Thursday, May 31, 2012

Struggles with Community Teaching

The yoga teacher training program that I am in is winding down. Only 2 more weeks left until I am a fully certified yoga instructor! Well, that is if I get all my hours in.

The program is 200 hours and you must fulfill a certain number of hours in several different categories. Alas, even though I've pretty much dedicated the last 6 months of my life to the study of yoga, I am STILL short on hours!

One category I'm short on is Community Teaching. We are required to teach at least 10 hours of yoga classes in the community for those who are underserved with healthful exercise. I currently have 6. Don't get me wrong, I've been teaching this whole time but mostly to friends, other teacher trainees, yoga parties, and random people in my building.

The problem lies is finding a place to volunteer. Who wouldn't want a FREE yoga class delivered directly to them?! Answer: apparently most people.

If you recall, I was volunteering with a community group for middle schoolers and that went great... for approximately 5 weeks. It took soooo long for the organizers to get back to me (and get my background check cleared) that the semester was almost over by the time I started! That AND one day I showed up at the normal time to teach and group leader told me that the kids didn't feel like doing yoga so I should come back a different day. So I returned at the specified date and time and NO ONE WAS THERE. I'm still a little bitter about this.

Upon realizing school would end before I accumulated enough hours, one month ago I lined up another community teaching opportunity... at my old job! I formerly worked as an Ecologist for the county government (i.e. desk job) and there are definitely folks there who don't have access to yoga in their otherwise busy lives.

Unfortunately, for the past month Risk Management and County Counsel have been sending my liability waiver back and forth. I just received an email that to teach a FREE volunteer yoga class during the employee's lunch break I will need the following:
-Business License
-Yoga Teacher Certification
-Management Sign-Off

Dear bureaucracy, I hate you.

Now I'm feeling DESPERATE! I posted on my facebook status begging people to let me teach at their jobs or community groups. I have over 500 FB friends so somebody has got to take me up on my offer, right? right?!?!?!

Just think... this you be YOU!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Elections are coming up this year. Who are YOU voting for?

This is even better than my Climbers For Kerry sticker that I sported in days of yore.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Domain Name!

Hi ya'll. I wanted to give you the heads-up that the URL for this website will be changing in the next couple of days! So get ready to redirect your bookmarks to....

I am SO excited to own a domain name! I've been researching all the different domain and hosting sites for weeks and I finally, oh finally, figured out how to gather me some web space! After hearing alot of smack about godaddy I decided to go with 1&1 because they were inexpensive and the website was pretty straight forward. I love love love when a website provides all specs for each option side-by-side.

The new name is just the beginning.... As I figure out how to build a website you will see my future business unfold right in front of your eyes! But for now tadasanatreks dot com will be this blog's new home.

...and as for Sheila the Wonder Bike, she is still riding strong :)

~Sheila says goodbye to the worldwideweb and hello to the open road!~

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Adventures at Bikram Yoga

I used to do Bikram Yoga about 5 years ago. My roommate would drag me kicking and screaming to class as she quoted all the benefits of why Bikram is good for me. Without fail, however, during the middle of class I would start to feel nauseous. My head would pound. The stench would overtake me. The nazi teachers would bark at me if I tried to rest or take water. And then after class, rather than feeling alive and energized, I'd feel exhausted and physically ill. So I stopped doing yoga altogether.

It comes as no surprise that upon receiving the assignment to take a Bikram class and write a comparative essay to Power Yoga I began to dread it. I know ALOT of people who go to the local Bikram studio and since I didn't want to have any of them see me vomit across the classroom, I chose to go on a weekday at noon when everyone else in the world is at work.

As I rolled up in front of the studio and struggled to park my bike I heard a familiar voice, "Melanie?! You don't go here!"  I turned and there was my ex-boyfriend in all of his glory heading toward the door to the studio. I stopped in my tracks completely frazzled. I couldn't even get my bike lock to close. The ex attempted to strike a conversation but I couldn't focus. All I could think of was how bad my hair looked, how my acne had exploded, how the shirt I'd chosen to wear accentuated my gut. He went inside and I stood next to my bike deliberating whether or not I should run away. But I knew my friend Jo was inside waiting for me and friends stick together and I couldn't let my ex win. So I sucked it up and went inside. Nothing tests your equanimity quite like an ex encounter (especially before a Bikram Yoga class!).

The woman at the front desk (the teacher) had a calm demeanor. She was warm and friendly - probably in her 50's or 60's. She tried to sell me the introductory special but I declined, stating that I didn't think I'd come back. "Why?", she asked, "You haven't even tried it yet!" I explained the ex situation and she reminded me that the insecurity I was feeling was just my ego trying to get the best of me. Feeling a bit more grounded from her earthiness and wisdom I decided the buy the intro pass and head inside.

Bikram Yoga only has 26 poses. Here they are.
As I walked into the classroom I noticed that it was incredibly less smelly than I had remembered. I attribute that to being earlier in the day whereas I used to go at night when the classes were jam-packed and one right after another. I headed over to Jo and set up my mat. I noticed that they'd replaced the gross carpet with a floor that reminded me of tangled up rubber bands. I spent the entire 1.5 hours focusing on drishti and avoiding looking at other people (especially someone located at the front left corner of the room) through the ubiquitous mirrors and I focused on my uji breathing even though breath was seldom cued.

The class began (and ended) with a weird pranayama, but many of the poses were very familiar to the Baptiste Power Yoga sequence. I thought the teacher's cueing was very powerful and without looking at another person I could figure out how to get into the pose using only the teacher's words. Honestly, I didn't think the class was very hard. What a change! I could see how someone who goes to Bikram would also like Power Vinyasa. After class I felt energized and not the least bit dehydrated.

So this time around I had an instructor with a kind demeanor, a less stinky room, it was hot (105 degrees) but not much hotter than a packed Power Jam class (95 degrees), and I was much stronger, more flexible, and aware of how to align my own body. Dare I say it? I LIKED it.