Wa Yo Yogi

Leanne Kitteridge's adventures in Yoga

Yoga Should not be Stressful March 29, 2010

Filed under: Anusara,Japan,travel yoga,yoga — shibuiyoga @ 8:01 pm
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That was my realization yesterday as I sat in the Vancouver International airport- yoga should not be stressful. I had planned to train with John Friend in Kyoto and Tokyo for 11 days- the first three in Kyoto- since last year some time. I am a planner- ask my friends and family. I am not the “leave everything to the  last minute” type of person. Not that I am not spontaneous – I love surprises! ( as long as I have my credit card and  the right shoes).

I arrived home from Maui with family in tow at 3 am Monday. Slept part of Tuesday and then washed clothes, cleaned house and bought groceries. I go to work Thursday. Flew to Narita for work and arrived home Saturday to a home sans husband. He had flown out that morning to Las Vegas. ( yes- I know- we are both insane!) Running all over town in my uniform, I bought more food, did banking, got medicine and other last minute things for my trip to Japan. I picked up the kids and headed home to a full day of sleepless packing ( I had already gone close to 20 hours by now with no sleep) and fun things like a movie and painting toe nails with my daughter. I wanted my last night with my kids to be family time.

Sadly, I arrived home to a blind pussycat. Old, sick and dying of cancer,  my poor pussycat of 16 years had rapidly gone down hill in a few days. We bundled her up and took her to the vet to wait 2 hours to see a doctor. I knew what was coming but I kept hoping I was wrong. I was right.

We said goodbye to our pussycat Ashita amid wailing and tears as my 10 and 6 year old hugged and held her. I made them leave the room while she was put to sleep but I buried my face in her beautiful fur one last time and cried my heart out while they were not in the room. Death is an inevitable part of life- pets teach our children how to grieve so that when they lose a person there is something to guide them. I brought them back in the room after she had passed . I remember how seeing my dad after he had passed away made me feel somehow better about death- to see how peaceful it could be.  My son said it was the worst day of his 10 year old life. It probably was.

So after that day ( and night)  of tears and sleeplessness, I awoke to head to Japan. Exhausted both emotionally and physically,  I just wanted to get on the plane and sleep. Though I was pretty sure I would have a seat on the flight things can always change when you fly standby and wouldn’t you know it- it changed. Another flight to Asia was over sold and they moved all the passengers to my flight and suddenly no more seats! I always have anxiety when I fly on my pass but now I just felt plain sick. I wasn’t going anywhere. It felt like a little too much.

I drove home in a daze to two happy children- good thing. I took them out for dinner and spent time with them- good thing. I managed to get another backup ticket for the domestic flight to Kyoto- good thing. I found two shirts on the floor I forgot to pack- good thing. I talked to my friends- good thing.  I realized around 8pm that this was not a big deal. I was going to Japan for a yoga training – this was not a medical emergency or something serious- this was supposed to be fun- not stressful. As soon as I sat with that for a few minutes everything changed.I was on an adventure- I would get there eventually and think of all the stories to tell!  There are no bad flights, I always say, just better stories. The cup went back to half full and suddenly everything felt better. We always have a choice- I forgot about that. I chose the light, I chose to see the good. And I am sitting waiting , hoping  to get on the flight once again…who knows what will happen? Whatever it is it will be good.

Aum shri ganesha namah – mantra to Lord Ganesha who helps travelers


Cyber Yoga March 10, 2010

I know you guys thought I dropped off the earth but Anusara Certification will do that to you. I have been busy with exams and videos and my poor little blog has gone neglected in the process. Please forgive me.

Out of my time management crisis and the 2010 Winter Olympics in my hometown came a wonderful new discovery: online yoga. I know that there has been mp3 downloads for a while: Elise’s Yoga Kula and Hillary Rubin were pioneers of sorts in that area but the owner of Yogaglo in LA took it a little further: streaming video.

I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not but I was hearing rumblings in the yoga world and thought it may a solution for my time challenged life. I usually drive 40 minutes or so a few times a week to take a public class but sometimes I am  lucky if I have 40 minutes to practice! Anyone else have this problem? The other thing that attracted me was that Yogaglo has certified Anusara teachers on staff and, not having a certified teacher close at hand, that was intriguing as well. As an Anusara Inspired teacher working on certification, having 3 or 4 certified teachers available to you can really bring depth to your teaching. ( yes- I borrow everything……)

For $18 US a month ( the price of a drop in at most studios) I can watch as many classes as I want. One thing I would also like to point out is not only is there asana classes but there are lectures available from well-known scholars such as Sally Kempton and Douglas Brooks. The drop down menu on the site allows you to choose style, length, level and instructor. Even if you have only 30 minutes you can find a practice to suit you. For those that travel,  as long as you have your computer and access to the internet , you are ready to go at any time of day… or night depending on your  jet lag! 

The sound and video quality are excellent. I only had trouble once downloading a class. It was very disappointing as we were halfway through a really great class while it happened! It could have been our modem but I haven’t had time to follow-up. The classes are filmed in a white room with the teacher at the center and the students facing the teacher with their backs to you. It makes you feel like you are in the room with everyone.

The Anusara teachers on Yogaglo are Tara Judelle and Noah Maze and a host of guest teachers: Marc Holzman, Elena Brower, Naime Jezzeny, Scott Lewicki and many others. I have to say that Marc blew me away. His style was the epitome of what I hope to cultivate as an Anusara teacher. Real, open, accessible, intelligent- he really makes you forget you are not right there in the Yogaglo studio. He has an incredible back story as well. Sadly for those who discovered him on Yogaglo he is moving to Paris so here is hoping for a cyber feed from France! Vive la Anusara….

For those time challenged, studio-less, teacher-less, needing a change, traveling yogis please add to the list of cyber resources by commenting below~