News – 11/8/2013

Yogis,

YOGAMAZÉ Anatomy, Adjustments & Therapeutics Training in LA 2013I just returned from my latest visit to LA for module 5 of 6 in my 500-hour advanced teacher training with Noah Mazé.  The first half of the week, we focused on various types of vinyasa classes, and what the definition of vinyasa can be.  The second half of the week was a workshop given by Martin Kirk and Noah covering anatomy, adjustments and therapeutics.  Expect to see more breath focus (vinyasa) and therapeutic alignment in the future as I incorporate what I have learned into my classes.

My most up-to-date schedule is always at http://www.mindbodykula.com/schedule/.  I have a couple morning classes in the week and a couple on the weekend.  I want to highlight the class on Saturdays at 2pm, Learning Time Yoga.  This class is designed to teach you the details needed to safely practice poses so you are more comfortable attending yoga classes that might not be learning-focused, mine or other teachers’.

6:30a-7:30a Tuesday @ Flex for Shine On Yoga
6:30a-7:30a Thursday @ Flex for Shine On Yoga
11:30a-12:30p Saturday @ Joy of Yoga for Monkey Business Kids’ Yoga
2p-3:15p Saturday @ Flex for Learning Time Yoga

Always check the online calendar to verify the class you want is still being held.  On-the-fly updates will be made to this Google calendar, should anything have to change.

I hope to see you soon in a class. If you have suggestions or requests for times, locations, or types of classes, please contact me.  I want yoga that works for you, so participate and help me make it available.

Namaste,
Jacob

Have You Really Looked Lately

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This was the leaf nearest to me after I sat down. There is beauty in this. Beauty in the simplicity of a fallen leaf in Autumn.  Beauty in the complexity that exists in life so that this leaf can be created. Beauty in knowing that you can find this wonder anywhere you are at any time.
Look around you. Find something you would normally overlook. Really look at it and see it for the simplicity, complexity, and wonder it embodies.

Shared Kharma

Kharma Khare mat - 01I got the privilege of trying out a Kharma Khare yoga mat this last week while studying with Noah Mazé in LA.  Twenty-two 300-hour-teacher-training focus pose classes later, I have a pretty good idea of how I feel about this mat.  Made from recycled tires in a clean, environmentally friendly process, nobody can argue against this as a good environmental program just in itself.  Check out their web site for more details on the how and why.  I want to talk about my experience as an asana practitioner.

To preface this, I want to acknowledge that I sweat a lot–profusely when I’m practicing.  One time, I had a sweet yoga teacher offer me a hanger and help to drip-dry my mat after a hard practice.  I was using a regular mat and a Manduka eQua towel (also an awesome product) to cover it.  Yeah, that type of sweat.

I slip on regular mats after only a little bit of practice.  I have used my Lululemon The Mat with pretty good success, but after a bit too much sweat, it gets a little slippery too.  I got the eQua towel to solve this problem by covering my mat up with a non-slip, microfiber towel, but as wonderful as the eQua is, it’s a towel that’s on top of my mat, it can get in the way sometimes, and once I soak it through, I’m working on a wet surface (sticking to it, but it’s still wet).  My heart was drawn to the Kharma Khare company as soon as I learned about it.  They’re just doing the right thing.

Now that I’ve tried the Kharma Khare mat, I’m pretty sure it’s my go-to mat most all of the time.  It’s heavier than my Lululemon mat, but not significantly so.  At first it felt hard, but that was deceptive.  Really, it’s stable and firm, but if a small enough bone (elbow, knee, etc) pushes into the mat with enough weight, the mat gives nicely to cushion and protect.  It’s rock-solid and non-slip.  Dry, I didn’t slip.  4-5 hours of asana classes later, I didn’t slip.  Sweat didn’t pool on the surface but instead was drawn away from the surface.  My Lululemon mat does this too, but not as well.  The feel is soft, almost velvety smooth.  It allows me to slide over it easily, such as when sliding my front heel forward in Hanumanasana, without the feeling of tackiness that some mats have.  The smell from a brand new mat was minimal–far less than the Lululemon mat which took months to finish it’s off-gassing of seemingly noxious fumes.  The only negative I’ve found is that it takes longer to hang dry than my Lululemon mat.

If you ever need a replacement or a different mat from Kharma Khare, you can send back your old mat for 50% credit on a new mat.  Right now, they even have a 30-day trial program.  For $30, you get 30 days to try it out.  If you keep it, you pay two more installments to bring you up to the regular price.

To wrap up, Kharma Khare’s mat is a little heavy, it feels great, it does not slip no matter how you sweat but is also not tacky, and you’re doing one more positive thing for the future of our planet.  Now that’s Khare for your Kharma.

