Summertime is sweet, luxurious and breezy. Oriana Green poetically puts it this way: “I am Summer, come to lure you away from your computer… come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches.” I felt inspired to create a playlist that does just that! Consider downloading this playlist to your iPod and take your mat outside. Happy Summer!
Theme From a Summerplace – Percy Faith
Summer – WAR
Aquarious – The Fifth Dimension
All Summer Long – Kid Rock
The Sound of Sunshine – Michael Franti
Summer – Calvin Harris
Happy – Pharrell Williams
Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Hot In Here (clean) – Nelly
Slowly – Max Sledgley
Dancing Queen – ABBA
Summer – India Arie
Summer – Moby
Summer – Lupe Fiasco
As a teacher, I am always sleuthing around for inspiring thoughts, impressions or concepts to share during class. It makes teaching interesting and exciting for me and hopefully for my students as well. I’m very attracted to offering something that makes the practice more relevant to people’s everyday lives. Now, I don’t think this requires going to the library and doing arduous research. I do think it requires a keen sense of listening and wide eyed awareness as I go about my day doing my usual, normal things. Here are some very reliable sources of inspiration that I think we all have easy access to:
1) my animals, who teach me many important lessons repeatedly: presence, acceptance, and simplicity to name a few. If you have kids, I bet they are great teachers, too.
2) stepping outside. Mother nature reminds us that we are a part of nature, to breathe, to pause, to connect. We experience earth, water, wind, fire of the sun, and fresh air outside, and we can source these elements into our practice.
3) news stories. I should be transparent here in that my main source of news comes from listening to NPR. Many of the stories spark insights for me that seem entirely relevant to my yoga practice. I think this works because we are all human, and while our lives and situations differ, we still share a commonality that touches each of us on the same emotional level.
4) quotes. There are many websites and books full of powerful, provocative and contemplative quotes. If it captures my attention so that I ponder it, reread and repeat it, I know I can and should teach to it.
5) conversations with others. I love to use an anonymous snippet from my friends’ conversations about their lives as inspiration. Regardless of the topic or situation, the sharing in class is third party, it has little emotional charge, and I can emphasize the gem or take-away from whatever the topic is that I am discussing, as opposed to making it personal.
6) my faults. Surprisingly, this is a great source of inspiration, and very relevant, because who isn’t human? I’m not saying that having a pity party in front of your class is a good idea. Nope, definitely not. But sharing what 90% of people have experienced at one time or another, i.e.. procrastinating on doing laundry, or eating too many brownies, can be effectively relatable.
7) books or articles. If someone was passionate and focused enough to share their ideas by writing a book or article, and I later read it and found it fascinating, I feel compelled to share that forward. The subject matter doesn’t need to be limited to yoga for this to work; baking, solar power, bike riding, and anything else could work just as well.
The Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado is a haven for more than 350 rescued lions, tigers, bears and other carnivores. You may have heard of them recently on NPR as they rescued circus animals from South America, read more here: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/rescued-circus-lions-peru-and-colombia-live-colorado. I am headed to the Sanctuary on June 6th for this race, but mostly to see the animals living free and as they were intended to out in nature. If you are a runner or an animal lover, I can’t imagine a better experience!
I spent the past week at Best Friends in Kanab, Utah leading a Good Karma Yoga Retreat. It was simply amazing. Why? 1) Because I am happier myself when helping others, and with 1600-1800 animals, there’s a heck of a lot of helping that goes into the continued success of America’s biggest no-kill animal society! And 2) because I shared this experience with some generous and big hearted souls who wanted to help out, too. Every day was a bit different, but we visited all of the animal habitat areas: wildlife & exotics, parrots, bunnies, dog town, cat world, piggies and horse haven. We cleaned cat houses, walked cats in buggies and on leash, we took a sweetheart of a dog, Brigette, on a hike and for a Love Me, Spoil Me sleepover. We attended several interesting lectures by Dr. Frank and learned how quality of life and animal psychology are not simple or black and white. We hiked, did yoga, meditated, cooked and shared meals, wine and belly laughs. It was a magical week and I am already looking forward to going back next year!
Love your yoga practice? Realize you might have missed a few key alignment principles by being swept up in the flow? Need a little individualized attention? This workshop is for you! I will be offering this three times this summer and it will be fun and chock full of helpful information. So sign up at the Vail Vitality Center on a Saturday morning that works for you: BackToBasics
Thank you for endeavoring to bring yoga to the west. What an extraordinary and needed gift that you have shared with us. We live in a fast paced society, which generates ridiculous amounts of stress, promotes distractions over actual experiences, and tells us we should be happy, happy, joy, joy all of the time, and hey, if we’re not go fix that with a pill, an absurd diet, or buy something. Personally, I can’t imagine life without my yoga practice, where I can simply breathe and be for long moments at a time. I never met you, but your influence has affected my life in a profound way. thank you so much.
A 4-week foundational yoga series at the Vitality Center
9/10, 9/17, 9/24 & 10/1
$80 members | $100 non-members
Recommit to yourself this summer with a foundational 4-week course designed to help you begin or rediscover your yoga practice! This course covers basic yoga philosophy, safe alignment and modifications of primary poses, sustainable breath and use of props. Each class will be a combination of discussion and practice. Whether you’re brand new to yoga or looking to deepen your practice, this course will leave you feeling confident attending a group class, and building a safe, effective home practice.