Royal Yoga with A King’s Ma

3 ways to use chair pose in real life.

I will start a class with chair pose. I only do this when the room is cold and we need to warm our bodies up. It’s a quick way to build heat. It’s a squat but worse. If a banging ass body is not your thing there is no need for chair pose. But for the rest of us, here are 3 real life situations where chair pose serves you.

Public Restrooms

I only wish for my enemies that they have diarrhea in the airport. Have a bowel movement in a public restroom. For the rest of you, may you only have to urinate. Ladies, you can use chair pose. Never should a public toilet your bottom meet. Hit that good chair pose with strong womanly thighs, do your business and be on your way. Lesser people will fall over themselves trying not to touch the toilet. If only they knew utkatasana.

Some get right for the short people

I asked a preschool teacher what type of consequences she had for the children. She told me they had none and all she did was redirect. What in the patience of Job is that? BISH! These kids need consequences! As far as me and my house is concerned, we have consequences. Make your kid squat with their back flush against the wall. While their legs are burning lecture them and ask questions that test their comprehension. Make those jokers have to think while their legs are shaking and burning. I promise you my darling, the back talk will cease.

Spice up your bedroom

I am only talking to folks in monogamous committed relationships. At this age I cannot endorse causal sex. Ladies, being able to hold chair pose will allow your partner to hit it from the back at many different angles. Thank me later.

 

How else do you use chair pose off the mat?

2015 Was A Good Year For Me

2015

Every goal that I set at the end of 2014, I accomplished in 2015. This is not to say I didn’t experience disappointment or that I didn’t experience trouble; it’s simply to say that I got things done. I am proud of myself for that. I am a creative person. I am good at coming up with ideas but I haven’t always been good about follow through or hard work. I’m grown and I own my sh*t. I prayed for discipline. And I was given many opportunities to practice.

There was four of us living in a two bedroom condo when King was born. Space was tight and we living a inter-generational lifestyle. I know the free the land people think that this is the African way but it works better in theory than in real life. What does work about this situation is that I have help! My mother has saved my life so many times I have stopped counting. She saves Papa Bear’s life too. And as a new Mom it’s nice not to worry. When I’m out and King is with his Yeye, I do not worry. It’s nice to have time off from my incessant worry about raising my sun.

We had a lot going on and we needed more space. Personal space is a very American thing and I respect that part of my American me. It had always been a goal of mine to be a homeowner. Every book I ever read on wealth said home ownership was a building block to financial freedom. After I got married my dream turned into a necessity. Buying a home was the most arduous, pain staking, detail minutia filled process I have even been through. I had to clean up my credit, then build credit and then get a loan. Some people can just go and get loans. Then I had to find a realtor. I went through three of them. The first realtor was unscrupulous and tried to do some shady business. Thank God for my shield, my husband who peeped game. Then when I finally got a realtor I could rock with I didn’t see any houses I like. I told my husband I quit. I told him if we needed to move we would be renting but I couldn’t continue with this  process anymore. My husband listened patiently to my rants. God bless his soul.

He told me I could take a break but I couldn’t quit. In my mind I had quit and enrolled into yoga teacher training. Becoming  a yoga teacher had always been a goal of mine that I told many people about but never did anything to accomplish. Yoga teacher training was a six month head shrinking, heart expanding therapy session. I was just trying to work on my alignment and learn some Sanskrit, instead I had to work on my discipline. The financial investment wouldn’t allow me to walk way so I had to stay. Then I had to work. Every Wednesday and one weekend per month, I had to practice every day, sometimes multiple times a day, I had to be on the mat.  I had to be there whether I felt like it or not. Some days my body would open up and surprise me in ways I had never seen. Other days all I did was fall, literally. That is the thing about yoga. It is less about the outcome and more about the showing up. Yoga made me evaluate how I wasn’t showing up for myself in other ways. I returned to the hunt for my new home with a new determination and a very discerning spirit. In two weeks I found our house.

Yoga was like, if you don’t write that d@mn book already! So I did and I’m a published author. It was hard work and I had to invest in myself. I had to believe that what I wanted was important enough to really go after. I lost money on web & graphic designers. I had to deal with people trying to discourage me. It wasn’t all bad though. I learned a new skill set, I watched less TV and guess what? I learned discipline. Won’t he do it?

Everything I set out to do in 2015 got done. Done is greater than perfection. 2015 was a very physical year. A year of manifesting things. This new year I want to turn inward. I want to spend less time on electronic devices and more time talking to my family. I want to spend more time in prayer and thanksgiving. I want to pay attention to my friends.

