yoga teacher

19 Months Later...

It’s been over a year and a half since I wrote one of these “long form” blog pieces (although you could probably argue that some of my Instagram captions teeter on being long enough to be considered blogs) and truly, I didn’t really think I’d want to come back to this format.

You see, it sort of became common knowledge that blogging was dead. Our brains are out of shape when it comes to reading things longer than 140 characters or an IG caption. So why write long form if nobody is going to read it?

Well, because the RIGHT people are going to read it. It occurred to me that I still enjoy reading longer, thought provoking pieces of writing. And the people I want as my audience and clients are like me.

One point for returning to blogging.

Secondly, I have too much to say for Instagram (and I despise Twitter). I often want to talk about much more than is appropriate for a caption. Plus, if my audience is like me, they’re mostly there for photos anyway. Having a platform and space to share my knowledge and thoughts - another point for blogging.

Finally, and most importantly from a business standpoint, I don’t own any of my FB or IG content. And you don’t own yours either. Remember when IG went down for the day? What if it stayed down forever? Every single thing you’ve ever posted would be completely GONE. Your followers (aka audience) would be gone. What would you do then?

I hadn’t fully thought through this until I listened to an episode of Maestro on The Mic, the podcast from The Movement Maestro, with Jill Coleman. They get into this a little, but they also talk generally about diversifying. Social media platforms are great (they’re free, they’re easy) but they only go so far. You need other avenues - an e-mail list (I’ve got one, are you on it?) and some form of your own content (audio, written, or visual) that lives off of social media. And since I don’t understand YouTube and think there are plenty of great podcasts out already - blogging is where I live for now.

3 points for blogging. So welcome (or welcome back) to the blog!

The content will be drastically different than it used to be (but the old content lives on, for shits and giggles). The Spiritual Badass Blog tackles topics on mindfulness, movement, and where they intersect. It’s for athletes, students, teachers, and those who want to learn more about their mind, their body, and the connection between the two. It will keep you up to date with classes, workshops, and offerings - both in person (found here on my schedule and retreats pages) and online (found on The Spiritual Badass Academy website). It may resonate with you and it may really piss you off. Both are good. And if you’re still reading, there’s a good chance this blog is for you!

So thank you - let’s do this!

New Year, Same Old Recap

It's that time of year. The weird week between Christmas and New Years where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself. 

I always want to start planning, plotting, and rolling new things into action - but without wishing away the last week of the old year. It's a tough balance to find and a weird line to walk.

For me, taking time to review what did and didn't work in the previous year helps me chart a course and decipher a plan for the next.

So let's see what went well in 2017:

1. My business, as a whole. I took on more classes, taught more trainings, and created more opportunity than ever before. And it showed. As the year closes, it's pretty neat to see that I literally doubled my revenue from 2016.

2. Yoga retreats! I held my first two wine and yoga retreats in 2017. They were a test. Would anybody even want to go? Would working with my parents be successful? Would I even like leading retreats? Yes, yes, and yes. So in 2018 we welcome on two more retreats (there's ONE space left for the weekend of July 26-29- otherwise they are sold out) and a single day mini retreat (that is all full). And perhaps think about adding a third? A local San Diego option? Hmmmm...

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3. Teacher trainings. I co-lead my first 200 hour yoga teacher training at Spirit Yoga in 2017 and had an amazing experience. Not only did I get to impart my specific knowledge upon some amazing now yoga teachers, but I got to soak in the immense wisdom of my co-leaders. 2018 finds me heading back to Spirit from January to April to co-lead 200 hour teacher training once again (it's not too late to sign up!). I'll also continue to teach the anatomy portions of teacher trainings at other local studios. And I'm in the early stages of discussing hopping on board with co-production of a brand new teacher training with a dear friend (and amazing yoga instructor) for sometime at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

4. Anatomy. Publishing my first book was a huge highlight of 2017. Perhaps even more exciting was teaching the intensive course to yoga instructors here in San Diego. 2018 brings another local intensive (dates TBD), taking the course on the road (hello, Los Angeles in May), and beginning work on a second book and deeper level anatomy training. A large goal of mine is to teach this course outside of California - so any leads on studios that would love to partner to bring Critical Anatomy to their communities would be appreciated.

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5. Balancing personal life with work. We finally got a dog! We put in the love, time, and effort to make sure his first year of life was setting him (and us) up for success. And I think we nailed it. 2018 will bring more adventures with Arlo, bonding trips with Angelo, maximizing the quality of the time we spend together as a family, and making lots and lots of memories. 

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And where to improve...

1. Health and fitness. 2017 was another year spent battling injury. While it had many more highs than the previous year or two, it was still a year with more mornings of "ouch" than I'd like. I'm committed in 2018 to being better rounded - more yoga (my personal practice has been lacking), more strength training (yes, yes, yes it feels so good to be strong), appropriate recovery (hi foam roller), optimal nutrition (for performance, but also life). Because I'm committed to achieving big goals (Boston Marathon, a long trail race of some sort) and to having a year of being healthy.

