Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vegi-nivore


I saw this picture on http://www.failblog.org/ and couldn’t resist putting it up here. I thought it accentuated perfectly all the drama that seems to come up between vegetarians and the rest of the world. I think I definitely understand the attack some vegetarians feel they are under. Being one of the few meat eating yogis I know I get the same questions that vegetarians get from the rest of the world but in reverse. The one thing I notice in common between the two groups is the strong feeling of frustration at always being challenged on your beliefs. Because that’s what food has become, a belief and considering how much eating we do it’s a belief that comes up and gets questioned a lot.

I was thinking about how strongly we identify ourselves with our eating habits and how it’s considered taboo to be a meat eating yogi while I was out with Adam buying a new car last night. Our old car finally decided it could not go any further and unfortunately we had no choice but to buy a new one. As we were looking around the car lot I kept thinking “Is this car the best one for me as a yogi?” As in if I buy this car would my yogi friends say “Oh my gosh! That’s not environmentally appropriate.” Or something along those lines anyways. I think it’s almost more challenging to make decisions as a yogi because if you just choose what you want instead of considering all those who will be affected by your choices you would be being selfish by some people’s standards, but on the other hand if you always chose what others think to be best will you ever be choosing the right thing for you. And it’s the same thing as the vegetarian thing. It’s impossible to always make the “right” choice because we just don’t know how far reaching the effects of our choices will be. And even if you do make the “right” choice how happy are you living under the tyranny of said “rightness”.

When I saw Seane Corn in Toronto one of the most meaningful things she said was “Whatever choice you make at the time is the right choice.” And I think that’s a nice way of saying you can only know what you know and go from there, just trying your best.

I think the best thing we can do for each other is understand that that’s all anyone can do is make the best choice possible with the information they have, and all this fighting with each other over which choice is right or wrong doesn’t change our choices it just puts a wedge between us. Besides we are not our cars, or our diets or even our yoga practices or our favorite TV shows. Categorizing people by the choices they make just creates more of a divide and more of a challenge to see the things people are going through from there perspectives. Just a thought.
I finally received confirmed approval for my second location for my Charity yoga. So starting on July 8th I will be giving donation-only 1hour sessions at the Science and Technology Museum on the grass by the old black freight train from 7 to 8pm, every Wednesday for 6 weeks. I will have the poster done tomorrow and update my blog then.

On another note I will be teaching a session at the Lululemon store in Westboro on Sunday July 12th from 9am-10am as a one time thing. I think it’s free, if anyone is interested.

I hope everyone’s getting excited about the Canada Day festivities. I was told the fireworks are on even if it’s raining so hopefully see you on the Hill. Have an awesome day!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"NOW"

Sometimes I feel like I must be doing something wrong. I’ve been pretty sick the past few days. The kind of sick where I’ve just been sleeping and sleeping and it’s still there. And I was sick last month too. And the really strange part is that no one else I know is sick. So where did this come from?? I took it easy this weekend, I’ve been exercising, eating right, sleeping… Maybe I should stop licking all the toilet bowls at work…
Then I start looking at my charity yoga thing. It rained last week and it’s supposed to thunderstorm for my class today. I never even heard back from the rental lady at the Science and Tech Museum about the other charity yoga thing I wanted to do on Wednesdays, and that was after a month of back and forth with her. It just kind of became nothing.
I don’t know. I know it’s normal to doubt whether we’re doing things right and to look a challenges that come up as roadblocks instead of things to overcome. It’s always tricky to have perspective in the middle of when these things are happening.

