June 6, 2013

My venture into Ashtanga

About a year ago I re-started my yoga journey and began to practice Ashtanga yoga.  I had practiced other styles but was not always satisfied with the results.  I am naturally flexible so I never felt fully challenged in certain poses and didn't have the strength for others.   I was just going through the motions.  I needed a change.

I had tried Ashtanga a few years before and SWORE it wasn't for me.  I would get light headed "from the heat" and always felt defeated because I could not do the twists.  The problem was blaming my shortcomings on things I felt were outside of my control, not my need to lose weight and build strength.

So last July my hubby talked me into doing the Matthew Sweeney backbending workshop.  I went and was immediately hooked.  I began going to the Moon sequence class at Tapas Yoga Shala in Rock Island.  I stuck to lead classes because I was petrified to go to a Mysore style class, thinking I could never handle practicing on my own without the constant guidance of a teacher.

Once I felt confident enough in Moon I went to a Mysore style class.  It took many hours of my hubby talking me into it.  I was so afraid of judgement from others, others seeing my shortcomings, what would happen if I forgot the sequence, etc.

That first class I hid in a corner in the back row.  I was amazed at how welcome the other students made me feel.  They asked me about the sequence I was practicing, some knew me as Brian's wife.  It was a comforting feeling.  I do hate to admit that if anyone was watching others in class it was me.  I was in awe of what the others in the room practiced and I wanted in!  I had to learn Primary

At this point I learned things backwards.  Every pose in Moon starts on the left side, every pose in Primary starts on the right.  At first I had no idea what side I should be on!  I did portions of Moon, then added some Primary.  The longer I practiced the less Moon I did, and added more Primary.  Around January I was doing Primary only.

I can remember thinking, I am done with sun salutes I'm almost done with practice.  I am done with standing, I am almost done with practice.  I am done with marichyasana C, I am almost done with practice.  I am done with nivasana, I am almost done with practice.  I am done with drop backs, almost done with practice.  Now I don't even think about being done, I think DAMN, WHEN DID MY PRACTICE BECOME 90 MINUTES LONG????

After these last few months I have seen a great change within myself.  I have lost weight and sizes.  My arms no longer have the turkey wobble (teachers you know what I am talking about)!  My stamina in increased.  I am calmer.  I am happier.  I find I no longer judge others and myself.  I finally feel like everything in my life is where it is supposed to be.

To my fellow Ashtangis I say this:  I love and cherish you all.  You are all rockstars both on and off the mat.  You are my friends even though are conversations are brief and between poses.  You miss me when I am gone, as I miss you.  And always remember, Ashtanga women are strong!

March 15, 2013

Spring Break

Spring break has finally come. Ten days student free! Such a great feeling!

So far I have:
Slept in
Drank more than I should
Rocked it at yoga class
Took my hubby out to eat
Played the new GOW

I feel so relaxed and ready for what the day will bring me!

Still to come:
Two night stay in Galena, IL with a hot tub
House cleaning
More sleeping in
More drinking more than I should
Movie marathon

I can get used to this free time to do what I want! 😄

February 25, 2013

Dealing with death

I had hoped that I would never have to discuss death with my students, but some things are outside of my control.

A seventh grade student passed away yesterday after a short battle with leukemia. I knew this was coming with her recent health updates, but I never imagined that I would be the one to have to tell my students.

I am overly emotional myself, so breaking the news was more than I have ever been prepared to do.

I was amazed at how well my students handled it. One had some great questions about cancer and different 'cures' for it.

I did the best I could with the information I had, but I feel I did an injustice to her memory.

She was a student I never had in class. I know very little about her. But, I am inspired by the stories about her I hear from her peers.

February 11, 2013

A case of the Mondays...

If this shit didn't actually happen to me, I wouldn't believe it. I had the worst hour and a half this morning when I got up.

So what happened? Lets start from the beginning.

I woke up around 5:00 this morning to go to the bathroom. A normal occurrence, but in my half sleep haze I accidentally turned off my alarm clock. Oops!

Over the next two hours I had the most bizarre and graphic nightmares I have had in quite a while. Fortunately, I randomly woke at 7:05, I leave for work at 7:35. Oops!

Once up, I went to the living room. I Did my hair and makeup (totally overdid my eyeliner so I looked like Robert Smith from the cure.) I got dressed, put my lunch together and was ready to head out the door.

As soon as I start down the stairs to the garage I drop EVERYTHING I had on me. How or why I still don't know. My purse, lunch bag, keys, water bottle (getting water all over the stairs) and some other random items all over the place.

I get the the bottom of the stairs and bend down. That's when it happened. My pants ripped. Not a little tear, but a two plus inch long one from the top of my thigh down towards my knee. So glad I was home for that!!!!!

So now, I had to run up the stairs and find another pair of pants that match the rest of my outfit so I can make it to work, hopefully on time!

I got our the door at 7:40. Not too bad, I made good time. Next problem, 40mph + winds on the interstate. Stressful drive to work clutching the wheel!

Other highlights of the day: sending three kids out for behavior, tripping up the stairs and having my Target card declined....

At least the day is over and it can't get any worse, right?

February 8, 2013

Where does the time go?

I just went back (after a year and a half) and re-read the last post I wrote. I have grown so much, but still have some of the same old issues.

I still have the stress from work, who doesn't. At this point of the year I am starting to feel the burn out that inevitably comes with teaching middle school. I try to stay positive in the face of classroom discipline and students who are constant issues.

I wish that I could spend my day teaching instead of all the extra duties I am required to do. Submit lesson plans, data team meetings, department meetings, staff meetings, duty 2 days a week, all this and more every week. Ugh!

On the positive side I have recently gotten back into Ashtanga yoga. As soon as I step onto my mat, my thoughts go straight to my practice and breath. It is the best 90 minutes I get three times a week. I have noticed that I still nap, but for less time So some things have gotten better.

Next post, more positivity!