Sunday, January 8, 2012

Begin again...from the beginning (part 2)

Allow me to flip the calendar back several weeks to November 18, 2011- the night of the Yoga Woman screening at Lifetime Fitness. I suppose I was too blissed out to realize that I left my yoga mat at the movie until the next morning when it was time for me to teach my vinyasa class.  I was frantically running around the house trying to find my mat and then I stopped dead in my tracks and said “Oh, no I didn’t.”  I called the gym asking if my mat had been turned into lost and found; nope, it couldn’t be found anywhere. With my head hanging low, I headed off to class and used a house mat to teach class. For 24 hours I fretted and then, reluctantly, went online and ordered another mat, as I could not stand the idea of not having my own mat. I wanted my old mat more than anything; there were just too many memories embedded in that dense olive rubber: workshops, faint pen marks from teacher trainings, and “aha!” moments. I dreaded that I would never see my old friend again, so I tried to stop the aching by ordering another mat. 
Two nights later, I was reunited with my mat! I stopped into the gym to take a class and someone had found my pal and lovingly propped it alongside the cubbies outside the yoga studio area; oh bless whoever that was!  As chance would have it, my new mat showed up at my front door the very next day (love that amazon prime free 2-day shipping), but I no longer need a new mat -I had my buddy back. I let that new mat sit in its box for seven days and I stared at it ...a lot. 
Something was a-brewing at my core and wouldn’t  let go. An inner calling suggested that I make a tangible distinction between the yoga teacher and the yoga student in me. This idea really ignited me because a handful of teachers in my community have either cut back on classes or taken a break from teaching in order to make more time for their families and their own personal practice. I had already dropped one yoga class and a fitness class off of my schedule this year. I was feeling good with the amount of time that I was teaching, but I just needed a compass or guide to help grow my yoga. I felt this symbol (new mat) would amplify my aspiration of an abundant student practice.  So, I kept it and threw away the shipping box!
Now, let’s fast forward to January 2012: my first few home practices on the new mat in this New Year brought back some old memories. Remember the ‘break-in’ period, the constant slide-y down dogs and triangles, and the peculiar odor? Not only do I feel nostalgic but also very uncoordinated and off balance. I am sensing that this fresh pursuit of the yoga student may assist the yoga teacher in me as the new yoga folks show up to practice for the first time ever, or the first time in many years. Some of those awkward scenarios will be fresh on my brain...I remind myself that these moments can be frustrating and disheartening because we are human and we have an ego and that I should find a way to communicate this to the class. Each practice I’ll encourage them to just show up and do what you can-when you can -and let everything else go. 
I really love being a student


  1. You know I'm one of those teachers who has cut back my schedule to focus more on myself and my family. Every now and then I look at my smaller paycheck and feel some angst, but overall it's been the best thing I've done for myself in a long time!

  2. Good for you Jennifer, I see 2012 being a breakout year for you : ).....may have your autograph, please?

  3. Love this story. I lost my very first yoga mat last year too and somehow it magically returned to me. Wishing you a beautiful year of yoga practice. BTW - how did you like YOGAWOMAN? I was hoping you would write about that!

  4. A blissful and wonderful 2012 to you as well! I really enjoyed Yogawoman, it really cast a light on some sorrowful issues in our own country regarding teen girls, violence and -I wonder-possible trafficking. There is a is a "chapter" in the movie that reveals the wonderful work in a teen girl correctional center using yoga and counseling.