"…success can ruin people, because you have to chase it, and that can drive you insane. ... And when you start really chasing success, you start to make mistakes, and that's when things spin out of f***ing control."
Let that stew for a moment. The quote comes from Noel Gallagher (singer of the now broken-up, british band Oasis) in a profile of him I read last week. You know we at the YB love our music. Full disclosure: before you click on the link to the original story you should know that Noel Gallagher has a potty mouth.
His thought really strikes a chord with me. Sometimes we make rapid progress in our yoga (asana) practice early on only to feel like we slow down and make only incremental improvements thereafter. We might chase after poses. We might get frustrated. Sometimes we have only the goal my mind. The first time I ever attempted Scorpion (vrschikasana) in a class I collapsed in my low back and hurt it coming out. I spent the next three days laying as still as possible at home; I literally took a telecon at work in our conference room laying on the floor when I did go in. Chasing success, making mistakes, and spinning out of control? You betcha.
This doesn't just happen on the yoga mat. It's also about how you define success. Appreciate the practice and it's incremental improvements both in body and mind. Don't miss the journey eyeing the end goal.
And just to remind you how awesome Oasis was, I'll leave you with one of their music videos ...
Yoga is, by nature, an accepting, less "judgy" practice than a lot of other fitness regimes (for lack of a better word), but there is still an unspoken code of conduct. Here are some bits of yoga etiquette that I wish I had known early on:
-Arrive on Time: If you must be late, (it happens), be quick and discreet about it. If you're going to be more than 10-15 minutes late, you may opt to come back another day.
-Turn off your Cell Phone: For reals. Nothing takes you out of your hard earned savasana like the "I'm a Slave for You" ring tone going on in your neighbor's purse.
-Take Off Your Shoes: No shoes in the studio! Gross!
-Don't Be a Mirror Hog: Be aware of mirror space, and try to avoid plunking down right in front of a fellow yogi, or otherwise hogging the mirror. All you need is a few inches.
-Modify Appropriately: Be the master of your own practice, and by all means challenge yourself. Make the practice yours.
-Don't Fall on Anyone: That said, please don't fall on anyone. It's dangerous and not at all cool.
-Try Not To Leave Early: But if you must, don't interrupt savasana for others.
-Thank Your Instructor: Respect your instructor by thanking her for guiding you through the poses.
-Give everyone sloppy kisses, heartfelt good byes, and loving booty-smacks!
Heh. That last one is optional. Maybe after you've had a few weeks of bonding with other yogis : )
And now, in case for some reason you ever need to change in public, here's a guide on how to change clothes after practicing yoga without inflicting on God and everyone the sight of your splayed buttocks.
Every once in a while I get the opportunity to hang out with fellow students away from the studio where we can spend some quality time and enjoy each other's company. And since we've opened the studio, it has been a dream of mine to have my own "hot babes" group, a group of yogis who enjoys hanging out with nerds like me after class. I always have a great time with the hot babes just giggling like little girls and acting like we are the chicks from Sex and the City, me being Carrie Bradshaw of course. Yesterday we tried Morocco's Restaurant just up Castro Street next door to Khuu Dermatology (insert plug of my friend Dr. Duke Khuu's facility here).
I hope we get to do more hot babes events in 2012 and that the group continues to grow. And if you ever wondered what it takes to be a hot babe, all you gotta do is practice yoga with us at Yoga Belly.
Two adult birthday parties occurred this past weekend for friends. One involved a roller skating rink (San Jose Skate), the other a trampoline park (House of Air in San Francisco). Both of them had a way of pulling out the childlike qualities in us all. When else you would you try and do flips, or see who could jump higher, or do 360s? It was amazing to watch people fall, and then get up and show their bruises and rashes with an enormous smile like they were proud badges of honor. You know what I'm talking about - and I bet you remember doing that as a kid.
It put things into perspective for me with yoga too. Sometimes we show up to our mats and try to be perfect. We forget that it's okay to fall and have fun. The day after those two parties I had such a great time in my own yoga practice trying things and falling. There was so much freedom in playing with something ridiculous (half moon with a bind anyone?!?) and having that childlike perspective. Turns out I got it pretty good…on one side at least.
Next time you're in yoga maybe you'll think about the roller skating rink. Maybe you'll think about the trampoline park. Maybe you'll realize why we have a disco ball in the studio. Life's a party folks. Don't forget to play like a kid sometimes.
PS: Y'all saw the "It's Gettin Real In The Whole Foods Parking Lot" video, right?
And so, because you are loved (very very very much! And don't you forget it!) Yoga Belly will be offering some free classes next week for you and a loved one. Share the gift of yoga: bring someone who can get down with a little sweat, a little humility, and maybe even some grace.
Here's the schedule for Thanksgiving week:
Thanksgiving Day (Thursday)
8:30am - 9:45am Yoga Belly FREE
10:00am -11:15am Power FREE
These classes will fill up fast so please reserve your spots by clicking here.
For Friday, November 25th:
9:00am - 10:30am Power
11:00am - 12:30pm Power
For Saturday, November 26th:
9:00am - 10:30am Power
11:00am - 12:30pm Yoga Belly
For Sunday, November 27th:
9:00am - 10:30am Power
11:00am - 12:30pm Yoga Belly
Happy Friday, all! Lots of love.
Thanks for your patience while I was MIA last week with a sick grandpa. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled program, starting with smooches for you all.
It's official, Fall is here. It rained on Saturday, and in my mind, we went from Summer to Winter in about three days. I can never pick a favorite season, but this transition is always my favorite: maybe it's just because I'm a teacher, and my heart follows the academic calendar, so every time the leaves turn I instinctively think new. For most people, spring is the season of newness, but for me, it's the deepening from summer to fall. From sweaty days out in the sun to cozy nights curled up with a book. If I had a fireplace, I'd say, "in front of the fire," but right now a candle will have to do.
One of my favorite things about fall is the tea. In the summer, I drink light, green, citrus-y teas, but in the colder months, I prefer something sweet and spicy. I also need to battle the countless germs that my students bring in, and try to keep my classroom from turning into a petri dish. I don't know much about the health and wellness benefits of tea, but if you're interested, Yoga Journal has a guideline for fall brews that will help ease you into the phase of shorter days, colder nights, and showing up to the studio super early just to defrost.
So tell me, what's your favorite cold-weather tea?