Today I teach my first class at Yoga Den! Very excited. It is also the day before I close my last official issue of the magazine I sell advertising for. Lots of energy here. It’s hard to describe. I am trying to stay focused on one thing at a time, but I find myself jumping from task to task. Completing anything is a challenge.

Stop. Breathe. Center and Smile. Love my journey and giggle a bit at myself.

Okay, here we go.

A transformational weekend: Training with Jaye Martin, Certified Anusara Teacher, Kirtan with Palms Together Kirtan band and teaching at the Jacksonville Lululemon for the first time.

Grace (my husband’s cat and, today I think aptly named, ) and I sit here this Monday morning trying to digest it all. As I eat breakfast at the kitchen island, I realize this is a new beginning. The spirit of Shiva, tearing down the old so that something wonderful and new can be created, is alive in me today.

From here I go to work. My last month of full time corporate life before the formal transition begins. I am committed to serving my company and my clients with the very best now. It is a time of great energy, because I am also ramping up YOGAshae. 

There is a small butterfly somewhere in my belly that flits around every once in a while. I could definitely give it more power… But then I connect with Grace. Letting my divine light shine brightly, trusting in it to guide me towards the right path.

Jaye used an analogy yesterday: We are all basically swimming in a river, not against the current because that would wear us out. We swim with the current, letting it guide us down stream.

That’s me. I am trusting in the river of Grace. And I am committed to acting with Grace at work and in growing my business. I just discovered Anusara means Grace. How completely appropriate.

Writing this before class this morning.  Today is the big day! Yogashae kicks off with a Karma Class at Lululemon! I have been practicing in the car, (getting funny looks,) rehearsing my guided opening, going through verbal cues to down dog, talking through shavasana… The only problem with that one is that sometimes I end up driving 25mph down the road as I do this :). Kidding, sort of.

Nervous, absolutely. But I am thinking now of the first time I came to the mat and how much there was waiting for me. Even now, I feel like I have just scratched the surface. If I can remember the me on the mat that first time, somehow I think that will help.

And if you are reading this after coming to the class this morning, THANKS for going and thanks for reading. Please comment. Let me know what you liked, didn’t like. Ask questions. And continue to practice!

Peace,

Shae

I have several very close family members who are complete carnivores. Now, I have not been a practicing Vegetarian for long, and I do make exceptions for oysters. However, there is one other exception I have learned to make, that is dinner with the family.

You know the situation, I am sure. I believe that the particular family member I am thinking of does try to accommodate. There are usually plenty of side items at her table. However, she has never asked why I decided to abstain from meat. I cannot bring myself to explain it to her either. As a child she struggled for survival in a way most of us could never understand. For someone who scraped by so, and whose culture considers meat an essential part of every meal and even snack, I can imagine it is confusing.

We are often invited to her house for dinner. I have tried the reverse, having she and her husband over, but this just never seems to work out. In every other way she is warm and loving, and for her an offer of food is as much an offer of love as a hug or kiss is. I understand and respect those of you that disagree. However, I just cannot turn away her meal.

In reading this, I sound slightly in angst. I am not. I have accepted this and love her happily. I am wondering though, have you been there? What did you do?

As February comes to a close, I reflect on my practice for the month. I have noticed real benefits from some type of centering time every day. I am more calm, more peaceful. It is almost as if I am blissed out at all times. I’ll take it!

Seriously, there is no question this has brought me into a deeper practice on the mat. My mind quiets more easily and I can dial into that focused space. Off the mat, my interactions with others, particularly at work, have an element of joy to them. I watch myself from the outside thinking, “How the heck did I come up with that response. That was good!” Does this come from 28 straight days of asana and/or mediation, I think, largely, yes.

This month took discipline. I had been practicing about 4-5 times a week. I counted my off days as necessary for my body to recover. I think the most important lesson I internalized this month is that practice does not ALWAYS have to be on the mat. In fact, some of the most meaningful practice can be honoring a Yama or a Niyama in a challenging situation. Stay tuned for thoughts on that.

