Tag Archives: yoga

a few things I have learned from MY dog…

meeeeet FELIX!!

meeeeet FELIX!!

Hello everyone!! I got a dog!! Yup, I have never had a dog in my life and I am now the proud owner of a small rescue Chihuahua!! It’s the funniest thing, I never in a million years thought I would want a Chi…but after getting to know and fall in love with Bestest’s Chi, Lulu, it seemed a no-brainer that my breed of choice would be one as well.

A Few Things I Have Learned From MY Dog…

1). I spend more time and energy feeding my small tiny dog* than I do feeding myself. Apparently I think that I can go days without actually eating a meal, but if Felix looks the slightest bit hungry, I mix him up a gourmet (primarily MEAT*) meal…and it doesn’t bother me in the least.

2). I have no problem cooking and handling meat (*see #1 above) because I am now Felix’s guardian and that is what he needs so that is what he gets.

2). I am going to need to get a bigger purse or else start carrying my (very small) dog in a bag so I can carry the extra stuff I need for him when we go out!! (Bed, water, water dish, treat, blanky…seriously.)

3). I have to be very careful where I step and sit down now…my small dog is the colour of many many things, it turns out, so camouflages veeeeerrrrry easily…he ends up underfoot so often!

4). I now believe in love at first sight and believe true love can happen in an instant. I know it sounds ridiculous but I could sit and stare at him all day, he really is so amazing.

5). Pets heal the soul…ours and theirs…because they are self realized beings.

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Felix and Lulu...new besties with T...so happy

Felix and Lulu…new besties with T…so happy

Ok, well time to have a cuddle with Fe…he needs about 100 kisses/day. OH! I almost forgot. I got Fe from the Chihuahua Rescue Truckee Meadows Inc.
They have lots of dogs who need homes…these little guys don’t take up much space…

Love and sweet dreams,
Ida

ps-don’t worry, I’m not really going to put him in a dog-purse…well, not yet, anyhow… 😉

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What to do in the face of Failure…

Hello my super awesome yogis of the universe!! It’s Friday. The last time I wrote was…I think on Sunday…oh gosh, I just looked and I think it might have been on Saturday…which means that I have missed almost a week of my challenge and it’s only the 9th of August.

humph

SO, here’s the deal…what do you do in the face of “FAILURE”??!!

I always believed that if I am going to do something (anything) then I must be great at it. I had the (un-conscious) idea in my head that if I was not good at something initially, then I was not good at it. Period. So, those things I would not do again. Ha, sounds so ridiculous to me in this moment, but at the time (for pretty well my whole life, at some times more strongly than others) it seemed to make sense, I guess. I am pretty certain I know where it came from originally. One of my clearest memories from my early years is of playing soccer. I went to an alternative elementary school called Sundance Elementary. My brother and I were a couple of hippy kids with a couple hippy parents who went to a hippy school with a bunch of other hippy kids and parents. We talked about warm fuzzies and cold pricklies, we had a family-room not a homeroom, we had offerings instead of classes and we, the kids (if we played our cards right) could have a hand in choosing what we wanted to do all day in our offerings…it was super hippy-tastic. One of the things I loved most about Sundance was that all the kids got to hang out together, no matter the age group. Sometimes there were classes that were age limitations (you had to be a certain age to play indoor basketball with the older kids, or maybe you were too old for the puppet show field trip etc), but for the most part, we were all free agents and worked at our own pace and played with the people we were drawn too, not necessarily the ones who were the same age.

So, here I was, a small 4 year old Sundancer, playing soccer (maybe even for the first time!) with my best friend (a small tot as well) and all the BIG KIDS. I remember running and running after the ball, constantly chasing the ball, and the kids, around the field…until the moment when it was my turn. The teacher, Giles, let both me and my besty have a turn. Everyone cheered me on, directed me to the ball…and I ran up to it and was so excited and I ….picked it up. And everyone yelled at me. Well, that’s how my 4 year old memory remembers it. I attempted something new, I got yelled at, I never played soccer again. Isn’t that how our brains work and develop? Something happens like that and then, whammo, we make a choice about who we are and what it means about us. Then we get to take all those thing we decide along the way and make them part of who we are. Awesome, from the age of 4, I made up my mind that if I am going to do ANYTHING, then I am going to be AWESOME at it, or not do it at all.

