April 23, 2017, 9:00am - class 601 Core 40 - Tony Sanchez's Core 40 class is a really great start to my week. I taught the entire Core 40 sequence and added some Aikido wrist exercises and modified Wind Removing, Cobra, and Locust before the time hit almost 110 minutes. My students thought it was a great class.
April 24, 2017, 6:00am - class 602 with Justin Riley - A couple of students left early in today's class, probably due to the heat. One of the students, a woman who stood behind me in the back row, wiped out early because she overexerted herself in Half Moon. She looked like she was trying to keep up with and even exceed everyone in the side bends. There are 26 postures in the series, so expending too much energy early is never good. I backed off a little in Eagle to go for a straighter spine rather than a lower stance.
April 25, 2017, 6:00am - class 603 with Cate Reese - Felt a little stronger in Eagle. I wanted to go for a Phoenix backbend, but refrained for now.
April 27, 2017, 6:00am - class 604 with Brittni Devereaux - It was sweltering hot in the studio today. There were more students in class than usual, but the added heat was likely due to criticism that "the 6am classes aren't hot enough." For that, the room now felt like a furnace and Brittni had to open the doors at several points during class to cool us off. It would've been better to just set the temperature as usual and not open the door. The moment you let one or two students dictate how you should conduct your class is the moment your class is no longer yours. These one or two students will likely complain about the heat no matter how hot it is and it's funny to see that these are the same students taking breaks all throughout class. At the end of Eagle, I raised my arms out and then stretched up as if I were getting ready for Half Moon. I didn't do Half Moon at that point. I'm not ready for that yet.
April 27, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 605 and 606 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - Classes were small tonight due to the warm temperatures and traffic situation. The NFL Draft and Penn Relays are in town. I practiced with both classes, so I took three classes today! My Core 40 was full of abdominal exercises. My Beats class included a flow from Triangle, Revolving Triangle, and Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. Hopefully more students will show for my Sunday Core 40.
April 28, 2017, 6:00am - class 607 with Justin Riley - I literally thought I would conk out today after having practiced three classes yesterday. My chest felt kind of weird this morning. I hope it's more dehydration than heart problems. I know both are bad, but it's best to experience the lesser of two evils. I survived class because I didn't push myself as hard as I normally do.
April 30, 2017, 9:00am - class 608 Core 40 - A very successful advanced class today with five students who were all praising me with superlatives. I started class with my pre-stretch warmup and then proceeded with my version of the Core 40 complete with wrist exercises and Core 45 additions to work the abdominal muscles. I announced that my classes for the next 8 to 10 weeks would focus on upper body and abdominals. My students liked my class so much they will try to spread the word and get others to come. Unfortunately, before class, I practiced a Headstand and heard and felt my neck crunch, but I seem to be okay.
May 1, 2017, 6:00am - class 609 with Justin Riley - I'm still a little misaligned on my left side of Half Moon. Justin walked around and corrected a number of people doing Half Moon.
May 2, 2017, 6:00am - class 610 with Cate Reese - Oddly, in my pre-stretch warmup, I couldn't get my legs to cooperate in Shoulderstand with Lotus. I lifted myself straight up with my palms together and fingertips stretching upward at the end of Eagle.
May 3, 2017, 6:00am - class 611 with Adam Keilbaugh - I lifted myself straight up with my palms together and fingertips stretching upward at the end of both sides of Eagle. I backed off a lot today in Standing Separate Leg Stretching in favor of tilting my pelvis upward more.
May 4, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 612 and 613 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - My throat felt really sore. My allergies hit me hard today and my voice sounded froggy as a result. My head was spinning from all the medicine I took. I made excuses for it in class, but I know I shouldn't have. One of my students said that even though I drew attention to myself by talking about my allergies, my breathing cues were excellent and kept her mind off of it. I have to learn to just avoid talking about myself and let my students enjoy their class.
May 7, 2017, 9:00am, 11:00am - classes 614 and 615 Core 40 and Core 26 - Week 2 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. More praise for my classes. The phrase of the day is "great class."
