Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yoga Workshops: Taught by Me!!

It's been a crazy couple months of yoga teaching. I thought I had a teaching opportunity that eventually turned shady, but the stress relief and pure contentness I felt just in thinking I could leave the studio I was at, was too much to ignore. So I left. And the owner of the studio turned that into a sour experience even. I went into a lack of yoga phase, teaching nights only twice a week, to a clientele that didn't seem to want to be there. But that group is picking up, I'm adding morning classes at the same gym not hot, I'm starting at a brand spanking new gorgeous studio for a few classes a week, even though she'd love for me to pick up even more, AND starting Saturday classes at NLXF (first class was last weekend and it went awesome!)

But that's not even the point of the post!

This fall, my yoga partner in crime and I hosted our first ever foam rolling workshop. It was one of those things, getting it promoted and getting people to sign up was like pulling teeth (with the opposite of help from the studio owner). And the morning of was a nervous nightmare, but we ended up with about 7 attendees and they loved it.

I was a total wreck and I thought I would forget all the points that i wanted to say and that people would be skeptical and disinterested, but at the very beginning a woman piped up about how foam rolling changed her life. And from there on it was smooth sailing. First third was talking about the history and benefits and anatomical points, and then the foam rolling began, working through the body. There was moaning and groaning and giggles. Perfect. 

And then we did it again at his home studio just recently. Set up was a disaster as we had some drama with another instructor (who happened to be in our teacher training group, *gag*) and then the current training class was hogging our space until right before. So much for getting the heat down. 

BUT. Bigger turn out. Even more chatter. And people stuck around after to keep going, ask questions, and just shower the compliments. So I really can't complain, can i? And we've been asked back to teach the same at their second location. Soooo. I think it went well. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Apparently -6 degrees was a little too cold for the 7up to handle…KA-BOOM

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DPP 11: But I don't shed mommy!

Stronger than Earth’s gravitational pull, black cat to white towel….

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DPP 10: No pain no gain.

 It's no bulging biceps, but still take pride in the baby steps!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

DPP 08: No Mommy! Don't Leave Us!

This is what happens when I tell the children that I am leaving for the gym in the morning….

Saturday, December 7, 2013

DPP 07: Strength and Savasana!

Forgive the lack of technique in the shots, they were taken for me, as I was teaching the first ever NLXF yoga class this morning. And totally on cloud nine. Totally love. It's been a long time coming and I finally get my chance :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

DPP 05: Pretty in Pink

 At 5am the KT isn’t the only thing perky and bright!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DPP 04: Chinese Truth.

Kind of cheating today, not my photo and not even from today. But it was sent to me a few days ago and seems to be my current mantra. So I'm rolling with it :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DPP 03: Fog

And this is exactly how the mood of my day went all day....

Monday, December 2, 2013

DPP 02

DPP 02: Odd acrobatic cat award goes to....Castle! Impressive feat!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


DPP 1: Four cats. One tree. This will be the first of many....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Take your genetic predisposition a and SHOVE IT.

I've been working out seriously for close to a decade now. And only in the past few weeks have I been able to admit to myself, I don't need to be skinny. Not like that. 
Former fat kid in body. Still a fat kid in mentality. And it has taken right years of being a gym rat and two years of NLXF for me to get my head out my ass. It's been 8 or 9 sessions of me barely missing a day, in the beginning going twice a day just to get the results I wanted. Hitting cardio both before and after class. And eating what I felt was like a rabbit at times. I refused to be the fat kid again. And I was determined to torture my body to do it. 

And I hit a stop point. No results. No weight down. No muscle growth. No progress. Push up pyramids still get me crying near every time because in theory I SHOULD be able to do it. And I'm nowhere close. 

Last session is the end of all that crap. I don't need to be skinny like that. I never will be. But I can get jacked if I want. I can have that muscle and look just as good. As healthy. 

I was set that it was my body's fault. That it was messed up somehow. I are right. I worked out obsessively. Doctor after doctor found nothing wrong with me. Telling me to workout more, workout less, eat more carbs, flat out not believing me. And the one that had the audacity to tell me I was genetically predisposition to be obese. 

And I'm not convinced that I don't have some imbalances hindering me, but by godsend I feel like I've found my miracle. The trainer watching me struggle for the past two years finally had enough and has put an end to this misery.

 I've more than doubled my protein intake already (I don't like meat. It's hard for me) and started heavier lifting after class every day. Hours on the cardio machines cut done to under an hour a day. 

It's been mere weeks and the progress is there. I can see it. I can feel it. I am determined. I will do this. I will get there and stay. 