Super…those are some pretty big and lofty goals…and, it’s not that I am adverse to a challenge or adverse to having to work hard at things to get better or what have you…but the excitement that was crushed in a simple second by some harmless big kids who were only trying to help a small wee person play soccer…well, it’s taken me many years to want to play soccer again (actually, I don’t have any desire for soccer, but I have played and done all sorts of other things that I never would have done because I had determined that I was not good at, therefore would not do…but now I do things that I thought I was “bad” at, and realized that even if I am not good at those things (well, I haven’t played them my whole life, after all!), they are still fun!! Haha, who knew you can have fun without having to be an expert??!! Go figure.

So, now here I am, I committed to a 30 day challenge to write every day…9 days in and I’ve already missed writing for 5 of those days. And, I will be honest, I have felt pangs of guilt throughout the past few days about not writing…but have just said to myself that that is not how I operate, I do not make goals to feel guilty when I “fail”…in fact, setting goals for me is about being committed enough to stay with them even when they get tough…but not being so attached to them that I beat myself up if things don’t look or go the way I thought they were going to. Over the past few days I have had all sorts of conversations with myself about this. I have had to remind myself that I set my 30 day challenge to be creative and expressive and help myself write more…not to make myself feel badly if I am busy and get caught up and miss a day (or 5!). I also realized that I write when I am inspired…I write about things that ignite me, and that I feel passionate about (not to say that I am not, NOT inspired and/or ignited every single day, by something or someone around me, but it’s not always at the moment that I allotted for my writing that day!)…I don’t just write every day to fill a quota.

I have already had such a good lesson from my August challenge!! I am not writing a novel (right now!) or have a deadline to my editor (YET!), so I will continue on my path the way I am going. I am still committed to my writing challenge for this month, but I am also committed to supporting myself along the way (because, if I don’t support and champion for mySELF, then I will never be able to support and champion for ANYone else along the way…).

I love you, yogis. I hope you challenge yourself to do and try new things every single day. As I am realizing, “being good” at something has nothing to do with my ability, and everything to do with my intention. “Failure” only exists if I say it exists.

Love and special unicorn kisses,
-Ida xx


My Yoga Crushes!

Hello lovelies!

Saturday morning. Another beautiful day. Good one 😉

This week I got a new yoga crush. Don’t get me wrong, I love every student I meet…if someone has the gusto to challenge themselves to try this practice, then of course my heart is full for them! But, from time to time, I get a huge crush on a student who steals my admiration. I’m not talking a romantic crush, it has nothing to do with that…this crush is about an inspiration and admiration I feel from something I sense in a person. I try to allow myself to be inspired by everyone I meet (sometimes that can be harder than others, let’s be honest!!), but right now I have a couple yogis who have me yogi-smitten.

My first crush is Gwendolyn* (*of course, for purposes of this blog, names have been changed 😉 ). Gwendolyn is probably in her early 50’s, she’s married and she loves practicing this yoga. Those are really the only details I know about Gwendolyn. When she comes in for yoga she is so unassuming, nice, smiling, polite, kind and always seems genuinely happy to be there. She then works hard in class, takes her relaxation savasana, changes her clothes and is out the door with a wave and a smile. Sounds like most yogis…but there is something about Gwendolyn’s spirit and essence that I sense and it makes me feel happy…and then there’s the secret part of my crush…she absolutely ROCKS her shakti/onzie/kDeer shorts and her GLITTER bandeaus!! Seriously, I can’t help myself, between her shy demeanor and her strong focussed yoga practice she had me…but the shorts and bandeau? Well, sealed the deal. I don’t know what it is about Gwendolyn exactly that makes me feel so elated and happy, but there is something. There is something she posesses that gives me joy. So, I crush on Gwendolyn. Every time I see her. She knows she’s my yoga crush…she said I’m her’s too. ❤

My other yoga crush is Mike*…This week Mike secretly bragged to me about what a bad ass he is and that was the hook…I love a good proud self promoter with equal amounts of humility…seriously, best mix. It shows up in the yoga room as ultimate combination for yoga…a yogi who works hard but also knows his/her limits and at the same time is willing to exceed those limits…because we all know the truth about limits (what limits, we are yogis, we can do ANYTHING!!). Mike is older than Gwendolyn, he's got probably 15-20 years on her. He's been an athlete his whole life and has accomplished some really amazing things…and the amazing-ist part of it is HE IS STILL ACCOMPLISHING AMAZING THINGS…His longevity is AWESOME!!! The best part of Mike is, he's totally bad ass and he knows it…and I’m sure he's been bad ass for at least a decade before I was even born…so I have super duper high end respect for him…Mike inspires me to be Super Bad Ass Yogi Princess for years and years and years to come…. ❤

I know it’s easy to say “oh, we all get inspired by eachother, blah blah blah”, and the truth is, sometimes some people totally annoy us or whatever else…but if we just allow ourselves to be ourselves and others to be themselves, and understand that we all teach eachother and learn from eachother, then we begin to see amazing things in every person. And isn’t seeing amazingness in everyone way better than seeing anything other than that?