May 8, 2017, 6:00am - class 616 with Justin Riley
May 9, 2017, 6:00am - class 617 with Cate Reese - Every student no matter how big or small, young or old is a vital part of a greater whole. Everyone feels that they are a part of the same struggle to achieve the same goal of a better body, a better mind, and a union between body and mind. It's interesting to watch how a Bikram class can be affected by one or two key people. After a while, people get to know you and what you're all about and they gravitate towards you and follow what you do in class. It's like seeing a class within a class. I'm inspired by the people who practiced before me and have maintained a consistent practice. As always, I thanked Cate for her class before I left. "Always a pleasure to have you in class. Your Locust looks great," she commented.
May 10, 2017, 6:00am - class 618 with Adam Keilbaugh
May 11, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 619 and 620 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - Today two of my Core 40 students did doubles. All of my Core 40 students are interested in developing their upper body strength. They showed great enthusiasm and promise in the arm balancing postures. At the conclusion of my Core 40 class, I completed my third 30-Day Challenge in a row.
May 12, 2017, 6:00am, 9:00am - classes 621 and 622 Core 26 and Core 26 - "I really enjoyed your class," one of my students said. It feels great when your mind is sharp in the morning and words flow without hesitation.
May 14, 2017, 9:00am - class 623 Core 40 - Week 3 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. It seems like only yesterday that I was in Spain completing Tony Sanchez's training and I've already taught eight Core 40 classes! Today I had my biggest Core 40 class yet at nine students. What a wonderful Mother's Day surprise!
May 15, 2017, 6:00am - class 624 with Justin Riley
May 16, 2017, 6:00am - class 625 with Cate Reese - I lifted myself straight up with my palms together and fingertips stretching upward at the end of Eagle. Just like in Standing Head to Knee and Standing Bow, I've backed off in the first set of Standing Separate Leg Stretching.
May 17, 2017, 6:00am - class 626 with Adam Keilbaugh
May 18, 2017, 6:00am - class 627 with Brittni Devereaux
May 18, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 628 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - More new students in both classes.
May 21, 2017, 9:00am - class 629 Core 40 - Week 4 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. I added Splits today at the request of one of my students.
May 22, 2017, 6:00am - class 630 with Justin Riley
May 23, 2017, 6:30am - class 631 Core 40 - I thought it might be a good idea to build up my home practice starting today. After all, one of the goals of Tony Sanchez's training is to have a strong home practice. This will help strengthen my dialog in the Core 40 classes I teach and will also help save me time in the morning travelling to and from the yoga studio, time that I could devote to other tasks. Oddly, I completed my 95 minute Core 40 class in 65 minutes.
May 24, 2017, 6:30am - class 632 Core 40 - The sauna effect of a hot yoga class definitely has an effect on my weight. I ate mostly vegetarian food yesterday - yogurt, coconut cashews, a beefsteak tomato burger, a baby 100 Grand candy bar, and hummus with ground beef - and I'm still a little heavy. As good as it feels to do yoga at home, the regimented nature of an actual class in a studio keeps you on your toes. I completed my Core 40 class in 65 minutes again. I've been thinking about this. The extra 25 to 30 minutes I spend teaching Core 40 in the studio is for making posture corrections and adjustments with students.
May 25, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 633 and 634 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - "I saw my dentist yesterday and she told me you are her favorite instructor," one of my students said to me. Traffic accidents and torrential rain kept my usual crowd from coming. Hopefully, the weather will be better next week. The crazy humidity took its toll on me, too, because I was losing my breath and sweating like mad during class. I added Child's Pose to help one of my students reduce her stress.
May 28, 2017, 9:00am - class 635 Core 40 - Week 5 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. I added Splits today at the request of one of my students. "That voice! I wish I was in that class!" one of my colleagues remarked of my yoga class.
May 16, 2017, 6:00am - class 636 with Cate Reese - Returning from a three-day holiday weekend is sometimes tough, but you tell yourself you can do it and you just do it.
June 1, 2017, 6:00am - class 637 with Brittni Devereaux - Exhaustion set in on the first set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. I sat cross-legged in a makeshift Child's Pose during Tree Stand, but promptly returned for Toe Stand. I felt dizzy and a little nauseous, but my self-motivating voice inside my head convinced me to get up: "Do it for Sandy and Noelle and all the teachers who believed in you. Do it for you, to forge a better you." I couldn't curl in deeply in Rabbit because I let Camel take too much of my energy. Still, I continued onward. Therein lies the value of going to a class versus practicing at home. If I were tired at home, I could take an extended break and no one would see or judge me. If I were tired in class, the class just moves on.
