Pride

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It’s June.  It’s a month to celebrate who we are.

So who am I?  And where/how do I celebrate me?  I’m going to pull the “Strength” Pillar from Forrest Yoga for this one.

I went to ‘Night out at the Nats’ last night and shockingly enough, I’m not sure who won the game.  I saw friends, reconnected with a student, and spent some time chatting with a friend from YEARS ago.

He and I met when we were in completely different places.  Addicts of one or more thing.  And speaking for myself, absolutely denying that I would have a purpose in this life.  Cut to the present.  He’s discovered a passion in a sport, created a league around that sport, and is working toward more competitions.

I’ve found my path and my purpose on the mat and in teaching others.  I’ve discovered the depths of healing are deep and limitless.

There was a moment with him last night that felt like this – two former addicts, each of whom has fought their way out of hell, acknowledging how far we’ve come, but how treacherous the path still could be.

I woke this morning holding that – it’s strength.  It’s will power.  I woke understanding that some days, it takes just getting out of bed; others it takes looking the world square in the face, lowering a shoulder, and going in.  Most days, it’s just getting up and moving fortunately.  But on those challenging days, I take pride in knowing that I’ve come through, will continue to come through, and my worth is written in the stars.

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Bad Yogi note – I don’t really speak to my addictions much.  That may or may not change. But if you are currently struggling with addiction, are fresh off any and need someone to speak to: 1) find a therapist/group; 2) build a support network among friends/family; 3) know this bad yogi is pulling for you.

Hold my heart

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Today was one of those really fascinating days.

I woke; played/walked Beatrix; meditated; practiced; taught; lead a Four Directions Ceremony; came home and hung out.  And it STORMED here earlier.

It was one of those storms that you feel it change the atmosphere.  There was wind, lightning, thunder, rain, and hail. Oddly, that’s how I felt internally during the storm.  It was quite fitting.

I’m sitting with a truth in how I want to be around other people.  And canceled a date because I didn’t want to drink alcohol to get my nerves up.  I don’t really put myself out there to date often for reasons too many to list here, but tonight I thought I would.  I told a friend about it earlier today, she asked if I was excited, and I was.

And then my head started hurting out of the blue.  Intensely hurting.  When my body speaks up loudly like that, I tend to listen.  And it drilled down to the alcohol.  I drink.  Not out of control.  But I am moving toward sober living.  I’ve been chatting with this guy for a few weeks and didn’t want to say anything about alcohol – or lack thereof.  It also felt that if I needed the “nerves” to be gone, tonight probably wasn’t a good idea.

I canceled.  My head started to find relief.  I’m working on the truth in this – if I don’t choose to hold my heart, no one will.  Everything is pointing that it’s beyond time for my whole body to leap into the dating pool.  But apparently some days, if only the toes are going in, and to go further I need a nudge, I don’t want to go in.

Tonight, before sleep, I sitting with Bea, holding her sacred, letting her show me mine.

June, ’19 Intention

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It’s been entirely too long since I’ve written.  I’d really like to work on that.  I’m taking a “public reset” of sorts though and committing to sharing my journey through the month of June here.  Before I share what I’m working on, a quick catch up.

  • I bought a yoga studio in DC last year – Dragon’s Breath Yoga is located in Columbia Heights and it’s been amazing!
  • I adopted a bulldog puppy in April – Beatrix.  She’s amazing.

Enough of that.

I’m bringing back an old intention or two.  Who do I want to be on June 30?  And the better question, HOW do I want to be?  It’s the how I’m working on – and I think the who will fall into place on its own.

I want to be kinder, both to myself and to others.  I want to discover more about what love is to me and to others.  I want to build community in ways that create space for everyone, challenge each of us to break out of our old patterns, and help us each to step into our own greatness.

I’m questing for healing – myself, my friends, my community – and part of that quest is to dive deeper into those areas I’m still broken, lost, confused, detached.  I’m also going to attempt to blog about my adventures here daily and share videos on Instagram daily (@badyogidc) as well.  If there’s a topic you want my two cents on, let me know.

D

Miss me much?

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It is March 18.  Spring around DC is starting to happen.  And I thought I’d stop, drop, and blog about where I am, what I’m doing, and what I’m working on.

I’m still in DC and Dragon’s Breath Yoga is feeling the wind in the wings.  It’s been six months since I bought and I’ve changed so many times it’s crazy.  But it’s been an amazing time!  I can’t wait for what lies ahead.

