Friday, August 5, 2011


For the first time since I've started teaching, I am able to write these words: It's the end of the summer, and I'm ready to go back.

We start up in one week. A WEEK. It's odd. This has been a pretty wonderful summer, and I haven't checked off half of my summer to-do list. Usually, the looming fall semester rains a shower of gloomy anxiety over me, but this time, I'm really ready! I haven't quite figured out where that openness is coming from this time around--maybe I hit just the right blend between intense travel, yoga, and relaxation.

One thing that I hope to take with me in fall semester are the little yoga breakthroughs that I had these past few weeks. I actually practiced regularly at two studios this summer, just for a little change of scenery! I've heard Bikram teachers say that summer's the best time to practice--your body is just so much more open and willing to change-- and I hope that some of this progress sticks. For one, I can finally get my leg upside-down L like Linda in Standing Head to Knee. I am beginning to think about lowering the elbows.

The other big change came with a teacher's help. I developed a Leaving the Room Tic (LTR), which would threaten to deploy during Triangle. It would then fully deploy during Cobra during classes that reached a certain temperature. It's like my body was calibrated: Hot classes + certain postures = LTR! LTR! LTR! I'd be out of the room and sucking down my after-class Vitamin Water treat before I could stop myself.

Until.... my teacher stopped me. She's been working (quite patiently) with me for over two years now. One of the things I like about her is that she very understanding about LTR and doesn't give people grief about it. Unless, that is, she can see it's just a tic. A few weeks ago, she saw me flip over during Cobra, a sign that I was getting ready to split, and she read my mind. She kindly but firmly encouraged me to stay, and later in the class she talked in general about identifying patterns in your practice that you can then work through. This was great. It was just the push I needed. I knew I could leave if I really had to, but if I didn't have to, why go? It just sets you up for bailing on a regular basis.

Since then, I've stayed in the room. No LTR! It doesn't mean I don't sit down when I need to, but at least I don't leave. Maybe that discipline will stay with me once school starts, maybe not :-) Hmm. Maybe I am going to miss summer after all!


Jacob Stickney said...

There are some days when I feel like leaving the room (physically there, mentally checked out). The best thing we can do in times of mental unrest is to willfully try to focus on our breathing, nothing else, even if laying out on a posture or two.

The habit I'm trying to break out of at the moment is not being distracted by anyone or anything, just focusing only on my practice for 90 minutes. That stillness is a strength. :)


Dorothy said...

I love when teachers hone in on stuff we know but pretend we don't. It's a little boost to the will power. This is one o the reasons I prefer group practice (as opposed to home), because there's a second set (or more) of eyes to keep looking at what we sometimes stop seeing in ourselves.

Lisa @ Just here. Just now. said...

Good for you for dealing with your tic! At my studio, they are pretty big sticklers for not leaving the room. Sit out as much as you want, but stay in the room and breathe! It really helps me to stay present and deal with the inevitable antsy feelings. I feel like if I can commit to staying in that room when I really don't want to - I can deal with any situation life throws at me!
Thanks for sharing - great blog!

hannahjustbreathe said...

I really like it when teachers force us to identify our tics. I know I have them---adjusting my shorts at certain points in class or making those few, extra movements that just aren't necessary. It's an entirely different practice in discipline to just BE with your practice---to let it move YOU instead of you moving IT.

aHappyYogi said...


Yolk E said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jacob. I enjoy reading your blog!

Gracias a todos... to working on those tics! :-)