Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training ~ Practice Teach 2/Man Down

Well it's been quite and week and it ain't over yet.  Before I get into what happened the night and day of Practice Teach 2 I'll explain the "Man Down" part of my title.

Two weeks into the program, which is the half way point, Joe one of my classmates, dropped out of the program. I was really shocked, but he was struggling with his health since he arrived here. In fact he went to the hospital due to dehydration in the early days of the program, but that being said I still didn't think he would drop out.  That really threw me. I know how much it takes for people to get here and it kind of broke my heart. I know if something happened and I had to leave it would be devastating considering all the work I had put in for two weeks and all the support that you all have given me along the way.  So we had to say so long to Joe. Actually I didn't even get to say goodbye.  One night he was there and the next night he was gone.  He was a good guy I wish him well.  So that actually makes two of our classmates that have left the program either on their own (Joe) or due to circumstances beyond their control (Scott).  The man count keeps going down in our class. So as of now, the last men standing are Barry, Troy, Peter, Andrew, Ben, Alex and Michael. Stay strong guys!

Moving on to brighter notes, I had an awesome Practice Teach 2!  Of course there is always room for improvement, but it was pretty amazing.  But before all that was the Hurricane Sandy watch.  We were also on alert here in the Berkshires, and it did hit us for sure.  It was nothing like NYC, NJ or CT, but she still came through.

Sandy hit the night before the practice teach. I was having a crappy day and everyone kept asking me if I was ok. They said I looked sad and thought I was worried about folks in NY. Honestly I thought my people would be OK and I was really PMSing and needed some space that day. LOL.  I love these folks, but after living together for almost a month I can't wait to get back into my own bed and not have to carry my toiletries to the bathroom. I know you feel me.

As I had mentioned before, I am a crammer. So on Monday night I took my spot in the Kripalu sanctuary and began to put together my practice teach. As I mentioned before, it's not that I don't have any idea what I'm going to do, but I let things swirl around in my head for a while before I put them on paper and Monday was no exception. I also sometimes like to go back to my room after everyone has gone to sleep so that night I stayed out until about 12:30am.  By the time I was on my way to bed Sandy was in full swing.  In the sanctuary you could hardly see the rain or hear the wind, but when I went upstairs to the forth floor on the other side of the building, the wind and rain were raging.  It felt like the windows could blow. Now that was scary!  So I quickly headed back downstairs to go to bed.

Now, we never lock the door in the room where I stay because there are 22 women in the room.  Did I mention that before?  With that in mind there are so many people coming and going at all times that there is no need to lock the door.  Well that night I got locked out.  Only briefly, but still I couldn't believe it. I know exactly what happened, but of course I was caught out there with no key.  So I had to knock on the door to have someone get up and let me in the night before the teach!  I really felt bad, but that, but folks understood.

Then I was getting ready to get in bed and had taken my pants off, when my roommate Alicia taps me on the shoulder and tells me there is water leaking on her from above the bed. Seriously??  OK.  So I ask her what she wants to do and she says she's going to the front desk to let them know and see if she can find another spot to stay in.  I waited for her to come back and she said they gave her another room to sleep in for the night.  Cool!  I'm about to get back in back, when there is knock at the door and three maintenance guys come marching in and I'm in my drawers!  They head strait to were the leak is, which gave me a minute to duck out of sight and put some pants on (damn!) and then I went and spoke to Alicia.  I asked her  if she wanted me to come sleep with her in the new spot and she was kind of hemming and hawing, which meant yes to me (and it did) so I went to sleep with her in the other room. We get to the new spot, set the alarm, turn on the ceiling fan because the new room is stuffy and hot and then head to sleep.

Now it's about 1:30am or so. Maybe later.  I finally get to sleep and then wake up again at about 3:30am. Strange bed and all. I look up at the ceiling fan and it's moving slower, but I thought that maybe Alicia got up to turn it down. So I went back to sleep.  Next I wake up at 5:45am. When I look up the fan has stopped and the clock is out, and I knew what was next.  No power.  So Alicia and I decided to get up and go back to the other room since we had to be up soon anyway.  When we opened the door to the room the emergency hallway lights were on.  Damn!  No electricity. We were told that the generators would come on, but that was clearly not happening at that point.  So Alicia and I walked back to the room and were trying to decide if we should wake people up because a lot of folks were using the room clock to wake up, which would clearly be out.  Turns out most of them knew that the power was out and people were looking for me and Alicia.  Everyone had slept through all that commotion from the night before.  Crazy.  Now we are all preparing for our practice teach in the dark or semi-dark. The building provided lanterns in the hallways and also some of the emergency lights were.  It was quite a scene.

