Friday, May 25, 2012

Bali in pictures

Villa Naga

Feet, pool, Man, beer

Indonesian Food

Flower offerings

Ubud art shops

Wise words in Bubba Gump

Making new friends

I'm sure I could have one at home?

Bit of fun for the tourists

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gritty truths

Cards on the table I'm wacked today (Sunday). A post by Lisa at Just Here, Just Now inspired me to write an upfront piece. I do feel I paint a sunshine & rainbows account of my yogi life here. I skip the downsides or skirt over them too often.

I woke up at 11am, yes how late is that for someone who usually is up hours before sunrise. I pulled a crazy, teaching late night Thurs & 5:45am Friday. Being a little wired after Thursday's class I laid on the coach watching tv for a while to come down. That must have been 10:30pm, I woke up at 12:15am, crawled into bed for the total of four hours before my alarm went off. Or didn't coz I actually woke up naturally before the alarm at 4am. Hmm maybe not that natural as I always get alarm anxiety before teaching an early, petrified it won't go off & the students won't get their morning yoga fix. 

Saturday I woke refreshed without an alarm & headed to BYSB for class. Randomly I ended up helping with sign in. This is happening a lot recently, I turn up to practice & end up working. It's not a problem, I am happy to help when help is needed. I can't just stand there watching someone struggle just because 'it's not my shift'. I had an awesome class with my dear TT bud Jas. I smiled my way through a steamy, juicy, 90 minutes of yoga joy. 

After class I hit the Sheridan 80% off sale. Snagged $600 worth of fine bedding for $80!! Happy days. Except my detour left me with less time to get the food shopping/last minute Bali bits n pieces in. I ended up with 45 minutes to unload shopping, make lunch, unpack practice bag, repack teaching bag, dress for teaching & get on the road again. 

The 4pm class was awesome. Great turn out. I did make some scatty tongue twisted oppsies which I managed to laugh off. My three newbies survived & did great. It was brilliant to see a few familiar faces I'd not seen for a while too.  (*waves* Coral & Kellie)

6:15pm back on the road home again. Quick turn around, a can of diet coke (Emergency caffeine needed!) and back on the road to take The Man to a gig. For a stoner rock band I had no clue of. We met up with some of his old friends which was great. About an hour in I was done. I stuck it out as I had to. Home at 2am after a detour to Alfred's for a steak burger I didn't end up eating!

No wonder I slept in till late! I seriously felt I'd be run over by a truck this morning. I'm skipping yoga today despite I really wanting to take Kana's first class at BYSB. There will be other times. I have so much to do. I need to pack for Bali! I've ended up writing instead. 

So here is the truth. Don't get me wrong I love my life right now, I am more than grateful for the cards I have been dealt. This is what has suffered whilst I've been out & about yoga-ering/working full time. My house isn't as shiny as it should be. The Man has been busy outdoors winter proofing the chicken yards and fixing up his bike. (This is his yoga so I will not deny him his hobbies) Neither of us has had time to tend to the house work. Ready, wait for it... the gritty truth.... photos of my disgusting, filthy kitchen. No washing up has been done since, let's see possibly Tuesday.

Pure filth, we officially have no clean forks.

Anyone in the Perth area feeling like doing some cleaning - knock yourself out!
It's next on the list. I reordered the linen cupboard already to fit in the new bedding. Mean feat as it's Super King Size, that's a lot of linen. Small piles of packing are scattered around the spare room. Five days in Bali is a no brainer: shorts, singlets, bikini's, a couple of sundresses - check! I will get everything in order this fine Sunday so I can leave for my holiday happy everything is clean, shiny, tidy and DONE!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stepping it up

It's been a great few weeks in my Bikram world. I'm so in love with teaching. At last I feel like me, not some person impersonating a Bikram teacher. I am far, far, far from what I'd call a proper teacher, if there is such a thing. I'm still very much a rookie and will be for I don't know how long. There is so much to learn, I doubt one will ever stop learning in this job. Just like practice it's a life long learning curve.

I feel a lot more comfortable now and think I have carved myself a style, for now, anyway. No doubt it will evolve and change over time. I'm relaxing my voice slightly. (posh teaching voice aye H!) I'm still aware I need to speak clearly and rein back my regional accent so the students can understand me. Can't go dropping my 'h's' & using northern slang terms willy nilly ;-)

I've picked up extra classes this past month, gratitude to my colleagues that let me cover without an exchange. May is busy for me. I'm regularly teaching four classes a week, upping to five by the end of the month. Very exciting. Will mean I'll be squeezing in my practice when I can & pulling some crazy hours to get myself on my mat. Good job I'm off to Bali next week for some R & R time first. (shouldn't worry really yoga gives you energy!)

I've had some great feedback classes with my mentors and peers. They've commented it's me up there teaching now, my personality is eking through. Occasionally a joke slips out or some light airy conversation around party time. I need new jokes. "Third set of Camel!" is wearing thin. I will never stop asking "are we all having fun?!" Yoga is FUN!! One class the other week I swear I said "we love this yoga don't we," a few times too many.

Time to step things up. Like with my last post, I received new home work last week. I dived in head first and thanks to a very useful resource (gratitude to Ocean!) I'm stepping up my game plan. I won't say what I have been set, sorry, think it falls into that secret squirrel teachers only category. You'll just have to come take a class with me & find out....

Kick ass, take names

Over the past few weeks/months my yoga teaching homework has been to connect with the room, i.e. the students or 'bodies' as we so fondly refer to them in teacher speak. In order to actually 'teach' a class, apposed to standing up there spewing out verbatim dialogue, you need to connect. The easiest way to do this is to say a students name. And what better way to get a name out there is to give a correction. 

