Lose Your Opinions, Expand Your Practice, Expand Your Mind.

There are times when having an opinion is important and necessary. A lot of the time though, we make opinions on people and situations without being even a little bit close to understanding the whole picture. We take in a limited amount of information on something and immediately engage in creating duality. This is good, that is bad, this is worthwhile, that isn’t, and so on. The problem is that we then put on our blinders and the ego only allows us to see what we want to see. Decided something or someone sucks? We then find ourselves looking through a pinhole of a perspective that seems to validate that judgment, we lose the capacity to see a bigger picture, a bigger story.

This post is closely related to my post on impartiality and equanimity. I’ve had time to let this practice set in and I’ve been discussing it a lot more in classes. Our yoga mat is an amazing platform to train for life. We become partial on the mat all the time, we favor poses, sides, teachers, and frown down upon others or ourselves. This limits our ability to understand the entire scope of what is going on. When we’ve decided we don’t like something, we check out, underestimate its importance, and what we can learn from it. I say this a lot in class and I firmly believe it, “you can’t find change and transformation without getting uncomfortable.” But we could make things overall much less uncomfortable if we stopped forming so many opinions, if we stopped making decisions on how we already feel about something, if we keep our eyes and our minds open.

This week in class, we’ve been breaking down the pose Svarga Dvidasana, Birds of Paradise. Many people cringe at the thought of holding a full bind while standing on one foot and attempting to fully extend the other. I get that! But once we’ve made the decision that we already don’t like it, we shut down, physically, emotionally, energetically. We begrudgingly hold the necessary preparatory poses knowing that the whole thing is already going to be a failure rather than melting and marinating, softening and relaxing. I’ve been asking my classes to attempt the pose, making sure the they’ve found themselves relaxed in each step before they move on to the next. Rather than letting the anxiety and tension build as we come closer to the peak pose, I’ve been inviting my students to cultivate confidence through easing the breath, step by step. I’m getting amazing feedback from students that they were able to reach new depths with the pose while going into it with a blank slate of a mind, a beginner’s mind.

How can we take this practice of impartiality off the mat? Notice the times when you get most fired up. Many of us can understand the stress of sitting in traffic. Anxiety, frustration and anger undeniably build. But for someone who is in training to be a warrior, this would be a much different situation. Can you remain indifferent to the fact that you’re stuck there? When you decide that the situation you’re in is awful and horrible, you continue to see it and the universe seems to reflect it back.

You could practice impartiality when you find yourself in a conversation with someone who is losing their temper. Rather than deciding that they are an inconsiderate asshole, can you let go of your opinion? Can you practice not thinking less of them? There are situations influencing their lives that you will never understand, which never warrants judgment. Can you practice being a warrior? We often looking at this as being “the bigger person”. You are not bigger, you are not better, you are operating on a level of awareness that allows you to take a step back and consciously choose to simply be an observer instead of a reactor. You are able to recognize that other people are enduring the cycle of suffering, samsara, just like each and every other person in this world. We are all equal, we all live, suffer and die. Can you keep your blinders off and become more perceptive by recognizing when your opinions, your judgments and your criticisms limit the capacity of your mind? Open your eyes.

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5 Tips to Become a Better Yoga Instructor

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Nowadays it seems like everyone and their mother has a yoga teacher certification. If you want to make it as an instructor, you need to stick out. I knew that there would a lot of competition moving to the Bay Area, as it has such a densely populated yoga community, but knowing and experiencing were two different things. I’ve had the opportunity to take class with a variety of senior teachers and it’s been humbling if anything. I can’t tell you how many times the thought went through my head, “And you thought you could hang with these top dogs?” As I began to study them more, one thing became apparent: not only did they teach a killer class, they had…ETIQUETTE. Your instructor etiquette has so much to do with students coming back to class. These are a few tips I’ve learned that have worked for me, I now feel more confident and connected with my students.

1.) Check in with your students before class. This is one of the hardest things for me to do because it really requires me to tap into my most confident self. Before class I walk up to students and introduce myself. I ask for their name, shake their hand, and ask if they have any injuries. If it’s a student that I know, I ask how their body feels and if they have any requests. I can’t tell you how powerful this move is. When your students see that you are mature and confident, they let their guards down and are more receptive during class. Sometimes you can’t get to everyone so let them know at the end of class to feel free to chat with you if you didn’t get a chance to before. You are leading these students through a physical, mental, and emotional journey, they need to know that you are available and that they can trust you. I used to ask the class as a whole before we started if anyone had injuries and people are much less willing to speak up, so make it personal.

