surfnrunnr asked: Hi Chick, I just watched your recent yoga video. Definitely alot of “whoaaa” moments. How long have you been doing yoga? and do you do impromptu yoga or know sets of poses? Thanks for sharing and love the music too.
Thanks for asking!!! :)
You know what? I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how long i’ve been doing yoga and teaching it. I’d say four years taking yoga, two years of it teaching, minus some black holes of illness and depression and all around life fuckery.
In college I took one yoga class as a PE credit. It was taught by a 65 year old lady who taught in a pink leotard and tights and played songs like “Reminiscing” and anything on a late sixties easy listening compilation. I spent class trying to blow up her tape deck with my thought vibes. Nevertheless, the yoga didnt do much for me.
For the next 8 years I maybe took a yoga class once or twice at my gym. I enjoyed it, had some nice instructors, but since I also took so many other classes, like step and kickboxing, I never had the time or desire to go to an outside yoga studio.
THEN, in March of 2008, after driving around with a brand new mat in the trunk of my car for 6 months, I signed up for a free week at the same studio my friend went to, because my bootcamp class at my gym had been cancelled. She had been recommending it for over a year, but I was too stubborn to change my routine, which I had DOWN PAT.
After a single class, I never looked back. Between 2008-and summer 2010, I did yoga almost EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail.
I decided to do the Teacher Training program through my studio almost a year after in Feb 2009. I started teaching in June of 2009 and taught at two different studios from the summer of 09 to summer 2010. I had a pretty crazy schedule at this point. In addition to a demanding full time job, I was teaching ten classes a week or more AND trying to get my own practice in every day. So during the weekdays, my mornings started at 4:30 so I could be out the door by five, to open the studio and be ready to teach the 6am class. On some evenings I wouldnt get home from teaching until 11 at night. I taught five classes over the weekend. I was a crazy girl. So within these two years, I crammed in a shit ton of yoga.
Of course, I couldn’t keep up that pace, so eventually, some health issues I was dealing with took their toll, my marriage fell to pieces, and I got severely depressed and sick and had to quit teaching, stopped working and got a divorce. Two words. Not Fun.
I was no longer practicing regularly and lost a lot of ability which was super frustrating and depressing as well. The rest of 2010 was a wash and I only started feeling like my old self sometime last year. I don’t quite remember exactly how or when it happened, but with the support of my sweetie (who was my guardian angel at this time) I slowly started to come back to life. We spent 6 weeks in the beginning of 2011 in Vermont (where I started this blog over a year ago) and gradually started to feel a little bit better, just a little at a time. After a lwhile, I started going back to the studio to take class, and then several months later, felt strong enough to teach and became a substitute rather than having regularly scheduled classes. If I felt bad, I would have the flexibility to control the amount of classes I taught. I decided not to go back to work and adopted a pretty relaxed schedule. I still got fatigued easily. I still got depressed. But at least this time around I didn’t fall as deep or as hard and I could climb back out with a little help.
By the end of last year, I had a pretty predictable schedule of teaching, taking yoga in SD and then taking some time off to travel with my sweetie. I got my dog Abby and she sucked up much of the free time I used to use for yoga.
We decided to move to Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle in Mid Jan of this year. Since then, I haven’t taken any classes at all, but have been practicing on and off on my own. I have lost some ground. Im not as strong as I used to be and there are some poses that I can no longer do, but at the same time, my body feels good and i’m happy with what it can do. There are also some poses that I could not not do, that I CAN now. So you fluctuate, but never really are better or worse, just different. These days, I may practice 30 mins to an hour or just do 15 minutes here and there. Pretty unstructured and relaxed.
When I used to teach, I used to create my own sequences for an hour class, sometimes an hour 15min class. There’s a basic structure to a yoga class so you get to be creative, but still teach a rounded class. I almost never taught the exact same class twice.
On my own, I wont plan ahead, I’ll just start moving and combine poses that feel good and “flow” well together. I might try a couple different ideas. Once I have a “sequence”, I’ll flow through it a couple of times on both right and left sides and then cool down with some stretches and savasana.
What I recorded is what I would consider a flow sequence. There are some pretty standard series of poses that go well together, so you’ll often see these put together in a class. Different teachers just put a different twist. One of my favorite parts of teaching was building classes and creating playlists to go with them.
BTW, the song in the background is Enigma, Sitting on the Moon. … And I like soft, furry things and cute animals… and there was this one time … at band camp ….
From : http://yogachick.tumblr.com/