Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

whenever there is an opportunity to participate in a public event, it’s probably a safe bet to jazz things up with a little bit of NEON. especially when you get to whip out fun yoga poses while you’re at it.

the streets were lined at 4:30 pm yesterday in downtown red deer in anticipation. it was the day of the Santa Claus Parade and the lighting of the trees in the downtown park.

and who doesn’t love a Santa Claus Parade? especially when you have a little person who missed out on the halloween adventures for the year. i felt that i had to make that up to April somehow.

and what better way than to dress her up like Kris Kringle himself?

of course, Santa hats for tiny humans don’t exist, at least not in red deer. so two nights ago, i set out to start knitting one for the peanut. it’s a good thing i did decide to knit her one because there was quite a chilly wind ripping through the downtown core.

knitting mission

i’m not the most skilled knitter, so it took me awhile to get the measurements and stitches right, but it worked! finished it about 30 minutes before go time! (it was a bit of a scramble….)

April is a bit baffled by the sporadic yoga moves that we kept busting out

we did a lot of yoga. mostly to keep warm.

Santa and one of her (neon clad) reindeer!

apologies for the blurry pic (i’m going to use the winter weather as my excuse again…)

trying to keep warm. unfortunately the police man didn’t offer up a spot in his car

basically it was a bit of a shit show, as parades always are. we waited. and waited. and jogged on the spot. and ran around in circles to try and keep warm.

aren’t parades always like that though? a whole lotta waiting around while people tell you where to line up, and then come back and say “no go over here.” or “move out of the way so that this float can squeak through.” i think so.

i must say though, my mom’s home made felted water bottle saved the day. i tucked it in next to April and wrapped her in a million blankets.

she wasn’t cold at all. she loved it. once the parade started, she waved like the queen and blew kisses the whole time. incredible.

all in all, i’d say it was a pretty successful last minute scramble. neon. Santa. reindeer. a wagon. what more did we need, really?



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yoga. heck yes!

this week has been filled with screaming. and food flinging. and temper tantrums.

it’s a teething week.

so when thursday rolled around, i was thankful.

thankful, because on thursday evenings (and friday mornings, but that has yet to happen) i teach a sweet little 65 minute yoga class at red deer hot yoga. it’s sweaty. and fun. and challenging. but mostly it’s the time in my week where i get to go and be nobody except for me. and forget that i have a cell phone. or a raging child.

i don’t need to wrestle with anyone to try and eat pancakes or french toast (or even a cookie!! because YES. she didn’t even want to eat a cookie) and me being the mother that thinks OHHHHHMAGAHD THE BEBE IS LE STARVING TO DEEEATH rather than…. hmmm she’s teething and probably isn’t hungry because the last thing i want to do is put something in my mouth when my gums are sore….

i get to just be me. just em. and it’s a really nice breather. i get to make suggestions for people to challenge their edge and welcome the thigh burning burn with an open mind rather than grit their teeth and hate me for holding them in a deep lunge for a wee bit of time. and rather than wrestle them to do it, they mostly just do it. or don’t if they aren’t feeling it. no temper tantrums. no silent anrgy cry. maybe i should teach april a little thing about downward dog. (or maybe i shouldn’t be so intensely worried because she isn’t getting her recommended daily caloric intake)

so normally teaching is a really welcome change. except for today, since my week has felt totally discombobulated, and i didn’t take the time to ground myself before coming into the yoga studio, things started out a little bit sketchy. not sketchy in a bad way, just more of a omg i’m being that flighty yoga instructor right now!!!!!! effffff! but then i got my shit together and everyone left the class being like omggggeeeeeeeeee that was so badass.


this is why i love teaching yoga. you can feel as though you’re instructing a class and that you’re an alien from another planet and things are totally wonky and weird because you feel choppy and without a nice little groove, and then boom. your class is over and people are like shit i needed that!!

so maybe we all need a little more yoga in our life, helter skelter or not, because we all just want a bit of room to breathe.

it’s a good thing i found the channel changer in April’s room to bring me back to reality.


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it’s been two weeks since my yoga teacher training ended in Victoria. and in two weeks, we’ve driven our fifth wheel back through the mountains of western Canada, held a one-year-old birthday bash, and have had Rob’s parents come and go. it’s been busy.

family portrait. obvs with the big rig in the background.

somewhere in that two weeks i’ve already managed to teach three yoga classes. now, it might sound like teaching a yoga class is super float-y and magical and EASY. and maybe it is for some. for me, i’m basically a basket case until i get into the hot room and start teaching. i dream about teaching the night before i teach a class. (think nightmares!)

i think about it while i’m making April’s breakfast, lunch and dinner.

so basically, until the class is over, i sweat about teaching. twenty-four 7. this could be a problem. i’m hoping the situation improves with time.

 April, by the way, is on a food strike. pablum and cookies only is her motto these days. harrumph. she also is getting some big chompers. i mean serious nuggets shooting through her gums. which has left her in a slightly irritable state that has turned her into a little terror that rips apart everything in her closet, the kitchen cupboards, from off of the kitchen table…i found her with her hand in my favourite half-empty with cold coffee mug that she somehow managed not (?) to break when pulling if off of the kitchen table. which of course led to a slow motion silent before the screeching temper tantrum where she carefully lays herself on the floor once i took it away from her. somebody please. mix me a strong drink.