2.) Touch your students! The majority of the class, I’m adjusting people. This came from gradual practice. The practice is becoming a second nature and I really dig it. First, let people know people know before class that if they don’t want an adjustment at any time, to please let you know and that it’s totally cool. For the most part, I adjust students how I’m cuing to the whole class. If someone drops into child’s pose, give them some love as you continue to teach. Let them know that you see them. Savasana time? Instead of checking your text messages, give your students a shoulder and/or neck adjustment. I find that adjusting helps me keep my head in the game. Bottom line: people want to feel a connection, it’s part of being human. You can give them that gift.

3.) Make eye contact with your students, especially when you’re up front talking to them before or after class. And I don’t mean a quick skim through the faces, I mean connect with someone with your gaze for a few seconds. These people took time out of their day to see YOU, let them know that their presence is acknowledged. When students feel like you’re not paying attention to them, they check out. You are their leader for that time and your ability to make eye contact with them shows that you’re not only confident enough in your teacher self to that, but that you care enough to do that. Oh, and make sure it’s not a creepy, intense gaze–your soft gaze will soften them..

4.) Practice gratitude. Just because you are a well-known teacher with an awesome time slot does not mean that you *deserve* to have people in your class. As teachers, we are lucky to do what we do and we are lucky to have people fill our classes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen teachers jet out right after class without seeing their students out the door. After your “Namaste”, thank your students for coming and let them know how much you appreciate them. There are too many teachers who let this job go to their head and begin to act and believe that they are on some higher playing field than everyone else. Get on your students’ level and stay there. As their yoga instructor, you very well may be one of the biggest influences in their life. It’s very possible that you currently make more of an impact than…their boss, doctor, significant other, parents, whatever. Understand how important you are to these people and let them know that you don’t take that lightly.

5.) Be yourself. I know you’re thinking, “Blah, blah, blah, I hear this all the time.” This really took on a new meaning when I found myself continually engaging in a particular conversation with myself after moving here. I would go to an experienced teacher’s classes and think to myself, “Oh I should really start teaching like this person. Maybe I should start to emulate that person a bit more.” Don’t do it. Don’t even try. If you notice organic changes in your teaching based off of you being inspired by another teacher or their class, great. That I can get behind. But students like uniqueness and you can’t get that from trying to be like someone else. I can tell you from personal experience, it comes off as funky and awkward and you don’t want your students to get the wrong impression of you, do you? Use other teachers to inspire you, not to intimidate you.

Teaching yoga is hard! I’ve learned that it’s a constant growing process and at no point should you feel like, “you’ve got it down”. Once we give into that mentality, we lose inspiration (which is the foundation for a great class and teacher!) and we become less receptive. If you love teaching yoga, as a full-time job or not, you know that the thought of your class is popping into your head all day long. It should make you a excited and a little nervous/anxious (because you want to be your best self and there’s always a little bit of nerves about having that on display for everyone to see, hear, and feel). Because class is constantly popping into our thoughts, we remain ready to go at all times. Remember, improving our yoga-instructing, bad-ass selves is a PRACTICE. One thing at a time. One thing at a time.

 

My Relationship With Resistance

 

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Have you ever considered how much energy you put into resisting things? I often find myself resisting people/things that are new to me or hard for me to grasp. And how could I forget, I of course resist when things don’t go my way. Never was it more apparent to me than when I moved to the Bay Area, I was surrounded by new concepts and ways of approaching yoga. When I was in Denver, I (by choice) was living in a bubble where things were one way and I had become accustomed to and well-versed at doing things “that one way”.

When I went to classes out here, I would find myself having mental temper tantrums because I was under the assumption that I had this whole teaching thing figured out, I knew “the way” to do it and these people were doing it in some other way. Their cues and approaches to getting into poses were foreign to me. Their method of theming classes and working the room was different. Many studios that I went to (in San Fran, Oakland, and Berkeley) put a lot more emphasis on breath worth and meditation than I was used to. Not only was I resisting the yoga scene, I found myself resisting the people scene, the difference in culture. When I say I felt resistance to these things, I often times found myself feeling annoyed and irritated, focusing on (what I saw as) the negative. It wasn’t long before all of this resistance began to weigh me down and I became extremely humbled by life’s smack in the face: maybe the problem was me. Who was I to walk around judging everyone for their difference in opinion and attitude?