Practice Teach 2
I went first in class to do my teach. I was actually glad about it because then I would have the whole rest of the day off. I would just be doing yoga for the rest of the day as a student in the class for the rest of my group.  By the time we were ready to start the generator power was on so we had lights.

I started my teach and everything was going really well. This time around I had to teach Virabhadrasana Eka (Warrior 1) and guide Virabhadrasana Dwi (Warrior 2), Kapalabhati breath (breath of fire) and Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) with the sanskrit names, plus two more postures.  I felt way more comfortable this time, which makes sense. I feel that my personality came through in this teach. I think the thing that really impressed me was that during my teach, the lights went out again, but I was so in the zone that I didn't even flinch. I remember it happening and I just kept it moving.  There was light coming in from the windows so it was no sweat.  I stayed so deep in the zone that the lights came back on and I didn't even notice.  It was a lot of fun. Nerve racking, but fun!

So Practice Teach 2 is done! We are already talking about 3.  I can't believe we are over half way done with this process.  What a journey and it ain't over yet.  I'm going to wrap this up, but don't forget there is still time to give. I'm just gonna keep going till they kick me out next week. LOL!  Thank you all so much!  What a blessing!

Well folks, it's 11:08 and well past my bed time. I just wanted to give you a little something to get you through.  Next week is the election. PLEASE VOTE!!! That's all I'm gonna say!  Thank you again so much and I'll be back with you shortly!  Thank you again!!!

Jai Bahgwan!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training ~ Week 2!

I can't believe week 2 is over. I am half way thought this process!  Sometimes the weeks feel so long and it seems like Saturday is never going to come. The thing is, I'm in no rush for it to be over, but I, and I would dare say my whole class, feel like we are working for the weekend. LOL.  The thing is we don't get a whole weekend.  We get Friday night after 6pm and Saturday off and Tuesday after practice teach. So here I am in the small town of Lenox, MA once again, drinking a chai latte and breaking it all down for you. This blog could be really log, but I'm going to do my best not to make it too crazy.

This time around I'm going to start with the animals. I don't know how I kept forgetting to talk about them.  First, there is a rabbit that lives on the premises and he or she comes out all the time and eats lunch with us when we sit outside. We, eating our kale and the rabbit eating the nearby plants.   It's very sweet and the rabbit seems not to be phased by us at all.  Then last week when I was walking home from Lenox I saw a deer eating off of a tree at Tanglewood.  That was an amazing site because it was so close to me.  Really beautiful.  Then for the final and most strange animal encounter.  One day I was in my room with a few of my other roommates, trying to take a nap. All of a sudden we heard this loud tapping and looked out the window and there was this HUGE crow tapping on the window with its beak.  When we walked closer to the window it seemed to fly off, but then it came back and tapped away for a while.  It was like he was trying to get someones attention. So I jokingly said, who has got the crow as an animal totem in here and it turned out that my roommate Suzane actually has a crow as her animal totem!  So I think he came to see if she was home so they could talk. LOL.  Honestly I don't know, but I do know that it was amazing to see, but a little too close to Alfred Hitchcock for me. LOL!

Last night for our evening yoga class we had a guest teacher named Jay.  He's a real athletic looking guy so we knew this class was going to be kick-ass for sure and he told us so in so many words.   But he was a really great teacher and even though he was making us work, he was making sure we had a lot of fun falling down.  After dinner he taught an arm-balancing class, which was great.  I have a special shoulder so I'm always curious as to how far I can go with it. Well last night I did a forearm stand on my own! Well for about 2.9 seconds, but I was up there!  Hey, you have to start somewhere.  We also worked on handstand, tripod headstand, crow, side crow, scorpion (which will be another lifetime to get into for most of us) and a few other poses that kicked my butt.  But we had so much fun trying that it was an amazing class.  It was one of our optional classes, but I'm so glad I took my time out to go. Now I have some idea of how to teach and assist people in arm balances.  There is still so much to learn, but I'm so glad a have a bit of a foundation in that area. I'm going to get his DVD and keep working on my core.  Yeah arm balances!