News – 6/10/2013

Yogis,

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana 001I will be traveling the coming two weeks.  The first week I will be training in Boston for my day job.  The second week I’ll be continuing my teacher training with Noah Mazé in LA.  I have morning classes on Monday 6/10 and 6/17 at Forest Park, Saturday morning 6/15 at Tower Grove with Sat Inder, and then a kids’ class that same day at Joy of Yoga (adult class at the same time taught by Joy Montes).

You can see my exact schedule at http://www.mindbodykula.com/schedule/.  Upon my return, this should be my schedule.  Note that the evening classes at Flex will be an hour and 15 minutes.

7:45a-8:45a Monday @ Forest Park for My Secret Park Yoga
7a-8a Tuesday @ Flex for Shine On Yoga
8:15p-9:30p Tuesday @ Flex for Afterglow Yoga
6:30a-7:30a Wednesday @ Tower Grove Park for Towers of Light Yoga
8:15p-9:30p Wednesday @ Flex for Afterglow Yoga
7a-8a Thursday @ Flex for Shine On Yoga
6:30a-7:30a Friday @ Tower Grove Park for Towers of Light Yoga
11:30a-12:30p Saturday @ Joy of Yoga for Monkey Business Kids’ Yoga

Towers of Light Yoga 001Always check the online calendar to verify the class you want is still being held.  On-the-fly updates will be made to this Google calendar, should anything have to change.

I’ll leave you with three pictures.  Working on my yoga homework, in this picture, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana.  A morning sky at Tower Grove Park.  And a Monday morning lake at Forest Park.

My Secret Park Yoga 001I hope to see you as soon as I get back into town.

Namaste,
Jacob

I’m Still Buying the Forgiveness Trend, To a Point

Amy Ippoliti has written a great article[1] on why blind forgiveness may not be a good choice for our future. As part of her argument (much of which I agree with) she notes that if we forgive too early, how will the offender learn not to do it again?

“If we pardon someone too soon (“idiot compassion“), what is to stop him or her from repeating their misdeed and hurting another?

What assurance do we have that a person won’t replicate the same harmful behavior (which is typically the case unless significant action toward changing has occurred)?

Should we give him or her reprieve even when there has been no sign of accountability on their part? Do we just pardon when there has been no remorse or expression of regret, no making amends? Should we shrug our shoulders, let it go and mind our own business, even when we know it is possible for this person to cause more harm?

What if they do it again and hurt someone else because they never had someone set a clear boundary and tell them no?”

Learning theory suggests that withholding trust, albeit guarded trust, isn’t necessarily the most efficacious way for people to learn. It’s a form of punishment called negative punishment (taking away of something the person desires). Although she indicated that trust should not be given, she then comes back to center a bit and notes that we should keep a small part of our conscious anger to help us remember the infraction and use it to help make informed decisions about future choices regarding this person.

“This is when having that small grain of “anger sand” could come in handy—it helps us remember that this person may not be trusted yet.

I’m going to say it: forgiveness must be earned.”

That I can agree with. Forgiveness must be earned. But unless you forgive and trust, how can the person have an opportunity to earn it back? Some forgiveness and trust must exist, first. Positive reinforcement has proven to be much for successful in teaching people what is acceptable behavior and to alter behavior, and with much less negative impact.

I think that “anger sand” should temper our choices, but we should still give forgiveness whenever possible. When history informs us that an issue may arise, we should use that knowledge to manage the extent to which our trust can be taken advantage. Only with offering forgiveness and trust will we be able to move forward together, but not at the knowing expense of ourselves.

 

How do you feel about this? How do you handle this? What seems to have worked for you? What hasn’t worked so well? How can you improve so that the people around you can improve?

1. Ippoliti, Amy, Why I’m Not Buying the Whole Forgiveness Trend in Yoga & Spirituality, http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/why-im-not-buying-the-whole-forgiveness-trend-in-yoga-spirituality/

Learning All Over Again

trikonasana_001This week I’m in LA, studying again with Noah Mazé and the rest of my 300 hour crew looking to expand our teaching knowledge.  Our plan for early this week is to expand on the basic Iyengar pose scripts we developed last time and add in refinements to solve common errors and misalignments.  We’re also moving beyond shared class teaching and into fully themed and focused class preparations.  Nothing new in concept, but it’s on a whole new level of difficulty and commitment.  Starting Friday and through the weekend, we’ll be sitting with Douglas Brooks and learning more history and philosophy, as well as both practicing asana with Noah and assisting his classes for this weekend intensive.

It’s great to be back with this great group of accomplished and dedicated yogis.  I’m taking it all in and will bring it back to you as I am able to process it all.

Namaste!

Boots of Reality

I have lots of ideals based on reasonable philosophical groundings. I have lots of smart, caring people around me to help me learn. I try to do the right thing by myself and by everyone else. Still, reality often gets in the way. Even when I try to do the right thing, I have to question whether there isn’t a better way.

This is my yoga. The boots of reality tread heavily through my temple of philosophy. My supportive community help me keep things swept clean.