I think so…so I remain smitten.

Love you, yogis, you are all amazing…
-Ida xox


Be.The.Sun.

Good morning, yogis. Sigh, last evening I had to put on my hoodie. This morning when I got out of bed I had to put on sweat pants…the first time I’ve worn pants of any kind in a month it’s been THAT hot. So it’s a sign that the earth is still moving and we are still moving through time…but seriously, can’t summer last forever this year…? 

That’s not really what I’m posting about today. Today’s post is about this: Be.The.Sun. 

It was probably over a year ago now, maybe even close to two years, that an old friend of mine said to me, “be the Sun”. I was in some kind of turmoil about something in regards to someone else in my life (reason is insignificant, it was simply the catalyst), and she told me to be the Sun..the Sun remains the same…the Sun remains the same, no matter what. The Sun shines even when the clouds cover it up, the Sun comes up every single day even when bad things have happened around it, the Sun is bright and powerful and healing and uplifting in every single moment because it just keeps on shining…no matter what goes on around it. 

Be.The.Sun.

This year on my birthday, my mom gave me some tarot cards. I think it’s the third set of cards I’ve had through my life. I’ve always loved playing with and studying my Tarot cards, it’s really something that you can spend years “learning” how to read and use, because readings will always change and your understanding of them will always change. So I have these Motherpeace Tarot cards, and I like to do readings for myself (haha, and for others too, believe it or not!!) as a way of hashing through things, calling spirit guides, tuning into my Higher Self, etc. (sometimes you have to use everything you can to get answers!!). The other night I was struggling with a drama I had going on in my head so I pulled out the cards…well, long story short, this is the card I pulled for the card that represented “me” in the reading:

Image

…haha. So, pretty well whenever anything has started to get to me the past few days, I just take a deep breath and remind myself, Be.The.Sun.

Have a happy Friday, my loves. Remember you get to be whatever you choose, all you have to do is see it in your mind’s eye.

Sending you lots of love…and, of course, lots of hot bright sun-shiny rays.

-Ida xx

(oh, and if you are reading this and you think the “friend” might be you, you are right, you know who you are, so thanks for that, LL 😉 )

 


if there is no CHALLENGE, then what’s keeping you moving forward…?

Gooood morning yogis!!!

Uh, can you believe it’s AUGUST FIRST already??! Wowee, time flies when you’re alive 😉

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I am challenging myself to 30 days of writing. In the past, I have done much reading and researching about 30 day challenges (they say it takes 30 days to start a new habit) because of the popularity of doing yoga challenges. I like to choose a new challenge topic for myself whenever we do a yoga challenge because I am already pretty confident with my yoga habit, I feel like it’s not going anywhere. By creating new challenges for myself, I get to be committed along side of my yogis, I just use a different tool to achieve the same goal…I am writing myself a step closer and they are stretching themselves a step closer to the ultimate goal…Self Realization!

Ever since I can remember I have known how to read. I don’t remember learning how, I just always remember reading. Now I would not consider myself a big reader. Everyone in my family is a reader. Seriously, they usually read the same books in succession of each other, and often they are all reading the same series of books at the same time. They like to geek out and talk about all the characters and what’s happening in the books together, as though they are all there. They are currently reading the Game of Thrones, so there is a LOT of geeking out to be done with this series, it really helps when there is a worldwide mass hysteria over the book/series of books, and even better if there is a tv show and/or a movie!! It’s a real super geek fest if all those things are aligned 😉 (NOTE to my readers, I LOVE geeks and I LOVE my family…and I LOVE to geek out with my family as well, so I too am reading Game of Thrones 😉 )