That's my long boring spiel. Welcome to my life. Have a seat and stay awhile. Things are going up from here. Even if it's the scale. All muscle baby. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The End is Here!!!! Day 14

I'm not even to my first standing pose of GSP on our very last morning, and James comes over to talk about my hands. He did that earlier but I guess I had no idea what he meant. But apparently I do a hand "wiggle" showing a lack of focus? I've never noticed, so now I'll have to see if I can catch myself doing it.

My handstand is so perfect, he starts having me drop my elbows to dismount out of it. Far harder than they make it look....

At the end, Mathew again comments on how much I've progressed over the past two weeks, and seems super genuine. Ok, so maybe by the end of it, I actually kinda like the kid. I just really needed to see his method and see him open up a bit first.

Our last session together was even shorter than the end of the 300, the business lady was back, and she gave us some charts to fill out for goal setting. Still hot off the hot seat, I pretty much just sat there. I guess I did write down that I need an IRA....does that even count? In the end I made two lists. One i would have made prior to Wednesday, and one for after. I'll let you guess which waa more productive. I just wasn't in the mood, at all. Thank god it was fast.

Overall, very anti ceremonious goodbyes, got our certificates and see ya. Mathew was really the only person we even said good bye to, and that was even a hug.

But the two weeks ended in tradition. Lunch at Jason's and packing up the car. I mean, if I hurried, I could make the last Gauntlet, and trust me, I had some aggression to work out.

Just like last year, the two weeks took forever and flew by all at once. Intellectually, it was light years easier, much less information to actually learn. But emotionally it was that much harder. Thank god I had a solid friend going through it with me and I wasn't playing hear say all the time to share my stories. Definitely saved my sanity.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day Thirteen: One more day left!!!!

Got out of the car at the hotel the training is in, walked three feet and I hear my name shouted across the parking lot. Linda was rushing toward me. She was surprised but very happy to se me back today. She thought after yesterday I probably wouldn't come back (she said she wouldn't). Her opinion was that James was too harsh and went too far, very unlike him. That he should have put a pause in the conversation due to the emotion, and continued in another meeting. But the fact that I came back was "brave and showed maturity." She said I should just follow my heart no matter what. So that was really meaningful actually. That it wasn't just me that felt out of place about it. Enough that she even felt the need to tell me.

Before class, Matthew did his best best ribbon dancer impression and it was awesome.

Morning group class. Uneventful. Surprising how many people didn't know gate pose.

The rest of the day was taught by James web designer, Michelle. She came to GSP and class this morning, not impressed. She was also 45 minutes late to dinner last night. And she looks like Janes twin sister. So immediately, not into it.

Plus in talking about the web, 80% of what she says is total common sense. It's slightly aggravating and a time waste. The handout alone would have been plenty if information.

I'm also hindered by the fact that I no longer have zero future plans.

Its the common sense factor. And I'm not Internet savvy to begin with. I can only imagine how suicidal Nate is.

Afternoon on marketing by the same guest instructor. Woohoo

GSP was weird. I feel like James can't make up his mind. He took out the transverse lunge, leaving me with no prep pose for wide splits, but then helped with my handstand taking me further by starting my bent elbows lead out. Just so back and forth. I'm in and then I'm out, and then back in.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 12: 400hr Yoga Teacher Training

Morning group class started on the wall. Nice easy deep stretching of awesome. Some kriyas following. Clearly a pity warm up.

James has OCD note taking skills. And it sounds exactly like what I do.

---insert premature day twelve rant here-----

It was odd during GSP, I got my head into quicker than expected. I think my body was craving the movement to process my brain. At one point James pulled me out of a transition, "Let me hear one full breath" which felt really weird, but I moved on.

My handstands have been lower than mediocre all week. Both the few attempts in GSP and practicing with Nate. But my first opportunity in the sequence, James was there for an attempt, and I expected BAD.

But it wasn't, I got my legs all the way up for the first time in close to a week, and that set my determination even stronger. I got two more attempts later, one super close, and one really productive tuck. My splits were able to go without blocks, but not the full five (totally acceptable to me) and I got one side of shoulder roll full form without assistance. I was pleased.

But then I got a weird vibe after class when James asked, "Who's blocks are those?" Not with a smile or joking. Made me feel like I was being accused of something I didn't do....

Evening session. Dinner with Sheree. Raw vegan. This was my third dinner with her. Her personality and mine just don't match. Dinner was raw corn on the cob, raw jicama "potato" salad, and raw nut burger with ""BBQ" sauce. At least I liked the coconut cocoa ball for dessert?

