Thursday, November 15, 2018

Her Joy

Yes, I took precious PTO to take a sound therapy training and it has been worth it. For about two months now, I've been doing the work of two people. Over it...

On the first day of training, our sound trainer had me cracking up as she, matter-of-factly, asked us not to wear essential oils because, apparently, people who take sound therapy trainings, also like essential oils.

My fellow trainees include a hypnotist, massage therapists, a meditation teacher and yoga teachers. Our trainer is also a yoga teacher (500-hour).

On the first day, I just shook my head about how I get myself into such things but, as I told my fellow trainees, I'm trying to honor my interests.

Our days go something like this: debrief from the 50-minute sound session as giver and receiver; brief sound concert; discussion of new instrument; exploration of new technique; lunch, brief lecture and then hands-on training.

I'm not sure of the science behind it but the sound massage is just as relaxing as a hands-on massage...

For two days, I went to a lunch spot by CityGarden until someone invited me to lunch and I decided to expand my comfort zone and go with D. I will probably go with her again tomorrow because I'm getting such a kick out of her joy in eating meat. Her partner is a hardcore vegan so she doesn't usually eat meat around him. She is enjoying the hell out of her food and, as we eat, she decides, with great enthusiasm, on what she's going to have the next day...

I wish that the 'Fugee, who has absconded to Europe, was around so that I could practice sound therapy on her.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This Experiment of Mine

Near CityGarden, downtown STL
Jumped right from yoga teacher training into a sound therapy training. I've had my eye on the sound therapy training for months but when the day arrived, I felt like I had lost my mind.

As I prepared to exit the house, this story came on about the Navy's first female executive officer. The lines that grabbed my attention.
There are a lot of times in life when you are a little nervous or afraid to do something because you think you're going to fail. But so what???
One of my friends said that her friend wanted something to read in the mindful or self-help category. My eyes fell on, Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi which I read but am now curious to re-read now that I'm six months into yoga teacher training.

The author, Brian Leaf, uses a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson to start Chapter 2:
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. 
Took a bubble bath tonight as I'm feeling unsettled -- even with all of the sound therapy. Afterward, I made tea and continued reading Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. This book was not assigned for yoga teacher training but Stacy, our trainer, thinks it's an important read so for those of us who want to we're able to swap an assignment. I chose the swap. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Neither Are You...

Started writing this post on Halloween when I got super tickled by a classmate who showed up in a dinosaur costume and wore it during the whole class.

This weekend yoga teacher training happened. It was super interesting, demanding and disorienting, as usual, because I'm off my regular schedule — little exercise and no meal planning etc.

I managed to turn in all of my assignments that were due. I also started a required Iyengar yoga series this past week and I've made it to the Sunday Evening Meditation class for the past three weeks. I am really liking the meditation class.

On tap for this weekend's training session was Trauma-Informed Yoga and Social Justice -- two heavy topics.

Four black yoga teachers, who recently formed a group, came to lead us in a yoga practice and also talked to us about social justice. In their presentation, they used a quote from James Baldwin's essay,  Stranger in the Village, where he talked about no one in Switzerland having seen a Negro and the group likened it to the scarcity of Black people in some yoga studios.

Our other two speakers talked about being allies to marginalized communities. Loved this quote that they used in their presentation.

I am, in many ways, off my "game" -- lots of irons in the fire right now.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Meditator

A new bed frame was in order since a wheel casing broke making it necessary to prop up a corner of my bed. Thought about replacing the one component but the 'Fugee suggested that, since the frame was ancient, I should go ahead and replace the whole thing. After picking up a new frame, we headed to Marshalls and JC Penney since I wanted to get a backpack with wheels for my yoga books and paraphernalia.

The 'Fugee came over on Saturday and we moved my dilapidated bookshelf, first, then we dealt with the box spring and the mattress and the gigantic dust bunnies that had been living under my bed. As I told the 'Fugee, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but I did sneeze like crazy -- even with a mask on; plus, I ended up with a wicked case of congestion.

It took us about four hours to put the frame together, move the new bookshelf into my room and sort through the, roughly, 20 pairs of shoes that were scattered underneath my bed. The 'Fugee picked up my ladder bookshelf from Aldi after I had expressed interest in having one. We put that together about two weeks ago and it remained in the living room until the frame was delivered...

The 'Fugee attending to fine details. 
The 'Fugee's idea to display my stationery boxes.
While in Marshalls, I spotted the same yoga block that I had gotten in Target for half the price. I was so annoyed but had to tell myself that you can't make the right decision 100% of the time. Had I gone looking for the block at Marshalls, it probably would not have been there...

To fulfill one of my yoga teacher training requirements, I went to a mediation class at another yoga studio last night. Before we started, Josh asked us what had brought us to class and I confessed that I was going through yoga teacher training (I would need paperwork signed) and I was tired of asanas and wanted to fulfill my observation by taking his class.

