Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Bright Spot

Made a "bread, milk and egg" run Thursday night to prepare for the Snowpocalypse. On Friday, we were allowed to leave work a little early. One of my poor colleagues got stuck in traffic for five hours. Yoga Teacher Training was canceled on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday was kind of cool on because I had no place to be and it was a joy to read for a while. I also got to tweak my yoga sequences that were due.

Not so cool -- the part where I tore my room apart looking for batteries for my Garmin fitness tracker. The batteries that came with the device were supposed to last for a year but lasted for three. Now, if I can just find the replacements.

Went to teacher training and I'm a bit freaked out that it's almost over. Hope that there's another opportunity to further my yoga training in the future.

In other news, my neighbor was super cool and shoveled the walk so that when I went to training today, I didn't have to worry about digging myself out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Cat Purr

Did another sound therapy session last night and was surprised when a cat greeted me. She walked straight to me as if to introduce herself. How had I forgotten that this person had cats? Now, I really enjoy doing sessions when there are cats present.

We talked a bit, I took a couple of sips of gingerade kombucha and then we started the session.

I cannot tell you how much I love seeing the bowls resting on top of someone and then the inevitable singing and vibration of the bowls.

The cat curled up into the cutest little ball and stayed in a ball for a good 10 minutes. She briefly left and her sibling came into the room to check things out at one point...

The session seems to go so fast and it's hard for me to strike the bowl for the last time because I don't want the session to end. I love seeing the relaxed look on people's faces after a session and I love the quiet talks afterward.

As we talked, I petted the cat and couldn't believe how she purred; she gave me my own sound therapy session. I don't remember hearing a cat purr like that and she is so sweet.

Decompressed with some of my fellow trainees today and one told me that she read an article about how therapeutic cat's purring can be. I also mentioned that I only slept for four hours but felt well rested. One of my sound sisters said that she shies away from doing evening sessions because she gets so excited that she can't sleep and I think that's what happened to me.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Well, Warm Up Then...

As I prepared for Zumba yesterday, went to retrieve my water bottle from the car and decided to see if my mother wanted to go to the Botanical Garden instead since we are having unseasonably warm weather. My mother enjoyed herself and quickly came up with one of her constituents (my word) that she can take on an outing to the Botanical Garden...

My favorite statue in the Linnean House surrounded by poinsettias. 
String beans?
Bells Chimes at MO Bot
Garden Glow Prop
A Caribbean Feel in the Climatron
Went to a yoga adjustment workshop after vising the garden. I was excited and terrified about the workshop but it turned out much better than I expected.

The whole yoga assist/adjustment thing is interesting because many teachers don't give adjustments anymore and most teachers only give them to students that they know very well and I can totally see why.

I like the advice of our workshop teacher, Kim. Don't give anyone any creepy, tentative assists and Stacy, our YTT trainer, has pretty much said the same thing. Their advice is to get consent, let them know what body part you'll be touching and do the assist firmly. You should also get student feedback and even when you don't get verbal feedback, you need to tune in to people's body language.

Overall, it was a great workshop with lots of good advice, including that if you don't feel called to give assists or don't feel comfortable doing it, you can totally opt out as it's not a necessary part of being a yoga teacher.

I also recalled what Stacy said about observing people practice yoga and how it's is an intimate experience. Kim asked me to get into Wide Legged Forward fold so that she could demonstrate an adjustment. I heard someone point out the position of my head and feet. One of my regular teachers came over to offer a block and experimented with putting it at different heights.

Head and Toes, not relaxing...
Kim said that she's noticed that even in savasana, the final relaxation pose, that people have a hard time letting go. As we continued to discuss, Stacy simply said It's a known issue.  All that to say, we are learning and looking at bodies and alignment and gets intimate. It totally felt like there was a hot, spotlight on me...

But it was so exciting when we talked about Pigeon pose and external and internal rotation. It was like an episode of CSI and also a reminder that none of us know all the answers.

Example of an adjustment...
At the beginning of the workshop, someone asked Kim if we were going to warm up and she asked us if we felt the need and, to someone's affirmative response, she said, Well, warm up then. Let's give it 10 minutes.  Kim is the opposite of pomp and circumstance.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Year That Was

In February went to Montego Bay with my mother and aunt. The most memorable moment was picking up a passenger on several walks who showed me the real Jamaica.

In between February and May, my mother didn't feel well and I wondered if I should sign up for yoga teacher training -- (YTT) originally slated to start in March but ended up starting in June. I take the plunge -- never imagining that I will make it past month three.

