This Saturday I am sharing an offering that may be of local interest to the yoga and garden-enthusiasts in the Twin Cities. One of my excellent Soma Yoga teachers, Grant Foster, will be offering a workshop coming up in 2 weeks at Tula Yoga and Wellness in St. Paul designed for gardeners. Now’s the time in Minnesota!
If you are starting to get out gardening and realize you may need to work on some muscle tension, this is YOUR workshop! Click this LINK to register and save your spot!
I just completed my first intensive 3-day weekend of yoga teacher training for the 200-hour certification program through Yoga North. It was an amazing experience, with excellent teachers and 19 students in our class. Women from all walks of life, from one junior in high school to a few of us in our 40’s, maybe even 1-2 women their 50’s.
Most of us have practiced yoga in classes for years, but we now decided to make this commitment to deepen our study and our practices. I am so grateful for all of them, and for the wonderful teachers that filled the weekend with opportunities for practice along with giving us very clear and direct instruction.
Soma Yoga Therapy is a bit different than “traditional” hatha or vinyasa yoga styles. It is based on Thomas Hanna’s Somatics, Therapeutic Yoga practices and Classic Asana (poses). The principles are 1) to learn to pay attention, 2) build better habits, 3) progress responsibly, progress well, and 4) stay current – self-actualize.
I love that we challenge some of the traditional ways that people are instructed in yoga, ways that can often result in injury when people practice incorrectly or with poor form. Paying attention to the alignment of the spine and the pelvis are fundamental to Soma Yoga, and the poses are cued to help the student with proper alignment each time.
The idea is that we can help people maintain functional movement for the entirety of their lives. This includes while we are reaching for things or bending to pick things up, or having to sit at a desk all day, or looking back while driving, etc. These are all movements we do not want to lose as we get older. But sometimes our joints, muscles and fascia lose flexibility as we age because of habitual patterns.
I am so fascinated by what we are learning. On the first day after the first intensive weekend, I have already done about a quarter of the homework for the month. I am so excited to learn more. I am sure to post more as I learn, discover and practice in new ways.
As I prepare to teach a 4-week learning circle entitled “Nurturing Your Feminine Leadership Journey” I realize that I have done what I can. Now it is time to surrender the results, and become (and remain) present with the participants.
I may have just a couple of students, but I am committed to making the course valuable and holding the space for growth. So I will “preach what I practice” and stay present, learn and discover what the students need most, and respond accordingly.
As some point in the process, we have done what we can. We only control how we prepare, how we show up, and our attitude. We do not control the result, so at this point, it is best to surrender it and enjoy the experience.
On Wednesday morning it was rainy and gloomy for a fourth straight day in the Twin Cities. It can be get cold here, but usually we do not have days and days of rain on end. Winter may be icy, but there is usually sunshine intermittently. “Clear and cold” is often the forecast in January, February and March, when it is not snowing.
Even snow is more preferable to me than days and days of rain. Okay, yes. A couple of cloudy days doesn’t usually spoil my mood but 3-4+? Oy. I treated myself to some extra light box this morning. Though I had not slept very well and suffered some insomnia, I was truly NOT going to miss my Zumba class with Ruth at Tula Yoga and Wellness!
I have begun attending Zumba twice a week since I returned from vacation in September (there’s a Monday night class) and I find that I am learning faster in practicing more often. I make no claims at being “good” at dancing. But we dance to upbeat Latin, Reggaeton and Pop music that is super fun and energizing.
I told Ruth this morning that her class is like rhythmic sunshine to brighten up our day! Indeed, after the class, I felt happy and energized. Every class, as I am learning how to dance, beginning to feel the rhythms and getting the footwork down, I am building some “muscle memory” on the routines.
My determination to learn to dance this year is going very nicely since I started out with the foundations class back in June.
Dance is teaching me many new things:
It reminds me how much I love good music, and moving my body is a natural extension of that.
It does not matter if I do it perfectly. I am a beginner, and I am in it to have fun, get exercise and feel more comfortable in my body. Yoga was a big part to starting that process, but dance is a great extension to that.
Putting all the things together at once is not always possible for me, and that’s okay. Sometimes I have to master the footwork before I can add the arms. Sometimes I miss a “shimmy” or my hips are slower to catch on to a particular move, and I need to ask for a demo of a more challenging step. No matter, it’s all part of learning.
Dance is about expressing joy physically. When I was too self-conscious to let myself dance, I missed out on that. But now I am just making up for lost time. At 44, I feel really good about that!