A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared.
Too Many Tabs Open: Writing + Bhakti
While I am in the vein on this blog of borrowing column ideas from other writers/bloggers, I have another blogger I so admire, Gala Darling, that I am thoroughly inspired by. Every month, she has a post that aggregates all that she has read and watched on the internet. She calls it Carousel and I will be calling my version “Too Many Tabs Open” because that is what my computer is seriously looking like right now. So thank you, Tumblr, for providing me with a place I can channel that into.
I am preparing for Spring Break and as a result, I am preparing to just write my thesis and prep for my upcoming April yoga teacher trainings (!!!). Here are my favorite inspiring pieces from this past week that are majorly helping me in the execution (the reveling?) of these goals!
- One of my Lotus Flow teachers, Ali Cramer, wrote a gorgeous blog post on her love for Ayurveda and how she’s always been looking for a little Kapha (Hint, Ali: You can borrow some from me; I’ve got plenty when that Pitta gets out of the way!).
- The Lotus Flow teacher leading my next training, Lauren, waxes gorgeously on the yoga of devotion.
- Ann Shoket, editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine, gives a shout out to the power that teen girl entrepreneurs hold in this upcoming (and up-and-coming) generation!
- All this writing of revolutions is making me remember the first gorgeous novel that changed the way I think of politics, socialism, and utopias. And I just discovered its prequel!
- I turned to DIYMFA for ways to maximize my writing productivity as I attempt to finish this draft over spring break.
- To get myself psyched for intense writing these next two weeks, I am calling my “Spring Break” a “Writing Retreat.” Psychology Today has one article, Jennifer Louden has another one with pretty photos and a whole friggin book on creating retreats to give her some credibility. There are also great tips from The Book Salon and Book Baby!
- Going back to yoga, WesBAM! teacher Isabel wrote a great post on getting through midterms with wellness in check. Best quote:
While it may be hard to silence the noise, it will give you more mental calm to eat what you what. This obviously does not mean a Big Mac for every meal but it also does not need to mean four sticks of celery as well. Focusing less of food consumption will give you more time to focus on other things that matter: whether that be your friends, your family, your job, your summer plans, your relationship, or maybe even your work.
- Friend and kids yoga co-teacher Anya proposes a new way of thinking about yoga that is about fat-positivity and expanding rather than contracting and I couldn’t be more on-board with this challenging way of battling social norms and conventions necessarily and on the mat! The challenge is so real that reading this almost made me cry with gratitude that people are talking about this shit. Nec-ess-ary.
I would like to propose a new way of practicing yoga that involves EXPANDING rather than contracting. I want to breathe into my belly and watch it become full and round without shame—I want my class to grow one collective foot taller in mountain pose—I want to see yogis everywhere jut their chins out and stretch their arms out and take up as much space on their mats as humanly possible. Let’s take ownership of our bodies. Let’s become unapologetic and unafraid. Let’s get bigger.
Namaste to that!
This College Yogi
tranquil week in review
one of my favorite bloggers and writers (if not my absolute favorite writer and blogger), kimberly wilson, does this amazing thing every week where she reflects on her week in a column called “week in review.” it’s been a long-standing desire of mine to do this on this blog, to encourage that kind of svadhyaya - self-reflection - that is so much a part of the yoga practice. also, i have been making so many to-do lists lately that i am starting to really appreciate the practices where i acknowledge what i have already done. i decided that today is the day i will take the plunge into that weekly column and stay tuned for some more columns that might be coming this way!
preparations for monday’s fierce flow yoga class centered around that sacred pause
gorgeous wesleyan sunset
playlist for wednesday’s radical vinyasa class
that time where i began my freakout that my time at college is ending - will have to change the name of this blog!
week in review
took 1 kickboxing class
took 2 yoga classes
taught 3 yoga classes
watched the oscars
met w/ thesis advisor
read heaps of theory
traveled back from nyc
brought little sister to school
toured barnard college
wesBAM! staff meeting
tutored @ the middle school
free write w/ writing partner
date night to krust
created appendices to thesis
penned that sacred pause
cooked crispy eggplant stacks
bar night for the 1st time
networked w/ portland peeps
added jobs to spreadsheet
weekend wish list
catch up via phone w/ yogi partner-in-crime
restructure thesis chapter
meet w/ babysitting client
Once Upon a time, a girl prayed for true love. Her Prayer was answered. She learned to love herself.
Drifting off to sleep, I thought about her. How nobody is perfect. How you just have to close your eyes and breathe out and let the puzzle of the human heart be what it is.
Perhaps a revolutionary happiness is possible if we allow our boats to flee. Such a happiness would be alive to chance, to chance arrivales, to the perhaps of a happening. We would not wait for things to happen. You make happen. Or you create the ground on which things can happen in alternative ways.
having a project—something to do for or with others that takes you from the ordinary routines of your life—can energize us and that energy can acquire its own force: if we lack a project, a sense of purpose, our purpose can be to find one.
That Sacred Pause
In addition to teaching yoga to “big kids” (college students, my peers), I also teach yoga to little kids at the after school program in my college town. These little kids are in kindergarten and first grade and are unbelievably precious, but that’s kind of besides the point in this story.
Last week, one of the kids didn’t want to participate in the asana class. As always, asana is a 100 percent optional part of the yoga practice so I let him draw in the corner of the room (today, when I used this story as my dharma talk in a class of “big kids,” I told them that they are more than welcome to draw in the corner instead of doing a side crow as well; they laughed). One of the students who was participating in the class drew all over this other little boy’s drawing when he wasn’t looking. The little boy who had his drawing effed up got really upset, but contained it momentarily.
On our way up to homework help, I didn’t see the upset little boy. I panicked, afraid that I lost a kid, but when I looked down the stairwell, I saw a small body sitting on the bottom stair, head buried in his hands.
I sat down next to him and asked what was wrong.
"I…I…I just got so mad I didn’t know what I was going to do," he said. Then, he threw his hands in the air and said, "Sometimes I just can’t control myself, Miss Shira! So I’m giving myself a time-out!"
I responded, “The fact that you are sitting here and giving yourself a time-out means that you can most definitely control yourself. That is something most grown-ups don’t know how to do.” Then, I told him to give me five high-fives and he went upstairs to homework help and made more drawings, forgetting what he was mad about in the first place.
In my head during that entire interaction, I was amazed. That “time-out” that six-year-old took when he was agitated and hurt is, to me, the essence of yoga. It is the space between the cause and the reaction. It is that sacred pause where we can breathe deeply, collect ourselves, and then learn how best to move on.
And sometimes, if we’re lucky, our best teachers are kindergarteners who are learning all of this for the first time and have not yet had the chance to forget.