Well kids, Practice Teach 2 is coming up. Feels like we just did the first one and here we are again.  So this time we have to teach for 45 minutes and we must include Warriors 1 & 2 and Nadi Shodhana  and Kaplabhati pranayama (breath). Just to give myself a little test, I'll tell you that the sanskrit for warriors 1 and 2 is Virabhadrasana Eka and Dwi.  As far as the breath, Nadi Shodhana is alternate nostril breathing and Kapalabhati, which is known in some circles as the breath of fire, is where you breath with a rapid inhale and a passive exhale through the nose. It's also called skull polishing breath because it helps to clear the mind.  Not bad for not book in front of me.  I will admit I had to look up a couple spellings, but I'll be speaking it way more than writing it so I feel good about that!  As I said in my last blog, I'm a crammer.  I think about what I want to do for some time before it actually hits the page or the stage. So that will probably happen again for this teach as well.  On Monday night I'll be getting it all together and I'll report back on Tuesday night. :-D

So I'll leave you on this fine Saturday with this.  I'm not sure if I said this before, but here in school we are also learning the Yamas and Niyamas (I'll break them down for you later.). Anyway, I picked the Niyama of Ishvar-Pranidhana (surrender, opening to the Universe) to practice for the month and beyond. Surrender can be really challenging for me and I'm sure many of us. Especially living in New York, when waiting for anything is hard for us to fathom.  So I am working on both surrender and opening. This niyama really much to my yoga practice on the mat as well. If I can't find surrender in the poses and I'm always tight or holding then I will not be able to open to all the benefits and gifts that are inside the postures.  So, surrender.  I'm trying not to think too hard out here. It can make you mad and I don't mean angry. LOL.   Just trying to sit with what I've got and always have gratitude. Surrender and be open to receive.

Thanks so much for continuing to share this journey with me.  Remember we have almost reached out goal! Thank you for all who have donated and those whose donations are still to come.  Have a wonderful week and I'll check in on Tuesday night!

Jai Bhagwan!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training ~ Practice Teach One!

Today was a really big day.  Lots of stress going around the place, which is exactly the opposite of what Kripalu is about.  Kripalu is ALL about tranquility and good food and great views and all that jazz, but today was test to speak.

After only a week and a day and after learning in lots of Sanskrit names of postures, press points, proper yoga language, etc., it was now time to put all of our knowledge to the test and actually teach for 30 minutes.  

How it works here is that we are split up into groups of three or four and we have to teach to our groups. Just to add on the pressure; our teachers and class assistants would randomly jump into our group while we are teaching to join in and evaluate!  OK. Breathe. LOL.  

Of course you have to remember that this is Kripalu after all. So in our first teach there is nothing, but positive feedback, but that didn't stop me from stressing a little bit. 

As I prepared last night for the teach today I was reminded of my college days and that fact that I am a crammer.  I mean it's really nothing new. I worked on my class outline last night for the practice teach today.  I had it all in my head or most of it, but I just couldn't get it down until last night.   That's how I write articles and even deliver songs.  I don't like a process to be too long and drawn out. Where some people will wait until a song is perfect to put it out, I'm like, let's put it out and see how it goes and then we can tweak.  You can't quite do exactly that here, but the one thing our teachers did say was that today would be messy and not perfect and if it was perfect then we would fail. LOL! That was a joke of course, but the point was for us to have fun and know that if it wasn't perfect that's OK and we would have a chance to do it again.  

I think for me one of the things that made me nervous was mirroring. Every time I got to yoga class I'm in awe of the teachers who can mirror the class.  In other words their left is right and right is left. The other thing that amazes me is when teachers can teach a whole posture while talking. That has always been incredible to me. Well today I did both!  I mirrored and I demoed and talked at the same time!  

