Not-so-obligatory post.

November 13, 2009

I’m here.  Yet, maybe not.

Hi my name is Karen and I do Bikram Yoga.  I also teach Bikram Yoga.  Basically I live, eat, sleep, shower and dream Bikram Yoga.

I haven’t been bloggin’.  Sure you’ve noticed, right?  Haven’t you?  I haven’t been writing.  But I’ve been practicing, and I for sure have been teaching.  I’ve also been doing Aikibudo, but that’s for later on.  Let’s get back to the practicing.

Yes, practice.  Sri Pattabhi Jois says, practice and all is coming. I am no great interpreter of words, but I think he’s basically saying what Bikram always says, get your shit together and just do the posture.  Do the yoga, do the class, just do..  it.  Practice, practice, practice.

Is it really that easy?  Is it really as easy as showing up, unrolling the mat, and then doing..  it??  Yes, it is.  It’s just that easy.  Yo-ga is easy.  Asana, Pranayama..  it’s easy, right?  Maybe.  Some days it certainly feels easy.  Some days I’d rather stay in bed with a TV remote and a cup of hot chocolate.  Some yogini I am, right?

I find myself reflective this week.  Our studio just finished hosting a huge event, including the state yoga championships.  I was, well, involved with that.  I’ve had several amazing friends in town recently.  I’m also rapidly approaching my one year teaching anniversary.  The train is picking up speed on this whole yoga thing.  And when I look in the mirror, I still see someone I don’t quite recognize.  Who is that girl?  I teach with reasonable confidence, and I usually know every single person’s name in my class.  Who is that girl again??  So, I’m pensive all over again.

I’ve maintained a pretty darned disciplined practice in spite of the momentum of life.  My kids are growing up so fast, my husband is nearing the end of his Master’s degree, life is so good.  I love teaching.  The room is my refuge many days.  Whether I’m behind the mic or on the mat.  I just love it.  The yogini is still there.

Six months ago I started practicing Aikibudo. I have at my disposal an incredible sensei and we train twice a week.  It’s a long story, but the budo is such a part of who I am now that I can’t remember exactly what it was like before I was doing it.  The yoga practice and the budo practice compliment one another in amazing ways.

I’m grateful, that’s the bottom line.  I’m grateful and I have to laugh a little bit sometimes that I get away with having such a cool life.  I mean seriously??  Family, yoga, budo, friends..  That’s my life and my work?  Wow.

I can’t believe I’ve been teaching for almost a year.  I can’t believe I’ve been doing budo for six months.  I can’t believe that in general my biggest concern when I get up in the morning is how I’m going to juggle my practice(s) around my teaching job.

So when I get to my mat (either one) and I feel a little tired or a little grumpy, I’m drawn back to that gratitude.  I chose this life.  I chose to pursue yoga, teaching and most recently budo.  I chose to walk the path.  I’m stronger, healthier, wiser, and more courageous because of it.  All I have to do is practice.  Just do the practice – and all is coming.

 

 

Right in front of me…

October 10, 2009

I haven’t been blogging much.  It’s no secret.

I keep a pretty busy schedule between yoga and budo.  But so many wonderful things have been happening to me on both mats lately that I thought I’d stop in here just to make a note.  It’s been far too long since I’ve made a list like this and a friend of mine this morning inspired me to return to the ritual.  So here goes.

Right in front of me are the most amazing and loving children on this earth.
Right in front of me is the kindest man I have ever known.
Right in front of me is a home, a job, a life, a career, and boundless love.
Right in front of me is a blooming spirit.
Right in front of me is a hot room that has mended me over and again.
Right in front of me is a warm bed, a safe haven, a loving gaze.
Right in front of me is a hope that extends beyond the hours contained in a day.
Right in front of me is a Sensei who teaches me ruthless compassion, discipline, and strength.
Right in front of me are friends of a caliber I cannot explain.
Right in front of me is a body full of life, energy, and breath.
Right in front of me are family, yoga, and budo – all three of which make me who I am.
Right in front of me are skills, talents, gifts, miracles – all which nurture who I want to be.
Right in front of me is a mat that beckons me to push myself to find new depth.
Right in front of me is a door opened enough to entice me walk forward.
Right in front of me is a soft place to land – a place to relinquish fear, and trade it for wisdom.
Right in front of me are books, music, places, people, and sunsets that will draw tears of joy, pain, and wonder in this lifetime.
Right in front of me is right now.

I nearly missed class today. My in-laws have been having some problems and the business of caring for them and managing the kids with one vehicle was a little bit… stressful. All of that is part of life, and at times, yoga goes on the back burner. For good reasons, many times. But I had a reaction to the idea of not getting to go to class today that was, well, completely immature. I began complaining.

In the end, I made it. I was there and had a solid class with Jessica. But I learned a valuable lesson. I complain too much. I complain TOO MUCH. It’s not complicated or really anything I need to analyze. I just need to change it. Stop complaining on the mat, stop complaining off the mat. Simple.

Arnie says often that we should be continuously grateful, thankfully thankful. Gratitude and humility silence complaining. I’m learning.

Namaste.