As for what I’m working on, I’m working with more softness.  And I’m giving myself a lot more time to feel myself without stepping into analyze mode.

More to come, but wanted to say hi.  :*

I’m back

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It’s been entirely too long.  I need to get back to writing.  So much has changed, shifted, altered, and is growing in my life right now.

But here’s where I’m at today and why the title is “I’m back.”  It’s not titled that because I’m blogging again; it’s that title because I’m realizing who it is I am meant to be, what I’m meant to do, and am growing greater understanding of the obstacles (many are thrown by myself) in my path.

I’ve had a few weeks where my body was pushing back, giving headaches and stomach issues, and quite frankly shutting down.  I’ve known at some point that the message would come through, just wondered when it would be.

Today it is.  I wished a friend a happy birthday on the book of faces.  She and I mentored together a few years ago.  And I had this flashback to how I felt when I met her – she had a much more established yoga practice, had artistic talent beyond belief, and felt that I would never “be at that level” in anything.  I call bullshit on my shit.

Because she is who she is – amazing, talented, passionate.  And I am who I am.  She and I will walk through this life as friends, with hopeful physical path crossings increasing.  But we each bring something this planet needs.

I’m passionate about teaching.  I can’t wait to show how far Dragon’s Breath Yoga can fly (if you missed it, I bought a studio.  Check it out here).  I bring compassion.  The drive to become better for myself.  A hunger for healing.  I have the heart, the eyes, and the voice of a dragon.  And I have wings.  They are my own.  And they love catching the wind.

Why I (still) teach

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It’s kind of funny.  I haven’t thought much about why I teach yoga lately and then, in the past few days, I’ve been shown so many reminders of the power in sharing this passion.

I teach because it is my passion.  I have frequently thought that I need to expand my knowledge of yogic texts and still want to explore them, my passion for yoga comes through the power in the asana practice. I feel this practice – and that may sound corny and standard, but the more I teach and practice, the more I begin to realize how kinesthetic I am.  In my practice, I play with small movements, little changes, different muscle activations to feel them in my body.  When I teach, I’ve been catching myself “doing the cue” before giving it to students so that my words give them what to chase/experience.

I teach for connection.  It’s a basic human need that is often overlooked.  We crave authentic connections with other people.  We crave growth.  We want to share out paths. Just this past weekend, I had a student come to one of my classes.  When I introduced myself, he said that he had taken my class before.  As we dove into when/where, it was over two years ago at a gym that is no longer on my schedule.  He took one class; he remembered that one class; he remembered me.  Now, he’s decided he needs to supplement his life with yoga; he tracked me down.  It’s a humbling feeling but it’s a really great feeling to have a student seek me out because of one class two years ago.

As a teacher, I want to challenge my students to become their best selves – both on and off the mat.  I’m inspired by students new to the practice that try an arm balance or inversion; by students that acknowledge how the practice has taught them to breathe and to feel themselves; by students that work through their shadows to find their light; and by other teachers that challenge me to “step up my game” on a regular basis to give students more opportunity to grow.

I teach because I practice every day.  And my daily practice, regardless of what it is, belongs completely to me.  I’m selfish with this time.  But I want students to be selfish with their time on the mat too. That’s where and how strength, integrity, breath, spirit, and going deeper turn us on to becoming our best self.

We get on the mat.  We breathe.  We make shapes.  From there, we allow the magick to happen.

I’ve been quiet…

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Wow, I didn’t really think it’d been this long since I posted.  It’s been an insanely amazing year and I’m still in cocoon/processing mode.  Here’s a quick snapshot update:

I’ve been to Bali, Seattle, and Ft Worth.  After the Bali training, I completed my “Guardian in Training” and became a full on Guardian.  I honestly need to sit with this and take it in fully for myself.  I’ve been quiet and isolating myself because energetically, it’s what I felt I needed; I’m watching the world and while I haven’t put my energy directly toward current events, I’ve seen.

I’ve long held the belief that actions speak louder than words; expect more of both from me in the upcoming months.

D

Intentions, 2018

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I sit here a week into the New Year and I haven’t really crafted my intentions for the year ahead.  It’s usually something that I’m really good at doing, being aware of, and taking the time to sit with.

This year feels different.  Who I want to be, how I want to be are bigger questions that one year alone cannot hold.  I’ve said it more times than I could count, but life is a journey and it’s not necessarily the destination that matters, but the lessons we learn along the way that shape us.