2. Blogging. From a business standpoint, my weekly blogs, monthly blogs, and occasional in betweeners aren't doing much. And from a personal standpoint it's become something that I honestly am beginning to dread writing. I do not like having to write when I'm not inspired to. It feels less than authentic. So this year I'll be posting blogs when the inspiration strikes, and only when it strikes.

3. Run coaching. As the past two and a half years have led me down a yoga-centered road, I've let my run coaching and run specific teaching take a backseat. And while I had the opportunity to coach a few amazing people in 2017 (Antonette, Jessi, Jenn - to name a few) I want to do more! So in addition to more marketing and making space for more clients, I'll be continuing to teach runner's yoga every week and adding a Run Strong class to my weekly schedule. Plus, stay tuned for hopefully big announcements coming this year about expansion of my Rock Solid Runner programming!

4. Making more time for fun! I get caught up in the feeling that I should always be working. Because if I don't work, my business doesn't grow, and I don't get paid. And while that work ethic is one I appreciate and want to keep I know it is important to sprinkle some fun in. So here's to a year with more time spent with friends, enjoying coffee dates, ice cream scoops, tv shows, movies, reading more books, and playing more games. Also, planning more free events (because those are always fun) through Bodies in Motion. And generally smiling and laughing without holding anything back.

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Lastly, what's coming up immediately in January?

1. I'm keeping my theming going for yoga classes. January's theme is "foundations". It's impossible to build a sturdy house without a strong foundation and it's impossible to attempt or achieve an advanced yoga posture without the same. So we'll be focusing on one foundational aspect of our asana each week and building it up to a peak pose.

Come play: 

Mondays - 12PM at Buddhi Yoga

Tuesdays - 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Wednesdays - 7PM at Spirit Yoga

Fridays - 630AM at Buddhi Yoga and 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Keep up to date with my schedule here. 

2. I'm also keeping up with the small changes to my daily routine that I've coined "Maximize my Month". They may not stick as monthly challenges, but they'll be around. The current challenge? To buy less processed and packaged foods. Yup, grocery shopping is changing. No more browsing the middle aisles for crackers, snacks, cereal, and canned foods. Let's stick to the outsides of the store - produce, fresh protein sources, bulk items - as well as visiting farmers markets. Not only will it be better for us, but it will be much more friendly to the planet. Of course, some packaging will be hard to avoid (eggs are a good example) but the less the better!

 

Off The Mat - Grace

For this, our final week of June and our final week with the theme of "transition" we moved with the intention of linking together yoga postures on our mat. This idea that as one posture ends the next begins without pause. Similar to how as one exhale ends the inhale follows immediately, and vice versa. This connectedness creates a smooth and flowing practice. It lends itself to a slower and more mindful flow. One that is in unison with the breath.

As you step off of the mat and begin to take this idea into daily life it can manifest in many ways. As you finish events, activities, interactions, and obligations, as one chapter closes, can you begin to feel the shift towards the next? Can you take what you just experienced and learned and move intuitively with that towards wherever you're going? Can you rely on your breath to help you navigate through those shifts and changes?

Can you allow this mindset help ease the speed and suddenness with which things feel like they change? So you feel more like you're on a bike ride along rolling hills than a roller coaster? Can you use these ideas to keep yourself focused on the present and looking towards the future rather than staring behind you?

Can you find grace?

xoxo

LP

Off The Mat - Balance Through Transition

By their very nature, transitions are all about change. They are about movement from one place or task or activity to another. They are about the in between. Quite often, they are the opposite of stable.

But we can control how we move through transition. We can move haphazardly, throwing caution to the wind and mindlessly attempting to get from point A to point B. When we do this, we find ourselves easily distracted, taken off course, or taken away from our initial intention. Or we can move with care. We can plan to the best of our extent, we can be cognizant of the sensations we experience, and we can adjust our course of action based on those sensations. We can maintain a sense of mindfulness and control, even in these unstable feeling moments. We can find a sense of balance.

This week, on our mat we take this idea quite literally and play with moving in and out of balance postures. We focus on using our breath, our gaze, and our muscular activation to control, slow down, and gracefully move between postures.

When we take that idea off of our mat can we keep the same concepts at the forefront of our mind? Can we utilize the skills and tools that we inherently have (and that we continue to hone) to find that same sense of stability and balance in all of the “in betweens” and to note how this keeps us focused, on track, and calm?

xoxo

LP

Off the Mat - The Space Between

We are a generation of schedulers. 6:30AM teach yoga here, 9AM meeting here, 12PM teach again here, and so on and so forth. We move from one event, one person, one activity to the other. And we move without thinking. 

Sometimes we even move from place to place without realizing how we got there. You've experienced the sensation of driving to somewhere, getting there, and not really realizing how we got there or remembering the drive to get there. 

Our mind wanders during transitional times. We wander to past events or to what's happening in the future. Sometimes we wander days, weeks, months in advance.

This week, on our mat, we practice staying present through the transition. Making the spaces between the postures just as mindful and purposeful as the postures themselves.

Can you take that off of the mat with you? Can you purposefully use your time between your "things"? Sit down and mindfully enjoy the space? Take a different route driving and actually look at the scenery? Stay focused during interactions and conversations, even if they are short and in passing?

This week I honor the space between.