Friday, October 21, 2011

finding their way

"But where is this gathering?
- I don't know, my little angel
But do the others know?
- No, they don't know either
How can you go to a gathering without
... knowing where it is?
- It suffices to walk, just walk.
Those who are invited will find the way."
(from a Sufi story)

They've certainly been invited.

They're certainly finding their way.

I couldn't be happier nor more proud of what these yogis have accomplished in six days.

I've gotten emails from students from home cheering on these students that are now becoming teachers.

I've gotten emails from students of past yoga teacher trainings rallying on those students. One from last year that says, "And the odd frustrations... that never lasted very long. How could they with so much love and support around you."

So that's what we've encountered as we've found our way together as a group.

Getting settled into a new hOMe in a new country.
Strangers becoming friends becoming great support.
Odd frustrations.
Then the aha's.
Heightened emotions.
The love that comes with being seen, heard, and accepted for your unique you-ness.

Rain, howling wind, double rainbows, the palette of heaven on an early morning walking meditation.

Still, calm, turquoise blue green sea.
Reminding us to keep things in perspecitve.
Reminding us of the great big world out there.
Reminding us we are all connected.
Just one drop in a big sea of love.

Yes, I'd say we're all finding our way.

This is the good stuff friends.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

mexico yoga teacher training - greetings from tulum!

Hola Amigas!

I arrived safe and sound in Tulum on Thursday. I had two days at Maya Tulum to rest, relax, get massage, eat de-lish food, dp prep work, and check in with the kind folks here at Cabanas La Luna about specifics for our training.

Crazy things has happened with this trip to's been almost the whole time! On Saturday I was actally a tad concerned that some yogins flights might not make it in.

Try as you may though, you cannot change Mama Natures mind. She's clearly been doing her thing and we've been doing our thing. All is working out. All is well. At Maya Tulum I stayed in my most fave cabana and now at Cabanas La Luna I'm in a cabana that sorts makes me sigh each time I walk in.


With all 12 yogis present yesterday we started out first day of training. I think it's safe to say we all felt a bit of the "first day of school" jitters. We're all getting to know one another during this exciting beginning stage of yoga teacher training.

So special. Really. I'll say it over and over, so be prepared.

Today was our first full day, beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m. And guess what? They already taught a sun salutation Yep. Rock on yogis. We'll continue to learn and build and add on but they have taken their first step, taking their spot, claiming their voice in being a yoga teacher.

I'm hoping, imagining, assured that things are running smoothly at home with my baby, Barefoot Works of course.

I gotta say though that I rarely think about what's happening (unless I get an email from a student or teacher) on the homefront yoga studio. I miss my home yoga peeps but once this training begins it gets All of me. My days begin at 5:30 and end....well right about now.

I've already lost track of the day.

Sunday, when the beach yoga teacher training fog clears. Yes, Sunday. We had two classes. Taught by two gifted teachers. Of course things are good.

I've gottne numerous email from friends and students seding amazingness this way.

Thank you so much. I appreciate it. And love you for it.

The sea is beginning to lull me to sleep. Buenos noches amigas.

The sweetest of dreams to all of you.


PS - Photo of her yoga home in Tulum...taken by yogini and student, Pilar.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

mexico, mama, mentors & a oh sh*t moment

I'm leaving for Mexico tomorrow!! That's my packing area above.

As in departing Lexington at 6:30 a.m.
And arriving in Cancun at 11:00.

Which means I should be in Tulum eating guacamole and drinking a Corona at approximately 2:00.

But the last week friends, leading up the departure.....

Talk about the to-dos, the forgets, the shoulda's, coulda's and on and on.
But it's all so,so, so worth it.

I truly can't wait to meet the 12 yogis from all over joining me for 15 fifteen days of oh so intensive yoga teacher training.
Last year I posted nearly every day on the blog I'm hoping to be pretty consistent with this again. And now with my new fancy pants iPod that has the "blogger" app, posting photos should be a breeze.

Speaking of iPods, this one I've had less than a month and love, love, love, mostly because I'm snapping photos left and right, you know the one?

Well Mama Alice and I were getting pedicures today. I sat in the big, cozy, massage my back chair while a sweet sould rubbed down my feet. My iPod is in hand so I could snap photos of course.

About three minutes in my iPod slides off my lap and into the big basin of warm, sudsy water.

"Oh shit", I say, clearly loud enough that everyone getting their feet rubbed on could hear. I fish out my iPod quickly.