Surely everything was not perfect today. I switched the order of my plan by accident, but I quickly learned that it was OK because the class/group didn't know what my plan was so they didn't know anything was out of order.  Yes!  I also did something today that I am really the most proud of. When I messed up or realized I was out of sequence, I didn't beat myself up about it. Yes I'm human folks. I do have negative self talk just like you, but today I told my negative talking self to take a hike!  I did a great job and yes I'm saying it myself.  :-)  

I was the last to go in my group today, which was kind of tough actually.  Yes I had the benefit of watching everyone else and taking some mental notes, but after the first person went I just wanted to go and get it over with.  Que Sera...  My time was my time and it was right on time.  

There were lots of tears and revelations today for my classmates, and I was not exempt in that department.  I came here saying that I wanted to teach, but having no idea if I actually could. I kept thinking of all my teachers along the way and drew from so many of them.  I got to give Reiki to my students in shavasana, which I have ALWAYS wanted to do and as I heard myself guiding the class into tadasasna, I could hear the voices of the many teachers along the way who told me in class to tuck my tailbone and lift up through the crown of my head to elongate my spine.  Now I am sharing that and it's amazing!   

Today I learned that I am a teacher.  I can do this damn thing and that is exactly what I said to my class today after our teach. I was sweating after it was all over. I could feel it dripping down my back.  The nerves were that for sure, but I'm ready.  Today's class was 30 minutes and the next will be 45 minutes. Now it seems like no sweat. Bring on the hour class!  

There is still so much to learn. I know we will be getting lots of feedback from out teachers in the days to come, but one big hurdle has been jumped.  I am shocked daily by the amount of information that we are asked to retain and the fact that it's actually, really and truly in there.  In our brains that is.   

One of my classmates is a pianist, another plays piano, guitar and harmonica and then there is me. So tonight we shared our victory together with some of our other classmates around the piano in the main hall. We listened, made up songs and I even sang a couple of my own.  It was the perfect ending to an amazing day. Every day should begin with yoga and end with music or a combination of the two.  

As I watch the leaves fall right before my eyes and that landscape that was all reds, yellows and browns, turn to gray as some remain evergreen, I am so thankful.  Thank you all again so much for your love and support.  So many goals have been reached and there are even more to come.  We have almost reached the fundraising goad. We are so close. Thank you, Thank you, Thank You! 

Goodnight and Jai Bahgwan!

BTW-Sorry I haven't had more pictures for you. My camera on my phone has been acting special out here since that first day. Gonna try and work it out for you soon.  :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training ~ One Week Down!

I have finished my first week of yoga school!  I can't believe it's been a week already because the days feel very long here. We are up and in class every day at 6:30am. We are not in yoga class at people think of it, all day long, but we are indeed doing yoga all day long.

I feel like I have so much to share and no time to share it.  When the end of the day comes I'm often too tired to think about blogging or there is other work to be done. But I will take the time to share a bit.

I am staying in a dorm with about 25 other women. I know that seems like a lot, but since we are all on the same schedule one would have to be way out of pocket to really step on anyone's toes. We are very mindful of the schedule.  As I said the days are long. Classes begin at 6:30am and most days end at 9pm. So if you can sleep, you would want to go to bed at 10pm. I say if you can sleep because I and some of the other folks had trouble sleeping at first.

There are about 65 of us taking the training from all over the world.  There are folks here from Germany and the UK as well as California, Wisconsin, Ohio and of course all over the east coast. It never fails that when I'm in a group of new people I will always find a person or two who remind me of people I already know.  There is also several generations of people in the training. We are ages 18-67!  There are a few men in the class; about 6 to be exact and I thought I was the only African-American women in my class, which honestly I wouldn't have been surprised about. But then I learned that one of my classmates who I thought was Latina is actual mixed (mother German, father black).  There are a few other people of color in the class. A woman from Panama, one from Mexico, one from Korea and one of our teachers is from Singapore.  I am so inspired by everyone in class for very different reasons.

I am on information overload, which was to be expected.  I am not really nervous about the written test we have take at the end, but next week is our first practice teach. Although I have been practicing yoga for 10 years there is so much to remember when actually teaching a class. The thing I have always been fascinated about most when in yoga class at home is how the teachers can get into postures and talk at the same time!  We are doing that here too and I wonder how that is going to be for me. Also the mirroring thing (left is right and right is left) has me a little shook.  LOL!  But I'm working on it.

