Yes you: the one who runs your own life and also seems to have to run everyone else's too. How do you chill out?
Here are some ideas from a self-confessed Very Organised Person.
Fiona is one of Australia’s leading specialists in Mindful Eating and the NonDiet Approach & supports eating in an individually tailored way that supports every person’s unique needs, in alignment with the HAES (Health At Every Size) (R) paradigm. I have a long working relationship with her business partner from Body Positive Australia, Sarah Harry, and to say I love what these ladies are about is an UNDERSTATEMENT.
But here's the weird thing: Fiona didn't know I'd been working with Sarah when she applied to this training! The world works in strange ways sometimes.
Did you see over on instagram that I tidied my yoga corner? And yes, I do sometimes wonder if I'm the only one with a spine, a skeleton, and Buddha sitting side by side.
Which summarises what I am craving when I go to yoga class: I want to feel embodied in movement but also learn something new. It might be a big ask. Maybe I'm fantasising about it more now than usual because I was in a car accident over the weekend.
Events like this do make you stop and think about life and your priorities.
In this next 'meet the graduate' interview, I talk to Dr. Sarah Jane Perri, chiropractor extraordinaire (I see her for treatments actually) and yoga teacher. Sarah undertook teacher training with us during her last year of chiropractic study which was truly impressive, as if a difficult degree at uni wasn't enough! Here she shares what she found tough but also what she found rewarding about our course.
Like I mentioned last week, it's SO GREAT when I run across people - like Lucy - who believe as I do that yoga is for everybody. It's also great when they can put their belief into practice by modifying the practice for people's needs. It's a skill that comes from knowing how human bodies work, I believe.
Have you experienced a number of teacher trainings? Have you thought about what you’d want in your first one? I'd love to know!
I know that back when I was doing my first teacher training, it was very evident to me how BAD THAT TRAINING WAS, EVEN while I was doing it.
I'm pretty stoked to bring you today's interview with Yoga Dude supreme, Dan Abramson.
Dan is the founder of Brogamats, and has created numerous popular yoga products for men. Most notably, the Burrito Yoga Bag which has been featured in Cosmopolitan, InStyle for Men, TheWeek, Fox News, and is sold with Urban Outfitters' new activewear brand, Without Walls.
I like that a dude is making yoga less chick-centric - so many guys go to yoga class and just feel, well, overwhelmed by all the oestrogen. At least now they can have manly bags eh?
I technically started yoga for the first time in New Zealand, when I was studying abroad there in Dunedin 8 years ago. So officially been 8 years - but I really got into it about 5 years ago, when it was offered for free at the ad agency I was working at in San Francisco, and my back was hurting me.
The most awkward moment, was in fact that first yoga class in Dunedin! I walked into an advanced class with no knowledge whatsoever, and of course, I disrupted a class that was already in progress. So I sat down, and the first yoga position that I was asked to do was a headstand, and everyone around me gracefully sat on their heads! I could not do this obviously. And the instructor took pity on me and moved me to a spot against a wall. I just remember kicking and kicking against that wall, awkwardly flailing my legs every which way.
Twists really hits the exact spot where my back hurts. Its the most glorious feeling in the world, stretching my back EXACTLY where it hurts. I think that reason alone is why more people should give yoga a shot.
I started my business because I took the big step from going to free yoga at work, to taking the bus across San Francisco to my first yoga class on my own. And I was carrying my girlfriend's hot pink yoga mat. I realized that I wanted to look more tough while traveling to yoga. And so I joked with my friends that I should make manly yoga products with Medieval weapons and Burritos on them. I made a few prototypes and plopped them on the internet, and got such a huge response of support from community, that I started making more and more products.
As the idea deepened and grew in popularity, a lot of dudes would email and tweet me that they were now going to give yoga a try. I took a lot of satisfaction that I was getting more dudes in the door of yoga class, and so I've continued to evangelize the sport with my unusual yoga products. It feels like I'm saving the world, one burrito bag at a time. :)
Dan's got a Kickstarter running right now to help him fund production on a range of Yoga Joes - army figurines doing yoga. They are AWESOME - checkit:
I've never done well with the 'serene' image of yoga. Serene isn't something that comes naturally to me; I do yoga to become more like that. Naturally, I am in equal parts anxious and silly. The happier I am, the sillier I get.
Which is not a bad thing, in my (cough) humble opinion. In same opinion, I think the yoga world has a slight tendency to take itself too seriously.
It's not necessary.
In fact, I'd be suspicious of someone who claims to be spiritual, but lacks a sense of humour. If you've ever seen the Dalai Lama speak (and nobody's going to argue about his spiritual cred) you will know that he's got a great sense of humour.
If you find someone taking themselves too seriously - or trying to get you to - you may need to call on a mmYoga Superhero to save the day...
Superpowers: Sneakily getting you to work much harder than you expected by being cute and giggly. Helping people feel great again by means of Yoga. Dressing like a hipster & not being mocked for it.
Yoga is about finding balance, right? So if we're serious 50% of the time, the other 50% should be not so serious. I like to teach that way too. Anatomy and alignment cues, I'm dead serious. All the lame jokes and terrible metaphors I use, not so serious.
Superpowers: Reminding people how awesome they already are by means of Science. Helping people be more awesome by means of Yoga. Wearing knee socks and getting away with it.
Once, I farted while teaching a class. OMG! Embarrassing? I chose to laugh and say ‘well, sometimes that happens when we twist’, and just carry on with the class. From that moment on, I stopped trying to be such a serious yoga teacher. Yoga is a break from the hard grind of our daily lives; it's not about being rigid, or perfect or doing exactly the same thing as the person on the mat next to you. It’s about stepping out of what you think might be expected of you, and just doing what feels right for you right now (hopefully that won't usually be farting!)
Together they are: mm…Yoga Superheroes: the Retreat Crusaders.
You will have so much fun with them on our Bali Yoga Retreat in November - it's still early bird pricing till Aug 31, and there are still a few rooms left - hop to it!
PS We'd love if you post your #mmyogsuperheroes pics on instagram. Not just Karen and Suzy, but other team members and students - join us? You are a super-hero too!