Who am I?  I feel like this question is still open.  Some days, I’m a warrior.  Some, I’m a dragon.  Others, I feel the pull of the phoenix or the crow more powerfully.  And some, I’m a quiet observer (which quite frankly is a dragon as well).  Each of these days and moments within the days define me, they shape me.

How am I is a question that has a different resonance.  I want to be kind.  I am strong.  I hope to be compassionate – to others as well as myself.  I try and live in the present, though that’s a lot harder some days.  I am seen and I’m slowly revealing more of my light and my true power.

We are variable.  We change.  The world changes.  We change again.  I think it’s the “how am I?” question the most shapes the person we become.

2018 – Time to pick up yoga

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It is that time of year again – many of us look toward 2018 and what we want to accomplish or change.  Becoming more healthy is often times at the top of the list.  Fitness resolutions can be a great motivation to change habits, improve fitness, and create a more healthy life.

Yoga is a great addition to any fitness resolution but can be intimidating, especially for anyone that has not spent much time on a yoga mat.  Regardless of if you are joining a gym or a yoga studio here are some tips and suggestions to get your yoga practice off to a healthy start.

  • Arrive to class early. Getting to class early is a great chance to meet the teacher.  Introduce yourself.  Share your goals, your fears, and where you think yoga may help you out.  Let the teacher know your yoga experience and ask for any tips to make the class more successful for you as a student.
  • Keep your mind open. DC has an incredibly strong teacher population and each teacher practices and teaches from a style that resonates with them.  There is a yoga secret here that needs to be shared – you will not respond to every teacher.  And that’s ok.  Take classes from a variety of teachers to find the ones that you really like taking class with.  And then keep taking class with them, while still trying new to you teachers out.
  • Don’t spend a lot of money. There is a vast quantity of yoga props and clothing you can buy.  When you initially start, do not go overboard buying these things.  Instead, find out if you can rent a mat from the gym or studio as a way of test driving mats.  Clothing should be comfortable, easy to move in, and allow for you to focus instead on the practice and think less about “looking the part.”
  • Give yourself time to learn and grow into the practice. Yoga is an incredibly amazing way to help become more fit.  But there is a significant learning curve.  Rather than focusing on achieving an inversion or arm balance, focus on the poses that help you learn to connect more deeply with your breath, your body, and laying the groundwork for those poses.
  • Come back. As mentioned previously, yoga is a journey, and should be approached as such.  Starting the practice once or twice per week is a really great start.  Let yoga work in your fitness and in your life in the magical way that it does.
  • Have fun.   Have fun with your practice.  Bring a friend.  Make friends with those around you during your practice.  Building these connections helps to establish a longer, healthier practice both on and off the mat.
  • Show up. Time on the mat is one of the best, and only, opportunities we still have to shut off the phone, step out of the office, leave friends/family outside, and focus only on ourselves.  It is an amazing chance to learn more about yourself.  But you have to be willing to show up – every time you roll the mat out.

The mat is waiting.

December intent, 2017

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It’s only four days into the month and my intention is finally being put pen to paper.  So to speak.

I just got back from assisting the Forrest Yoga Advanced Teacher Training in Capetown and have a quiet month ahead.  No travel, no workshops, just being present here.  And that’s leading me to sit with the quiet and use it.  Here are a few things I’ll be working with and working on and working through.  Feel free to play along.

  • Revisiting my ethics as a teacher.  This is important to me.  It’s a chance to sit with how I teach and how I want to represent myself as a teacher.  It is an exercise every yoga teacher needs to work with at least once a year.  I have found mine change with experience and I think that’s a good thing.
  • Why do I teach yoga?  I think at it’s core, it should be an easy question to answer, but in the busy, often hectic schedule, we all have, it’s important to feel for what draws me back to teach.
  • Why do I practice yoga?  Much like teaching but this one is what brings me to my mat every day.  “What’s in it for me” comes up with this question and that’s a very good thing.
  • I believe in the magick of Forrest Yoga.  How can I convey this passion succinctly and with passion to anyone that asks?  How can I continue to live with my Spirit daily to being continued healing and growth not only for myself but for my students as well?
  • Where do I want to go next year?  As 2017 closes, how do I step with Beauty into 2018?
  • I have accomplished so much this year.  But I haven’t celebrated everything.  It’s time I uptake what I’ve done and let that re-charge me for the year ahead.

I’m pretty sure more will come up but this is a nice and healthy start.