I walked this morning with a couple of women from my training to the small town of Lenox, MA. It's an amazing fall day. To me, there is no better place to be in the fall then New England. I might be a little bias being from MA, but it brings back a lot of memories.  They went on to explore the town and I'm here in a little coffee shop getting my homework (meaning this blog) done.  Is it 65 degrees here and just an amazing day. The weather since I arrived has been some of the best fall weather I've felt in ages.  I really love small towns.  I'm the kind of person who either needs city or country. That in between thing just doesn't do it for me. So Lenox looks like heaven. It's easy to see why James Taylor and Carly Simon lived in Stockbridge, which is the next town over.  I am really happy. I can't explain it, but it all feels so good.

Thank you so much for all of your continued support. I have almost reached my fundraising goal.  I am $245 away!  Thank You! Thank You! If you didn't get to read about my first day of yoga school please take am moment to ready the blog below.

I will leave you with this saying from Swami Kripau who the center is named after. This really resonated with me as it reminds me of "Right Speech," which one part of the Buddhist Eightfold Path.

"Before speaking, consider whether it is an improvement upon silence." ~ Swami Kripalu


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training~ Day 1: Thankful

I'm Here!!

Hey Everyone! I know I didn't officially finish my countdown to school.  The last couple of days have been jammed with things to do.  Packing, admin work, putting together surprises for you.  They didn't all  quite come together in the time I wanted them to, but trust me, everything is on time. So look out for a great surprise coming soon.

I want to say Thank You again to everyone who supported me on this journey monetarily and spiritually. I can feel your love.  I know I'm going to have a life changing experience here.

So just a little about the journey.  I am so thankful to my girl Vilma for driving me up.  I was really dreading the thought of getting on public transportation with a months worth of stuff. That was not looking sexy at all.  So Vil came through and this morning we left Brooklyn for Lenox, MA.  I have never been away from NY this long. I came close in 2003 when I went to Italy for three weeks, but this feels very different.

The drive here was amazing. The foliage is in full effect and just getting better. We got a little turned around, but what a drive to be turned around on.  The houses, the cows and horses we saw along the way just accented the colors of the trees. I love this time of year. It's my time.  I am a fall baby after all.

Kripalu is right next door to Tanglewood. For those of you unfamiliar with this area, Tanglewood is where the Boston Pops play during the summertime as well as on the esplanade in Cambridge.  Tanglewood also hosts a bunch of non-classical shows like that of James Taylor.  It's a really amazing place that I used to visit quite a lot with my family as a kid.  This is truly one of the most beautiful places in the country.

When Vilma and I finally got here my mom was here to greet us! I checked in and went to my room. Well I can't really say it's my room, I share a space with 20, yes 20 other women.  Privacy is not something I will be getting here this month. But I'm not worried. I 'm just channeling my old Ohio State days of 16 in a suite.

The room is big, there are a lot of us, but I am grateful to be here for sure.  I dropped my things off and then we headed to the cafe and then outside to take in the view.  Amazing!  This place is overlooking the mountains and there is a lake. It's crazy beautiful.  Soon it was time for dinner and I was starving. I hadn't really eaten all day. I'm so happy to know that this is going to change. There is food, food, food and everyone I talked to was right about it.  The food is killin'!  I've only had one meal so far and I was floored already.  So don't be surprised if I'm blogging about food a lot. LOL!

I had to hurry back to the room, change and get ready for my first class.  I said my farewells to Vilma and my mom and quickly headed to class.  The first class was really a welcome.  Everyone getting to know each other.  I am the only black person in the class, but I have to admit that I expected that.  There are a few other people of color, but I am the lone African-American representative.  I have lots of thoughts about that, but no need to belabor the point. At least not at this time.

It was a great night. I should be in bed now. My saving grace is that we don't have 6:30am yoga tomorrow. We start at 9am instead.  So here I am getting this out to you and I am so happy to be sharing.

I will give you more details as well go along, but for now I say once again, Thank You!  Some of you have asked if there is still time to donate toward my fundraiser and the answer is yes. I will be fundraising till I reach my goal. You all rock so hard!  Sending you lots of love. Let the transformation begin.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 5, 4 & 3

I can't believe I'm 3 days away from school. Where did the time go? These things always sneak up on you and then the rush is on.  I'm trying not to be in a panic about what's left to do, but I can feel it in my shoulders already; the stress that is.  Time to breathe.

