balancing act



I stood at the head of the class, practicing tree pose along with my students yet acutely aware that my tendency for wobbling in and out of the pose could throw them off balance. I verbalized how sometimes it’s all too easy to do what comes effortlessly while avoiding what doesn’t. Acknowledging that balancing on a single leg was NOT one of my effortless areas of the practice, I opted to practice what I was preaching.

After class, I headed to the gym for my last workout of the year 2019. This past year, in particular, I have found it beneficial to balance out the flexibility gained from my practice with targeted strengthening in the gym. Although I am always sore, my reliance on anti-inflammatories and icepacks has lessened. Of course, there’s the nutritional component that plays a part as well. Limiting the foods that lead to inflammation (aka pain) in my body is another area requiring discernment. Rest, work, play… you name it.

It is ALL a part of the balancing act of living in a body. We find balance, we lose it, we gain it back, and we strive to maintain it. We teeter the edge, testing the limits, and maybe falling out a time or two. And when something new is added to our routine, we adjust and find balance anew. I think this ability to adapt is pretty cool. Don’t you?

Do you know what else is cool?

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chitta vritti



Ah, those fluctuations of the mind. I know them all too well. Tack on a bit of enthusiasm and/or nervousness about teaching yoga, and all hope of stilling the mind goes right out the door. It’s hard not to feel a little hypocritical.

I mean, we are lucky enough to have two amazing Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga teachers with us through January 3rd and I can’t pay attention to my breath to save my life. I get some simple, yet transformative, input on my down dog that instantly relieves the wrist pain I’ve been feeling for weeks and all I can think about is how I might share that with the students in the classes I’m scheduled to teach.

“Inhale”, I tell myself. Then, 20 minutes later I realize that I lost my focus yet again. The voice in my head alternates between what Julie has learned, and how sad it is that Julie still hasn’t learned [insert anything]. Another notes that it shouldn’t be about me anyway; it’s about them. Then, there is yet another voice chiding me for how crazy it is of me to think that I have something to share when I can’t even just breathe in and out.

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Giving Tuesday



Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The season of spending is upon us. On this day, “Giving TuesDAY,” I am inspired to support two organizations that have made an big difference in improving my life, my children’s, and many others.

If it is in your means, please donate to these, or another one of the many organizations who help to make this world a better place.

expectations



One morning, while en route to yoga, I questioned why I was even going. My body ached something fierce and my mind was far from finding acceptance with how I was feeling. It was hard not to set an expectation for a “bad practice.” I reminded myself to have an open mind and not judge what was to come. After all, that *is* the point of the practice: the same sequence of poses, done in the same order, 6 days per week unfolding in a new way each time.

The radio played as I creeped along the freeway. I shook my head, surprised to find traffic so heavy this early in the morning. Ahead of me, the clouds (both dark and light), caught just a hint of the sunlight. It was beautiful and immediately made me feel grateful to have slowed down just enough to notice. Just like that, my mind shifted and I smiled thinking how easily the bad can be turned  into something just a little bit better.

As for my practice, I do not recall how far into it before I became aware that I was no longer feeling any signs of discomfort. I guess, like the sunlight behind the clouds, the body to which I awakened also had a few surprises for me. A short while later, even though the pain had left, I told my teacher that I wasn’t sure how deep of a kapotasana I had to offer. A few deep slow breaths into the pose, I felt a sudden wave of release. She had said, “Let go,” and so I did. I let go of fear, my need to protect my heart, and I let go of expectations…at least for a time. And this too was new, for I’ve been holding on to a lot lately.

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Strength & Santosha



Do you know that voice inside your head that tells you that you are not enough? It’s the voice that told me (repeatedly) that the world didn’t need me to finish off my yoga teacher certification — because I didn’t have anything of value to add to the yoga world. Sure, I had other priorities such as being there for my sons’ football games, boxing matches, and other priceless moments that I wouldn’t have missed for the world. But, the fear of standing in front of the class as the teacher was real. It still is. And that darn voice keeps talking to me.

Inhale. Exhale….

The truth is, I KNOW deep down that I have so much to share. From the time I first rolled out my mat (barely able to touch the tips of my fingers to the floor in the sun salutations) to now, I have learned a lot — about yoga and about myself. This voice that tells me that I am not enough isn’t me. And it tells lies, testing my ability to see the truth.

Inhale, Exhale…

So when I saw the desperate call for subs on the Breathe Together Teachers Page, I shushed that voice and agreed to teach, not one, but TWO classes this coming Sunday. Focused on bringing strength to the foundation of the pose (primarily legs), we will be working on Santosha (contentment) and therefore standing up to the voice in our head that may be telling us lies.

If you are in the area, please come practice with me at…Breathe Together Yoga. I am subbing the following two classes this Sunday, October 13th, 2019.

  • Power Vinyasa – Sunday, October 13 10-11:15am 
  • Satya Flow – Sunday, October 13 11:30-12:45am 
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