Someone says, "Quick turn it off." The poor gal rubbing my feet hands me a dry towel and I wrap it up like a lil baby.

I sit for a moment and ponder all the music that will not likely make it to Mexico. Nor the podcasts that I just downloaded this morning for the flight. Oh well. It is what it is.

I am surprised at how quickly I regroup. And actually let it go.

On a happy note the kind folks at the Apple store replaced my iPod for free. Happy. Happy. Happy. And I now have a new synced up iPod ready for my adventures. Plus my toenails are a pretty purple. See in the photo above? My right toenail that I danced off in May is making a reappearance. Thank god. I've missed her.

I have so much that I want to say but I still have packing to do.

Like how amazed I am by Andy and his insane committment in scraping, sanding, priming, and painting our house. It's crazy really. And inspring too. I keep asking to him, "Is this your yoga? Is this your meditation?"

He mostly looks at me like I'm crazy and goes pack to painting. He's like the Karate Kid.

And Mama Alice is in her third week of being in Lextown for treatment. She's rockin' on. Yet I know this is such a challenge for her. The radiation treatment is catching up with her. She lost weight last week and it's getting harder for her to eat.

Yet her spirits are good and I know she is THE strongest woman in my entire world. I've gotten a lot more quiet on here as far as sharing. My journal is getting to hear lots on this particular journey.

And I've started my writing class.

Connected with old and new mentors that are giving me such support and inspiration.

Friends, teachers, friends that are hands down the most rockin', thoughtful, and supportive people.

Life feels full no matter which way you turn it, twist it, or dissect it.

Never a dull moment friends, that's for sure.

Blowing kisses and wrapping my arms around you tonight as I prepare to embark on a new journey to my second home....the sweet and sacred land of Tulum.

Tuuuuluuummmm, here I come!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

half perfect

Mary Oliver's poem "Messenger" is speaking beautifully to me about this month's theme at the studio, contentment.

This part is especially poignant:
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be

My BFF gave me a great gift this year. It was a frame with two photos in it, one photo each from our respective wedding days. They were over ten years apart.

We noted we both look better now than we did ten years ago. "Except for our eyes" I remark. "Do you consider those bags or wrinkles?"

I'm officially in my mid 30's now. I certainly don't feel old, but for the first time ever, I feel like a full fledged adult.

I'm finding that with each year I settle more into mySelf. There is more acceptance and less judgement on my part.

I'm finding that while I still feel driven in the pursuit of a deliberate and delicious life, there is more permission on my part.

Permission to not have it all figured out.
Permission not to always have it together.
Permission to be half perfect.
Or perfectly imperfect.

But to sink, surrender, and dissolve into
a sea of compassion.
Embracing myself (wrinkles included) and others with great tenderness.

Contentment is "keeping my mind of what matters."

Which is indeed my work.

Which is living deliberately.
Learning from my life experiences
and sharing from my soul
about how it is we can use this body, this breath,
this heart to shine
and be dazzlingly alive.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

be notorious

Welcome sunny Tuuuuesday!

I snapped the above photo last night in my yoga room. After I long and busy day to running to and from I was excited to listen to the recording from the first class of the Yoga + Writing course that I'm taking.

I was snuggled up in a warm and cozy, teeny tiny yoga room with candles, tea, notebook, pinktop and pen. This weeks session was all about accessing and connecting to the powers and goodness of Ganesha.

I write in my notebook (a brand spankin' new notebook might I add)....

Ganesha is an emblem of transition and change. He is very much in this world, not off meditating in a cave or atop a mountain. He is adorable. And accessible! He holds the universe in his belly (I love this)! Wherever he is - he is home.

Details and image from here.

I'm going to print adorable lil Ganesha off and put him in my yoga room to focus and learn from this week. Much to learn here. And just a reminder that the gods and goddesses we explore in the world of yoga are all about seeing and recognizing the different ways they represent us. They are and wonderful ways in which we can learn and grow. And be notorious in our life.

After I listened to the call I had another juicy phone call about a possible new venture I may be embarking on shortly and hold a focus on for next year. All signs are directing me forward but I'm pausing to lean in a lil more. Ponder and process.

I am so flippin' excited that we are now halfway full for the intensive yoga teacher training in NC next spring. I can hardly believe it!

