Daily Archives: October 31, 2009

Halloween Observance

Dear Oprah,
Happy Halloween!
Here's a treat...
It is totally ok to dress inappropriately and act naughtily whatever your age.
On that note.
It is 6AM. I'm up.
A burst of cold air trips me as I open my door and tie on my sneakers.
My dad's voice inside my head...are you warm enough dahlin?
Yes, dad, I'll warm up soon enough. Brush the tear from my eye.
The tear from my nose.
It's cold!
It's LA. The good cold.
I prepare for my yoga today.
Today, my yoga is a run on the beach.
I watch the sun rise over the city of Santa Monica.
The beach is being coiffed to perfection.
I gain a steady pace.
I am warm.
Good morning sun.
Good morning beach.
I smell the coffee brewing and blowing my way from Shutters.
I smell the incense as I cross Santa Monica to Venice...the boardwalk just inches from the shore.
I smell eggs and toast from the apartments that line the sand.
I smell the salt and breathe it all in.
The surfers stand on their boards and look out to the sea.
I run in place to watch the bliss. That is their yoga and I'm so lucky to observe it.
I think about a student I had in class the other day. I watched him float forward and back through his vinyasa with effortlessness.
As a teacher, I'm so thankful that I can observe and watch students as they progress and work through things. Sometimes it is not so pretty and by that I don't mean, the way it looks. I mean the way it looks and feels within me to watch.
I am fortunate.
I watch the surfers, watch the sea and it is serene.
Then I watch as a wave builds and the surfer prepares to coast or crumble. My heart pounds a bit as I watch him glide above and beyond it, back to quiet, clear contemplation. What must have been going through his mind? In my mind, I felt fear. Then I felt it dissipate because he rode it with ease. If he had fear, it was replaced by inspiration.
The yoga practice is much like staring out at the sea.
Mat or board, the water or practice can be serene or rough. It can be peaceful or scary, or both.
I think, how lucky to be able to watch as a teacher and then I think, well as a student, it is quite the same thing.
The whole practice is about watching what happens.
When in our practice we are observing the inner world. As a teacher, I can only watch your result. As a teacher and student, I can admire and adjust.
As a teacher and student, I have a choice how a posture or anticipation of what comes next in a practice will make me feel.
We all have a choice.
I watch my student float, so he is floating inside. There is no way he is at battle within.
I watch the surfer, steady as his practice builds fervor. I get anxious and he just glides.
We observe. We feel. We train ourselves that no matter what comes towards us, the vinyasa or wave, we can chose to conquer it with frustration or effortlessness.

We can also chose to put on a costume and be something we are not. That is not yoga. That is just Halloween.

Eat candy, but watch yourself,