Most of us will feel resistance to new and different things in life until the day that we die. Through meditation and yoga I have come to the conclusion that we can do one of two things: be a reactor (get pissed off and angry) or simply step back and be an observer. Rather than letting the frustration define us and our experience, what if we practiced taking a step back and just look at the resistance as tool (not good or bad), something to learn from? Can we remain impartial? This has helped me immensely and I needed this realization now that I live in a densely populated area where I am constantly experiencing novelty. This shift in perception has shown me how IGNORANT I’ve been for most of my life. I have such little information about life in general and I’ve wasted so much time and energy resisting people and concepts that are different from me and that I know nothing about. I was no longer in my little bubble and if I kept resisting newness or difference, I would forever have blinders on that would keep the world as I knew it and my mind small. San Francisco has been such a beautiful place to take those blinders off and because of it, my yoga practice, my teaching and my relationships have explored new heights.

I want to make an important point, I am not trying to avoid feeling resistance, or figure out why (for now). I think it’s part of human nature. Rather than trying to figure out where it’s coming from and why I feel it towards certain people and things, I am just trying to acknowledge when I feel it. Here’s where we become accountable–once you notice resistance, you then have a choice: do you want to be a reactor or an observer? Thus, another way we can take responsibility for ourselves. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, we are in the driver’s seat. It’s not other people’s fault that we feel resistance, but it is our fault if we become a reactor. Maybe one day I’ll come closer to understanding why resistance comes up for me, but until then my practice is to keep my eyes open. Becoming a reactor to resistance will keep you stuck and often leads us to behave in way that’s unbecoming. Again, I invite you to take charge and consider incorporating this practice into your life, on and off the mat.

Relax

I had my first laser tattoo removal sesh today and kept hearing my voice in my head, “Relax your face! Relax your face!” I use this cue when teaching yoga when I see people on the verge of losing it and I’ve found that simply relaxing facial features in a stressful situation can INCREASE tolerance. Boss yelling at you? Relax your face. Jerk in the car behind you honking? Relax your face. Try it. Happy Friday.baked_smiley_sticker-p217484076569376534envb3_400-1862

Riddled With Guilt

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Catchy title, huh? I got candid with my yoga class last night about how guilt had run a long course in my life. Up until a year or two ago, guilt was a feeling that I experienced often, about any and everything. Not just about the big screw-ups in my life, but also the small things: not smiling back at someone, having a negative thought about someone, not doing one more savasana adjustment on someone. If someone honked at me for accidentally cutting them off in traffic, you better believe that I’d be reeling about it for hours. HOURS. That honk would echo in my head and I’d imagine what awful words they may have called me and how much I had inconvenienced them. What a twisted way to live!

I have reason to believe that people who consider themselves an “empath” or “sensitive” might understand where I’m coming from. Yes, I am sensitive. I, like many people, grew up being told that I was too sensitive. For the majority of my life, I believed that I was too…too something…too much for this world. I displaced myself into some other category, separate from the majority, a category where no one understood my heightened emotional state– always feeling and sensing everyone and everything and internalizing it. If someone was in an irritated or angry mood, I would somehow think that it was my fault, I’d feel that my presence must be the reason for or had at least contributed to their suffering  I was too much for a world where I wanted more. I wanted more eye contact, more physical contact. I wanted to hear about what people were feeling, I wanted to tell them too. I wanted people to pay attention to how their words and actions were affecting me, just like I was doing for them. I wanted confirmation if what I sensing about people was true or not.

I looked at being sensitive as a curse for most of my life. I became accustomed to feeling depressed. I’d imagined many, many times what it would be like to leave the world that I was “too much” for. It was like having the wi-fi option on your phone always ON. It’s always searching for a connection and it drains your phone faster if you don’t turn it off. I couldn’t turn it off. I was tired.

A couple of years ago I had a conversation with myself and decided to forgive myself for everything that I had ever done that caused me guilt. It happened when I was teaching a yoga class about the heart chakra. The words just came right out of my mouth, “Can you practice forgiveness with yourself? Can you forgive yourself for everything that you’ve ever felt guilty about and start over? You be that compassionate with yourself?” As I asked this of my class, I asked it to myself. Immediately, I felt a sense of freedom. Years of emotional weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I finally decided that I was worth it, I was worth forgiving myself. I was the only one who could release me from that mental prison, I was and am the only one in the driver’s seat of my life.

