Thursday, June 20, 2019

Keeping My Cool

The last time that I went swimming was on April 23rd. Knew that it had been a while as I used Tuesday to catch up on yoga sequencing or to just rest but it's still hard to believe that it's been almost two months. Couldn’t seem to make getting to the pool on the weekend work.

On Tuesday, I felt a strong urge to swim and almost gave up when I couldn’t find the goggles that I wanted. Kept my cool and eventually found my goggles.

Got to the pool and had this exchange:

Me to Lifeguard:         Hi, how are you?
Lifeguard:                   Good and how are you?
Me:                              Fine.
Lifeguard:                   YOU haven’t been here in a while.

I chuckled. The lifeguard is a coach and it shows.

It felt good to be in the water again. For some reason, my Fitbit no longer detects when I get in the pool. It has only detected swimming once and it has malfunctioned already. I do like the silent alarms and the slimness of this Fitbit but Garmin Vivofit seems to have been more functional. At any rate, I enjoyed my swim and I could tell the different areas of my body that were worked...

Collaborated with one of my YTT mates on a Pop-Up Restorative Yoga with Singing Bowls event. People seemed to have found restoration and I'm amazed by how many people enjoy singing bowls. I'll definitely collaborate with my classmate again which just need to figure out a few things like what day and how often etc. etc. .

So, yeah, when does a pop-up event cease to be a pop-up?

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Yesterday at work, we had a self-care day that was initiated by the staff appreciation committee; they did a great job of turning a conference room into a haven. There were puzzle, meditation and yoga stations along with soothing music and a tranquility fountain.

I decided to crash self-care day, with permission, by doing a pop-up sound meditation with singing bowls. A couple of people were familiar with singing bowls but I wasn't sure how it would go over with others. As with yoga it's hard to tell, sometimes, what's resonating with people but a couple of people thanked me and someone told me that the sound meditation was lovely...

Stayed at home on Tuesday while a new HVAC system was installed and, yes, it was a pretty penny but I can't complain as the old system was a relic.

Prior to the installation, there was the specialness of getting the problem diagnosed, getting bids and getting over the shock of the price. During the daylong installation, I pretty much read. It was hard to get involved in much else. Even though I didn't see the technicians a lot, they sometimes needed access to additional outlets or to let me know about ladder placement etc.

Otherwise, what have I been up to? Reading, working, working out and all manner of adulting.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

On The Downswing

Did I mention that I've been browsing through a lot of yoga books? I've gotten a lot of elements for sequences this way; sometimes the elements work and sometimes they don't but, overall, the books have been super helpful and interesting.

From the library...

Decided to try this "move" called chopping wood. Imagine you're holding an imaginary axe above your head (with both hands), you tuck your chin on the downswing and then you repeat that about 10 times. It's a heat-building move. 

One of my colleagues, who hasn't been to yoga in about a month or more, came yesterday and she took to chopping wood like a fish takes to water. When we finished, that particular colleague looked extremely satisfied; she said that one of her office mates, who'd had a rough day, could have totally used that move...

Went to my yoga trainer's class this evening. Hadn't seen her in a long time and was craving her teaching style. The class that I went to is described as Yoga Fusion: sweet flow, deep stretching  and restorative. I didn't go for the flow and, afterwards, Stacy said I hope you didn't want to kill me at the beginning and I told her No, I knew what I was getting into. That class made me so relaxed -- even before the restorative part. Also, it's nice to have a teacher who knows what style of yoga you like... 

Got tagged in an Instagram post today and it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

View this post on Instagram

Erin here 👋🏼. Let’s talk about REAL self care (aka not what’s thrust upon you as self care by the wellness industry). I just went to my first @tuesdaystogetherstl hosted by @ashleypieperphotography @leahstrickman @rudysflowertruck and @sweetsarahmariephotography and it was all about caring for yourself as a business owner. These ladies did a wonderful job! We had yoga led by @andrea_mw and meditation by @yesiamjudd. I’ll admit, I arrived frazzled after a long day of meetings, errands and editing. I was NOT ready to relax with yoga but after a few minutes, my mindset shifted. It can be hard to feel like you even have time to slow down and reflect. But here’s the thing: If you take the time for the mental break you need, you’ll be more refreshed and energized for your work ahead. If you aren’t there for yourself, you won’t have the mental capacity to be there for your clients or customers. Self care doesn’t have to be instagrammable, and it doesn’t have to be something you purchase. It can be as simple as getting an extra hour of sleep, putting down your laptop to take your dog for a walk or even just making sure you get plenty of water. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated my first Tuesdays Together. It’s like the universe knew I was running on empty ;). thethinkbigworkshop.comm
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Theme For The Evening

Went to a sound meditation on the SIUE campus on Friday night. Somehow, I had no idea about the Fuller Dome, also known as the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability.

I don't have a ton of energy on Fridays but knew that I could rest once I got there. Plus, sound meditation in a dome! Had to check it out.