So, with reading comes writing, and I’ve always just known how to do that as well. I know, sounds pompous, but it’s true. I was a smart kid. lol. As I grew up I didn’t really get into writing much…just the journal entries from teen-hood about my broken heart or my heavy crush on the new guy on the basketball team and what to do about it all. (Sigh, high school.) It was when I was in my early 20’s that I discovered how much I love to write. I was doing all sorts of self discovery and self expression workshops, taking acting classes and trying to figure out what my passion is and what is holding me back from being amazing and ridiculously fulfilled in all areas of my life (and, btw, what I learned through all these courses and workshops is that we are all capable of whatever we want to be capable of because we are perfect and powerful exactly in this moment, so start visualizing what you want to create and START CREATING IT!)…and I decided (remembered/realized?) that I was wanted to write and that I was going to write a book one day. I didn’t know what it was going to be about, I didn’t know if it was going to be fiction or true tale…I just knew I would do it. One day. I tried my hand at play writing and screen writing (uh, no). I wrote several monologues that were parts of larger pieces for a one woman show I would one day produce (and perform), and even have a bunch of stuff hidden away somewhere of the light hearted book I was compiling called “The Good Girl’s Guide To…”, a series of observations of a 20 something girl living in Vancouver…clearly I realized that this “Good Girl in the City” wasn’t the voice I was going to move through the rest of my life with…it’s still just in pieces stashed away with the rest of my young adult musings.

So, here we are. I have a lot going on right now professionally, and sometimes I feel like I’m not expressing my creativity enough. If I focus too much on the left side of my brain I get lop sided and the right creative is stagnant and I get grump-o-rama. I need to have some creative expression in order to have, you guessed it, BALANCE in my brain life body mind spirit. So I am choosing to write! I will write for the month and see how creative I feel at the end of it. (Feel free to read as much or as little as you like through the process 😉 )

Do you have something that you have been wanting to do but putting off (gosh, what a cliche thing to write!! ha)? Well, maybe NOW is the time to do it…

That’s today’s post, my loves. Sometimes prolific ideas come in small offerings…and sometimes a simple post is just a simple post 🙂

Have fun today,
Love,
Ida xx


yoga post…Front Row…go or no-go?

Hello good sunny morning my loves!!! It’s Wednesday morning, July 31st 2013 (seriously where is 2013 going??!!???!?! wowza) and I have been thinking about this for a while…my next challenge is writing. I have written about challenges many times before…from doing a 30 day yoga challenge (30 classes/30 days) to ways of creating challenges outside of the yoga room, such as green juice every day, more water every day, seated meditation every day…you get the idea. So, this challenge, starting August 1st, is to write every day. So get ready, read what you like, I will try to keep the uninspired ones short 😉

BUT, the reason for today’s post is THIS….the FRONT ROW in yoga class (but really, isn’t that just a metaphor for Life…). Do you like to go there? Do you like to practice in the front row when you take class (as Bikram yogis, we know the front row to be the mirror, but being in the front row of ANY class has some stigma, no? Think about math class, or aerobics class or dance class or cooking class or whatever class…people often think only the “good ones” can go at the front of the class). If you practice at a studio where there is a mirror, the mirror is likely the front row, and the closer to the mirror you are, the better you can see your reflection. Simple. However, being in the front row also means that there are all sorts of people behind you who will inevitably be…dun dun duuuuu…looking at you!! Ha! Or so you think. Chances are everyone behind you is working just as hard to stay focussed on themselves, on their own practice. Of course, sometimes there are people in the room who are learning from watching…watching you in the front row…or a few people who just want to watch the beauty of the yoga postures. That’s when you are simply sharing your practice as a means to inspire the others around you.

Last week I got asked a couple times about the Front Row so I decided I would tell you MY opinion. 😉

I think everyone should practice in the front row at least once in a while. I don’t believe for one second that the front row is reserved for the “good ones” or the teachers or what have you. I believe the Front Row is reserved for people who want to focus on themselves, for people who want to work hard and concentrate and be able to see their body!! The front row is there for people to go in it!! USE THE MIRROR! That’s why we have them, that’s why they are such a big part of this practice.

Ok, that being said, the front row does in some way “lead” the class. It doesn’t mean that if you are in the front row you need to do all the postures perfectly and not fall out or sit down or take a break…what it means is that you take care of yourself, you work hard, you challenge yourself and when you take a break, you take it mindfully, a couple breaths, then back into the posture. Sound familiar?…it’s because that’s yoga.

So, don’t be scared of the Front Row. Be mindful of how you feel when you get to class. If you are working through an injury and the likelihood of you needing extra breaks or extra savasanas, then maybe that is not the day for you to be in the front, but rather take it easy in the back. If you have never practiced in the Front Row, maybe today is the day. See what is different for you, see if you notice your practice in a different way when you can see your body in the mirror. See how you feel to be leading the class with your energy, your concentration, your determination, your breath and your focus.

AHhh! OK, yogis, it’s time to go out and be in love with this day!! Actually, I’m about to go take Bestest’s class, THEN outside…wonder where I’ll practice this morning…

Happy looking at your reflections, yogis.
Love,
Ida xx


Honesty trumps everything. Thoughts on my ten year anniversary!

