Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time . . . the day that I can say my first experience teaching yoga is behind me. I guess I saw this as an initiation; sort of like using clip-in pedals for the first time. You know you’re gonna forget to un-clip and tumble during that maiden voyage and you just can’t wait to get it over with. Once you take that digger you know you’re officially an experienced ‘clip in’ biker and you can now ride with more confidence. That worked nicely on a bike anyway. I have no problem being comfortable and having lots of confidence on a bike. Hopefully some of this theory will spill over to my yoga mat.

I’m happy to report that my first class went well. I didn’t break anybody and so far I’ve heard some positive feedback. That’s a huge plus. I have to say it was more of a challenge than I expected. When I prepared for my final exam for my teaching certification I needed to prepare a one-hour class that would be appropriate for 35 – 45 year old yogis. When I did my research to see what that would entail, I decided to abandon the book and just do what I wanted to do. Luckily I didn’t lose any points for it. Actually, I scored a 96. But the bad part is that I didn’t pay much attention to what is appropriate for different ages or fitness levels. I didn’t think I would actually get a real teaching gig and I wanted to build a routine that I, myself, would enjoy doing. Well, now I regret not taking my studies more seriously.

I’ve always been in yoga for the sport of it. I enjoy challenging myself and pushing myself to the limits. I know very little about taking it easy and that is exactly what I need to do with this class. How can doing EASY yoga be so HARD for me? Oh boy, I have a lot of work and research to do. I’m out of my element. I make a better boot camp leader than gentle yoga instructor. Pray for my students . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Saturday is Yoga Day USA

Did you know that Saturday, January 23 is Yoga Day USA. On this day thousands of people across the country will come together for a history-making celebration where yogis, novices, couch potatoes and triathletes, young, old and everyone in between join together to stretch mind, body and spirit through the practice of yoga. In the spirit of karma yoga, or service to others, all Yoga Day USA classes and workshops are free — or nearly free. The brainchild of the Yoga Alliance, this powerful annual event is held in yoga studios, parks, beaches and private homes throughout the US. To find an event near you click here.

Unfortunately there are no events near me. Actually, there is no anything near me – one of the drawbacks to living in the boonies. But that’s OK. I have declared Saturday as my official ‘at home yoga day.’ I am resolving myself to coming up with my very first yoga class. On Saturday I’ll have only 3 days and counting to my first ever class. I’ve been told that my class attendance sheet is already over 18 students. Gulp. Deep breathes. I’m going to do fine . . . because I am a yoga instructor. Must keep reminding myself of that fact. I am a yoga instructor . . .

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Great Deal on Yoga Journal Magazine Subscription

For one day only (today, January 14th) you can get a one-year subscription to Yoga Journal magazine for just $5.29. This is good for both new subscriptions as well as renewals. Just click on the link below to be taken directly to the page where you can make your purchase. Don't let this great deal pass you by.

Get Yoga Journal for just $5.29

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This is Good News

I wish I could say that I’ve been diligently working on building my beginner’s yoga class for my upcoming teacher stint. I’ve been trying so hard at not letting myself get all stressed out about my first ever teaching job that my total avoidance of the subject is really paying off. I haven’t been stressed at all. Too bad my first class is still rapidly approaching whether I’ve been stressing about it or not. Unfortunately ignoring the fact is not making it go away. I know I should be excited and looking forward to teaching. After all, it took a lot of effort to get my certification . . . but the truth is that I’m terrified to teach and I’m almost regretting accepting the position. I always look forward to challenges in my life, but I also always question my decisions. Life would be so much easier if I wasn’t so eager to face a challenge.

Anyway, to avoid the stress of building my first routine I’ve been happily playing with my new Wii. I just love it. The Wii Fit is simply a ball and I swear using that balance board is going to improve my yoga postures. It certainly does add a new twist to have each pose measured for balance and accuracy. I am very happy to announce that I almost always score “Yoga Trainer” on each posture. So that counts for preparing for my class, right? It helped to build some much needed confidence, that is for sure. I’m wondering if any new yoga instructors walk into their first class with confidence? Is it just me that worries that maybe I’m not ready to take the next step? Is it just me that worries my students will get hurt, or lost, or even worse – be bored? Please tell me that I’m not alone with these feelings of insecurity.

Monday, January 04, 2010

YogaDudes January Desktop Calendar

A pretty and peaceful deer to ring in the New Year. Click on the image above to bring up the larger file.

Starting Off the New Year Right

In addition to my usual resolutions of taking my vitamins and drinking more water, I decided that I will try to eat at least one item from this list (below) of the healthiest foods. Each one helps the body in different ways. Perhaps I will make a game out of it and see how many items from this list I can get in me each day. Why not set your own challenge? It's a game that you just can't lose.
  • Apricots - Beta-carotene helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. may also help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin.
  • Avocados - Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber.
  • Raspberries - Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries
  • Cantaloupe - Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene - both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium which helps lower blood pressure.
  • Cranberry Juice - Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing.
  • Tomato - Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily.
  • Raisins - These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on.
  • Figs - A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention.
  • Lemons/Limes - Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer.
  • Onions - Quercetin is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer.
  • Artichokes - Contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol.
  • Ginger - Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins.
  • Broccoli - Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene.
  • Spinach - Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging.
  • Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) - Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon against breast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis.
  • Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn) - Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer.
  • Garlic - The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer.
  • Wheat Germ - A tablespoon gives you about 7 percent of your daily magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps; it is also a good source of vitamin E.
  • Lentils - Isoflavones, which may inhibit estrogen-promoted breast cancers, plus fiber for heart health and an impressive 9 grams of protein per half cup.
  • Peanuts - Studies show that peanuts or other nuts (which contain mostly unsaturated "good" fat) can lower your heart-disease risk by over 20 percent.
  • Pinto Beans - A half cup has more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of folate, which helps protect against heart disease and reduces the risk of birth defects.
  • Yogurt - Bacteria in active-culture yogurt helps prevent yeast infections; calcium strengthens bones.
  • Skim Milk - Riboflavin (a.k.a. vitamin B2) is important for good vision and along with vitamin A might help improve eczema and allergies. Plus, you get calcium and vitamin D, too.
  • Shellfish (Clams, Mussels) - Vitamin B12 to support nerve and brain function, plus iron and hard-to-get minerals like magnesium and potassium.
  • Salmon - Cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of cardiac disease.