Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Would I Do This?

Why would I do this? Why would I want to get certified as a yoga instructor? There's money involved, for goodness sake. And I'm a penny pincher (hear them screaming in pain?). There's time and effort involved. I would be pushing myself beyond my current capabilities. I don't know that I have time available with the way I live my life right now. Going to classes, studying, taking more classes and my own personal yoga practice is going to take over my life. What am I thinking?

I mean, I love yoga, but...

The idea started to form last fall during Football Season. I was telling my friends about how the yoga classes at work are free and how much I enjoy participating. Somehow and between cocktails they each agreed I should coach them through a couple of yoga sessions. They felt I could just use the same asanas, poses, we use at work. That Monday all three showed up at my door to be talked through an hour of yoga. Wow, it worked. We spent an hour talking about body alignment as we bent and straightened back up, and did it again. I was super gentle as two of my friends had never done yoga before. My third friend was, and is, ready to get to the next level. I was able to find ways to let her go deeper without changing the poses. The night was a real win-win situation.

We've gotten together several times since then. Not always all three of us, we seem to rotate. One thing that has emerged in time, as the girls get stronger and I try to stay a step ahead, is that we are all dealing with some sort of daily pain. One buddy has a new hip and she is afraid of irritating that area even while she is so pleased to be rediscovering her pliability. Another buddy has osteoarthritis - and her relief from these painful symptoms through yoga has sparked her whole life.

The point here is, none of us are young, nubile, athletic women. None of us are skinny. We hurt. Life is leaving footprints on us. Life wears combat boots apparently. I am finding that if I'm going to lead yoga sessions, I like leading sessions for an older adult. There is nothing to prove in older, mature people. We aren't necessarily worried about being the most limber one in the room. We are however hoping no one sees how red our face is when we do that slight back-bend at the top of the sun salutation.

At my job I am surrounded by people in various stages of decline. I work in a hospital. Four years ago the same patient that walked up to my intake window and flirted with me is the same patient that wheels himself to my now back office (he's kept track of me) to tell me what new medications he is on and how much harder it is to get around than it was just a few years ago. These are the people I think about. If he would join me in yoga, chair yoga, I would be so pleased to see him moving easier than he does now.

I will be retiring from this job in another ten to twenty years. What will I do with myself when I retire? If I'm going to volunteer somewhere I think I would like to volunteer helping the older adult keep and improve on whatever mobility that person still has. If I were a certified yoga instructor that certification would lend some credibility to my teaching ability. People want to be trained and instructed by someone with credibility. By the time I retire I would have ten to twenty years of credibility. I think that's pretty credible.

I see the young people, those in their twenties and early thirties, during yoga class as they go deeper into a pose. They are pushing themselves to be as limber as a yogi. I get that. I understand. I was one of them. I am not one of them any more. I am holding my own.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Yoga Challenge

A Yoga Instructor has been made available to the employees where I work. He shows up twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and holds class for an hour to stretch us out and get our blood pumping again. Then we float back to our respective departments and offices - disapearing in the catacombs of drudgery and repetitive deadlines.

This yoga is not a mandatory program. Only a few of us show up on any given Tuesday or Thursday. The most that have shown up is eight. Three to four participants is pretty regular. The gentleman gets paid the same regardless of the number of participants. He received a grant in fact - for one year - to come hold classes for the employees. It's a pretty sweet deal for a freelance yoga instructor/personal trainer. For a year he has had a full-on regular gig.

I like it, of course, because I get free yoga instruction. It has been great. There were several classes in a row in November and December that I was the only one to show up. Where else can one get one-on-one training, for free, like I did? I dunno. I am not complaining.

(This is not me...might as well be, but it's not. Wish I knew where I got this photo.)

I have been practising yoga on and off since my first year in college at San Fransisco State. To take care of Physical Education requirements for graduation (that they probably don't even require any longer) I took a semester of yoga and fell in love with being able to move in mysterious and wonderful ways that made me feel good for days, positively days, afterward.

Yoga still has that affect on me. It has been thirty-four years since I was introduced to yoga. I still love it. I can still touch my toes. I can balance on one leg - and I can pick which leg. Taking classes this last year I could feel my shoulders respond to the exertion. I still have muscles.