It was just a long day and I was ready for it to be over, but LD brought wine for dinner and his hilarity definitely cheered me up. Like trying to hook Sheree and Nate up.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day Eleven: 400 hour Yoga Teacher Training

Before group class this morning, James called us up to talk a bit, and we reminded us about the toll our bodies are paying right now, and that we should be giving ourselves permission to take it easy during practices. And I think the permission from him is really what I needed to hear to not push into EVERYTHING 1000%.

So going into group class felt easier, and the first half felt good, but it was the second half that was just CRAWLING by. I swear it lasted three times as long as the first half. And when I finally rolled up into half shoulder stand, BOTH shoulders popped at the same time and my back cracked in at least three spots. It was crazy.

And he says that each morning class is vastly different each day, and I see minor differences, but by no means would I say they are drastically diverse.

Coming back, we discussed last nights listening speaker. And clearly we all agree on the lack of purpose of it. It started slow, but by the end, it was just a laundry list if things she did wrong.

Business of workshops was next, and it completely turned into a Q&A session, which I loved. All about web building, social media, back end products, price setting and marketing. All insane practical and helpful info.

Then it got even better discussing anatomy trains, also known as myofascial meridians. Fascia is fascinating to me, and I just naturally get the concept. I was totally sucked in.

EXCEPT that I was sandwiched between Matthew and Nate, both so ADD that their legs move at insane rates while sitting.

Sticking with the meridians concept, we brought out the foam rollers again, basically going through the same workshop we did in the 300, but just as productive. It's always a nice mini massage of pain with those rollers.

But the bonus was after the session, James asked who was really into the myofascial stuff, and of course I spoke up, and I happened to be first so I scored the Anatomy Trains book that James had been working out of. Its awesome. Really fascinating to look through.

In GSP, I officially made the note that Mathew refuses to assist my handstands, whether its because he thinks I'll hurt him or what, but he's had numerous opportunities, and just leaves me to go on in the sequence instead. BUT after practice he did tell me that that was the best he's seen me do.

James during the practice was almost as encouraging. I had three crappy handstand attempts, but he "couldn't leave me out" and gave full assist in my front split prep. After, telling me I'm getting good, and that it's "changing you". Whatever that means, or whatever he THINKS it means.

Overall the day went insanely fast. The fastest day of the training by far. I am a-ok with that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day Ten: 400hr Yoga Teacher Training

Group Class was soo much better this morning. My body was ready for it and my mind was slightly better too. I honestly wonder if the workout before the practice makes that big a difference. I can see my progress in the past ten days with my backbendd today. My camel was far deeper than normal. But overall far more relaxed.

The session was on teaching workshops. Starting with overall ideas and techniques for a successful workshop, but then we divided out into groups to discuss ideas for our own personal workshops. Ended up being the odd one out, and stuck with the two most set path yogis. One Olympic diver and one professional dancer. Great. I have no idea my niche. I flat out said I have no idea for my future, and the only thing from my past I had was film school. And no matter how many times I said that I want nothing to do with that, that's the only ideas they came up with for the whole session. Not only unhelpful but annoying.

Back in big group the rest of session, we picked up a few of people's ideas and discussed them. Including Nates "IT guy" yoga with a "Reboot your life" idea. Matthew has great one liners for classes. And about giving a message and "dropping yoga bombs".

Afternoon is all about going through a sample backbend workshop and how to successfully run it with tips and tricks and techniques. Then in the same group as before creating more details on a specific workshop.

The weekend off GSP was amazing. I went through the entire practice without a second thought. In 90degree pigeon I got "Good job baby" and then a "Really good Clare" got one of my handstands. And after, "I'm proud of you, you're really getting this." Yay me!!! My one down moment was my wrists burning in wheel, yet my backbend in it was superstring, so I don't even care! :-)

Tonight's guest speaker session killed me. It was on listening. Ok, fine, yoga is kinda fruity like that. But....we learned nothing. It was all in, make sure you listen. Ok?!?! She quoted Stephen Covey and I knew we were doomed. She did a ton of group exercises but didn't explain ANY of them well enough so every time we were really confused, and by the last exercise, people weren't listening at all and couldn't even follow through. It was kinda ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day Nine: Another breath of fresh air.

We had our first group class taught by James. I am spoiled by GSP, group class just couldn't hold my attention. Although it wasn't helped by my brand new mat being slippery and my body just really not wanting to move. I was so locked up that my toes didn't touch in plow. Crazy for me. My palms and feet were just sliding all over the place. Although he used the metronome, and I gotta say I really liked it. Even though I wasn't focusing hard on the count, my body seemed to just naturally stay with it. One thing my body did NOT just go with, was James calling for a crane somersault. Uh. No.

