Monthly Archives: August 2012

Believe in the Power of Self…

Good evening everyone!! I know my posting is few and far between right now, but I have lots of things bubbling up in my brain and I’m making notes so I don’t forget all the things I want to share…

For the past week or so (since the day I flew to Austin) I have had a super sore deltoid/trapezius muscle on my right side…all across the top of my shoulder and a bit down the back and side. I have no idea what brought it on…I chalked it up to “one of those things”, or else maybe it was my carry-on bag being so full of water and magazines! I didn’t give it much attention, a little extra stretching here and there, or a massage for a minute or two…nothing too big. Coincidentally (or, as we know, NOT coincidentally because there are not coincidences), when I turned my head to the left in spine series savasana I was feeling an ever so slight twang in my neck on the left side. I had the feeling that twang was going to materialize into something more than a twang, but didn’t know when.

It happened yesterday afternoon. I took it super easy in class in the morning…some days I just need to get a little stretch and be in a hot room…I could feel all my muscles in my back and shoulders very tight. A few hours later I was sitting in a chair, having a conversation, and suddenly it felt like I got stabbed in the shoulder and it shot all the way down my left arm, up the left side of my neck and radiated all though my left shoulder…I tried stretching it and giving it some traction, as well as trying to crack the ribs around it…to no avail. It was not getting any better. By the time I got home all I could do was lay on the floor and massage it with the lid of my water bottle (I usually have a golf ball, as many of you who know me know I always like to have a golf ball with me for just this occasion…but I don’t seem to have one with me now and the lid was going to have to do!). It was so painful, I couldn’t move my head or lift my left arm really…and I couldn’t get any relief. Needless to say my sleep lastnight was not great…I would finally prop myself up so I had the least pain and sleep for a bit before it was time to try to roll over and try to find another position that was comfortable enough. Sheesh. It was really something!! This has not happened very many times in my life. I can tell you a few other times I have had something like this happen and it’s laid me up for a few days, this was definitely on the top of those times.

So, anyhow, I woke up this am to see how I felt and decide if I thought taking class was a good idea. I had booked a massage with the brilliant Dana of Awakenings Massage (if you are in the Tahoe area, you MUST see Dana, seriously), so I thought I would go into class and just take it easy and do what I could. Well, with the combination of being mindful (I had no choice other than to be mindful so I didn’t strain or tweak it more), giving myself permission to take it easy, and it being a hot and juice Sunday morning Bestest class…well, miraculously with every posture I seemed to feel better and better! It was awesome and amazing and such a relief. I cannot tell you how much better I felt after following my 26+2 exactly as prescribed…yoga is thy medicine.

Following this wonderful release in class I had such an amazing massage with Dana. I cannot tell you enough how amazing she is…she has a few different techniques she uses…and the thing with Dana is she is always learning more and new and expanding her knowledge base. I highly highly recommend her…did I mention that yet???!! 🙂

So, now, in addition to the physical manifestations of this thing…there was the emotional and spiritual manifestations…in less than 24 hours I went from feeling un grounded and emotional to feeling elated and peaceful. I had locked something in my shoulders and apparently was not listening to the signs I had been receiving…so the Universe had to yell at me to get me to pay attention. When will I ever learn…?

So, Puppies, follow your prescription of 26+2 exactly as it is given to you. Do not stop short when you are feeling better…you must finish it to the end. Alas, the end is really just the beginning…

Love,
Ida x


“Mindfulness” (period)~ Emmy Cleaves

Hello hi hi!!

Whew, where to start where to start. I just got back from Austin, Tx, where I was attending the Bikram Yoga Women’s Retreat as well as judging the Texas Regional yoga competition. I am sure I have written on here somewhere how much I love the city of Austin. I always knew I wanted to go to Texas, I didn’t know what was drawing me there but I always knew I had to visit. I found Austin and have since named it as one of my favourite places I’ve visited! So, I was so happy to be back in Austin even if only for a few days.

At the women’s retreat, we got to take class from Rajashree (bikram’s wife) as well as from Emmy (the principal of Bikram’s school…and his long time friend and yoga teacher). Over the years I have probably learned the most tidbits of posture information from Emmy. I always learn a few great amazing things when I take her class, so I always feel so fortunate when I get to spend time with her. This was a special circumstance event as well because she was around for discussion, posture clinic, meals, etc, so there was so much invaluable time with her. I won’t get into all the details of the weekend, you’d be bored and I’d be here writing all night!!….but I will tell you this: Karma is ALWAYS a circle, so what goes around, comes around…if you know what I mean…

On Saturday I was asked to be a demonstrator for the advanced class we did. This meant that I, as well as another woman and amazing yogi I know, were to do the class on the podium with Emmy. No problem, I’ve done it before for Bikram as well as have done advanced demonstration at the teacher trainings, so I was happy to do it…knowing full well it meant Emmy would be beside me for 2 hours and was bound to find at least a few things to correct!! Of course, I was so looking forward to it…I needed a tune up! 😉 I learned a couple of gems, a few things I didn’t know and was able to ask a few questions about postures which I had been wondering about. All in all a great great practice.

So, then on Sunday I was to ensure Emmy got back to her room, got lunch, and made it to the competition. So, I put my mat right up at the front, beside the podium, so I would be there for her when the class finished. Emmy has, presumably, taught for her whole career from a chair at the back of the room. She usually walks around, very stealthily, during the floor series if she is spotting some things she doesn’t like, and then has a seat for the floor series. This day, this Sunday morning in Austin, Texas, Emmy taught the ENTIRE class from the podium! Yup, she stayed up close the whole time…and once her eyes spotted me in my set in my ways (?) practice, she was all over me like a dirty shirt (is that even a saying??!!). I got some much needed help with a few of my postures (in addition to the corrections in the advanced class), and chalk it up to my karma of the extra attention I’ve been known to give when I’m teaching ;).

So, this now brings me back to the topic….Mindfulness. (Period). Emmy said a few good gems this past weekend, I can only hope to remember them as I am living my life…but the one that stuck with me, the simplest and yet perhaps the most challenging thing…Mindfulness. (Period). She talked about mindfulness as being the most important element of any yoga practice…the ability to try and not give up as well as know when to sit down or take it easy…

Well my loves, it’s time for bed. I taught a double yesterday, a double today and teach another double tomorrow…SIX classes in THREE days….I am not sure when the last time I taught so many classes in a row was!! It’s fun but at the same time, it’s a lot of energy to give…so time for me to rest up for tomorrow. It makes me think of another blog post…about yoga and the gas station…but that’s going to have to wait… 😉

Love you,
Ida