flowing with grace

I keep writing these short, cryptic descriptions of my experience at the Yoga Journal Conference Boston on Facebook and playing phone tag with my loved ones trying to feel connected and grounded.  Spending time in Boston with yogis, some of whom are trying to start businesses and spread the health and wellness that yoga brings, has been grand indeed.

The Business of Yoga Conference is always an amazing experience.  I taught a group of 70 people Online Marketing strategies and techniques.  Online marketing is one of the best guerrilla marketing strategies you can employ to help spread health and wellness to the world, to get your message out there efficiently and effectively.  That is my favorite thing about marketing and sales:  you’re not trying to push something people don’t want on them, you’re trying to share something that you believe in and encourage others to experience the joy and benefits that you experience.  Coming from a math & software background this was something I didn’t really understand until now.  It feels good to  share your passion, thoughts, and true self with others, and more likely than not there are always a few people who resonate with what you have to say, if you come from a place of truth.

We discussed e-newsletters and e-blasts, online advertising, online analytics, using blogs as websites, website design, social networking, and more.  Many of the students were enthusiastic and had great questions, it was a great forum for yogis of all technical abilities to connect and share.

Last night I took a hip opening class with Natasha Rizopoulos of YogaWorks.  I really enjoyed her description of the actions of the hips: external rotation, internal thigh stretching, pelvis neutral so your bowl isn’t spilling, front hips coming towards bottom ribs, tailbone descending, bring the floor to your hip in pigeon so the weight isn’t in your knee, your knees are expensive.  She adjusted me in Warrior II and I’m really not sure what happened, but it felt totally different than my usual stance.  I was on my right leg doing a lunge, back foot flat, back leg straight, and she pushed into my left hip crease forward toward the front of my mat and immediately my front knee caved in towards the center of my mat to alleviate the stretch in my tight ass hips.  What’s funny is that I really love Warrior II and the stretch it gives and it was interesting to learn that I have been totally taking it easy in the pose.  Now the hard part will be to figure out if I can do it again.  Two actions for me to remember: back hip crease moves forward, tuck the tailbone down towards the floor, pray to god your hips don’t detach from your legs and that you don’t fall over or grunt from the force of Your Tight Ass Hips.  I also really enjoyed doing Crescent Lunge with my back knee bent and exaggerating the same actions of the tailbone descending, front pelvis towards bottom ribs. Ahhhh, try it now while you’re sitting.  Feel your core engage?  Feel your shoulders come back? (not you Kristen 🙂

Today I took an Anusara Vinyasa Yoga class with Desiree Rumbagh.  Anusara means “flowing with grace”, “flowing with nature”, “following your heart.”   Anusara yoga teaches a few basic principals of alignment that you bring to all of your yoga practice which were kind of difficult, but felt really good the few times I got it.  In general you are always: “hugging your shin bones in, take your hips back and apart (kind of like you’re sticking your butt out in reality), tucking your tailbone under.”  Does that make any sense at all?  It sort of does when you see her incredibly strong body exaggerate the movements.  I have to say that all of my poses felt better and my body and mind felt great after class and I probably only “got it” half of the time.  I really liked her personality, she was having fun and it was just the right amount of yoga babble and asana to connect with.  Anusara is a style I’ll definitely try again.

Then I came back to my hotel room to enjoy lunch to ponder my practices. While I was in savasana or relaxation I noticed how my mind was alternating between pointless chitter chatter about past memories and this desire to create drama in my life.  I have been trying to create drama while traveling!  I noticed it twice this weekend, once when work got a little stressful.  The next time was when I still couldn’t connect with my loved ones over the phone.   I noticed both of these negative and frustrated reactions where I was angry and upset and thought, “what is this? what am i really feeling? how do i want this to change? what can i do to change this?”  In both situations I was quickly able to take a breathe and realize that the stress of travel has me reacting in ways that maybe aren’t my usual or most loving self. I wanted to take the stress of travel out on my loved ones for not being there when I wanted them to be, during the few moments I had to myself.  I wanted to force my work habits and expectations on others.  I wanted to take others stress and internalize it and make it my own.  The density of yogis in this hotel must have helped to clear my mind.  Yogi-ness must be permeating through these walls, I can feel the ooooommmmms resonating, or maybe that is the elevator making noise again.

I had a lot to say!  If you made it to the end of this you get a Gold Star!  May you find a little breathe in the drama and stress of life this weekend. Xoxoooooo.  Oh, and I encourage you to open your hips in thread the needle. Do it. Right now. Hold each side for 2-5 minutes and use a pillow under your neck if you need it.  It will make you feel better, I swear.

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