The next big step for a rookie teacher - step off the order of the dialogue - give a correction (still using dialogue speak) & get back on it again. It's very scary at first. Especially as I learned the dialogue by word association, linking the last word in a sentence to the next. It takes practice. (never stop learning!!) The first time I tried it I got my correction in fine & a name but then totally lost what came next in the dialogue. Totally fluffed it and said something completely weird to finish. "Get 'em out" I heard Michon's voice ring in my ears. Any which way I could!! 

I've started with the postures I'm very comfortable with & those that once the students are set up correctly & in there, there is room to jiggle the words. For me it's usually the inversions. Haha, if I start to fluff the students can't see my panic stricken face! Also when they are upside down I can sneak a look at my name cheat sheet. At check in the students I don't know I try to learn their names. By writing them down no less, with a quick note of how to identify them. Like white headband, blue Lulu top, red mat etc. you get the idea. I always write down first timers, say their name once at the start to check where they are, then leave them be. Not good to be barking out newbies name first class. Then I congratulate each by name at the end for surviving. Padahasana is a good one for me to check in who's who in the first set, glancing at my sheet putting names to bodies. Unless someone needs help setting up after things kick off then that comes first. 

I'm getting there slowly. My BYJ 5:45am's rock for names. Students filter in slowly so I have time to 'stalk' them and get a good look at who is who. I know most of them anyway from practicing with them for the past two years. Scarborough is a little more challenging as once they check in they're gone. The waiting areas are either upstairs or round the corner, out of sight. I teach the busy classes there so often people fly through & I don't even see them properly if I've got half an eye on the computer or writing a sale down. Answer to that, get my butt down there to practice more often. Get familiar with people by standing by them & mingling before/after class.

Quitting Sugar

Finally I have started the program to quit sugar. I know I've banged on about this all year and finally four months after I purchased Sarah Wilson's book I have begun. Totally by random. 

When ever I put a date on things like this it just doesn't work out. The whole "diet starts on Monday" is crap, I have major difficulty doing battle with my mind and will power when it comes to such major lifestyle changes.

So how did I start? It just happened. April was a pretty good month for my yoga practice. I got my butt whooped a few times. I knew deep down I could do so much better in the hot room if I clean up my act outside the room. i.e SUGAR. It reeks havoc on your muscles and digestive system, let alone makes your mind go doolally! Easter I binged like an out of control food-a-holic. Then suddenly I didn't feel like eating my usual daily chocolate fix. I was actually sick of it. So just like that I stopped eating it. 

Once I was over week one of no cakes, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream and sweets it was plain sailing. I didn't even want or crave any of the above. Don't get me wrong I didn't go totally cold turkey as sugar is lurking in everything. I still have the occasional small orange juice, especially on my 4am start mornings to give me a quick fix.

Kat Eden wrote this great piece on breaking addiction which I took note of. By not having a sweet treat at your usual time, mine is either after lunch or after my evening meal, you get out of the habit. I didn't want chocolate at 10am so I didn't have it & I wasn't allowing myself any after 12pm.

I have no idea what clicked in my head, it just happened. I no longer wanted sweet stuff. A belated birthday present from the UK landed a few weeks ago. A big bar of Galaxy chocolate, om nom nom. My favourite. I tucked it away in the fridge and decided to treat myself to a row to celebrate two weeks without it. It tasted funny. It did nothing for me. Totally shocked. I thought after abstaining it would taste like heaven, especially creamy UK stuff. No. My stomach started swelling, my digestive system gurgled, I had a high then a crash. Very weird. These gut feelings used to be normal for me, I thought it was the usual reaction to food in general. However I always followed a meal with chocolate or something sweet. Ah ha, breakthrough moment.

Ending week three now. The results; less bloating or weird gastric rumblings,  uncomfortable tight stomach feelings gone. My yoga practice is so, so much stronger, bow I no longer get cramps in my calves or toes. My head is clearer, as is my skin. (A yoga colleague commented on this) My clothes are looser, I have lost just over 1kg without changing anything else in my diet/lifestyle. (Another yoga colleague commented on this also = noticeable weight loss) I wasn't aiming for weight loss, it is a bonus as most of the shorts I wore at TT I didn't feel comfortable in & I'd stopped teaching in cropped tops. I felt out of shape & the scales showed it. 

Onwards I go. I have given away a bunch of unopened biscuits and chocolates. There are three unopened Easter eggs in the fridge which will be finding new homes if The Man doesn't hurry up & eat them! Finally, I am no longer climbing the walls at 3pm wanting a sugar fix. Hoorah!!

Homemade Organic Cream Cheese

When a naturopath advised me to stop eating Philadelphia cream cheese I was quite sad. What was I going to slather on my bagels as a base for smoked salmon? I quit the overly processed 'cheese' for a while but got back on it again when the substitute of choice, avocado, got pricey.

About a month ago Sarah Wilson posted this recipe on her blog, 'how to make your own gut friendly cream cheese.' Genius! Off I went to Spotlight to purchase a few metres of cheese cloth. I did find an organic Greek yoghurt in Woolworths but I'm doubting it was the best one to use but hey ho. 

The result, really nice, fluffy, tasty cream cheese. It kept in the fridge well over two weeks. It didn't last any longer as I ate it all. At first it did still have the 'yoghurty' flavour which a few chopped chives or some garlic might balance out. Overall I was happy with the result. The process was really simple. Wrap it up, let it drip for a day and away you go. 

Dripping the curds (a) whey!

Tadah! Cream cheese.