Tantric TV Yoga

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I used to do a lot of binge watching.

Just shove a whole season down my throat because somehow it tasted better.

But lately, my television experience is a lot more tantric.

Like many, many other people I been watching Orange is the New Black.

A joy lies inside the waiting to watch the next episode. Netflix makes it hard because they release the whole season at once, however, I have shown a shockingly huge amount of discipline.

Yeah I know, it’s a prison show full of stereotypes- but the writing isn’t all bad.

We can spend time judging my tastes later, more interesting things await.

So since I’m really taking my time with every episode every word sinks in.

Jengi Kohan, the creator must know that I love a good turn of phrase and quippy dialogue that feels real.

It’s. Absolutely Satisfying.

(And Natasha Lyonne is fcuking awesome, but again I digress)

Episode 10 deals with bad teens and the Scared Straight program. In one scene the main character talks to a young banger girl in a wheelchair.

It starts at minute 2:44 but the whole five minutes is great. (the language is rough, so the kids need to walk away)

“It’s coming face-to-face with who you really are.” 

I know I’ve mentioned that yoga is my therapy, my church, my medicine and my safe place.

But really, it just brought me face-to-face with myself.

It happens every time I practice, but I feel myself most when I’m in the hot room.

I don’t know what it is about the heat or the ritual I have about setting up my mat, but if I’m running from something I can be sure that it’s going to be waiting for me when I sit my ass down and fold my legs to open my hips. Baddha Konasana will never be the same.

One of these moments happened today.

I got to class. I changed. I chatted. I kept looking at the entrance to the hot room sideways, like it was about to come for me. (And I hadn’t even watched Episode 10 yet! )

I stopped bullshitting and went to face the heat.

Feelings started to well up and I felt my eyes leak (I’m so happy the room is dark).

But I realized that I wasn’t upset about anything.

I. Was. Okay.

The past 12 months were more stressful than I can describe, and I didn’t talk about it as much as I should have to my family and friends.

Now, on the other side I realized that it was my mat and practice that had been my confidantes.

The hot room is where I came when it felt confusing, dark and on some days without any hope.

And now that the storm is over, I can exhale. It sounds stupid but I wanted to cry did cry and thanked the room for being there.

You can run but you can’t hide in 105°.

Staying in the moment helped me stay in the moment off the mat.

Being present can get you through a world of stress.

These next 12 months may prove to be the most challenging of my life.

But with a mat, a hot room, myself and the truth, I’ll be better than okay.

It isn’t prison, but hot yoga made me her bitch. And her truth has set me free.

Namaste y’all. 

half bind hot-yoga

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Get Interested in Your Yoga Practice Over and Over and Over Again…

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It’s so easy at the beginning. Your tapas is finely tuned and every pose is new, fresh and exciting. And as my yoga progresses so do the poses. With so many new exciting things happening, as I deepen my practice and begin teaching, it seems critical to stay in touch with my yoga foundation.

Taking classes is a little different now that I teach yoga. My ears prick up even more when I hear something that makes me say ‘Yes!’ That is awesome and needs to be shared with my class.

A few days days ago as I was sweating it out the teacher said, “Get interested. Find new ways to get into a familiar shape.”

‘Um- can you all pause for a quick sec? I need to write this down.’

A big smile covered my face.

Get interested. 

So I did. My koshas seemed like the best place to start. Very briefly, I’ve heard the koshas described as ‘energy lampshades’ or sheaths that cover our light. In yoga our goal is to move inward to a state of purity.

I looked at poses from the inside out and connected with my pranamaya kosha, or what I like to call my energy fascia. It’s the kosha that connects all the koshas to the body. With my breath really in tune with my body I felt like I was doing poses both as an observer and a participant.

It was cool.

Get interested.

In my head as I got into a pose I asked, ‘If I were a teacher how would I adjust this? What verbal cues would I give?’

I was surprised at how I could disappear so deep into the adjustments that I had to back off. I was almost missing my practice.

Eventually I found that sweet spot. It’s the same with students. You have to feel the space of each student. There’s a point when you make the adjustment and let a person explore the shape with their own breath. It’s like I’m the tour guide. You don’t need your tour guide yapping at you the entire trip , but you might want them to point out a spot that shouldn’t be missed.

As my own tour guide I got a little over zealous, but found balance.

I can’t say I’d practice like this daily. And truthfully if I did, eventually it wouldn’t be interesting anymore.

But flipping the script on myself was an challenge I’d do again and will continue to do.

This is yoga. And boy is it interesting….

Namasté y’all.