Forgiving myself is a constant practice, I find myself doing it a dozen times a day. Being sensitive is no longer my curse, it’s my gift. It’s not something that has dulled over time, it’s only gotten stronger. It’s so strong in fact, that every day, every interaction with someone feels like magic. I find myself very consciously and with ease, observing people’s body language, voice and eye contact. I feel that I’m able to interact and respond in a way that expresses an invitation to let down walls, to trust, to be no one else, but who they are. I wouldn’t have been able to discover this gift if I hadn’t forgiven myself. Through beginning to understand my sensitivity, I’ve had the rude awakening of seeing that throughout my life, I’ve over-exaggerated the impact that I have in people’s lives. Most people are so self-obsessed, just like I was, that they’re too busy thinking about what a big impact they’re having to think about what kind of impact you’re having. I’ve found this to also be very freeing and through it, I forgave myself for being so hard on myself.

Last night as I spoke to my class about my struggles with guilt, the demon of the second sacral chakra, we explored release of resistance in the hips by just softening to ourselves, our own nature. With some gentle back bending, we discussed exposing the vulnerable heart space, through which we can find a boundless amount of love, appreciation, and of course, forgiveness. For the most part, I believe that while we make mistakes (and we will until the day that we die), we are doing the best that we can. So with that, I invite you to forgive yourself. For everything. All of the time.

The Art of Impartiality

I first learned about the topic of impartiality or equanimity in a book called The Words of My Perfect Teacher. In it, Patrul Rinpoche describes it as “giving up our hatred for enemies and infatuation with friends, and having an even-minded attitude toward all beings, free of attachment to those close to us and aversion to those who are distant.” I started writing this post a couple of nights ago, taking hours to go over each and every detail about someone that I had placed on a pedestal for years. After I was done, it was clear that the lengthy post was little more than me venting about how I had let this person’s dominating energy affect me. I was *not* displaying the art of impartiality, which was a lesson all in itself—BEING IMPARTIAL IS HARD! It will always be a practice, just like yoga.

So I’m going to broaden the topic and discuss how we compare ourselves to others. Let’s jump right in.

ALL OF YOU will know what I’m talking about when I say this and if you deny it, I call “bullshit.” When we see someone who we think is more attractive than us, we have at one point, or still do, feel a sense of inferiority. We analyze, obsess and in some cases we allow our self-worth to become diminished, we somehow see them as “better”. Key phrase here, “we allow”.

When we are around someone who exudes confidence, it’s common to compromise ourselves; speaking or acting in a way we think would be pleasing to that person (take me back to my high school days with the popular kids!).

If we see someone who acts in a way that we may see as horrible or disgusting, we look down at that person. Maybe we pity them, or call them bad names that describe them as a whole.

Whatever the case, none of these are beneficial for cultivating love, compassion and understanding in our world. The majority of people will not have the option of having this kind of conversation in their lives and they will go until the end of their days comparing and judging. Stop and think a moment, do you realize how much energy it takes to compare ourselves to other people? Consciously or not. It takes a lot of fucking energy thinking, “Oh if I could just be like that person” or “So and so is such a bitch”. It perpetuates the cycle of negative energy, kind of like criminals having kids who fall into the same spheres of activity. Fortunately, I was led to the path of mindfulness and meditation and it’s INSANE how quickly you begin to observe yourself engaging in the absurdities of the mind. It’s helped me build confidence and has allowed me to observe the above conversations when they come up, not judge myself for them (this is key or we dwell on feeling guilty) and move on so I can pay better attention to…that checked out guy driving toward me who’s looking down and texting, the blooming Bougainvilleas coming up on my right, Bassnectar’s most recent remix–WHATEVER! So I can pay more attention to life.

Next time you see your self worth go out the window because of someone you consider to be better-looking, try appreciating it. “Good for them!” Maybe compliment them. It’s feels really good to break perpetual bad habits. Maybe they’ve got bigger triceps, but YOU play the ukulele and that’s rad. Being around really confident people used to be hard for me. The person I mentioned before who I had placed on a pedestal is extremely confident. AND beautiful. I would often find myself saying whatever I thought they wanted to hear so that they would approve of me. I realize now that it stunted my growth. This person eventually began to feel dominating to me– because I had allowed them to. I had no clue about equanimity or impartiality.  I wish I would have had the “good for them” conversation in my head and had acted more authentically. Oh well, better late than never, right?

