Thoughts This Week

I have a list of about forty things I’d like to write proper articles on, but alas, I just ain’t got the time to do it!  So instead I’ll just paraphrase all the mumbo jumbo that’s been circulating up in the noggin’ regions of my brain, until a more appropriate time for research and feature writing surfaces.  (And it will, damnit!)

Today I’ll be teaching a class called Yoga + Massage = Bliss.   It’s a combination of Thai Massage, Marma Point Therapies, and Yoga Asanas, finished off with a short mantra and meditation.  After talking to some of the girls, I decided to make a small donation box with the goddess Lakshmi gracing the front.  Here’s to abundance!

At the start of this academic year, I’d experience some notable tension before teaching a class, that exciting mixture of anticipation and hopes for the session to be beneficial to attendees.  This time around, I’ve found my more familiar space of calm, where I’m confident in the skills I’ve learned (though I have much more to learn!), and am able to simply surrender.  In my first teacher training I realized classes were most successful when I opened my heart and mind to the Wisdom that’s preceded me, and channeled that wisdom without effort – or anxiety.

This is a significant rediscovery!  Last year, I only taught yoga to my high school kids in a PE class – quite a different ‘vibe’ from the studio!  On top of that, after the trauma in SF, I observed a distinct regression in my spiritual progress.  I felt quite detached from that aspect of my life.  But, after a few trips to India and whole lotta spiritual self-study, I’m back in the groove!

I’m also back on the health tip this week.  Not that I’d fallen off the yoga-eating-well-positive-thinking regiment.  I actually just fell victim to a number of unfortunate air-borne factors in my area!  After seeing an ENT (ear nose throat) specialist in Abu Dhabi (2.5 hours away – my company actually sent me a car.  POINT!  SABIS) – I now know why I’ve had so many respiratory challenges so far.  Here are the factors:

  • Teaching green goo Kindergarteners (cute though they are)
  • Living near two oil refineries and a plastics company
  • Living in an isolated part of the desert
  • Air conditioned environment, practically 24-7
  • Childhood asthma
  • <— Just look at that sandstorm!  My lungs don’t stand a chance . . .

It’s more frustrating than I care to verbalize!  When I asked the specialist about long term preventative measures he said: Move to Al Ain (4 hours away).  I haven’t had so many chest problems since I was a smoker!  And this situation has really made me question my validity as a yoga teacher – how can I be a yoga freak and yet be sick so often?

Well, it’s good to look at yourself through the skepta-goggles, but the fact is, my environment just doesn’t agree with me.  I’m taking all precautions I can from vitamins to wrapping scarves around my face – but it’s impossible to find zinc or vitamin D supplements.  And do I really want to stay in my room all day?

Although, that does mean more time for writing and practice . . .

I’ve also noticed an interesting theme in my interactions with my Kindergarten kids:  I’m learning lesson after lesson from them about men!   Haha! Yeah, I keep having these epiphanies about relationships thanks to my little 3 and 4 year old students!  I see so many traits of former loves in these wiggly youngsters, I’ve gotta ask the question: have I really been dating MEN?  Or have they all been boys?  With all due respect, the parallels are uncanny!

One little boy, Ahmed, is so bright and full of joy – but only when he is doing the exact opposite of what you need him to do.  I ask him to sit down, he stands.  When put in the naughty corner, he sports a rather devious little smile.  Reverse psychology doesn’t work on him either, nor do rewards – my ADEC teacher and I were at the end of our creativity rope.  I’m a bit embarrassed to say, though I know it wasn’t the best decision for his education, I was relieved when his parents had to pull him out of class!

Another wee one loves to hold a grudge.  One stern word, and she sits in a huffy sulk for the entire hour – that’s a long time for a kindergartener, we only have four hours in the day!  So for her, even when she’s not listening or causing trouble with her neighbor, a soothing voice is the only answer.

I have a sweetie pie who does nothing but day dream (or actually take a nap!) unless I am constantly engaging him.  If only I had all the time in the world for him!

Shamsa, the girl in the picture, is nothing but pure unadulterated love – and whole lotta personality.  Intelligent, social, engaged, a reliable leader,  fun to play with and adorable to boot!    She stood in the background for a while, but now she’s come out of her shell – so proud of her. Not sure that relates much to the boyfriend lessons, but I just had to share 🙂

Been spending too many weekends in Abu Dhabi, not doing anything fun, but running errands!  Thankfully, there’s always a bit of comedy relief in between what could otherwise become monotony.  Here’s a short clip of Lil’ Mo and Nat-Nat as they search for our car in a labyrinth parking lot:

In other news, Air India has officially lost my bag full of OM symbols, India-only books, presents, chai masala, skirts and a yoga mat.  BOO, Air India!  Never again!

. . . I patiently (with effort) await the arrival of my new yoga mat.

Articles I’m working on at the moment:

  • Yoga Mat Culture
  • Classical Integration
  • Yoga and Diabetes
  • The Benefits of Failure
  • Santosha: The Lost Art of Contentment
  • Meditating on Muladhara: A Year of Grounding Energy
  • Visions of Women
  • Profile: A Fellow Hawaiian Abroad

I just posted a few blogs on Yoga Lovin’ about custom mats and Shankaracharya as well.  Busy busy!

Some quotes that resonated with me this week:

Ekam sat, vipraha bahudha vadanti: Truth is one, seers express in many ways. ~The Upanishads 1-27

We may therefore regard matter as being constituted by the regions of space in which the field is extremely intense . . . There is no place in this new kind of physics for both the field and matter, for the field is the only reality. ~Albert Einstein  (Matter only exists when energies are condensed, and even then it’s existence is completely relative to the field. So reality is more a dynamic between the field and energies, rather than simple matter itself.  Put that in your macrocosm and smoke it!)

Love brings freedom.  And a love that does not bring freedom is not love. ~Osho


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