June 1, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 638 and 639 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - Unlike two weeks ago, I had a lot of energy to move through both classes. I was careful not to push myself too hard in both classes because last week I felt really winded and sweated like crazy during class. I swapped Separate Leg Stretching and Frog for Side Crane and leg raise exercises. I taught my heart out in my Beats class by adding my knowledge in between floor series postures during Savasana. One of my students was new and suffered from spinal stenosis. Unlike some Bikram teachers who prescribe a "one size fits all" approach, I stated that yoga should be tailored to each individual. Not everyone can follow the same instructions because not everyone is built the same way. If a teacher wants to teach the right way, he or she will have to stop regurgitating the Bikram dialog, which is exactly how I've approached my teaching all along.
June 4, 2017, 9:00am - class 640 Core 40 - Week 6 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. We practiced outside the studio in the sun and fresh air today. We might do so next week as well.
June 4, 2017 - Shake Off Stress Naturally with TRE with Juliette Gamble - TRE (Tension and Trauma Release Exercises) is an innovative series of six simple exercises to fatigue the body to elicit its natural tremor response. Created by Dr. David Berceli, TRE safely activates a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system and relieving stress, tension, and trauma. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance. This 90-minute workshop led by Juliette Gamble introduces the exercises in a safe and effective manner. The exercises are practiced while standing and lying and are very easy to do. It's safe to say that everyone ended up shaking or vibrating at the end of class. I left the class feeling fantastic. Juliette's enthusiasm made the class very enjoyable.
June 5, 2017, 6:00am - class 641 with Justin Riley - After five months of holding back in the first set of Standing Bow, I decided to go for it and see how far I could go. Surprisingly, I could hold my pose for most of the time in the first set and for the entire time in the second set.
June 6, 2017, 6:00am - class 642 with Cate Reese - When a dedicated student who attends as many yoga classes as you do stands next to you, it keeps you on your toes. You can feed off of her energy and she can feed off of yours. I held Standing Bow in both sets. I might not have if everyone around me fell out. One of the nice benefits of this practice is keeping the mind focused on the task at hand.
June 7, 2017, 6:00am - class 643 with Adam Keilbaugh
June 8, 2017, 6:00am - class 644 with Brittni Devereaux
June 8, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 645 and 646 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - "I love your voice. So calming and soothing," a new student said to me.
June 9, 2017, 6:00am - class 647 with Justin Riley - My first Friday practice in a while. Not bad, not bad. I hit a new low weight of 129.8 probably more due to dehydration from teaching two hot classes last night than diet and exercise. It's not my lowest in recent years (124.6 was my lowest), but it's the lowest since October 2014 when I was heavily into yoga.
June 11, 2017, 9:00am - class 648 Core 40 - Week 7 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. It was megahot and too bright today so we practiced inside. I added Side Crane, Side Locust, and Cow Face.
June 12, 2017, 6:00am - class 649 with Justin Riley - At the conclusion of this class, I completed my fourth 30-Day Challenge in a row making it a 120-Day Challenge. I'm done with challenges for a while. They feel so contrived.
June 13, 2017, 6:00am - class 650 with Cate Reese - There were brief moments at the end of Standing Bow and Balancing Stick that felt like I could hold the poses forever.
June 14, 2017, 6:00am - class 651 with Adam Keilbaugh
June 15, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 652 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - I introduced Baby Crow and Scales in Core 40. Everyone thought these were more difficult than Crow and Palm Stand. I need to remind myself to keep the class duration within the 90 minute allotment. Everyone loved my Beats class. I have a good, solid following with that class.
June 18, 2017, 9:00am - Core 40 - Week 8 of my Core 40 series emphasizing upper body and abdominals. I added Headstand and the three variants of Standing Separate Leg Stretching to the class. My two students thought I taught a great class. One was especially excited that I was teaching her Headstand.