Hello Kittens!

I am 5 days until the anniversary of teaching my very first yoga class. Bikram says it takes 10 years to become a teacher. On June 7th, it will be ten years since I taught my first class. May 31st was the ten year anniversary of my graduation. Whew. What a ride!!

If you asked me ten years ago today what I would be doing now…well, I’m sure teaching would be in the mix, as I was at teacher training, but I’m not sure I could have even fathomed where my job, my life, my yoga would have taken me, and all the things I would learn in the process.

Do you ever notice that parents always think their kids are the smartest kids? We have the opportunity, as adults, to actually witness small beings learning and experiencing new things pretty well every moment of their lives!! We, as adults, have learned it all, experienced it all, so we take the normal stuff for granted. Ever really allow yourself to experience the sourness of a lemon as though for the first time? How about looking at a flower, or a leaf, as though seeing the delicateness of the petals and the amazing seamlessness of how the colours blend into each other?…You get the picture. As we grow, we learn. Once we get to a certain age, we learn how to take care of ourselves, we have some life experiences, get into a bit of trouble and figure it out, have to make a couple choices, relationships, moving, living alone…etc…after we gain some life experience, we think we pretty well know…everything…right? So, our parents and other people around us continue to try to parent us and give us advice, without it seeming like advice, and take heed and charge forward and continue to gain life experience. Then, as we get this experience, we start to see things about ourselves, patterns, behaviours etc. We start to see how much we thought we knew “back then” and how much we really didn’t know…which means as much as we think we know now, it must mean that we still don’t actually know anything because we are only so little into our lives and development (but at least now we are wise enough to see that we still have so much more to learn and experience! Ha!). One of my favourite ideas that I heard way back in a different part of my life, is this…there are a bunch of things that we know we know (I know how to cook, do yoga, sing, teach, drive, etc etc), and then there are a bunch of things that we know we DON’T know (I don’t know how to fly a plane, play the guitar, tap dance, build a car, etc etc)…and then there is the category of the things you DON’T KNOW YOU DON’T KNOW…IMAGINE IT! There are so many things I don’t know I don’t know, so I don’t even know that I want to know them or am yet to even discover them!! So, you see, the learning and experiencing is endless!!

OK, so here I sit, 5 days from the ten year anniversary from teaching my first class and I have been having floods of emotion and memories. I have never done anything for TEN years in a row! I have been remembering classes taught and classes taken. I have been remembering times of loving what I was doing and times of not loving it. Times of feeling I was in the right place and times of wondering what the hell I was doing. I have had moments and hours of physical strength and physical weakness, emotional strength and emotional weakness. I remember times of true pure happiness and bliss standing on a podium leading students…and I have also felt completely sad, frustrated, fearful, nervous, excited, joyful, scared, inspired…I can quite honestly say, in my now ten years of teaching this yoga, I have experienced every part of who I am in that yoga room, on the podiums of all the many schools and beaches and grassy yards and living rooms and poolsides and dreams that I have had the opportunity to teach a class in.

I have had many people say many things about the way I teach class, and about me because of it. I have had a couple of brutally honest things said to me through this process, but that is for another post. I will say this…the other day a student revealed to me (when talking about me having taught for 10 years), that I open the door more now.

It’s true. I do open the door more. And it’s true all the things people have said to me and about me. It’s true I’m tough. It’s true my class is tough. It’s true you will work hard in my class…if you want to. And it’s true I’m loving and caring and honest. In fact, all I need to say is I’m honest. Right? Honest is all of those things wrapped up together! To honestly teach something to someone from an honest place…isn’t that pretty well all things we could be all wrapped up in one big ball of awesomeness that sometimes hurts your feelings or stings the Ego a little…and it also lifts you up and fills your bucket and maybe strokes your Ego just a little. But it’s real and it’s true and it’s all of us. The parts we like and love and admire as well as the parts we hate and despise and are embarrassed of.

So, in my ten years of teaching yoga, I can honestly say that I have learned
So, in the past ten years, the biggest thing I have learned is

Huh. Apparently I have learned too many things and had too many life lessons and character building experiences that I can’t narrow it down. That was the last 10 years…and now, I am so excited to see what I can get up to in the NEXT 10 years!!

Until then, thank you to everyone. Seriously. Thanks. We’re all here at the same time, we might as well help eachother out!!

Love,
Ida xx

5.31.03-6.2.13 Ten Years!

5.31.03-6.2.13 Ten Years!