beginning again



My youngest son has been in hot pursuit of his certification to become a personal trainer. Juggling school, a full-time work schedule, among other demands has meant that his 1 year time limit was here before he was ready to take the certification exam. Very astutely, he decided to sit for the exam anyway. This would allow him to learn from it rather than simply letting the deadline pass without even trying. As much as he benefitted from seeing the test and identifying the areas where he needs to deepen his knowledge, his action also set an example for me to follow. You see, I have been quietly regaining my enthusiasm (read: courage) to complete my own certification process over the past 6 months. Ryan’s willingness to brave the test, has me seriously thinking that it is time to finish what I started nearly 7 years ago.

Reigniting my efforts to finish my yoga teacher certification has led me to examine where I would like to take my teaching – in an ideal world. The answer could not be any more clear today than it has been over the past 4-5 years. Ashtanga yoga has been the focus of the 500+ hours of teacher training that I have logged over the past years. It is what I do and, in many ways, how I identify myself. So, naturally, it is where I would want to teach if the opportunity were to present itself.

What better training than to go to the source, where the lineage of resides: Sharath Jois

We are fortunate to live in one of three places where Sharath visits on his yearly US Tour. For the past 3 years, I have been blessed to be able to roll out my mat in the gym at Stanford and follow along to his led count with my extended ashtanga yoga family (from the bay area and beyond).

Although, his verbal cues fall short of what I assume will be expected of me in order to pass my certification, his command of the room and perfectly measured count is exactly what I need to cultivate into my repertoire of tools. And since we are not accustomed to hearing much instruction with a mysore style practice, any verbal cueing is good for me to experience.

Additionally, I have been reviewing my books and videos, ordered a few more, and begun looking for individuals willing to allow me to practice my teaching with them. The goal is to submit my video by son’s birthday and be certified by mine. There is no telling if my certification will lead to anything beyond the satisfaction of finishing what I started.

Photo by Danielle Tsi Photography

Time Passes



This post was held up in my draft posts. I guess I never finalized in published it. Although I intend to keep the original publication date, the two month mark is now way behind us; it’s now nearly eight months since Erika left us. Mojdeh is no longer “our new teacher”.  She is simply “our teacher.”

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Ashtanga to the Core



I’ve been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for 5 years now and I’m still struggling to figure out the jump backs and jump throughs. So, the ‘next vinyasa’ (aka my teacher moving on) is yet another struggle with transitions. Like the others, I can fake it but anyone paying any attention to what I’m doing as a yogi can clearly see that I don’t really have it together. And perhaps, none of us really do.

Anyone with a serious spiritual yoga practice will attest, it does not matter if you can lift up and jump back, bind in Marichyasana D or stand up from Urdvha Dhanurasana. The asana practice is only one of the eight limbs of the Ashtanga Yoga Method.

As for transitions — be it vinyasa, my teacher leaving, or getting to & through menopause — the yoga is in the process of figuring it out.

Everything we have been learning on our mats provides us with strength, right at our very core, for the challenges set before us. We are Ashtanga to the Core. And this is why we know that we will be okay.

 

 

 

Cutting the Losses and Moving Forward



 

Over the years, I’ve read posts from the various Ashtanga blogs I follow where the ashtangi writes of losing their beloved teacher. Although I could never fully comprehend, the sadness expressed in their words was always palpable. Each of these ashtangis moved forward in their own way. Some moved to a self-practice, others found a new teacher/program. But life-on-the-mat, and off, did go on.

Now, it is my turn to face this dilemma. My teacher announced that she will be leaving us in 2 week’s time. My initial attempt to understand her decision went through a curious process of emotions. The morning after I heard the news, I got all choked up and teary-eyed during the morning chant, again while exiting Kapotasana, and once more while my teacher assisted me in Supta Vajrasana. The primary emotion I experienced was one of abandonment, although her decision to move on is nothing of the sort. Still, my deeply-buried hurt of my dad disappearing from our lives after divorcing my mom, in addition to the hurt from similarly painful events, came bubbling up from within. Sadness, anger, hurt… coursed through my being.

Then, it was gone.

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