Growth Spurt

August 26, 2016

What a year! I am so grateful to have had this year of training and experience to deepen my practice as a yogi and a teacher. Having the opportunity in my professional career to lead programs for youth where I can incorporate yoga as fitness and self-awareness into education and social service has been so much fun. It has solidified my belief that young people need movement and self reflection for their bodies and brains to function at their full potential and to have the capacity to respond to all of their emotions.

During this year, this profession took me away from teaching yoga as much as I was used to but gave me space to learn more about people, trauma, systems, and accessibility. I deepened my knowledge of some dark realities regarding human experience in this world where inequities are real, privilege is overlooked, and barriers are being placed in front of all kinds of folks. All things I am committed to having a better understand of and how I can be an agent in changing them. There came a saturation point, though, where the information and existence of these truths was using all the space in my mind in an unproductive way. I was steeped in the darkness of these truths and could not see how to affect change, how to connect to other people in these truths, or how to take care of myself.

Enter SKY.

Starting in May, I was invited to join the amazing staff at Samdhana-Karana Yoga (SKY) as a sub and apprentice. This offer was exciting to me as I have never worked for a studio and scary as I often keep my distance from yoga studios and the industry that they can perpetuate. But SKY is not a typical yoga studio. For starters, it is a non-profit. Moreover, the studio has a mission to make yoga accessible to all people and above all it holds the space safe, non-competitive, and promotes having hard conversations around injustices. It does outreach and teaches yoga to all kinds of vulnerable populations.

WHA? Yes, I know.

I had attended workshops and classes at the studio before I came onto staff but it was the invitation to become a part of the community in a bigger way that really opened my eyes to the work that the studio does. I soon accepted a place on staff and continued to devour all the opportunities to teach and learn about yoga and yoga therapy.

Part of this education included learning Restorative Yoga. I had never done much of this kind of yoga and certainly never taught it. My practice, at that time, lived largely in the yang-which was what I thought I needed considering how I spent my work days. I have long thought that I need to sweat things out, push hard, and create space between myself what I am thinking about. I started shadowing a c0-director as she offered a restorative class which meant DOING restorative yoga. At first it made me angry. I was so unhappy at my “real job” that I could not relax, could not stop churning the butter of social services as I lay in a pose for 15-20 minutes. I was just waiting for the next thing to happen. Waiting to be able to not think. After a few weeks of this, I had a break through, stopped churning, and found stillness. It was through this restorative practice I was able to recognize space in my mind and heart for action and could see how I can do the work that I want to be doing in a healthy way.

I then made one hundred spread sheets about how I could transition my working life to healthy. There were a lot of variables: money, day care, stress about money and day care. But the constant seemed clear. Working with SKY helped me recognize courage to transition to full time yoga and wellness teaching.

This part of my journey with yoga has been very profound. Though I have been practicing for almost twenty years and teaching for 5, yoga still brings me new truths and space to grow into. I am so excited to accept all the peace and challenges that this transition will bring. And to incorporate more yin, more restoration into my practice and my teaching.

In Other News…

2015 wrapped up long ago. 64 days ago to be exact. Many things have changed for me personally and yogically (I’m just going to create that word right now). I was given the amazing opportunity to participate in the Trauma Sensitive Yoga workshop hosted at SKY in January and will be attending Yoga Behind Bars at the end of March. These trainings speak right into the heart of why I wanted to teach yoga and encourage me to do some real work on yoga brand, culture, and intentions. Even as I write this post, I kind of wish I had a different word than “yoga” as it carries so much history that most don’t know, understand, or acknowledge or baggage that the western world has saddled it with (and just flat out appropriated). To that tune, I am spending my time in the non yoga world doing a lot of learning, relearning, and deep processing as well. I have been attending mind-altering trainings surrounding harm reduction and violence prevention and having meaningful conversations about bias checking, body use, entitlement, survival, and how often I step in and out of my privilege. This work is important to me not only as a teacher but as a human who strives to make compassion and empathy a more common occurrence. Here are a couple of things that are lending themselves to this work right now:

 

and this too:

http://www.renegademothering.com/

Enjoy and be excellent to one another.

 

Fall is Here!

Fall is here, the rain is back (well a little anyway), and it’s darker in the morning than it used to be. I am definitely settling into the idea of leaves, sweaters, hot chocolates, crisp walks, and hearty soups.¬†The end of summer was loud and busy and ended with my first born starting full day kindergarten (laugh, cry, laugh, cry, laugh). My two year old and I are settling into some more quiet routines in the morning and he joins me sometimes to do yoga and while training for a big race in December. This quieter time has allowed some space in my brain to think about tcb yoga, adding new faces to the weekly meet ups, and planning AWESOME EVENING!! The talented Ben Von Wildenhaus should be ready to spoil us with original accompaniments as soon as October starts so keep your eyes out for some Awesome Evening at Cafe Brosseau in just a few weeks. For those of you thinking about starting a practice or you would like to stay in your pajamas and have a yoga instructor come to your house and lead you and your cats, kids, partner or friends through a thoughtful series you have found the right web page. Drop tcb yoga a line and let’s see what we can make happen for you. Can’t wait to hear from you.

Awesome Evening IV

11232359_10206129321084389_5712234302559911915_nFour is the lucky number right? Who needs luck, though, this event is awesome! If any of you have not attended, please give it a try. It’s great yoga, amazing “drop-in” music, and then talking with beverages and food. RSVP is helpful as space is limited. Cost is $10 and you’ll need your own mat and any props you like. Hope to see you there!

AND we’re up!

It’s up. It’s UP! Now everyone can know everything about TCB Yoga. The most important thing to know is that we are excited to start working with more and more of the Tacoma and South Sound community. Speaking of community, coming up this Thursday is Awesome Evening: A Yoga, Music, Social. This is a creative yoga event that is an hour of TCB Yoga practice accompanied by guitarist Ben Von Wildenhaus. The second hour is a social one with drinks and food from Cafe Brosseau. This amazing event takes place in the Cafe from 6:30-8:30. It is $10 and you will need to bring a mat. Please RSVP to tcbyoga@gmail.com if you are interested.

AWESOME EVENING 3 copy

It’s all very exciting.