When I was in college I was that hopeless adolescent who had no idea what direction to go in. I had a friend who knew since she was in grade school that she wanted to be a teacher. I, on the other hand, wanted to be a teacher, a writer, a lawyer, a fitness instructor, a psychotherapist, a photographer and so many other things I couldn’t even list them all here.
My college offered a free course on finding your path so I signed up! They gave us all these tests to determine what your dream job might be. “If you had these two magazines to choose from, which would you pick: Better Homes and Gardens or Rolling Stone?” One of the tests I took gave me a list of the best jobs for me starting with the best job and going down to the worst fit. The number one slot? Pastor.
I took my kids to the dentist finally (after avoiding it due to the pandemic) and wouldn’t you know, cavities galore. The dentist said the teeth look good on the outsides but between the teeth is where the cavities are. “Have you been flossing their teeth?” Uh. I’m bathed in guilt. But that’s just the beginning. The amount of guilt I feel daily is astounding.
I feel guilty when the dog doesn’t get his walk or wash, when the kids have too much screen time, when I don’t get the Book Club book read, when the kids sleep past eight, when I sleep past seven, when I don’t do the dishes, when I don’t cook home cooked meals, when I don’t bake cookies and when I don’t get my mammogram. Like that isn’t enough I regularly feel guilt about not doing enough: showering, meditating, working, learning new skills, reading to the kids and homeschooling. Ya, it’s a lot.
As a yoga studio owner, you aren’t looking forward to the email that says “I’ve been avoiding coming to yoga” but this time it made me giggle, smile and say “awwww”.
This was an easy one.
I’ll start with my own story and then get back to the email. Some of you know that my two youngest boys are only 18 months apart. Call it lack of planning, no plan, or the celestial plan it was the plan that unfolded. And I am utterly grateful. My two heathens are simultaneously best friend and greatest enemy; living life in an intermingled hurricane of togetherness. Can you imagine? They have never known life without the other. The beauty of this relationship is awe inspiring but the strain on my body was not as lovely.
Hopefully by now most of you have met Breanne, the newest teacher to merge into the Yoga Casa Crew. We are so excited, blessed and relieved to have her. As many of you know, we lost a few teachers during the weird pandemic times and I’ve been searching for a new teacher for a while now. So, what took me so long!? Well, I was searching for a body positive yoga teacher. (Simple enough, right?) I simply could not find one……
For those of you who have been around the studio for a while, I’m sure you have heard me talk about body positivity and what it REALLY means. You may have heard me talk about how each of us is valuable regardless of our shape or size. You may have heard me encouraging you to rest and care for yourselves. You may have heard me red light diet talk when it happens in the studio (it may have even been you I red lighted. Sorry, I hope I did it gently.) You may have noticed that I try to sell shirts that go up to at least 4X, that I include pictures of ALL my students on my website and that I always offer pose variations in my classes because EVERY body is different.
I do these things because I want you to have a place where you feel safe; where you can do yoga that feels good without the pressure to lose weight or get six pack abs. This is what I’m driving towards. It’s my dream, my hope, my baby.
This is not the newsletter I was supposed to be writing. I was planning to write all about my Body Positive Beginner’s Series (BPBS) which has been going fabulously! My BPBS students are amazing, authentic, REAL women and it has been an honor to help them get started on this yoga and body positivity journey.
My plan was to write all day last Friday and get everything done but instead I spent the day at Cook’s Children’s Hospital with my middle child. Luckily, it turned out not to be anything serious but it was a rough day of watching, worrying and waiting.
I took my youngest in for his birthday check up. He was SO excited. I made a big deal about it. I told him, first see the doctor, then get a toy and a sucker, then we will go have lunch on a patio somewhere with Daddy. He’s got a sunny disposition and based on his actions he was a little combo of nervous and excited. It made me laugh and feel a little excited too.
The doctor walked in hurriedly after my boy aced his hearing and vision tests (I have to brag!) The doctor always starts with his colorful height and weight chart. He shows me where my son is on the chart, how much he’s grown, etc. I never really pay that much attention because (besides knowing which rides he can get on at Six Flags) they are just numbers and honestly I hate that they start their lives being compared to other kids.
The other day I had a teacher apply at The Yoga Casa. I explained that I was only interested in hiring a body positive yoga teacher; that we are a body positive studio, anti-diet and accepting of all bodies. This teacher went ahead and applied and said, “check out my blog.” So I did. The first article I saw was
“2 Strategies to Conquer Weight Loss.” My heart sank.
I have a dear friend who used to work in marketing. I’ve often sought advice from him on a multitude of marketing mishaps. We were looking over some of my numbers once and he said to me “yep, people are kicking your tires.” Kicking my tires? He explained that in the wellness/fitness world people will look and think about and look and think about and look and think some more but they are hesitant to actually set foot in the gym/yoga studio/nutritionist office.
Interesting! Why is this I thought? Why do people ruminate for so long over decisions that are in their best interest? You don’t deliberate over wearing a seat belt. The reasons run deeper than a long windy road but here are my thoughts on it.
My life hasn’t been thrilling but I do get a few claims to fame. When I worked at the Four Seasons, I gave a massage to a real life English Lady. Her life was so astounding. She always insisted that I not call her “Lady.” (We were required to call all guests by their formal titles. Everyone feared getting the actual prince of a certain foreign country. His formal title included no less than 10 words, ending in “his royal highness”. I digress.)
The thing about doing massage full time was that I got to work on a lot of people, most on vacation or at the hotel for a wedding or party. I was astonished that I rarely saw people from the many conferences and business events that were happening.
Ironically, when people were the most stressed they didn’t have time to get a massage. I feel the same about yoga. It’s when your schedule is frighteningly packed that you can’t make it in.
Monday is MLK day and with it will come the monsoon of MLK quotes. I’ll start:
“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Great, right? We quote him every year on this sacred day but do we live by his words? Who among us has kept quiet in order to “keep the peace,” to not “ruffle feathers,” to “keep the calm” in the midst of a political storm. Many people I’ve heard from in the yoga community are saying that the tenets of yoga compel us to remain the strong steady force of peace and harmony. That our role is to remain neutral in a down pouring of opinions.
Read my thoughts on yoga, teaching, parenting and everything in between.