lost connection

The anxiety of preparing to “go live” for real – with people actually counting on me was akin to the 1st time I subbed a yoga class. The difference, was that they first time I was called to sub was about 30 minutes after I taught my final certification test out class. I didn’t have weeks to get hung up on what I would teach or say; I just had to do it. The process of trying to connect (literally to the stream while connecting to the students on the other end) is whole other beast. I feel like it shouldn’t be as hard as it has been. But I don’t know why it always seems to fall short.

My theme for today’s class was actually connection. After 10 minutes of waiting for an image of my practice space to be picked up on my phone and magically appear on my laptop across the room, I was feeling almost helpless. I’d tested over and over and over again. My sequence was set and intentionally simple enough for anyone to join in and flow with us. The problem was that when the connection showed, I closed my laptop as it was behind the stream and seemed like an added distraction. I thought it would throw me off and figured that my son would let me know if I dropped off. My bad, I guess.

I taught my class, oblivious to the people that I supposedly was connecting with. Had I kept an eye on the screen, I would have been able to read the comments, AND I would have seen that the stream was dropped. It’s a bit ironic — but it might take me a bit to find amusement about it. At the moment, I am still disappointed in myself. *sigh* So much for non-judgment.

Can I just say that I miss the old way of teaching? I miss my students. I miss seeing them on their mats in front of me, struggling to learn their names, hearing their breath, watching them move along to my words, and even on that occasion when someone gave a look of confusion so I knew to rephrase my instruction.

Hours ago, after discovering the lost connection, a little too late to make it right, I had resigned to the fact that I should stick to uploading pre-recorded flows to my YouTube channel. I feel comfortable with that; even though I may have to re-record or add voiceover to my videos, I seem to be able to control it better. The problem with giving up on going live is that I fear that if I don’t figure out how to make this online way of teaching work that I will be even more behind the 8-ball once we return to in person teaching again. So…I guess I will keep trying to reconnect.

In the meantime, here is a video which was recorded, edited, with voice over added, then uploaded.

Let’s Get Real

On Wednesday, before stepping onto my mat, I connected to the Mysore zoom meeting and set up my phone to record my practice. My initial thought was that I might record a video of my practice through half primary series, then add voice over instruction later on. However, once I got going, my practice seemed to just flow.

This was not my usual experience. For one, I generally go straight into intermediate series after parsvotanasana, only doing primary series on Fridays. Once I got to navasana, I decided to keep going. And once I’d finished some semblance of setu bandhasana, I was inspired to continue to intermediate series. By the time I finished, I’d done all the poses in both series plus the bookends (surya namaskara, standing poses, and the closing sequence). About a 3 hour practice in total, and I was energized!

It sounds pretty good, eh? Well, it was far from perfection but the experience was pretty sweet. I somehow managed to get my feet into lotus during my karandavasana attempt, then burst into laughter when my derrière landed on my mat with a loud thud. A few poses later, I was thrilled to have lift off of both my feet and face in mayurasana. But my elbows pushing into my stomach caused an audible release of air from my butt. I laughed so hard that I lost the magical lift I’d achieved. Thank God my sound was muted on the zoom call.

And, it was all caught on video.



Since the beginning of the “Shelter in Place” Order, I have hardly left my house. Yet, in spite of all of the so called “social distancing” I feel a certain closeness as we find ways to stay connected with our communities. Breathe Together Yoga, the studio where I teach is asking us to come together to provide free online content for our students – and anyone else who wants it. So, I’ve created a YouTube Channel and am learning how to make videos and stream live content. It’s a new level of teaching and I am feeling a bit out of my comfort zone. Yet, I want to continue to be of service – so I am making a concerted effort to pick it up as quickly as I can.

On Saturday morning, I hiked out to my chosen location to “go live” for the 1st time. As it was the 13 year anniversary of my husband’s death, I had a bit on my mind – and I felt like sharing a bit of it with my viewers. You see, yoga played an important role in my grief journey. Because of that, I always imagined that I might find a way to pay it forward once I became a teacher. So, with my phone set up on a tripod, with my new wide-angle lens adapter and mic, I set up my stream and hit the red button to start the feed.


it said, so I ran to my mat and began to speak. It was a bit awkward at first but, given my inability to know if I had an audience or not, I kept on talking. The words began to tumble from my mouth, and tears even flowed for a bit of it. After I’d shared what I had gone there to share, I began to lead my invisible viewers in a short but sweet practice. The sprinkles turned to rain as I entered savasana so my rest was pretty brief. Then I hopped up to stop the video, only to find the “connecting” message remained. And it seemed that I had never quite connected…but I wasn’t sure.

So, I decided to get on my mat and move with my emotions. If it came out okay, I’d add a VoiceOver instruction and upload it. Here is how it turned out.

There is a few more videos on my channel and still more to come. But, I need inspiration in knowing my audience so please leave me a comment, “like” my post, and subscribe to my feed. Apparently, once I have 1K subscribers, I will be able to go live from my phone far easier. I am currently at 36, so I have a long way to go.


Gratitude Practice

Whether I roll out my mat at the studio or at home, my focus is the same. It is one of gratitude. Yoga is a feeling practice. There is so many other feelings and emotions swirling around in my body and mind but these emotions are the ones I am bringing into focus. As I bring my attention to what is right in my life, the fear, uncertainty, pain, and other feelings fall away.

I am grateful for this beautiful life, my health, my sons’ (lives, love, health, happiness…), the close relationships with my extended family, our dog, my home, job, my practice, and the opportunity to share yoga to others (among so much more).

I invite you try it yourself. It is hard to be fearful when you are focused on gratitude. You may notice that, while in a state of gratitude, it is far easier to make important decisions, create a vision for what you want to manifest, or simply just enjoy the moment.

Deep Within

Over the past month, my practice has been changing. We have had Kirsten Berg and Mitchell Gold, two Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Teacher, as guest teachers in the Mysore Room for a 4 week period. One of them, is a talented bodyworker whom I have been going to for structural integration (aka rolfing) for a few years now.  Like any long term project, it is all too easy to have a distorted view to the project after a long period of time working on it. The fresh eyes (and ears) of Kirsten and Mitchell was good in bringing my attention to patterns that needed addressing. They pushed us in new ways that inspired change or simply opened the doors to exploring the practice and/or seeing our body and mind in a new way.

You have little control over the world around you, but full control over the world within you.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo

Mitchell suggested changes to poses in both standing and primary that might provide a deeper opening and more accessibility of some particular poses in intermediate. One of the areas of opening was in the muscles and ligaments that hold the SI joint together. For many years now, I have been consciously working actively to keep the SI joint intact for fear of another SI joint separation. Therefore the notion of creating freedom within the joint was a little scary. However, since Mitchell has worked on my body for many years, I felt that his assessment of risk was from a point of being well-informed. I explored the modifications with a mindful approach which resulted in a deeper inner focus within the context of the practice. I guess that is what happens when you are deeply feeling with the hopes of catching potential injuries before they occurs.

Those in the room with me, will certainly note that I was not this focused in each and every pose. After all, I *am* human – flaws and all. It should also be noted that, with the additional work, I have not gotten through my full practice everyday. In fact, I was quite surprised how different a few poses towards the latter part of my practice felt this morning as I inhabited them. It may not have looked any different from the outside but it sure felt different on the inside.

There have been other changes. Hot flashes after a kapotasana that is just a wee bit deeper. I breathe as I watch it pass. And, I must admit, it is nice to let my guard down a little and deepen the internal work. I can’t say that I am done resisting but I am happy for the journey deep within, however long or short it may be.

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