Finally, to address people in our everyday lives that we look down upon as less deserving of attention, love or life, please try and see that you will never know their story. We aren’t capable of knowing what drives people to act they way they do. We can’t say, “He’s a selfish asshole” and just assume that they chose to be that way because they suck. People often speak and act in an awful manner as a result of having something negative occur to them. They are perpetuating the cycle of negative energy. I hope that through this conversation, you can see that YOU can stop the cycle right there. Practice compassion, “it’s unfortunate that they feel that they need to act that way”. They’re the ones stuck feeling like that’s their only option. You can practice being impartial by staying present and knowing that ball is in your court. Do you want to be a reactor? Or an observer? Being the observer of your crazy thoughts is the path to happiness.and freedom You are behind the wheel. Impartiality is one of the best ways that we can practice compassion, for others and ourselves. He/she who challenges your ability to remain impartial is struggling with fear, insecurity and criticism, just like you. The struggle is real!

“To cultivate equanimity, we practice catching ourselves feeling attraction and aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity.” -Pema Chodron

Poise

A Lesson in Patience

We picked up our bengal kitten yesterday. His name is Bodhi. The last day has been such a wonderful reminder and lesson in patience. To take time with the unknown and let things unfold naturally. What if we practiced this more in our relationships, intentions and YOGA? What if instead of forcing things to happen or trying to make things fit, we let the natural flow of life move without a need to control it?

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Why I Quit Drinking

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Last week I went back home to Colorado to see my friends and family. A couple of days in, I went to my favorite brunch joint with my favorite people. My favorite server came to the table and clapped his hands together, “Mimosas all around?” He knew me so well. “Actually,” I said, “… I don’t drink anymore…” That’s when I found myself surrounded by a table of wide eyes and dropped jaws. “Yeah… I quit a couple months ago.” My only non-drinking friend, Stephanie, reached across the table and high-fived me. I finally got where she was coming from. When we met a couple of years ago and she told me that she didn’t drink, I specifically remember thinking to myself that there was absolutely no way that we’d ever work out. I mean, what would we do together? Luckily our love for loud bass music and working out kept our emotionally in-touch souls connected.

So now, to answer the question: why did I quit drinking? Well, after many, MANY fun years of indulging in it with my friends and all by myself (I drank alone more often than I’d like to admit), it all of a sudden became *not* fun. Really, it hit me like a ton of yoga blocks. Drinking now makes me depressed. I know some of you are thinking, “Duh, it’s a depressant.” but I’m talking SEVERELY depressed. Not just a little weepy, but complete meltdown, I-don’t-want-to-live-anymore depressed. On top of this, I started to become my most insecure, passive-aggressive self. I was turning into the WORST version of myself that I had ever known and after so many years of consciously working on myself.

But how could this be? I’m a yoga instructor for God’s sake, I’ve got my head on straight and my shit together! Then I thought back throughout the years of all of the consequences that I’ve suffered from drinking. I’ve started fights, called people names, said and did things that I couldn’t take back…were they *really* fun times? In actuality, I’d been a lazy, unmotivated yoga instructor who, while being broke, was spending her small amount of money going out for mimosas every other day and no longer engaging in being a student. I was so depressed from drinking that I didn’t even want to go to yoga, the one thing that has proven time and time again to bring me back to center. And I didn’t want to quit or cut down on drinking because then I would have to feel… DUN DUN DUN… normal. I would have to feel sober and being sober was boring and I, like the majority of people in the country, had a fear of being bored. What happens when we’re bored? We have to look at our stuff. We’re left with our thoughts and I didn’t know how to manage them. I didn’t know how to not get carried away with chatter in my mind. My mind was fried, my body felt sick, my skin looked terrible and my hair was always greasy. My pores were dirty and clogged, I was having digestive problems, I always had a cold or was feeling ill. All of this for my psychological addiction to feeling anything but normal.

So this persisted into my move to the Bay Area. A couple of months ago, I had a friend come visit. We were drinking buddies. We drank the whole time she was here, but the more we drank, the more of myself I saw in her. She too was, I’m guessing unconsciously, behaving in an insecure and passive-aggressive manner that was actually turning me off. She was turning me off. I couldn’t believe that I was looking at my friend that way. I thought to myself, “Wow, I hope that I don’t give people those kind of bad vibes when I’m drinking.” That was a turning point for me. That’s when I started to think about how I was coming off to other people when I drank.