June 22, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - The studio owner wanted to make all the Core 40 classes more consistent, so I shortened my pre-stretch warm-up routine and wrist exercises to fit all of the Core 40 exercises into my Core 40 class. It still contained extra postures from Core 45 making it more of a Core 40+. I taught without practicing, which is always a challenge. One of my students in my Beats class remarked that I do a great job syncing the postures with the music.
Sadly, I haven't been practicing yoga lately for personal reasons. I will practice again when I feel ready. In the meantime, I will still practice Aikido.
It's been two years since I started this web site with its slogan "Feel the Power of My Voice." Back then, my voice was so loud and so strong I could project it in a big yoga room without the need for a headset. These days, I can't project my voice very loudly, but my heart can still be felt in my voice.
June 25, 2017, 9:00am - Core 40 - I taught without practicing again. I might be missing a backbend in Virabhadrasana, but one backbend and one forward bend makes more sense to me than two backbends and one forward bend. Also, one of my routines appears to be in a different order than how the studio owner teaches her Core 40, so I'll have to look into that and see what I need to do to change my sequence.
June 26, 2017, 6:00am - class 653 with Justin Riley - My motto for today is "Just Do it." I've been out for a week and I gave it my best and my best for today is pretty good. I hope more people surround me in class. It feels great when everyone is feeding off of each other's energy. I felt like I could hold Standing Head to Knee forever.
June 28, 2017, 6:00am - class 654 with Adam Keilbaugh - I took class with a swollen right ankle. Remember my last class? Just do it! Even if it hurts, the best therapy for certain types of injuries is to keep the body part moving. Work that sinovial fluid! I walked for three miles today on my bad ankle and, at the end of the day, my ankle feels much better.
June 29, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - "Great class! Just what I needed," said one of my Core 40 students. The class finished with five minutes to spare. Everyone loved my Beats class. My dialog was perfectly synced to the music.
July 1, 2017, 10:00am - class 655 with Suzanne Musetto - My Awkward is a little wonky. I did the best I could with my recovering ankle. It's still not 100%, but I refused to baby it. It's getting better every day. I did a nice Crane. Suzanne noted that I was "real high up," which is apparently a good thing. She added Bridge and Wheel and had a good setup for Splits on the Floor. "I learned it on my own, not from Tony," she said. In the afternoon, I went to Beiler's Doughnuts in West Philly. The girl behind the counter looked at my Bikram Yoga tanktop. "Are you a Bikram teacher?" she asked. I nodded. We chatted about the Center City studio where I used to work as well as the Cherry Hill studio I now work at. She said she'd like to try it someday. I recommended she try the morning classes where the temperature is usually not as hot. Two girls at my nail salon wanted to know what I've done to look so strong and fit. "How can I look like you?" they asked. "Just do yoga," I replied.
July 2, 2017, 9:00am - class 656 Core 40 - Only two students were in my class today on this holiday weekend, but they gave really good effort. One of them, a teacher, learned some new variations of familiar postures. I included the extra backbend in Virabhadrasana. I had to abbreviate my pre-stretch warm-up routine again. I made flyers for my Core 40 and Beats classes.
July 4, 2017, 10:00am - class 657 with Robyn King - Over 40 people were crammed into the small yoga room today. The 55% humidity made it feel extra warm. I moved through it all without missing postures. Robyn liked my Awkward 2 and how I got my hands together in prayer in Eagle. I forgot that the last time I took a class with her was about two and half years ago! I monitored my heart rate today. The postures that taxed my heart the most: Standing Head to Knee, 138 bpm; Balancing Stick, 152 bpm; Triangle: 147 bpm; Camel: 138bpm. Ironically, driving down Walnut Street weaving around traffic was higher at 198 bpm.
July 6, 2017, 6:00am - class 658 with Cate Reese - A nice, smooth-flowing class. I felt a little wonky after a few postures, but nothing too serious. After class, the humidity really got to me and I felt like I was going to pass out. The humidity is 81% today. A high humidity outside affects the studio inside. This was the same dizzy feeling I got a few years back in Sandy's class. At least this time, there was no onset of stroke. One of the students told me she missed me the past couple of weeks. You know how some people look to others for inspiration? I think I am that type of person to her.