As you can see I haven't posted anything since Tuesday. I did make it to class that day and itt was my last class with Keri for a while. Tuesday was a Basics class and I had a great time in class as usual. But I have to admit that so much has been going on that I can't even remember what we did in class that day. LOL!

I chatted with Keri for a while when class ended and she gave me her card so I could call from school if I needed to. I thought that was sweet, but it's also because she knows I will need to talk to someone who knows what in the world is going on out there. LOL!  She has given me some good advice since learning that I am going to school. I'm so thankful for that.

I didn't go to class on Wednesday. I knew that was going to be the case. I had so many errands to run and I had to go visit a friend. I'm working on band stuff as well so there is just so much churning around.  I am in deep admin mode, but I didn't want to forget about you all.

Today was my last day working at Area for a while and lots happened today. I went in kind of cranky because none of the rental mats were clean. Although it is part of my job to clean them, usually at least one or two are clean before I get there.  But after all that I talked to one of the yoga teachers there, Danielle, and she wants me to play at her Midnight Yoga class in December at Laughing Lotus, which is going to be amazing. I will surely let you all know about that and then I found out that one of my other teachers, Elias, is going to be at Kripalu the same time I'm there.  How about that!  The world gets smaller and smaller. He won't be part of my training, but who knows, I may see him.

I also got to talk for a while to one of the other attendants at Area that I don't usually get to chat with. So all in all it was a great day.  I ran a few more errands and came home.  I have been on the computer and here I will remain until I can get a break to go dancing. Yes dancing! I'm going to get as much in as I can before I got.

Thank you all so much for donating to the fundraiser for school. We are still in the zone and have almost reached out goal! We are so close. Please help take us over the top.  If you have wanted to donate you still have time.  It would be such a blessing. Thank You. Thank You.

Have a great night every one! More tomorrow. Namaste.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 6

I can't believe that school is only 6 days away.  This time just few by.  So much had happened leading up to my departure and it keeps going. I see I'll be in full admin mode for the music and the yoga until I walk about the door.I am hoping to have complete peace while in MA.  I am hoping to only check email on Sundays. That is the plan anyway, be we'll see how long it takes for me to shut my brain off of admin mode.

I have a big show with the band on November 16th. That is basically a week after I get back from school. I know I must be a little crazy, but I'm doing it.  That's just the way my life is and I guess I like it that way because I keep doing it. LOL! Well we'll see what my body and brain say during and after training.

Anyway, let me get back to today. I wanted to go to the 8:15am class with Keri, but I saw that it was not on the schedule anymore. I guess I'm not surprised because the last two times I went, I was the only one in class.  So I went to the later class at 12:30pm with Julie. I have taken her class before, but today it felt like it was moving really fast.  I'm not complaining, but that's just how I was feeling in it.  I can feel my body slowly getting used to the amount of yoga I have been doing. My shoulder doesn't hurt as much, which is amazing. The pain is not totally gone, but I am hopefully that one day I won't feel it at all or barely.

I only have 5 more yoga classes in Brooklyn until I'm on the yoga marathon.  It may actually be less because I have a bunch of things to get done before I go.  As I said, I'm in admin mode in a major way, but I am thankful for it all.

I am leaving on Sunday and we are 78% funded.  I know that we can push this over the top. Please if you can donate or spread the word I would be so thankful.  The amount left is $785, which is not much. I know we can do this in a week. I know we can!

Thank you so much!  Until tomorrow.


Countdown to Yoga School ~ Days 9, 8 & 7

Don't worry. I'm not going to give you a huge blog about three days of yoga. One reason is because I wasn't doing yoga for two of the three days. Yes, I fell off the wagon a bit, but it was for a good reason.  Without getting too personal I'll tell you that Friday was a slow moving day for me.  I was on my way to yoga at least two times and both were failed attempts.  But in my defense, Katie and I did have a show that night.

Friday was the yoga school fundraiser show so there was a lot on my plate. I was supposed to meet Katie at 6pm, but between the traffic she hit coming into the City from Nyack and the fact that I was slow moving, I probably didn't get to the Masonic Temple till 7pm.