A few days after, I was talking to my boyfriend about how I could hardly drink very much anymore and I hated how I felt. THIS was the moment. THIS is what changed everything. He looked at me in a way that I had never seen, it was sad and attentive all at once. He said to me, “I don’t like it when you drink.” After a year of putting up with my drinking, things had finally gotten to the point where MY behavior was turning him off. He saw me in the same light that I had seen my (once) friend. That’s right, after a night of drinking together and a small misunderstanding, she left my house without saying goodbye and we haven’t spoken since. Was it worth it? Was any of this life-changing damage worth it anymore??

So there you have it, folks: Why I Quit Drinking. It was the best, most grown-up decision I’ve ever made. The sight of it now makes me cringe. All of the physical ailments that I was dealing with have since disappeared. I feel better than I’ve ever felt and my body shows it. So how about that boredom I was so afraid of? My amazing boyfriend has helped me start and maintain a steady meditation practice. I actually look forward to that time of the day when we can sit on our cushions and stare at the floor in silence for however long. It wasn’t easy to start, his support was crucial to my getting the hang of it. When I first began, the anxiety that I felt was so intense that I thought I would jump out of my body! But I sat with it. I didn’t explode, in fact I was rewarded with and finally understood the meaning of INNER PEACE. I couldn’t have done it without getting sober.

I’ll get into my meditation experiences more with this blog, but I wanted to share my story in hopes that it might inspire someone to make a positive change. If you don’t feel good in your life right now, it’s up to YOU and ONLY YOU to make changes. Big ones. You don’t get to drain those around with your complaining if you’re not taking charge of your life. It’s hard to break bad habits, but boy is it empowering. You are in control. Trust yourself.

Just Getting Started…

When I take stock of the last year of my life, even the last 6 months, I just have to shake my head and say, “Wow”. I guess you could say I’m in my “Saturn Return” phase– that area between 27-30 years old when a person experiences a wake up call and sobers up to their own foundation and mortality. I knew for a while that I wanted a change, I felt it in my bones and down into my cells, it was all that I could think about. Well, I got it.

In September of last year, I went to visit a friend who had moved from Colorado (where I lived and had spent my whole life) to the Bay Area. It was the moment that I saw the ocean, drove through the fog, experienced the rush of a “big city”, that I began aching (and in my own mind “dying”) to be in or by San Francisco.

–quick note, I realize that MANY people feel that way when they visit SF and my experience is very much shared–

Anyways, on September 21, 2013, we went to a Bassnectar show. As many of my friends and spin students know (I play him all the time in class and refer to him often), he is my favorite DJ and producer, a pure genius. This show was in San Jose and there is no reason that I would be in San Jose, but to see him. Long story short, I meet a guy, I lose the guy in the crowd and by sheer luck I run into him again. I’m not kidding when I say it was love at first sight. Actually, more like love at first feel. I needed to stand next to him. I needed his eye contact. I needed to feel his energy next to me. In that short time that we spoke, I had never felt more understood or connected to another person than I had in my whole entire life.

Back to this long story being short, we fall in love, engage in a long distance relationship for five months, I move to Oakland to be with him. Now we live together with our cat and we have a beautiful life together. Sounds great, yes? My transition has been hard. I’ve had many breakdowns. It’s been six months and I still feel like I’m settling in and dealing with culture shock. I don’t have many friends other than my co-workers and students that I see when I teach (which is actually totally satisfying) and if I can say one thing about the Bay Area, it’s that while it’s great and I really love it here…it’s unapologetic. I don’t have the comfort and security of knowing what’s what and it’s up to me and only me to figure it out. No matter what time it is, there’s a constant buzz in the air. It’s been a humbling adjustment to say the least. I truly feel like I know what it means to live in a fast-paced environment and it forces me to stay sharp.

Breaking into the teaching world here is hard. SF is the yoga capitol of the country, the pool of teachers that have been at it for 10, 15, 20+ years is HUGE. I’m a small fish, a minnow maybe, in a very big pond, no one knows who I am, or cares, and that’s where I’m at.

While I realize that my road is long, I know that I’m doing the right thing. People WILL know who I am, and not because I have some sort of agenda to become famous or have people follow me around and tell me how awesome I am. People will know who I am because I do what I do for my students. I’m capable of helping and changing lives and if my experience in Colorado has taught me anything, it’s that people are all very tender and vulnerable. I can create and hold the space for them to connect to that and own it.  I don’t mean for this to sound cocky, rather, I say this with confidence and self-realization. I’ve realized my gift and I own it. I get such a huge f*cking high connecting physically, emotionally and energetically to every person that shows up in my classes. Everything that I do is for you guys and I will be completely honest and raw about my experience.

SF