For now, my 28th practice:

Today’s practice was with my husband before and after our long training run.

We began with Half Moon, stretching side body, making room for air. Forward folds and down dogs followed, and then we ran. Seventy minutes of time with him. One of my teachers says marriage is some of the hardest yoga there is. I think I understand the concept, but on these runs, the barriers drop and we talk. It is our time to hash out problems we may be having during the week, discuss ideas and dreams and set goals. I feel closer to him during our runs than almost any other time of the week. Today, we discussed my dreams for my yoga business and brainstormed tons of ideas. What a great guy :).

Post run, we hit the beach. Blue water, white sand. Mountain, Half moon again, Dancer, Forward Fold and Down Dog. Holding hands, we walked back. I’m a lucky girl :).

I am so grateful for this month. Thank you, Sarah Kohl, for this inspiration! Thank you February, for ushering in this new awareness. I am more open and fully dedicated because of it. Peace.

Practice these last few days of February has been wonderful (of course,) and life has moved so fast it has been difficult to sit down to log them. So here goes:

Thursday we had an awesome practice with Paula at Ocean Yoga. Anusara inspired, we worked on Bird of Paradise from the wall, and the pinnacle pose was an amazingly open backbend with almost straight legs, chest pushing through the arms.

Friday was a tough one to sqeeze in. I had a training run scheduled for that day, and a good deal of work. I ended up dedicating a few minutes post run to som yoga breathing and stretching.

Saturday was another Anusara class with Paula. The median age in that class is about 50, and these people are amazingly fit. I am inspired every time I go.

I am leading a yoga class at work during lunch for my friends Lili and April. This is the most gentle class I teach, and it is good for me to approach practice from such a physically restorative perspective. We warm up in a supine position, moving everything from ankles to hips, and move to gentle flows through modified Sun Salutations and Warrior Dances. Today we also worked on deeply stretching the inner thighs though a modified wide leg forward fold with wall support. This was mind-blowing for all of us. 

After the stretch, Lili says: “You have to create a video, Shae. Is that on your business plan?”

Huh?

“Yah, I need you in my living room after you’re gone, girl! I don’t know what I’m gonna do without this!”

Oh man. I will fall asleep smiling tonight!

I met with Alyson today, my teacher at Yoga Den, where I am getting certified. She and I talked for a bit about the business of yoga. The big news for right now:  She asked me to teach for her! What an honor and what a great sign from the universe. YES!

So, it is official. I am on for a Power Hour Thursdays at 4:30 starting April 8th at Yoga Den! AFter a few days of starting to really feel my heart in my throat about leaing my full time job,  this feels really good! WHOOP!

As a side note, then we went into the 6:00pm Sun Power class. What a great feeling, what a great way to celebrate! 23 of 28! YAH!

Interesting practice tonight. I had an hour scheduled with my student, and she and I both had pretty difficult days. My energy was flagging and spirit a bit quiet and she was definitely run down.

This was my first experience teaching when I did not feel centered. So, that is what I did for several minutes, ujjayi breathing, centering the mind with a guided opening and rhythmic swaying of the arms. We warmed up and went into 15 minutes of vigorous flow. Engaged now, we followed with hip openers and postures to engage the hamstrings. Shavasana was a little longer than normal, and we ended practice replenished.

Tonight was a good lesson. I know there will be times that I am not as present as I want to be in the beginning of practice. If I can trust in the process, trust in the yoga, it will get me there.

 I am completely exhausted so this will be short. This was my Teacher training weekend! Yay! I love this time on the mat. Hours of intense and moderate physical asana followed by discussion of philosopy and practice teaching sessions.

I received great feedback from my hour of practice teach. The things to work on basically consist of offering more permission language and modicfications. This I can do! I will be sure to work on it with my students this week.

The things that my two “students” loved included my cadance and safety language.

All in all a wonderful weekend.

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