July 6, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - Ten students were in my Beats class. My dialog was perfectly synced to the music.
July 9, 2017, 9:00am - class 659 Core 40 - Suzanne and I went over my dialog for my Core 40 class to make it more consistent with her classes. She recommended that I remove the breathing cues.
July 9, 2017, 11:00am - class 660 with Suzanne Musetto - The Musetto Half Moon is a lot more challenging than any Bikram Half Moon I've experienced.
July 13, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 661 and 662 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - A new student in my Core 40. My regulars in my Beats class. There was time, so I added the Abdominal series into my Beats class.
July 15, 2017, 8:00am, 10:00am - Core 26 and class 663 Core 40 - Good medium-sized classes with strong students. I was described as being "intense, but in a good way."
July 16, 2017, 9:00am, 11:00am - class 664 Core 40 and Core 26 - Everyone thought these were "great classes" and all I did was increase the speed of my dialog! My Core 40 class finished on time and my Core 26 class finished in 85 minutes with the same ferocious intensity as usual. I remember Chris Fluck telling me that Bikram could teach an 85-minute class with great intensity. Up until today, I did not think it was possible for me to teach a class like that.
July 20, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 665 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - "You and Suzanne are the best teachers here," one student said after my Core 26 class. "This is my favorite class so far," another student said after my Beats class.
July 23, 2017, 9:00am, 11:00am - classes 666 and 667 Core 40 and Core 26 - "Thanks for a great class!" all of my students said of my Core 40 class. My two regulars from my Core 26 also said the same thing.
July 27, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - Light attendance tonight and this week. Everyone must be on vacation. Even with the small turnout, my students loved my classes. I was exhausted from a very busy past few days. I've been mopping the floors after class for the past two weeks. It seems to be a good way to wind down.
July 30, 2017, 9:00am - class 668 Core 40 - An angel must've smiled upon me because I had a good turnout for my class. I started my class with a reminder to stay calm and relaxed as we move through the postures. I ended the class on time and everyone loved the experience.
August 6, 2017, 9:00am - class 669 Core 40 - "Great class as always," two students said. I officially completed my 30-class Core 40 internship today!
August 10, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 670 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
August 13, 2017, 9:00am, 11:00am - class 671 Core 40 and Core 26 - Light attendance today. Some of my students opted to go to the beach yoga class promoted for the past few weeks.
August 17, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - Today I had to use Pandora instead of my own playlist for my Beats class. While I liked most of the music on a station, I can't help but think that this week's Beats experience could've benefitted from me choosing the songs on a playlist instead of relying on a predetermined playlist.
August 18, 2017, 3:00pm - class 672 Penn Yoga - My colleagues, Nick and Stephanie, joined me for class today. I got a new faculty member interested in taking my classes. She introduced me to her mom.
August 20, 2017, 9:00am, 11:00am - class 673 Core 40 and Core 26 - Another Sunday with low attendance, but my students loved my classes. Should I care if I teach a handful or a hundred at a time? No, because if I can help make one student better, that makes it all worth it!
August 24, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
August 27, 2017, 9:00am - class 674 Core 40
August 31, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 675 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I wanted to try something new in Core 26. "Let's start class a little differently this time. Everyone close your eyes and plant your feet firmly into the ground. Feel your toes and heels on the mat. Stand up nice and tall with your shoulders over your hips and your hips over your heels. Inhale through your nose. Exhale out your mouth. This is how you will breathe throughout the class. Now open your eyes and let's begin," I said. My class was met with great praise at the end.
September 2, 2017, 4:00pm - I taught a one-on-one yoga class to Joe, a 50-year old postal worker who had issues with flexibility and walking. I noticed he couldn't raise his arms over his head very easily. My class focused on breathing, meditation, the stretching aspect of Half Moon, and Wind Removing Pose.
