11.30.2018

Let's Talk Money -- Owning Your Worth as a Yoga Teacher

One of the weirdest parts of being a yoga teacher is this idea that certain things are not for you because you must always embody the yogic lifestyle. Lets put aside that we are all human for a moment, and that we are all just doing the best that we can, and address the fact that other then things that should be off limits for all (morally reprehensible actions: ie murder), we can be yogic and pursue a variety of human activities. We are worthy of having our needs met, we are worthy of enjoying the meeting of wants! This brings me to one of the most influential, but awkward to address, needs: money.

Where did this damn idea come from that as a yoga teacher I should be above money? That I should teach for whatever I am offered, no matter what that is? I teach yoga for the love of yoga, for the want of leading people into and through the physical asanas for the benefit of mind, body, and spirit... but I also need to help put food on the table and care for my family. While I would love to move into a post-currency world, where bartering and giving are the norm, we aren't there and money is a necessity for obtaining all of our most basic needs: shelter, food, warmth.

Its only really in the past few years that I've embraced this idea of owning your worth. My time, my experience, my drive and passion, they are all valuable. And there is no shame in getting paid what you feel you should. In fact, I would argue that when I feel that my time is being valued appropriately, that it takes stress and burden off of my relationship with a class and I am able to give more freely to my students. As much as I would aim to never have money effect my class performance, returning time after time to a place where I felt I wasn't valued would absolutely start of build shreds of resentment.

In no other industry (minus perhaps as a server in the food industry - which is also horrid!) would one be expected to work for a wage that didn't support a livelihood, so why would that be an expectation in a field that is supposedly aiming to promote physical and mental emotional well-being? Do we value our teacher's well-being so low?

So, can we all take the shame out of negotiation now? For women especially, who are not generally taught this skill! Can we embrace the idea of knowing a very specific number that you need to feel valued and empowered, and not accept less then that? And can we resolutely put away the shame that money brings?

11.26.2018

Thanksgiving Celebrations


We had an absolutely beautiful Thanksgiving this year. Trav's parent's came up this year, which was lovely... you know I like to share this holiday with family. The night before I headed out to a yoga class. As I left the house the moon was huge and heavy in the sky; golden colored from the setting sun. It felt festive and very autumnal! That feeling persisted the day of.



We cooked all our traditional foods: turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and crescent rolls. Gwen set the table and made lovely little place cards for everyone.



We all ate our fill, before retiring to the living room to digest and watch our traditional first holiday movie of the season: Miracle on 34th Street. I'm a huge proponent of waiting until after Thanksgiving to start thinking of Christmas, but I love this tradition of ending this holiday by welcoming the next.



When enough time had passed, we broke out the pie... I went with traditional pumpkin, but with a less traditional sugar cookie crust! It was delicious, and I'll never go back!

While the movie played and the pie was eaten... I fired the stove back up and used the turkey bones, as well as some seasonings, onions, and garlic to make a nice rich stock. We frozen half, and turned the rest into turkey and rice stewp. One of my favorite ways to enjoy leftovers.


Our day was full of everything I always wish for it: family, amazing food, rich smells, a reflection on all we have to be grateful for, and a relaxing end to the day. I hope you had much of the same.

[As an aside: I have certain fundamental problems with the story told about this holiday, and the real atrocities that it glosses over. I made a donation to support the American Indian College Fund and I encourage your to find a group to donate to as well. Here are a few great ideas: Native Charities ]

11.23.2018

Just A Moment Please...

This month has been a whole mess of teaching and subbing, as I try new roles, help out friends, and just embrace my yoga teacher life. In that vein, I'm subbing and teaching today (as I was on Wednesday!)... so a Thanksgiving recap will have to wait until Monday. I hope your holiday was beautiful.

11.19.2018

Continued Training


This past weekend I headed up North for a Restorative Teacher Training. To an adorable little town called Niwot, and The Hidden Yoga Studio.


I have been teaching a Restorative Yoga class for a while now, but I wanted to dive deeper and learn new techniques! Plus I am working on my CEUs to keep my Yoga Alliance certification up to date. 


It was quite the full weekend, with long days, but so full of information. 


I feel like I have such great new stuff to bring back to my students. A renewed energy for the practice in particular. 


I hope I never stop learning and growing as a teacher, in my own practice, and in life. 


11.16.2018

Handstanding - The Pursuit Continous



This past weekend I headed to a wonderful workshop with the incredible Soozie Kinstler: Healing Through Handstands. Soozie is such an amazing teacher; a real powerhouse, but flexible and graceful. She's amazing to watch, and wonderful to learn from!


