Archive for July, 2008


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My kid is going to arrive at college with one of these in her mouth, I just know it.


Her pediatrician says it’s not a problem right now.  He’s totally pro-binky because, obviously, it’s a better way for a child to soothe herself than to have a tantrum and flail around the way 2-year olds are wont to do.  Her dentist is unconcerned until she turns 4.  As long as we are using the smallest ones and they’re orthodontic she says they wont do any harm.

But I am concerned.  Because this is a serious addiction.  It started out as a night time only thing but, from the day we were plunged without warning into the Terrific Twos, she has wanted to have one in her mouth at all times.  And when she comes up and coos, “Binky.  Pweeease,” in her saddest, sweetest little voice….  Well, let’s just say I become that mother I never thought I would be.  I’m such a sucker (no pun intended).

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In my defense

I teach Hatha yoga.  That’s it.  Just Hatha.  Somehow saying that I teach Hatha yoga is enough for me but it never manages to be enough for the other yoga teachers I meet.  I have found myself on more than my fair share of snotty sideways looks as people ask, “Yes, but what kind of Hatha?”  They ask it like a test, like I dont know there are variations within Hatha or like I’m lying about it altogether.

So what kind do I teach?

No kind, I guess.

Or maybe every kind.

My kind.  Yes, that’s it.  My very own kind.  I study everything available, I go to classes and workshops and pull things from those experiences into my classes.  I took an Anusara class once where we started in legs up the wall.  It felt very strange to me but I went ahead and tried it out on my own students.  Why not?  But I wouldn’t dream of calling myself an Anusara teacher.  And that’s just one example.  My classes are like a yoga sampler platter, a little of this, a little of that.  Does that mean I have some kind of problem with commitment?  It could.  I admit that I dont want to be tied down to one sequence or one school of thought or ideology.  You can call it dabbling and say that I’m doing a disservice by not jumping, both feet, into a defined practice.  That’s fair.

But yoga is yoga, isn’t it?  I mean, it’s all the same stuff that people have been doing for 5,000 years.  And the poses aren’t even the main part.  To me it doesn’t matter what order you do them in.  As long as your mind is in the right place (or at least you’re making a valid attempt to get it there) and you’re breathing then you’re doing yoga.  The stretches are secondary.  What’s important is not what you do in a yoga class but what you take away from it.

Of course, that’s just me.  I could be wrong.  I could be justifying my lack of a specified teaching style.  But I’m comfortable with it for now.  Someday I’m sure I will take a class, in some rarely-heard-of style, and be so moved that I devote my life to spreading that specific message.  I think that would be lovely.  But for the moment I will settle for the ability to verbalize what I’ve just said here.  Because somehow when standing opposite a stern face and a white turban, like I was yesterday, and being grilled – “Yes, but what kind of Hatha?” – I end up blubbering and stammering and sounding like a complete dolt.  I have a good reason in there I just can’t always manage to get it out.

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So I had to cancel a couple of classes before I ever taught them.  I was pretty sad to do it but the situation was really uncomfortable for me.  The space was awful (it was a stockroom…literally just a painted floor and cinder block walls and no ceiling) but the guy said he had all these people who wanted to do yoga there and was doing all this advertising so I was holding onto faith that all those bodies would absorb some of the echo and nastiness of the room.  But then it became clear that he had greatly exaggerated his advertising efforts and it wasn’t going to be worth the 30-minute drive to his shop.

I called and said that it might be best to postpone the classes until we had some guaranteed students because the transportation was a problem for me – we’re a one-car family and usually that’s plenty but when things like this come up we have to scramble to make other arrangements.  His solution: “Oh, well I will drive out and pick you up and then bring you home after class, if that’s your issue.”  Um.  No.  That is way too creepy.  And on top of some other creepy vibes I got from him during our original meeting it definitely made up my mind that cancelling was the right thing to do.

But I didnt get a chance to return his call yesterday and tell him that for sure.  This morning I woke up to this message: “Hey Bikini Yogini* this is Creepy Dude* from the Creepy Dude Emporium.*  I was calling to tell you that I have it all set up to come and pick you up for your classes so give me a call.  I’ll see you then.”

I don’t often use this type of phrase but – WTF?!?!?!  Thank GOD this guy doesn’t know where I live.  I get goosebumps just imagining his yuckiness showing up on my doorstep.  So I have to call him back now and be firm.  It doesnt come easily but I have no choice.

Lesson of the day: be careful, young yogis and yoginis.  We put ourselves way out there sometimes and we tend to be a trusting lot.  Just make sure your pepper spray isn’t past the expiration date.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent…and also the creepy.

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When your child is throwing a tempter tantrum – the fourth or fifth one of the day – and you are trying to ignore it (let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you wouldn’t ordinarily ignore such a meltdown but you know that you can’t give in every single time and have simply chosen this one as the one to ride out) do you ever want anyone else’s input?  Do you ever feel like you need someone else to translate the jibber jabber that your child is screaming into your ear at 176 decibels?  Do you need someone else to take over the other task you were attempting to complete or make suggestions about ways to calm your child down?



Do you think you could be so kind as to let my mother-in-law know?

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1.  The energy!  It’s all excitement and creativity and youth.  That kind of energy makes your cheeks rosy.

2.  This particular studio has a beautiful fountain right outside the front door.  Very soothing.

3.  Good floors.

4.  Most of those moms that you see in the waiting area spend seven hours a week just sitting around while their kids do ballet and tap and jazz and lyrical and hip hop and whatever other classes they can dream up.  It’s nice to be able to give them something to do.

5.  Motivation!  Try walking down a hallway full of teenaged ballerina types and you’ll understand.

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I secured a new gig today. 

Teaching at my very favorite kind of studio. 

This, I firmly believe, was meant to be.

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