I get the best email from a yogini I've been emailing back and forth with (literally since she's in Seattle). Embarking on yoga teacher training is a BIG deal and I don't recommend entering it lightly. I had given yogini all the advice and input I could. At some point we decide to leap, or we decide to stay put.

She's clearly been keeping her eyes, ears, and heart open. I got this in part of message from her:

So I'm not much into superstition, but today my last 4 words in an online Scrabble game were Y, O, G, and A. After I finished my game, I got into my car, and was stopped at a stoplight behind a car with North Carolina license plates. (this is all true) I couldn't ignore this so. . . .Sign me up! What do I do next? :)


Risk it.
Be notorious.

Monday, October 03, 2011

one of my fave self care practices

It's self massage of course. I think learning this practice and actually making it a habit made going through my year long ayurveda course worth it!

So simple. So great. Especially this time of year.

According to ayurveda, a full body self massage (abhyanga) is relaxing, nourishing, and revitalizing. The massage helps with circulation, helps keep skin supple and moisturized, increases energy, and promotes sleep at night. It’s also a very sensual and enlivening thing to do for oneself.

What you need:
• 2-3 ounces of massage oil (organic sesame oil is great this time of year)
• Towel to sit on

Step 1: If your oil is in a glass bottle then pour into a plastic squeeze bottle. Run hot water into your sink and submerse the oil for a couple of minutes. Just long enough to warm the oil.

Step 2: Get undressed and place a large towel on your bathroom floor to stand or sit on.

Step 3: You’ll start your massage at the crown of your head. Using about a tablespoon of oil, vigorously rub your scalp as if you are shampooing your hair making small circular strokes.

Step 4: Move to your face and ears using more gentle strokes. Work with the forehead, temples, down the sides of your face, to your ears.

Step 5: Massage the front and back of your neck, using oil as needed.

Step 6: Massage the arms. Use up and down strokes over limbs and circular strokes over joints (shoulder, elbow and wrists).

Step 7: Use gentle circular strokes to massage the chest and stomach, using extra oil as needed.

Step 8: Without straining reach behind your back and massage the back and spine.

Step 9: Vigorously rub your legs as you did your arms, making circular strokes on the joints (hip, knee, and ankle) and up and down strokes over the limbs.

Step 10: After massaging the legs spend some time on your feet. Massage the toes, the feet, and rub back and forth over the soles of your feet with both hands.

Step 11: Sit comfortably, breathe deeply for five minutes.

Step 12: Take a warm bath of shower, not washing the oil off. Pat yourself dry leaving a thin film of oil on the body.

There you have it! Do this several times a week and you will feel oh so good. Promise. Let me know how it's going.....

Saturday, October 01, 2011

welcome october + cultivate contentment

I went to the studio this morning all excited to teach on one more day of "contemplation".

Guess what? There aren't 31 days in September.

Never have been. Hmmmmm.

The first student signs in this morning and says, "Can you believe it's October 1?"

I reply, "Uhhhh, no I can't."

And just like that we're onto a new theme at the yoga treehouse. Contentment. Another yogini tells me, "But it felt like we barely got to Contemplate." Tell me about it sister. September come in with a bang, I felt the fury, then she silently made her exit. I'm down with it September. Thank you for your quiet departure.

I was happy that my focus for today's class translated beautifully to our theme of "contentment."

We went back to the basics of mindfulness of body and breath. If you weren't in class (bad yogi! kidding, of course ;) then you can play along now.

Sit comfortably. Begin to relax your body and spend a few moments connecting to your breath.

Identify a part of your body. Any part, it doesn't matter. Eyes, feet, belly, hands, etc.

Let your attention rest on this area of your body. Dive in and bring your full awareness to this space. What are the sensations you feel? Resist any urge to change the sensations or make judgements about what you're feeling. Just pay attention.

Begin to invite a sense of gratitude to this area of your body. What are the experiences this part of your body allows you to have? For example if you identified your hands then your hands have held the hands of people you love, they have embraced your loved ones, allowed you to experience all sensations of all sorts that have brought you delight and joy.

Relax. Connect to the moment. Accept your body. Choose gratitude. Breathe in and out. Repeat.

Mindfulness can lead to acceptance.

Acceptance can lead to gratitude.

Gratitude can lead to contentment.

Wishing all of you a month of all things good. May you be filled with peace, joy, and contentment.

PS - My space heater is out in my yoga room and the warm pj's and slippers are making their appearance in my yoga room.