For the Love of Yin!

Growing up and barely passing biology, I had no idea I would have eventually turned into a bit of an anatomy geek. Actually, to be more specific I should actually define it more as a kinesthetic functional yoga anatomy geek – now that’s mouthful! My yoga teaching has always been from an individual anatomy standpoint, more than trying to get into that perfect pretty pose seen on the cover of Yoga Journal. “Back off when you need to, move into it if it feels good,” can be heard on a regular basis in my classes. Yoga, to me, isn’t about touching your toes, getting your foot behind your head, or handstands! All that is just bonus. The real meaty stuff is in the postures some consider “basic.”

It has always been about meeting yourself where you are, and anatomy plays a big part. I was reminded of this when a wonderful friend gifted the amazing experience of  the Yin Yoga Foundations workshop with Joe Barnett in late February. I was humbled that someone I adore would want to support me by gifting me experience; and hands down it is one of the top ten best gifts I have been given.

In the last two years, Yin Yoga has been such a delicious treat for my body. It is a slower practice, where the poses are held for five minutes or more. Practicing Kripalu yoga gave me permission to really be in the body and notice what is going on. My appreciation for Kripalu’s three stages, (1. Body and Breath Awareness, 2. Focusing Inward and 3. Meditation in Motion), is deep. Yin Yoga just takes that even further. It just resonates so much with me and where I am at in my practice at this moment. I got into Yin Yoga due to Paul Grilley’s Anatomy for Yoga dvd – really if you love yoga this will change the way you practice or teach.

I knew I was in for a good workshop when my geek flag flew high at the sight of a partial skeleton prop, (Joe named him Norm), laying in the middle of the floor. Using Norm really helped make the connection with the concepts of the lecture of how bones and joints move. It really hit home more when we got on the mat and was able to look around the room at each other. Some people were more flexible, some less so and it wasn’t always due to the muscles (connective tissue) but the bones and joints.

Everyone is different. Some people won’t be able to comfortably touch their toes due to their bone structure they were born with. Some people won’t be able to do a full split comfortably, again due to the bone structure. One of my favorite moments was the picture of several femur bones and you could see the difference of size in each and every one of them. When you start to think about the relationship with of the femur bone to the size and placement of the hip socket, it really sinks in just how much yoga IS an individual physical practice and not a “one size fits all” exercise.

Since the workshop, I’ve been hungry for more and wondering how can I get myself to a Yin Yoga Teacher Training to go way deeper, and another teacher training that is very anatomy based. In the mean time, I fill my need with making time to take local classes, rereading anatomy yoga books, and restructuring my teaching so that I can take on more private yoga peeps. Working one on one with people is a great way to get that image out of their heads, of what we have been bombarded with, on how we should look in a pose instead of how we feel in it.

A fire has been lit within me. I see a path of where I want to go a bit more clearer, and it was due to a friend supporting me with an amazing experience. I am humbled and blessed.

 None of the links included in this post are affiliate links.

Traveler at Play: Chinatown, NYC April 2013

Chinatown

Chinatown 2

teariffic nyc 1

Canal Street

Playdates are not just for kids, they are a way of self care. Friends, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year were excited that I was going to be in New York City. Unfortunately, the Yoga Journal Conference took up all of my Friday. I vowed to trek back into the city the following day so we can play. Traveling, even if it is a quick train ride into the city, always infuses me with inspiration- add good friends and good food the equation just gets better.  During this visit, we spent the majority of time in New York City’s Chinatown.

Teariffic Cafe

51 Mott St
(between Pell St & Bayard St)
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhood: Chinatown

The Impossible Project Space

425 Broadway
5th Fl
(between Canal St & Howard St)
Manhattan, NY 10013
Neighborhoods: SoHo, TriBeCa

Pearl River Mart

477 Broadway
(between Grand St & Broome St)
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhood: SoHo

Pardon the appearance of the photos. I’m just learning how to use photoshop elements.

Getting Down to Business

Yoga Journal Conference – Business of Yoga Workshop

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Attending the Yoga Journal Conference has always been on my “to do list of yoga adventures.” The universe, all the cosmos, and ultimately my bank account worked together in getting me to this amazing event. Although there are scholarships available for some, and volunteer opportunities, I really wanted to be able just immerse myself in the experience. I could only afford one day, so I needed to really make it count for what I really needed.

All the classes in the brochure looked so juicy and were calling me. My focus lately has been on business, with the steps I need to take to grow, which made it a louder calling. The second day of the Business of Yoga track seemed more like what I needed -on paper. Building community, digital marketing, chat about money, streams of revenue, and creation of yoga retreats were on the agenda.

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Being at the Yoga Journal Conference was, in itself, an experience. The highlight was Dana Trixie Flynn of Laughing Lotus. Bright, filled with joy, and completely accessible she was – I fell instantly in whimsical adoration. Plus how could one not adore someone who starts her chat on “Building Community” by sprinkling us with glitter? It really was more like a chat than a lecture, which made it more interesting over being talked at. Out of all the talks, I took so much inspiration from her in how to move forward in my business and in my yoga practice. I think my favorite take away from Dana was her story of “owning the road” and a reminder to “do you!”

Dan Wilf, of Yoga Anonymous, walked a fine line between the “sell” and the information given. He was a strong at marketing and it was his passion. His “sell” wasn’t hard, (he only mentioned his drink product and website a few dozen times), but more natural in nature. Plus he gave out freebies, and who doesn’t love freebies? He showed exactly what he was telling us to do, “hustle, hustle, hustle and then give it space.” He stayed on topic of the digital marketing and branding. The wheels were turning in my head already, then, figuring out how to apply his information for when I got home for this blog and my facebook.

Sadly, most of the lectures in the track fell flat or were presenting a hard sell. Unfortunately, some of my fellow business track peeps and I felt like this. We paid over $200 to be sold on the products people were pushing – not cool. I paid to learn how to do these things for myself, not to pay someone else to do them for me. At one point, during the second part of the day, I stopped taking notes, because there was no applicable information anymore outside of the sell.

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Overall, the Yoga Journal Conference was an interesting experience. During lunch break the Marketplace opened with a ton of things to purchase I do hope that the universe, the cosmos, and my bank account conspire with me again, because I would love to attend the January 2014 San Francisco event. I’ll just opt to stay away from the business track, and just focus being taught yoga goodness by some lovely teachers the conference would have offer – the bonus would be that I’ve always wanted to go to San Francisco.

P.S. A BIG thanks to my lovely friend Annie who used her photoshop super powers for this post. I am filled with gratitude for your help.