I had a friend that used to tell me when I was whining to look at all the good things I have in life which was, coincidentally, the theme of my yoga class on Tuesday- Gratitude.
Even thinking the word always makes me smile, because it’s easy, especially in Western culture to want more and to expect more. Everything should be faster, everything should be easier. We’re like little kids who want that ice-cream cone they asked for “NOW” and if we don’t get it “NOW” we’ll throw a hissy fit or pout the rest of the day. When I put it like that I feel a little silly. So what if I’m not feeling 100%, so what if I didn’t get two charity yoga things started for the summer?
So, on my list of things to be grateful for: I’m super blessed and lucky because Adam’s taking me to Niagara Glen for climbing this weekend, which if anyone knows me they know this is my most favorite place to climb, ever. That’s pretty awesome! And actually the longer I sit at work the better I’m feeling so that’s good news. And I don’t see any crazy storm clouds in the distance yet, so I just might make it through the evening without getting too wet. And on the plus side of being sick I get the whole sympathy thing going for me. Most of my coworkers are Moms so everything I sneeze or cough they all comfort me and ask if I’m ok. Maybe I just needed a good Whine-and-Complain Fest in my life, a little sympathy for the Devil. Gratitude for that!
Namaste!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yoga- not for the 'sweet' of heart...

I know it’s not very nice out now. I’m looking at the flag outside my window and it’s become so soaked it’s all caught up in itself and looking more like dirty laundry than a sign of patriotism. That’s what I’m going to look like in a few hours when I head out to teach charity yoga in the park. Now I realize no one is going to show up for my session in the park in this weather and I realize I’m going to look a little crazy standing out in the rain doing headstands and all my pretzel poses, but I’m still going to go (And not just because I’m the one teaching and organizing it), because yoga in the rain is a really great opportunity to be present.

It’s also a great opportunity to be not present.

It kind of fits because I’ve been thinking about how I will get my students to be more present when I teach them and also how to get people I spend time with to be present too. If someone ever asks why yogis insist on doing all their crazy poses it’s not because they’re showing off (usually), it’s because when you challenge yourself physically you force your mind to be quiet and focused and whether you know it or not you are being present. I’d say this works about 50% of the time. The other 50% it actually causes a person’s mind to go into hyper drive. They start questioning why they’re doing this hard activity or thinking about where they’d rather be. Both effects can be good. If the practice causes their mind to clear then Yay! Goal achieved. In contrast if it causes their brain to start shouting it also offers a great opportunity for a person to take a look at their thoughts and ask themselves why they’re getting so irate. This gives them a chance to sit with their discomfort and learn to be present with it.
What happens more often though, and the reason I know no one will show up tonight, when people do something that challenges and they find they are having a mental reaction of either silence or irritation they become uncomfortable with this new sensation and reject it. They then vow that they did not like this activity, it sucks, and they will not do it again. That’s the typical human response to all things that make them uncomfortable. And that’s how I know I will be the only ‘crazy’ one standing on my head in the park tonight. Which, from a ‘logical’ point of view, makes sense. Who stand in the rain? But from another perspective it’s 15 degrees C out right now. There’s not a ton of wind and the rain is less than you would experience in the shower. This isn’t going to be the thing that kills me. I’m not sugar, I won’t melt. But it makes people uncomfortable and it makes them present.

I just found out I’ve been accepted for a position at Algonquin College. They’re opening a new Kickboxing/Boxing facility and starting in September I will have the pleasure of teaching classes two nights a week. I’m pretty excited about this because it’s outside the usual realm of yoga and I’ll get to bring yoga to a new group of people. Now I have to come up with a quick blurb about what Hatha Yoga is for their website or newsletter or something. Hmmm, should be an interesting one to sum up.

In the meantime, I’ll be outside if your looking for me. I’ll be the soggy one balancing on one foot, just standing there enjoying the moment.

*Squishy hugs*
Later.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crazies...

I can feel myself getting a little crazy these days. I find myself getting caught up in the stories people give me and the stories I tell myself. Clients call me on the phone and I get all freaked out. I’m trying to solve all their problems and save them from their own crazies. *Laughs* here last time I blogged I talked about how people like to collect things and I’ve discovered that I’m collecting crazies. Not crazy people, just crazy stories and situations, crazy energy. I’ve been trying so hard to get this charity yoga thing right I’m driving myself a little crazy. It’s pretty easy to get the brain spinning. It’s like a pinwheel where the slightest breeze of change sets things in motion. So today I’ve decided instead of being the pinwheel (Instead of being the crazy) I’m going to watch the crazy. Because I’m pretty sure I can’t make it all stop but if I step back and watch instead of letting myself get sucked into the spinning it’s a little more enjoyable.