My aunt Debbie wishes that we would have waited until her spring break to go to Jamaica and I promise that I will go on a trip with her so when she asks me if I would like to go to Las Vegas in July, I agree. My cousin, Chiquita, also joins us. I enjoy the trip and am in awe of the Valley of Fire.

Somewhere along the way, I get fascinated by singing bowls. I'm sure the fascination has a lot to do with the sound meditations that I went to. Unbelievably, I sign up for a sound therapy training.

It's kind of funny. One of my sound sisters, mentioned collecting yet another certificate in a long line of certificates and I realize that I have a few certificates:

1). Healing Touch, Level 1

2). Sound Therapy Training

Right now, I am in love with sound therapy.

For lunch today, went to Hello Juice and Smoothie with a fellow yogi and got the Match Hemp bowl with peppermint, banana and cacao. Next up, was a  4:30 p.m. yoga class. Knew that it was going to be more intense than I like but I wanted to meet a YTT goal.

Chiquita had me cracking up because she thought that there wouldn't be very many people at the New Year's Eve yoga class. I assured her that yogis like to reflect and set intentions. The class was, of course, packed -- to the point that the teacher had to adjust the heat which still didn't work because there was so much energy in the room; we totally fogged up the windows. As expected, the class was intense but fun. We also had a DJ. It was a perfect way to pay homage to New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Rainy Day Session

Abandoned Bird Cage on a Bench at Work*
Last Thursday one of my coworkers asked me to deliver a Secret Santa gift. You like to walk, she said. It's kind of funny that I have a reputation, with one of the youngins, for walking.

The annual holiday work party was on Friday and it was ridiculous how I was looking forward to stepping away from my desk just a few hours earlier than usual. Won a Starbucks gift card and it's so weird; I've won gift cards the last two years and sensed that I would win something again this year...

Went to a 5:00 p.m. yoga class on Friday and everyone wanted to do something gentle. Stopped at home to eat then went to give a sound massage. It was a very cool p.m., rainy day session and the first of four sound massages that I had scheduled this past weekend. I've seen the sessions referred to as sonic massages and I like that description.

For the last three sessions, no one knew what to expect and they were all surprised that the bowls would be placed on their bodies. I was thrilled that, at some point, all three newbies fell asleep. Made some rookie mistakes but, thankfully, they weren't intrusive ones.

Enjoyed the meaningful conversations after the sessions too and it was super cool to see the relaxed look on people's faces afterwards while chatting with them. Also feel like I learned something from every session and that sound therapy is making me even more mindful. Something that I'll be adding is a little centering exercise at the beginning of each session. Forgot to do that yesterday but it's definitely something that I want to incorporate.

My main soundtrack for the weekend was The Best of Tuck and Patti as I drove around to sessions and while doing errands. Managed to get a few chores done. Also went to Zumba on Saturday and for a short walk on Sunday. It was an exhilarating and humbling weekend. 

*The bird cage made me think of Paul Laurence Dunbar's Sympathy poem.

Saturday, December 8, 2018


There was a very intense incident that occurred at yoga teacher training which I'm not at liberty to discuss. It left many of us shaken and confused but was a powerful lesson in people not being perfect and that sometimes people just have "a moment."

Went to the bathroom and noticed that someone had put a postcard in there and I had an idea of who it was and she said that her way of dealing with anxiety etc., is by trying to put some positivity into the world.

During training weekends, we have a lot of props so I had a yoga bench of sorts built up and when I looked underneath my bolster, there was the sweetest card... The positivity ambassador had struck again...

Did my third Pro Bono sound session. The client was very receptive to sound therapy and told me that she found the session relaxing and was going to bed right away after I left. The next day I asked her how she'd slept and she said that she slept so soundly that she overslept...

Love seeing my bowls underneath my table.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

To Be More Mindful

Did my first post-training sound massage with a friend who has been to a sound meditation, gets regular Ashiatsu massage and has cats. In addition to my friend, I was definitely interested to see how the cats would respond.

Made a checklist of everything to take but forgot to use everything. Also made a blooper right at the start when I grabbed a bowl and extinguished the sing. We had a laugh and I continued. If nothing else, it was a reminder to be more mindful.

When I struck the first big bowl, my friend's cats' eyes bulged out. Two of them stayed around and one got up on the table during the final minutes of the massage. They were very curious about the bowls but I guess curiosity is a cat thing. They were all super excited about the table too and stretched out on it. One used the table as a launching pad to get to the Christmas tree area. Most importantly, my friend said that she felt relaxed, enjoyed the sound massage and her cats took major naps afterwards.

Cat Approved

Spot the cat...