When I arrived, Ray who I'm sure is a mason, was operating the elevator. Yes operating!  It was truly old school and amazing! Katie has a little rehearsal studio in the Temple, which is interesting in and of itself, but it's there.  We did a little cleaning of the space and dimmed the lights. Brought in some candles and gave it a little vibe and we were good to go.

It took us a while to get going, but once we did it was an amazing night. Katie and I played round robin style. So she played two songs and I played two and so on. I hadn't heard Katie sing live in a long time, but I tell you she is like no one else. I was blown away as usual.

After doing a few rounds and even singing "Landslide" with Chaney Sims, we knew we had to do it again and bigger and better! I really love Katie and he whole musical vibe.  It's just incredible.

On Saturday, I couldn't quite make it to yoga either. I had so many errands to run to get ready for my departure. There were still so many things that I needed for school. I needed a few more pairs of yoga pants, tops, boots, jacket, and the list goes on. So I needed to see what I could find on a budget.  Of course that took me to TJMaxx and Old Navy. Found some pretty good things at both and then headed back home to get ready for Nucomme's Betty Davis story event at the Brooklyn Museum.

So today was my first day back to yoga after missing a couple. It actually felt really amazing and a great class. Keri is now teaching the 10:40am class that my other teacher Keely used to do. I miss Keely, but Keri is awesome too.  She really puts it together for me and I appreciate that.

I want to thank everyone who came out on Friday night.  You all made the night so special.  We are in the final fundraising stretch.  I can't believe that I'm leaving for school on the 14th. Time really does fly. So let's do this! Let's send me off with a bang.  We are over 76% there.  Let's take to to 100% or even more!

Thank you so much! Yoga, Healing & Music for all!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 10

I think I might have mentioned this early on, but I do Karmi work at Area Yoga so I can take class for free.  I work 4 hours per week and have unlimited yoga!  You can't beat that.

When I started last year I was working pretty regularly every Thursday. I would only switch days if I had a regular day gig for a bit or other travel opportunities came up.  But for the most part last year I was there on Thursday morning.

I would work the front desk checking people in and making sales and then at 12:30pm I would go to Slow Flow class with Elias.  Now Elias is is an awesome teacher with a thick Mexican accent. I remember in the early days of going to his class I would have to listen very hard to catch all the directions. It's interesting because sometimes he talks really fast, but because he repeats himself to make sure everyone got it.   Now that I've been taking his class for a while I'm right there with him

Today was my first day back in his class for a while.  Since coming back to NY I has sort of been all over the place with classes because my work shift has been different every week.  Well, it was so good to be back in his class.

As I mentioned yesterday, all Slow Flow classes are not alike. When I'm in Elias's class I don't feel like the flow is slow, so I can only imaging what a regular pace class is for him.  He keeps telling me to come to his Happy Hour class, which is really a happy hour and a half.  LOL! We'll see.  ;-)

The focus of today's class was hip openers and I can feel my hips as I sit here writing. I should really be in the tub right now.  Anyway,  I really appreciated Elias talking about when the hips are opened you might feel like you want to cry because we hold a lot there. This could explain why sometimes women cry when having sex, but I digress...  So he prepared people for what they might feel post class, which I always appreciate. There is nothing like doing some body work and finding yourself in the supermarket a hot blubbering mess. LOL!  Well at least a little emotional in the street.  I have been there for sure.

I will be sure to make it to class with Elias at least one or two more times before I leave for school.  His preferred style of yoga is Anusara and I think I'm starting to feel the vibe.

I can't believe there are only 10 days before I leave for school. Time is really flying and I have so much to get done.  I guess I better hop to it. Thank you all for your donations! Keep them coming and keep spreading the word.


Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 11

I know I'm really late again. In fact a whole day late, but here goes.  

I went to the 11am Slow Flow class and it felt really calm.  As I mentioned yesterday, I have been really feeling my shoulder.  I know it will pass, but today was no exception, but I pushed through.

I'm really starting to like this teacher.  Her name is Marissa and today made the third class I've taken with her.  I've been to a few Slow Flow classes in which I wasn't sure why it was called that, but everyone has their own style.