Didn't go to that special place that I usually go to during a sound meditation but I still found it relaxing.

I was really drawn to the Burmese gong and the dolphin singing bowl. The latter is an acquired taste but it has called my name before and it was definitely calling my name during the event...

One of my former colleagues asked me if I would teach 15 minutes of yoga to this group that she attends called TuesdaysTogether. Their theme for this meeting was self-care. There was also a meditation teacher there as well and he went after me.

It was my first time teaching outdoors and I felt out of synch. Also, it's hard to tell, sometimes, if you're resonating with people. This woman came up afterwards to tell me that she enjoyed the yoga and she wasn't sure if she'd like outdoor yoga so she'd asked a friend to come along. She liked it and will look around for more outdoor classes.

Another woman told me that she was cranky beforehand and those 15 minutes of yoga helped her to relax.

Found it interesting that out of all the entrepreneurs, there were more photographers than any other profession represented.

Monday, May 6, 2019

You Cannot Prepare

Went to observe and assist a yoga class for one of my YTT mates' service project when a woman, Stephanie, with vision impairment approached us. A woman that Stephanie knows was looking for a yoga teacher for National Blind Sports Day.

I bellyached about minding my own business and the fact that there are more qualified yoga teachers in this area but after looking up information and seeing the percentage of blind and visually impaired individuals who don't get regular exercise, I agreed to teach. Overall, it just felt meant to be -- seeing that I was out of my normal routine when I met Stephanie and given my love of exercising.

Thankfully, when I reached out to my other classmates, someone else agreed to assist.

National Blind Sports Day was yesterday. I have a certain amount of naivete that works in my favor at times.

Some of the conditions for yoga yesterday:

20 people ranging in age from 10 to 65

We ended up not having yoga at the park because there weren't enough staff at the school that hosted the event for some of the staff to be at the park and for others to be at the school. I understood, from a logistics point, why the organizer wanted to have yoga in the park but I'm glad that we ended up practicing in the school's gymnasium because it was a challenging enough class without adding the outdoors.

Back to my naivete...

I prepared for that class but there was no real way to prepare. I'm not sure if I should have even planned a sequence. About a month ago, I watched a video on Yoga Alliance about adaptive yoga with Matthew Sanford and he pretty much said that you cannot prepare your way through an adaptive yoga class. What he said about it being a collaborative process is so true.

What I didn't want to do yesterday was ruin anyone's first yoga experience.

So many thoughts have crossed my mind -- before and after the class. As Jocelyn said, we could have easily used two other teachers and I wondered if I was doing harm by agreeing to teach the class with less than four teachers.

Forgot a few things like offering people an option during savasana. Luckily, Jocelyn's radar was intact and she caught that and offered options.

I'm glad that I took my singing bowls. While I played, Jocelyn provided savasana assists and she went around the room with lavender oil which smelled amazing.

My strategy might not have been the best but my intentions were good and I'm going to give myself a break.  I also think there's that part of me that needs to take chill out a bit and not take things so seriously.

Yoga Teacher Essentials

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Double Backed

Interesting and lovely occurrences today.

Two of my co-workers emailed me to say that they couldn't make it to yoga but they've been enjoying the classes.

Another co-worker told me that Wednesday is one of her favorite days for two reasons and yoga is one of the reasons.

After class, a fourth co-worker double backed to tell me what she had appreciated about the class.

It's as if they knew that I had been feeling like an impostor of late...

Decided to get a logo made. Curiosity got the best of me. Here's part of the logo with a watermark still on it.

I like the way it turned out.

Monday, April 29, 2019


There were so many happenings this weekend that it was difficult to choose.

Went to an African Ancestry situation at the library. Got some information but not the breadcrumbs that I was looking for. I did leave with about 10 yoga books though. Later in the day, I went to a gathering with my fellow yoga teacher graduates that had been planned about a month ago; I had a nice time as we caught up. Camille hosted the event and made most of the dishes. Everyone else brought desserts and appetizers.

Part of the Yoga Crew

On Sunday, I met up with a friend, Lori, whom I hadn't seen in ages and we saw Your Immigration Stories, Mine and Ours. The production was put on by That Uppity Theatre Company which has a Playback Now! wing that does improvisational theatre.

I was a little disappointed because the verbiage said immigrants and refugees but the stories were all immigrant stories. However, I was almost glad that they didn't do refugee stories because the immigrant stories had me crying.

Uppity started by asking everyone if they knew what improv was and most people did but I love that they still gave examples. The director asked a couple of people how they felt and someone gave one answer and she asked her if she was feeling anything else because people rarely feel one emotion. The audience member answered tired and her friend said irritable. So, two actors did tired and irritable. Plus, there was a musician that accompanied their improv; it was good and funny and the whole show was poignant.

Before the improv started, we had a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at the California synagogue. As the director said, The terrorist act that happened on Passover...