September 7, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
September 9, 2017, 11:00am - class 676 with Joel Pier - Joel greeted and hugged me before class like an old friend. I got his awesome back crack in class. After class, I hugged him goodbye. "You're the best. You're the only one who knew the answer to my question about yoga," he said, referring to a question he had asked the class while we were resting between postures. I had learned the answer from Tony Sanchez. "Classes produce average students, but only through an introspective practice can you unleash your own potential," Tony would say. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the discipline for self-regulation of our practice. That is why I urge students who have this deficit to make yoga a part of their everyday lives. Integrate yoga into everything you do. Before you practice running, perform Triangle. While waiting at the bus stop, perform Standing Head to Knee. If you find yourself lying on your rug at home, do my Pre-Stretch Warm-Up Routine. You will find that having your own practice is well within your grasp if you just make everything you do your practice.
September 10, 2017, 9:00am - class 677 Core 40 - In an effort to increase attendance in this class, my Core 40 is being moved to Sunday afternoons. I think this is a very good idea as it gives people a better chance to enjoy their weekend before taking a yoga class again.
September 14, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - Nice class sizes. I started a little more Zen today in preparation for my upcoming Zen 40 class. My regulars all told me my class was great. There was one student who did an amazing Rabbit, rivalling mine. I gave him some advice to further improve his posture. I felt a little down this week because of my doctor's news of my elevated blood pressure, but last night and today's measurements were pretty good. One of the servers at the late-night dinner place I frequent said to me with her eyes wide open and looking at my arms, "Oh, my God, I never noticed how muscular you are! What do you do to stay fit?" I told her my physique is all due to yoga.
September 17, 2017, 4:00pm - class 678 Core 40 - This was a nice first class in a new time slot. Hopefully, there will be more students next week.
September 21, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - Attendance for both classes flipped this week with my Beats class being more popular. I slipped my song, "Angel's Dance," into this week's playlist. Imagine that, my eighteen-year-old song is still relevant today!
September 24, 2017, 4:00pm - class 679 Core 40
September 28, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
September 30, 2017, 8:00am, 10:00am - class 680 Core 26 and Core 40 - Now that my Sunday class is in the evening, students are wondering why it was moved from its morning spot. I guess you can't please everybody with the class schedule and it seems Sunday is just not as popular a practice day as other days.
October 1, 2017, 4:00pm - class 681 Core 40
October 5, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 682 and 683 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - The Harvest Moon editions of my classes were very successful. There were lots of new students in my 6:00pm class. One of them sent an email saying, "Thank you Clare!! Great session." My regulars said, "Your yoga has really helped us. We can definitely see changes." I added additional postures in my 8:00pm class: three variations of Standing Separate Leg Stretching and three variations of Spine Twist.
October 8, 2017, 4:00pm - Core 40
October 12, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I did three variations of Standing Separate Leg Stretching and Bicycles to the Abdominal Series in my Beats class.
Like many teachers, I have periods of non-practice. Earlier this year, I completed four consecutive 30-Day Challenges. I was curious to see what would exactly happen during that time. Would I be able to endure the rigors of a daily practice? Would my body change and improve during the process? Would I get sick of doing it? Tony Sanchez tells us to build a sustainable practice for ourselves and to create the freedom to explore possibiities through our own self-guided practices. This is good advice, but I often find my mind wandering when I practice alone. I find that I need someone to tell me what to do so I don't have to remember or even think about the sequence and the instructions. In all honesty, a daily practice is the best way to maintain or lose weight and build muscle tone, but it is also dangerous in that my muscles always ached and my joints always felt like jelly. I would hear cracks, pops, and zipper-like noises whenever I would walk or sit down. Sometimes I didn't feel strong at all. I experienced lower back pains from time to time and discovered that moving around was better than sitting still. I thought yoga was supposed to improve my back and joints? During my most recent period of non-practice, my body began feeling better in many ways. The cracks, pops, and zipper-like noises happened less and less. My back pain went away. I felt stronger and more durable, but I might not be as flexible as I was during my practice days. I find that I could still get deep into my postures on good days, so I'm still doing yoga, just not as rigorously as I was during the 30-day challenges.
October 15, 2017, 4:00pm - Core 40 - I added Revolving Spine Twist and Abdominal Twist to the sequence, but removed the Splits sequence.