See ya next year!

4 Natural Remedies to Combat Your S.A.D.

It is autumn and for most people who enjoy the changing of seasons this is a happy time. People get to pull out their sweaters and drink fake pumpkin lattes (I’m still skeptical). For others like me this can be a time of great angst. Me and 1/4th of the population face seasonal affect disorder, which is a fancy way of saying “I’m effing grumpy because I’m not getting enough sunlight and it’s wet & cold outside.”

Sounds weird I know, but we are just hardwired that way. Some people suffer through until spring arrives again and others get a prescription from their doctors in order to remain functional in society then there is me. These tricks have worked for me, I am not a doctor and if you are on scripts consult your physician before trying. Onward….

Eat What’s In Season butternut squash

According to the Ayurvedic  method, eating what’s in season is good for your overall health. It is much deeper than this and feel free to research. I am giving you a starting point. Eat squash and root vegetables during this time of the year. Maybe I will post my butternut squash crab soup. It’s a family favorite.

St. Johns Wort st johns wort

This is an herbal medicine that you can take in capsule form or liquid. The liquid gets to the blood stream quicker. The herb can interact with pharmaceutical anti-depressants so check with your doctor if you are taking other medications.

Exercise yoga photo shoot 4

You know by now that I think yoga is the cure for everything. I certainly recommend it when you least feel like moving. If yoga is not your thing find something, Zumba, kickboxing, etc.

Physical Touch massage

Hugs have been scientifically proven to improve your mood. Hug your friends, lovers and children. If you don’t have anyone to hug on a regular basis, get a massage. All power to the people who stand up to S.A.D.!

 

So I Taught My First Yoga Class

Teacher training can prepare you for a lot. However, experience is the best teacher when it comes to teaching an actual class. During graduation, a veteran teacher offered me this: “Don’t look at their faces, everyone looks mean. “

Never were truer words uttered. I teach gentle yoga on Mondays at 6pm at Pies Fitness Center. I also teach Hot Yoga on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month. I have subbed for teachers before but my actual first class was last month. I took the class to see what the format was like and to be introduced as their new instructor. I went home excited to build my playlist and sequence. I also spent an hour going through the flow of the class practicing cueing an imaginary class. This is an exercise I use for speaking engagements, presentations and interviews. Four students showed up, including another instructor, have mercy!

I think I’m pretty funny, most people laugh at the things I say even when I’m not trying to be funny-especially when I’m not trying to be funny. I gave these students some of my best material and I didn’t even get a snicker. I started to feel as though maybe I wasn’t as humorous as I once thought I was. Maybe the jokes are funnier in my head than in real life. Then I told the same joke to the students in the new teacher training class and received chuckles. To God be the glory! So maybe the people in my class were just concentrating and didn’t get the punch line. So not only do they look mean, they don’t respond to you either and they certainly don’t laugh.

I have also learned that class management is a skill acquired after much practice. I have seen many teachers tell students to go at their own pace and come back to neutral when they were ready. I tried it and it didn’t go as smoothly. One student wanted to take 15 million reps while the other looked at me like “what’s next?”

standing head to knee

Sigh. Other instructors make this seem so easy. So remember the instructor that showed up for class? In some ways she was supportive. She would nod occasionally, giving me listening cues. She also interrupted class to point out that I didn’t finish a sequence on both sides. I soon learned that teachers are not always the best students. I offer amplifications and modification for yoga positions. However, the way I teach the position is the way I want my students to practice. I am offering it a certain way for a certain benefit. In hot yoga, the head to knee pose is done with both hands. If you can’t do that, pick up your foot or knee. But I want you to use both hands. What did the instructor do? Not what asked. She picked her foot up with her pointer and middle finger, wrapped it around her big toe and then extended her leg. Ma’am, that is not what I asked you to do. But unlike her, I did not interrupt the vinyasa, I simply took a mental note. After class, by my prompting, yoga instructor/student provided me with some constructive criticism about cueing.

Where I did get it all the way right is with my playlist. It is the perfect mix of traditional yoga, reggae, jazz, r&b and new age music. It’s the best part of what I have to offer. I’m still learning but I am certain this is a gift I have been given to give away. I suspect I will get better with time, practice and prayer. Know that when you allow me to guide you through a practice you will be offered acceptance; whether you can touch your toes or not.