“i wonder if mommy would get mad at me if i pulled this off the table…”

“don’t worry mama, i wasn’t reeeeeallllly gonna.”

she acts like the perfect little angel around her Daddy.

so back to yoga.

i’ll let you know why it’s so terrifying to teach a yoga class. there is one big reason. everyone looks like they’re ready to kill you. i’m not even kidding for a second when i say this. people take their yoga so seriously that they have a stone cold look on their faces for 98% of the class. there are no blissed out looks happening. that apparently comes after? sometimes they are so serious that they don’t even laugh when you try and make them by cracking a joke, or saying a word like ummm i dunno, nipples (hey, we all have em! and even as adults, we usually laugh when we hear funny body words, non?) and these stone cold looks lead me to feel like i’m either boring the shit out of everyone, or they want to rip their mat up and make a run for it because they’re hating what i’m doing. helloooo!!! could i be ANY MORE inside my head? doubtful. but it’s intimidating. and i’m just trying to remember the moksha sequence so that everything doesn’t go to hell in a hand basket.

i taught a yin class on friday night (think long holds that when you come out of them you feel like a ninety-year-old.) it’s painful. but it’s also beneficial. in a big way. people love yin and others hate it. some love it so much that they kind of hate it at the same time. (that’s me.) but somewhere in between setting people up for the pose, explaining what they should feel and where, and then holding the space in silence to allow for a release of muscles and connective tissue i’m quite sure that if some individuals had have been capable of it, that they probably would have gunned me down with neon laser beams that shot from their eyes. i could actually read their minds and they were saying “YOU ARE SUCH A BITCH FOR MAKING US GO FROM A DEEP LUNGE STRAIGHT INTO PIGEON!” true story. i became telepathic at that moment. like i said, it’s terrifying teaching yoga!

but then the class ends and you hear students say how awesome your class was (and not to you, but one of the studio owners!) and they give you a big ol’ smile as they head out the door with their mat tucked under their arm and ask when you’re teaching next. when they say teaching yoga is a service, it’s true. we’re making the world a better place, one sweaty, neon laser beam shooting from eye sockets class at a time.

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i taught my first yoga class (in a real studio!) today.

holy hannah was i nervous before it started. and that might be an understatement.

but you know what? it wasn’t that bad.

and i might have been slightly rattled because on my way to the yoga studio a car honked at me while i was at a red light. so i thought, maybe i know this car? hmmm…nope. i’m not surewhat i’d done to these women, but they were shaking their fists at me, giving me the finger….shouting… i honestly, for the life of me have no idea what i’d done. i always check my blind spots, so i don’t think i cut them off… but i was so shocked that i walked into the yoga studio half giggling, half scratching my head as to what had just happened.

it’s kind of hilarious now that i’m looking back on it. at the time, not so much.

i had a serious case of butterflies when i started to teach, but after about five minutes i felt fine. i was helping people get into poses, and offering support and reminding everyone to breathe.

always remember to breathe.

i had to remind myself to breathe a few times.

i might not have said everything i wanted to at the right times, but you know what? i know it was my first class. the first class, in front of a group, and finding your voice is the toughest. so when everyone smiled genuine smiles as they left, thanking me for a great class, i felt so relieved. i felt so happy that the sequence i planned left people smiling. (after! i don’t think they liked me very much during some of the really intense hip openers, but that’s the way yin works. it’s a love hate relationship.) because i think of how yoga makes me feel, and knowing that they left the studio feeling better because of something i did, made me feel like i’d done what i came there to do.

it might not have been perfect, but what is? it’s the fact that i’m finally actually teaching and doing something i said i was set out to do that matters.

bring it!


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for those of you who have done yin yoga…you know what it’s all about.

for those of you who have never done yin yoga, it’s a style of yoga where you are getting into the deep tissues (fascia) by relaxing your muscles, and holding poses for a long time. (if we learned anything throughout the teacher training, that was it. right there)

and why do we do yoga? because it feels soooooooo good.

so when you’re doing a yin teacher training, you hold the same poses. over. and. over. and. over. to practice. to learn about the poses. after awhile, your thoughts begin to change from ohhh this is a juicy stretch to i didn’t think that the course description had torture written anywhere on the advertisement….

and then you go home and you need to stretch some more because your muscles are tight from so much stretching. and then you do the same thing the next day. for four days in a row.

needless to say, i’ve taken a bit of a break from yoga since.

because all this deep tissue stretching might bring up some emotions. in fact, it will bring up emotions. it might even bring up emotions that you DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU HAVE.

yoga is funny like that. so as our instructor continually joked with us about opening our heart chakras a little more to let something else in, we inevitably WERE doing that over the span of four days. man oh man are my shoulders ever thrown back right now. i feel like a goddamn care bear, doing my care bear stare.

for me, the emotions that seemed to come up the most were the ones related to family. as the weekend continued, my thoughts shifted from feeling bad that i  was leaving April for as long as i did, to recognizing that by leaving her, i was able to grow and learn and explore within myself again. and how healthy it is to do that. often (i’d say often is a gentle emphasis) moms put themselves last. i mean, how can you not. if you have a frantic little person clinging to your leg, you can’t just shake them off like the family pet and tell them to go play by themselves. you need to stop what you’re doing, and deal with their anxieties. which can of course range from hunger, to sleepiness, to soggy bums….it really is a game of elimination most days to figure out what’s going on (though because we have a pretty consistent routine, it’s not hard to figure out what April’s whimperings are about most of the time.) and i don’t think i need to mention that when you’re constantly dealing with someone’s troubles  that aren’t physically your own, they do attach themselves emotionally. (i’ve yet to meet a mother who doesn’t instantly try and quiet her baby’s cries.)

so there it is. i think i said it before (on valentine’s day, coincidentally!) that opening your heart sometimes is about doing something good for you so that you can feel enough satisfaction and gratitude towards yourself to spread that lovin’ energy to other areas of your life.

it’s what gives us the juice, the vigor, and the excitement to jump out of bed in the morning and say, “okay world! bring it on, i’m ready!” with love, of course.

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