Tomorrow’s my first charity yoga class and I think there’s still a good chance I’ll be able to get a Wednesday charity class started at The Science and Tech Museum. I’m excited to teach yoga in such a free format and for something other than my own benefit.
The weather looks good so far. Cross your fingers.
Namaste!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yoga in the Park


So I have things set up for my one charity yoga thing for Thursdays this summer and I’m still looking to get one started at the Science and Technology Museum if I can. The poster above can be saved as a .jpg and then opened and printed (It will come out regular paper size) if anyone wants to put one up where they work or whichever.
I’ve been spending all my free time trying to get this stuff set up but I promise to get back to blogging bloggish stuff once all my ducks are a little more in a row.
Hope everyone had a beautiful weekend.
Sending sunny weather vibes out.
Catcha…
Link to the charity money will be going to: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Ottawa

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We are the Collectors

Humans are collectors.

There are very few things people won’t collect. We collect stamps and coins, video games and bugs and then we start clubs around our collections that bloom into TV shows or internet forums. Think The Antique Road Show, Pokemon or any show about people with two gazillion kids (Look I collected all 8, wow!).
When I was little I collected dust bunnies from under my bed and I put then in little cages with windows and air holes. I knew a guy who worked at the local dump who collected old baby carriages.
As we get older a lot of our collections become “practical” (If you consider 50 of the same thing practical), we collect clothing or books or if you work where I work you collect paper, “Oh this paper is important, oh can’t throw that out, look at all that useful information. Oh put it with all my other gazillion papers so I don’t lose it and it’s there whenever I need it…” We even developed systems around our collections. We call it the internet.
The interesting thing is these collections become part of our ego’s beliefs of who we are. Who are you? Oh come see all my stuff, I’ll show you who I am. I get upset if someone deletes my favorites list on the net. NOOO!!! That’s who I am. It took me forever to collect all those, now I’ll never find me again, and I was soooo close to figuring myself out.
And that’s the feeling that these collections give us. If you collect books the feeling is that the next one you buy will finally complete you. The next one will have all those answers you’ve been looking for. The next one will make me feel ‘enough’. And then you buy it and strangely it isn’t the last one. There never is a last one in collections, just the next one.

When you get into yoga or any enlightenment practice a funny thing happens. There’s this funny middle ground that most yogis enter and occasionally get stuck in. First they give away their attachment to their stuff collections. They are no longer their clothes; they are no longer their stamps or their video games. Instead they start collecting information and experiences. Instead of telling people about all the DVDs they have or all the bugs they’ve collected now they are telling people about all the information they have or all the experiences they’ve collected. And they go out looking for these information or experience pools to draw from and add to their collection. And that is where it gets tricky because it doesn’t really matter whether you collect stuff or experiences they are still collections and they are still not ‘you’.
I think there comes a day for everyone where you kind of wake up and realize that whether you sat in the same place and never moved or whether you travelled the world and collected stuff you would still be you, but then most people stumble across more stuff for their collection and their ego distracts them again.
It’s hard to get out of that trend and I don’t pretend I don’t collect. I do, although I got rid of the dust bunny collection because my house collects them for me with out the effort on my part. So maybe the important part is not to ‘not’ collect, but just to see it as that, a collection, but not a collection of ‘you’.

So I’m almost done with the approval process for my charity yoga. It looks like my one class will be from 5-6pm on Thursdays (Unfortunately the only time available) at the field behind the Adult High-school on Preston Ave. And I’m not sure about The Science and Tech Museum but I think that will still go through to be held on Wednesdays from 7-8pm. I’ll hopefully know by the end of the week and update you from there.
Take care and stay out of trouble.