So here I am, some fifty something years old and I am feeling as good, if not better, than I did in my forties. I am getting exercise twice a week (gosh, that's all it takes?) and now I find myself signing on for more yoga instruction on the weekends, and on week nights. I thought about it a lot (but without the over think). The decision is made. I am signing up to be a yoga instructor. And from what I have seen, I will not be the oldest person getting certified to teach yoga.

My challenge this year is to find a yoga studio that I am willing to pay the $3000+ to to become certified. I've been to a couple studios this year. I need to put these experiences into words.

Coming soon** Review of Studio #1 and the Compelling Reasons I want to be an instructor**

Monday, April 7, 2014

People in Our Lives

Lately quite a few interesting people have been showing up in my life. It is amazing the life moments we accumulate. I have met an Olympic Gold Medalist (1984), Matt Dryke. And I have met an Elk Whisperer. I have met motivational speakers. One has a saying, "There are no victims, only volunteers." that will stay with me for quite a while.

I have a train buddy that I've been chatting with most mornings. Some mornings we all stay in our separate corners - often it is safer that way at 5:45 a.m. My train buddy was gone for a week. I'm sorry I didn't ask about her until Wednesday that week. I was informed she is working up at the Oso Mudslide. Isn't it interesting that someone can wear every day a Red Cross jacket, every day, but I don't connect the dots until life is happening around me?

When my train buddy returned the next week, and we've chatted on and off these last two weeks, I learned that this is what she does for vacation. Tracy was there for Hurricane Sandy too. She saves up her vacation pay for times like these.

Me: This is what you do for vacation?

Her: If I took a real vacation my kids would want to come too.

Of course she is a mom, why hadn't I considered that in the mix?

I take people at face value. If there is something I need to know about anyone I hope someone pipes up and tells me. My imagination isn't big enough for all this reality.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Raining and stuff and exercise

It is raining again. I actually live just outside a rain forest here in the Great NorthWet. Regardless of my proximity it certainly feels that there has been a torrential amount of rain this year. I expect rain. I have no issue with that. Having moved here from the midwest I absolutely appreciate that one does not need to shovel rain as one does for snow. Rain has the other advantage of reminding me that if it is rain it is too warm outside right now for snow or hail or frost or any other of the cold indicators. It is raining again. I have set up an office here at the house. I am sitting at my desk even now to type this blather. On the other side of the room is the sewing area. Every afternoon a little more gets done in this office. A little more gets me closer to being able to work on those projects I have set aside. Last night I opened a box to find projects I have not worked on in over six years. That was dismaying as well as exciting. I stopped at the storage unit today to bring home two more crafting/sewing boxes. I am ready to unpack a few more goodies. It feels good. I already know my manuscript is sitting in the box at the bottom (only three deep) I'm not ready to work on that yet. I've been feeling a different kind of creativity than the book. I need something more tactile. The sewing projects will fill the bill nicely. We actually went to the storage unit today to drop off an entire pick-up truck of stuff we will be selling this spring at a yard sale. There is just too much stuff to house in the garage while we wait for better weather. Too much stuff. We are stacking all this unwanted stuff in the storage unit to take on the musky scent of neglect before we sell it. I'm hoping this sad musty smell reminds us to not bring any of this stuff back in the house. Thing is there is some good stuff in these boxes of things to sell. The ice skates are practically brand new. The silk flowers are still chic. The home decor is still in style. We just have too much stuff. I hung photos on the walls of my office last weekend. I lined the room at 27 1/2" from the ceiling. There is a line of framed photos running all the way around the walls of my office. For all the photos that I hung I still have twice that many I don't know where to hang. I have considered filling in the walls with photos. Some photos are people I love. Some are people I know. Some are places I have been. And then I have my clock collection. I did not mean to have a clock collection. It just became that way. I was given clocks, or I bought ones I liked, and now I have many clocks and I like all of them. When they are put together it looks as if I sought out clocks intentionally. I wish my intentions had been so chic. I am of the stumble chic variety. I stumble upon it and it works for a short time. We did bring my exercise bike back from storage. I have been missing it. We have the treadmill already. I have been using this treadmill. I miss my bike. So the bike is now sitting in the garage. I don't mind going out there to use it. I like to get out of the house. Maybe I can open a box to find my old CD player so that I may hook that up out there too and have the work-out room I have been dreaming of lately. I wouldn't mind stumbling onto that too.