Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great Deal at PrAna

Here's something you don't want to miss. PrAna has put their entire website on sale. All of their beautiful products are 40% off. No gimmicks and no minimum purchase requirements, just great sale prices. Don't miss out! Visit their website today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My New Attitude Toward Teaching

I was due to start teaching my first yoga class of the season a couple of weeks ago and, of course, that meant that I was starting to stress out. I had such mixed emotions about teaching when I started last year. I never really imagined myself in front of a big class. I really only got the teaching credentials for my own knowledge and benefit. I wasn't sure I would be a good instructor or I would at all enjoy it. And I must say, after teaching last year I didn't really enjoy it. It became work, a second job. The type A personality in me had to strive for perfection and I had to plan out the classes far in advance and rehearse them to death to make sure they would last exactly one hour. I worried about having enough things to say during class and I was all around too uptight about everything. It was completely counter productive to what yoga is all about.

I considered not teaching again this year, but then again, I also consider closing YogaDudes for business every single year. But it never happens. I get one email from a happy customer and it gives me the drive to continue. Same thing with teaching. So many of the students are so enthusiastic and excited about taking the class and if I don't teach there will be no more yoga in my town, so again, I dig down deep for the drive.

This year I wanted it to be different. I didn't want to dread it. But would that be possible? A friend of mine gave me some good advice a few days before my first class. She just reminded me that it was a beginners class that I'm teaching and they have no expectations. They likely will have nothing else to compare my class to. She also reminded me of a class that we used to take together that we thought wasn't the best class, but the next day we were always embarrassed to admit that we were sore. Whatever else she told me this fateful night changed my outlook. I decided that I wasn't going to get so worked up. I was just going to wing it a bit and not rehearse everything.

I have to say, walking into the class I did feel a little more nervous than I would if I had rehearsed, but that feeling slipped right away as soon as I started. I had a basic plan of what I would do, but I just let time pass as it would and I adjusted the class on the fly. Without trying to memorize all the things that I wanted to say, the words just came natural to me. I am still in shock at how smoothly and easily the class went. I really hope I can continue this new attitude toward teaching. And my class ended with the students applauding. Would could feel better than that? Thank you Lisa for giving me the relaxed yoga-attitude that I so needed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Am I Less of a Yogi?

Should I admit that I'm a certified yoga instructor that doesn't know Sanskrit? Does it make me any less of a yogi? Sure I know a few of the common poses, but I certainly don't know all of them–not even close to all of them. Not only do I not know them, but I never use the words in my classes. I teach a beginners yoga class and it's hard enough for my students to get the drift of the different poses without throwing a new language at them. After all, hearing me say, "standing forward bend" is pretty clear. No translation necessary.

I certainly don't want to take away from hundreds of years of tradition, but I'm very disappointed in a new iPad app that I bought to help me build and lead my yoga classes. This app was my dream come true. I spend hours in Photoshop cutting and pasting from my libraries of pose illustrations to build a visual pose cheat sheet. This is a painstaking process that results in Photoshop files including 60 different layers. Not easy to manage to say the least. I dreamt of a piece of software, or some sort of app, that would allow me to build out my routines and then give me the option to either print them out in hard copy, or better yet, play the routine.

Lo and behold I found an iPad app that did just that. Could this really be the answer to my prayers? It sure did appear that way. Not only did it solve the problem of the clunky, cumbersome building of my routines, but it also solved the problem that it's sometimes difficult to see my hardcopy print-outs in the dark room. I could pick all my poses, arrange them in the order I want, and even set the duration of each pose. This was great!

Once you build the program, you can just hit "play" and your entire routine would show up on the beautifully lit high resolution screen. Each pose fills the screen making seeing it a cinch. But here's the problem . . . the audio cues are ONLY spoken in Sanskrit. I wanted to cry. In many poses I would be relying on the audio cues to help me, the instructor, know the next move. And how terrible that I don't know my Sanskrit? It really does make me feel like a failure. Should I have been able to get my certification without this knowledge? I wonder.

I just wish the makers of this awesome Yoga HD app would consider an update that allows you to choose the language for your cues. If you're interested in this very cool app, check out the video below.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Real Reason I Started Yoga

I’m not sure if I should admit this, but it’s the truth. I have been obsessed with Sting since I was 13 years old. I can’t even imagine how many hours I spent gazing at the album covers (yes albums, it was old school back then) and memorizing every lyric to every song. I even learned how to play the bass guitar in high school so I could jam along with all the Police music.

It was about a dozen years ago when my brother asked me if ever tried yoga. I said that I haven't, but have always wanted to. Then my brother followed up his question with, “Sting does yoga. Did you know that?” and that was it. I just had to try yoga because my idol practiced it. Within a week I had my very first yoga DVD (wait, back then it was still a VHS). My first video was a Rodney Yee routine and I got instantly hooked. It was Sting that motivated me, and my obsession with him led to a whole new obsession with yoga. I may not be very proud of this being the reason I started to practice, but I’m not ashamed of it. I admit it, I still love Sting!

When I opened my mailbox one day last week to find this "Energy Times" magazine in a special package it brought pure joy to my heart. A fellow yogi friend found it and sent it to me, knowing I would love it. This magazine is very "green and crunchy" and the article is all about how yoga and organic living rule Sting's life. What a treat to bring both of my loves together in one delicious article.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Free January Desktop Calendar

If it has to be cold, at least let there be some snow to play in. To make this fun graphic your desktop wallpaper, just click on the image above to open the larger format graphic. Once that larger graphic appears just right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."