Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Letting Go Of Ego

It's not easy to forget your ego. Our consumer culture trains us from birth to seek more stuff, more attention, and more praise. One of my clients at Inkwater Press, Steffan Postaer, recently explored how ego impacts his work in advertising. Commenting on the life of a creative professional, he wrote,

Yet, creation is often messy, hard work. For every brilliant bolt, there is deluge, a great deal of noise.

Under these conditions, it’s hard letting go of insecurities. Our egos won’t let us. Yet, we must try. This job is too much fun to be encumbered by fear. Hopefully, the first step towards letting go comes with understanding, hence this discussion. But even so, it’s like undoing knots in a wet shoelace.
That last metaphor is perfect. Letting go of ego requires oodles of patience. It's certainly not an easy task. But practice at it long enough, and you just might find your concerns about performance falling away, leaving you free to enjoy the moment.

That's what happened to me yesterday when I kicked up into my first headstand. I'd fallen out of tripod headstand so many times that I no longer really cared if I could stay up-- it had become more of a game, or an experiment. I found that once I surrendered to the present moment and just focused on what I knew about getting into headstand (i.e., elbows shoulder distance apart, very little weight on the neck, super-active core), I went straight there, and balanced until I felt finished.

How marvelous to be free of ego, even if only for a moment.

Top photo by carstingaxion.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Article on Making Your Own Yoga Blocks

Hi yoginis! Just a quick note today to let you know that I have a new article up at Grow and Make, a local company that's transitioning from an online catalog of sustainable products to a destination for learning about sustainability. That's a lot of gobblety-gook that really means is adding interesting articles. I'll be responsible for many of them--actually, I'll be their guide to Wellness, including yoga, pilates, etc. Check out the article I wrote today about making your own yoga blocks: "How to Make Your Own Yoga Props." In what I hope will be the beginning of a series, this piece focuses on making your own yoga blocks.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January '09 Vinyasa Mix

I made this copy for a student who asked about the Elizabeth Mitchel song, which I dare you to listen to without breaking into a grateful smile.

This mix is meant to accompany a power vinyasa class. I was trained through Core Power Yoga, so I find many of my classes are similar to their C1 beginners' flow class. I try to throw in good cues, graceful flows, and opportunities for advanced postures.

I taught with this CD tonight at the I-205 Bally Total Fitness and loved it. "Roam" was a bit of a strange transition, yes, but it was early enough in the class that it didn't feel awkward, and I think it punched up the energy a bit.

Here's the full list:
1) El Condor Pasa (If I Could) by Simon and Garfunkel
2) Roam, The B-52's
3) Don't know title , from a Ninja Productions CD a student gave me
4) Dorm Room Disco Fantasy , Awesome Cool Dude
5) Track 04 , Shiva Rea flow
6) Regiment , Brian Eno & David Byrne
7) I'd Rather Dance With You, Kings of Convenience
8) Zissou Society Blue Star Cadet.... , Mark Mothersbaugh, from the Life Aquatic soundtrack
9) In My Life , The Beatles
10) Love is the End , Keene
11) Sovay , Andrew Bird
12) Little Kids , Kings of Convenience
13) So Glad I'm Here , Elizabeth Mitchell
14) Track 04 , Rakesh Chaurasia & Talvin Singh

Feel free to find & use these songs - even in this order! - but keep in mind that although these songs work for me, they may not fit your class or style. I haven't found too many yoga teachers posting song recs, so I'm starting the trend.

January '09 Vinyasa Mix

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Future Full of Ads

For anyone looking for an actual update about my life, wrong posting. Perhaps that sort of thing will come soon.

Here's what I want to rant about instead: advertisements. Selling. Recent postings I've put on the LED blog paint a nasty picture for our future. Subways are already showing 15 second ads floating outside of your window. And now a developer in LA wants to turn entire buildings into commercials, basically. He says he's inspired by Blade Runner.

How far can you get from the point of such a dystopian film? Isn't it obvious that Blade Runner's makers were portraying a scary, lonely, dark future? Why would you want to turn the world into that film?

And yet, that's what this guy's planning to do. Harumph.

I guess the days of having time to stare into space, regain your thoughts, or just plain space out are gone. Now there will be ads to occupy your eyes during all waking hours.

What's next, advertising in dreams?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Flipping the Coin

While listening to NPR the other day, I came across this point:

Why aren't reporters going to white babershops and asking white men if they're feeling torn between voting for a black man or a white woman? Why aren't we asking them if they're going to vote with their race or their gender?

If we assume white men can choose their candidate based on their character and track record, why don't we assume the same for black women?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Pics

Hey, I'm pretty behind on this one, but I went to South Dakota for Thanksgiving. Dad and Mom picked up Grandpa's car from Texas, and then met me in Denver. Next, Dad and I drove to Rapid City. I absolutely love driving long distances with my family. Rereading that sentence, it sounds like it might be sarcastic, but I really mean it. My dad and I passed the time by singing along to musicals, talking about politics, and just gabbing.
As we passed some hideous houses in Colorado, I put on the "Little Boxes" songs that Linsel gave me. They were perfect for the occasion. See here for the lyrics.

So, here's some pics from the drive back to Reno, and pics of family in South Dakota. My grandma is in the kitchen, cleaning after Thanksgiving dinner. Seriously, she never stops cleaning. She's so cute and lovable. My uncle Jim is relaxing after dinner, and Dad is driving home. Have I mentioned that I love desert scenery? It's so bare-bones, like the skeleton of the land.