begins in February. Yes, I’ll be taking my courses at Sofia while studying at Niroga.
Next year is going to be one heck of a year. Thinking about it makes me feel like this girl.
But I’m not a girl. Next week I turn an age where many women begin to welcome grandchildren. That has most certainly not been my path this time around. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept that I didn’t enjoy the life I imagined for myself when I was younger. You know what I mean. The house. The husband and kids. A career trajectory that guarantees a comfy retirement. But then I realize that the life I have – as small as it is – is remarkable.
My birthday wish and Thanksgiving hope is that you take a moment to really see – no matter the trajectory – how truly remarkable your life is.
09/23/2013 § Leave a Comment
I sat in sukhasana for the first time in Mrs. Carey’s gym class. It was 1975 and I was a junior at Northwestern Lehigh High School. I didn’t know it was sukhasana. For that matter, neither did Mrs. Carey. Most of my classmates sat slumped, legs crossed. But I was in sukhasana. I didn’t know it. I could feel it.
It was ten years before I sat in sukhasana again.
It’s wrong to call the path I’ve walked for most of the past three decades a ‘yoga journey‘. If I’m to be truthful, it has been an ‘asana journey‘. Asana. Asana. Asana. For years I collected asanas like some people collect stamps. And why not? It was fun. I was young. And no one taught me any different. They may have tried, but I wasn’t listening.
I knew I was taking the ‘scenic route’. I knew there was more to yoga than asana. I craved something more – I was hungry for it – but I didn’t know where to begin.
I had the texts to prove it: the Gita and Upanishads, Patanjali and the Pradipika. I had books from teachers who brought yoga to the West. For a time I carried Iyengar‘s Light on Yoga with me as if it was the Holy Grail. I was a yoga poser. I was proving that what my teachers back at Northwestern said about me (“she’s a bright girl but she doesn’t apply herself”) was true.
Maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe it’s true that the universe conspires to open your heart only when you’re ready to receive. I’m ready. Patanjali, my heart is open. Teach me.
1.1 Here begins the authoritative instruction on Yoga.
1.2 Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions.
09/16/2013 § Leave a Comment
I’m sitting in the lobby of the Rushmore Holiday Inn, downtown Rapid City, South Dakota waiting for the shuttle that will take me to the airport and toward my journey home. The first ever Yoga Therapy Summit was more than I hoped for. Educational, inspiring, motivating and more. So much more. I have much to process and much to contemplate. I’m almost overwhelmed by the possibility and the potential and very, very humbled by how little I know and how much there is to learn.
I’m grateful for these three days and grateful to be returning to my regular teaching schedule on Tuesday the 17th:
Monday the 16th – This afternoon’s 1:00 class at Avenidas will be taught by Carla Wittenberg. My 7:30 Yin class at California Yoga Center will be taught by Nicole Wargo.
I’ll be back on the mat for these classes:
Tuesday the 17th:
9:00 California Yoga Center
4:00 Samyama Yoga Center (I’m subbing for Louis’s class)
Friday the 20th:
9:00 California Yoga Center
1:30 Samyama Yoga Center (Yin)
Saturday the 21st:
4:00 Samyama Yoga Center
And don’t forget! We’re relaunching our morning classes at Samyama next week.
I’ll be teaching on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:00 to 8:15. YAY!!!