After class we got into a circle and talked a bit about the experience. I totally enjoyed the class. Josh did a guided meditation through the five senses and I liked how he said Meditation can be something that you look forward to. Next week, he'll use a different technique and I'm looking forward to attending. The meditation class is 60 minutes but it only felt like about 20. I was able to go to that space between sleep and full alertness.

As we gathered our items, a fellow meditator wished me well with yoga teacher training. I wasn't expecting that and thought she was sweet to wish me well.

Monday, October 15, 2018

To This Point

Retreat Center Library
There was a retreat built-in to yoga teacher training and that happened this past weekend. There was the usual gnashing of teeth over what to pack. Along with regular stuff, my packing gear had to include a yoga mat, books and blocks.

For quite a while, I actually spaced out on the fact I would need to take a day off because I wouldn't be going to the studio on Friday but three hours away. 

Also knew right off the bat that it wouldn't be a retreat/retreat because we would still be engaged in teacher training activities.

What's the point of a retreat that's not a retreat? Bonding activity? I was also a little nervous about who I was going to room with. Stacy told us to see whose habits were similar and figure it out...

Three people volunteered to drive and we met near the yoga studio and set off for our destination that ultimately led us to a red dirt road. 

Our training days were longer since we had an abbreviated day on Sunday. We left at 3:45 p.m. and we normally get out at 7. 

It was a beautiful space that we trained and practiced in but it still felt weird to be in a different space for training. 

I worried about food and thought one of the employees, Michael, exaggerated when he talked about Naomi and Yumi's cooking skills. Michael did not lie. The food was super and even though the WiFi was weak, there were no TVs and the well water was cold, I wanted to stay -- just for the food.

I was not crazy about the thin walls and the claustrophobic dorm rooms. We had to keep the doors closed because of the heating system and about three people got hot showers over 2.5 days. One of the yoga teachers told me about some cold shower theory...

The trainees were given the task of conducting a restorative yoga class -- relay-style; Stacy commented that it felt like a seamless class and that her back even relaxed. We also practiced a Sun Salutation A blindfolded to experience withdrawal of the senses. It totally makes you slow down and be more thoughtful.

My view -- after I moved away from heat source. 
I was surprised to find out that one of my yoga mates has five cats. I quickly messaged (when I reached the dining hall) my former coworker who just adopted her fourth cat. Another yoga mate has four dogs. When I encounter such animal lovers, it always makes me think of my friend Lori who rescued many animals and it also makes me think of that person's compassion.

Retreat Center Cat
Overall, it was a good experience. We learned a lot and we learned more about each other and, together, we most certainly had a Snack Empire. My favorite snacks came from Kakao. One of my yoga peep's husband had given her treats to share with friends. She said it's something that he doesn't usually do and it was an olive branch of sorts. Either way, I'm glad that he did...

I am officially at the halfway mark of yoga teacher training. Wasn't so sure that I would make it to this point.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

So Tidy

My yoga studio had a September "challenge" and I hesitated to join as everyone's homes and bodies looked so tidy but then I decided to jump into the fray because if I don't represent, then who will? One of the poses that I thought that I would never attempt was wheel pose. However, my yoga trainer is always talking about accessible yoga so I decided to try wheel pose with a stability ball.

Continuing with my outdoor theme, I spotted sunflowers on a corner. So, I did legs up the fence (i.e. legs up the wall) on a fairly busy corner. I can only imagine what this man driving by was thinking when he saw me...

Work has me thinking about someone that I have not thought about in ages -- Tupac Shukar. I keep thinking God forgive me; I got the spirit of a thug in me and It's just me against the world and I woke up screaming f... the world. 

Given the "tools" that I have at my disposal, I don't worry about totally devolving but...

Speaking of rappers, love this memo to Kanye West:

Monday, September 24, 2018

TKO Look

I've gotten another weekend of yoga teacher training (YTT) under my belt.  Learned about restorative and yin yoga from a guest lecturer and she was so well-versed that I felt overwhelmed. Have to continuously tell myself that YTT is a learning experience.

I've also finished another yoga book -- Judith Hanson Lasater's Living Your Yoga and I can see how people totally immerse themselves in the study of yoga or other pursuits...

Went to Zumba today and so many of us had that Monday TKO look on our faces. Zumba definitely helped.

One of my colleagues took me out to lunch even though she had gifted me items already for my birthday. I chose this new smoothie and juice bar and had the Ocean smoothie bowl made with blue spirulina. Not even sure what spirulina is but that smoothie bowl was amazing. My colleague also insisted that I get the avocado toast. I usually make fun of avo toast but this was the most amazing  toast in the whole wide world.

Was also pleasantly surprised when one of my former colleagues rounded the corner with her sweet baby in her arms.

I won't mention how my right shoulder blade was so tight this weekend that I had to stand against the wall, to brace myself, whenever I had to sneeze. My shoulder blade tells me that my stress level is higher than it's been.