We really took our time moving through the postures, but she kept a good pace so it didn't feel like a Basics class. One thing that stood out for me in class today was the use of the strap. Of course I have used straps many times in class, but today I could actually feel what it had done to lengthen my legs. I placed the strap around the bottom of our foot and stretched my right leg out to the right while I held the strap in my hand and then we took our leg across out body in the opposite direction.  When she told to put our foot down I could energetically feel how it was longer than the other for that moment. We soon did the other side and things evened out.  That felt really amazing to me.

After class today I had to meet with my friend Hollie to talk some business and then I came home to prepare for rehearsal. So it was pretty normal day, but yoga class was great!

Thank you again to everyone who has donated so far and those who are still to come.  We are 70% funded!  Let's keep this going.  Thank you so much!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 12

As you can see I'm on the late night blog again.  Well it was a sort of long day.  I had a show tonight so I was focusing on that, but I did make it to class today.

For those of you who read the blog yesterday you may be happy to know that my instructor Keri is OK. She was in class today teaching and she was not in pain.  I was really glad to see that. So today's class was great as usual.

The class was more meditative than usual. Keri had us sit in silence for 5 minutes before we moved into any postures.  Now I meditate on a regular, but for folks who don't I know that sitting for 5 minutes can seem like an eternity, but I welcomed it.  Today's class was a Basics class, which has been really great for me as I get ready to go.  I know I said this before, but it has been helping so much to take that step back before I go forward.  I am getting more and more clear about the things that I'll need to work on at school.  I know I'm exactly where I need to be, but I'm also clear about where I want to be.

I have been feeling my left shoulder a lot. I know it will stop hurting.  It did when I did my 30 days of yoga so I know it can again. It doesn't hurt all the time, but I surely do feel it.  It will get stronger.

I got my first box of Yogi Muscle Rejuvenation tea.  I'm told that it's the bomb for aches and pains so that will be part of my daily ritual.  I'm so excited!

Thank you again so much for your support. We are so, so close to our goal. I continue to be humbled by all of your generosity.  The thermometer says we are 70% funded.  Let's do this!  Thank You! Thank You.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Countdown to Yoga School ~ Day 13

I know the day is done, but for some reason I just couldn't get this one out in a more timely fashion.  At any rate it was an strange yoga day for me.

I got up early this morning to go to the 8:15 class. Last Monday when I went I was the only one in class so I got an impromptu private session. I was kind of hoping that might happen again today and it sure did, but there was a little twist.

When I got to the studio Keri, the instructor, was behind the desk. She didn't look or sound to good. When I asked her if she was OK she told me she was in a lot of pain. She had a staff infection that should have been healing, but she feared something was very wrong.  She said that in the class before mine, she almost threw up and felt like she was going to pass out.  Well that was enough for me to say that she should skip class for the day.  It was only me after all and I knew I could go to the Court street studio to practice at 9:30am.

So we locked up and walked from downtown Brooklyn along Court street to Cobble Hill.  Keri thought she would feel better walking than getting on the subway or bus because she was also feeling dizzy and thought the movement wouldn't help.

During our walk, she gave me some great suggestions about what to bring with me to teacher training. I was so thankful because I was thinking about that this morning. It just kind of hit me that I am two weeks away from leaving.  I have so much going on in these next couple of weeks and it just hit me the amount of things I have to get done and quickly.

When Keri and I got to the Count street studio, we parted ways. I then realized that I was really early for class. So I went and got a croissant and then headed back to the studio.

I didn't know who usually teaches the 9:30 class, but what I did find out is that it was sub. I don't usually have any problem with that especially if it's a class that I never or rarely go to, but this sub was really strange. Not everyone jibes with all instructors and that's how I felt today. Class seemed to be all over the  place, but after class I could tell that some people really liked it.  Sigh... To each her own.

So the class for me today was not the best. I did all I was supposed to do, but for some reason it didn't click in as some of the other classes I've been to.  All I can do now is take notes to make sure when I'm teaching I can incorporate or take out whatever I need when I'm building classes.

I won't say too much more about it. I'm just glad I got up and out today for Day 13.  Speaking of that, we are so close to reaching our goal for yoga school. Please keep spreading the word and please donate if you can.  No matter how large or small, it all counts.