It was a great, very fast 2.5 hours.



I love the new tips and tricks... any little thing that can help me on this journey... and guys, I've got goals!


11.12.2018

Our Relationship is a Touch-Point

Have you ever broken up with a friend? I haven't, but I have been broken up with once. I think it was 4th grade, and it wasn't some bring dramatic event, but a soft affirmation that we had other best friends that were more deserving of our time. It still hurt.

I had been thinking about breaking up with a friend over the course of a few months, and while I've moved on from that idea strictly, I still played all those games in my head where you create and perfect the conversation. In my mind I explained to them the reason I didn't feel that our relationship was the healthiest for either of us anymore, but when it came down to it, it was a metaphor that imaginary me used on imaginary them which caused me to stay.

Some relationships, the best ones, build you up and strengthen you in your weakest moments. They lift and balance you. They withstand all struggles. Our relationship, I reasoned, was like a yogi's hands in a forward fold. (Stick with me.) In a good forward fold there is no weight in the hands, because when there is you risk missing out on your deepest fold... you accidentally hold yourself out, holding yourself up from your potential. But those hands become a gentle touch-point, a way to maintain your awareness of your position in space, a way to feel safer and more balanced.

Our relationship might not be weigh-bearing, I realized, but it is a Touch-Point. And its okay to have those relationships too; ones that might not carry the heavy weight in life, but still help you keep your sense of balance.

Who are touch-points in your life? Who are weight-bearers?

11.09.2018

November

It turned cold yesterday. I mean, its been cold off and on for a month now, but yesterday the high was in the 30s, and it is November, so I guess I can't complain, but I spend a lot of time during the day trying to warm up and not wanting winter to be just around the corner. November is the time I year when I pause and think, "oh shit, how did that happen?!" How did the summer rush by, and the best parts of autumn pass, and Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away (?!) with Christmas only a month later.

Days long, years short, blah blah blah... but really.

I was talking to a friend recently and we were catching up on whats been happening. Life has been busy lately, but when it came down to tell her specifically what I/we have been up to, my brain just kind of when, "uhhhhhh." A million little tiny things, I suppose. Running here, running there, constantly wishing for just a few more hours in the day.

Teacher conferences were yesterday and Gwen is absolutely rocking 3rd grade after a rough start. I can't remember if I wrote about that, but she was struggling a bit earlier... not academically, but with the adjustment back to school, the more scholarly approach in third grade. She's a smart cookie and a hard worker, but can become frustrated with the situation and herself when she doesn't get something right away. We had to reiterate over and over that its okay to make mistakes, that no one is perfect, and that one of her best traits is the ability to keep trying, keep pushing. She is doing amazing now, and is back to enjoying school for the most part.

I'm teaching more then normal right now, which I'm really loving, and I think I have some ideas about how I want to do things moving forward after my current doula client births. Learning, growing, figuring it out as we go along, right?

I was going to write something here about the election being over, but I don't have it in me right now to do it justice. So here's what I wrote on Instagram:



And I guess that's all I have for now. What's new in your world?

11.05.2018

Jump

Life speaks in metaphors, and my newest addiction is no exception. I dream of jumping out of planes, and I wake in a sweat, euphoric. I walk around during the day wishing for the fall, constantly both feeling that intense consuming longing and simultaneously feeling the butterflies in my stomach.

I cannot stop thinking about skydiving. I’ve been talking with a few friends about AAF; it’s not the time for a few reasons. But tandem jumps, I want them all.

I long to let go and fly, I’m scared of the fall.

Here’s the thing: the second I’m out the plane door all fear is gone. There’s excitement and awe, there’s peace and joy and utter exhilaration! I wonder if the rest of life could be the same if only I was brave enough to jump?

In the meantime, I dream constantly of being among the clouds.

11.02.2018

Halloween Happenings and Rocky Horror


Rocky Horror Family right here... 😆
We decided not long after last Halloween that we'd each be characters from one of Trav's and my favorite campy Halloween classics. 


Trav wore a more chaste version to Gwen's school for Trunk-or-Treat, but pulled out all the stops for the midnight showing of Rocky Horror that he and I attended that night! 


The weirdos and freaks were out in full force... I felt right at home! 


If you've never done a midnight showing of RHPS, do yourself a favor and find one! Its insane, inappropriate hilarity at its finest.