But that was it for the day. All the people that weren't in for the 300 week were there all day again. Can't say it was a bad Sunday. Morning class, hit the gym, made some brunch, watched a movie, marked through Adamantine, went for a walk, had dinner with Tim, dad, Chris and Nate at Jethros. Absolutely nothing productive. And that is a-ok.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day Eight: ALMOST a vacation day in the 400.

Because of all the new people coming in for just the 400hr, the ones that just went through the 300 only had to attend the morning session this Saturday, and then have the rest of the day off.

Nate and I were lucky enough to hit up the Farmers Market before class which was awesome, unless you count that we got a loaf of apple bread that was totally polished off within 24 hours. But it was delicious.

And we also fit in brunch with my lovely and awesome family (minus mom, but she's cool too ;-) ). The boys (Tim, dad, and Chris) were all going down to KC for the weekend to attend two of the Red Sox games and decided they missed me enough to come down a little early and feed us breakfast foods and hear all about it. After one long week with a long week ahead of me, being around people that I can be at complete ease with, was exactly what I needed. As was the few bites of Tim's pumpkin pancakes ;-)

Our one session of the day was Advanced Sequencing. I figured it would be teaching us how to sequence a class that we teach outside of Adamantine. Wrong. Not even close. Basically he described how he formatted Adamantine (balance within the limbs) and compared it to other ways you could format a class around, such as the meridian system or the chakras. He went through the Chakra system, which I actually thought was really cool. I was pretty fascinated in it, and I followed the concept well enough that I would love to teach a class following it sometime. Working through all the chakras within the class.

This was the same time that I wrote this less than upbeat and perky post....

And the rest of the day was full of rest and relaxation with some furry felines. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day Seven: End of 300, Start of 400.

GSP was middle ground this morning. My awkward flailing arms couldnt decide which wau to go, making it mediocre. And when it was my turn to assist, I only got to two in my portion. 

"We aren't trying to change our personality, but whittle away the negative aspects" - Janes thought on the process, something I thought was perfectly worded.

The afternoon session was on Uddiyana Bandha and Nauli Kriya. Not quite breath work, but related. Involves sucking in the stomach and sealing it basically, and the latter being to move it in a circular pattern. It's an advanced practice, but fun to try. Although there's a very fine line between doing it without consequences and then becoming extremely nauseous. 

That being said, this practice led a vast majority of our class into a very awkward TMI talk about their pooping habits. UN-necessary. 

Last session of the 300hr yoga teacher training was all on business aspects. Aka, going around the room and telling everyone about our proposed yoga future. During my turn, I learned that Pauline pays her brand new instructors $25-30 a class. And they don't have the studio maintenance to do that I do. Or be there an hour early. I'm getting screwed. This is the first time James actually bring up the idea of a more varied business model for me, aka build my own NLXF. And I flat out said no. It wouldn't work successfully, and even if it would, and even if it makes me bad at business, I'm not fighting their business. Not after all they've helped me with. No. 

But that was it for the 300, we got our certificates, said out goodbyes, and that was that.

The 400hr started later that evening. 7 of us stayed from the 300, and 7 more new people came in. It was kinda funny, we completely stayed on one half of the room with the newbies on the other half. 

Sarah from my 200 came and joined us, and a lot of GSPers that Nate knew. LD is in Cedar Rapids, owns a dance company and is a really good guy. Another Sarah owns a dance studio in DM, an older lady, a girl from Portland who went to the Olympic Diving finals, an older Asian woman named Jane who had my eyeballs completely out of their sockets when she told the class that her son is the CEO of Pinterest. And how could we forget Ann, Nates favoritest in the world. Ok maybe not. They work at the same studio and she goes to GSP (I'm actually the only one besides Angie in the 400 that doesn't attend GSP). He tried to not taint my view of her before we met, but holy cow it OOZES out of her. Just not my type of person. I like my friends real and not whipping themselves into humility to look amazing. If she thanked James a single more time for sharing his knowledge with us.... I mean yes, somehow he deserves credit, but we ARE paying him a rather large chunk of change for him to teach us this stuff. He doesn't need to be publically worshiped every two hours. My story was by far the least interesting of the whole class. 

Besides getting to know eachother, James just went over the week's plan. warning us about the Hot Seat on Wednesday so we would have time to think and stew about what we have to share and ask about our business futures.