October 19, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
October 21, 2017, 10:00am - class 684 Core 40 - A nice sized class with almost all regulars. Everyone said it was a great class. One student remarked that I had a very gentle, calming voice. A new student said that she'll definitely be back again. I moved very slowly through the sequence this time. The only misstep was skipping Wind Removing, but I readjusted and placed it as the starting posture to the Adominal Series. I think it worked out well there. It made sense.
October 24, 2017, 3:00pm - class 685 Penn Yoga - Three of my colleagues joined me for today's yoga class. We worked hard, sweated hard, and everyone loved it.
October 26, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
October 29, 2017, 4:00pm - class 686 Core 40 - "Try not to use so much of the Bikram dialog. In Hands to Feet pose, don't think of pulling your heels, but rather anchoring your feet, pressing the insides of your feet to the ground and flattening your upper body onto your legs. 'Pulling is the object of stretching' isn't right. The stretching doesn't happen with your head but rather from the base of your spine upwards," Suzanne advised.
November 2, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
November 5, 2017, 4:00pm - class 687 Core 40 - "You see how not using the Bikram dialog you teach more authentically," Suzanne advised. I did bring the dialog back in at some point at the start of the summer, so this is a good reminder to just dispense with it. I taught a very good class that flowed and ended on time. I also had a very strong self-practice today. It helped that I was pushing myself with the rest of the class.
November 7, 2017, 3:00pm - class 688 Penn Yoga - We did a sequence that included Pranayama Breathing,Half Moon, Salute to the Gods and Goddesses, Sun Salutations, Balancing Stick, Tree, Triangle, Revolving Triangle, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Baby Crow, Abdominal Series, Straight LegPavanamuktasana, Spine Twist two variations, Revolving Spine Twist, Happy Baby, Shoulderstand, neck movement exercises, and eye movement exercises sitting and lying. At the end of class, one student said, "Thank you, Sensei!" with a smile.
November 9, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - classes 689 and 690 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - I practiced with each class and sweated my brains out.
November 12, 2017 - Ida Ripley's Intermediate Series (I.R.I.S.) - World-famous yogini Ida Ripley taught her version of the Core 40 in this two-hour workshop class. Included were Beach Pose and several Lotus postures that culminated in Plow and Shoulderstand. Right before Guillotine, after Standing Separate Stretching, my energy dropped and my legs felt weak. I took it easy during that posture so my energy would return.
November 16, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 691 Core 26 and Bishnu Beats - My friend Bill signed up for classes today. He took two classes in a row having never done yoga before.
November 18, 2017, 8:00am, 10:00am - class 692 Core 26 and Core 40 - My friend Bill tried the Core 40 class, but it seemed a bit too advanced for him.
November 19, 2017, 10:00am - class 693 Core 26 - I dedicated a spirited Eagle Pose to the Philadelphia Eagles game that night and, yes, they won by a large margin.
November 23, 2017, 11:00am - class 694 with Justin Riley - It's been a while since I've practiced at Hot Yoga Philadelphia. 45 students, including four teachers, were crammed into the little third floor studio, each one long, lean, and powerful. I felt strong in Eagle and came out with Egyptian-style flourishes that flowed from one side to the next. I hadn't lost anything in Standing Head to Knee on the bare floor, either. I hit an energy low when I got to Tree and regained my composure during the first side of Toe. I stayed on my mat in a squat and just smiled and laughed to myself at my situation. "You're a teacher," I said to myself. "Get up and show them why you're a teacher." I never gave up. I ended my practice with a great Spine Twist.
November 26, 2017, 4:00pm - class 695 Core 40 - A yoga teacher from another studio took my class today and commented, "I really enjoyed your practice today. You are quite good at what you do!"
November 30, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 696 Core 26 and Core 40 - Lots of superlatives about how great my classes were. I spent time teaching alternative postures (Fish for Supta Vajrasana and Child's Pose for Half-Tortoise) to those people who couldn't do the posture I taught in the first set of each posture. That little extra step of teaching makes my class more accessible to everyone.
December 7, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - Core 26 and Bishnu Beats
December 10, 2017, 4:00pm - class 697 Core 40 - "I thoroughly enjoyed your class tonight. I intend to incorporate some of what I've learned in your class in some of my classes," one of my students, who is also a yoga teacher, said. I taught Phoenix pose after Eagle and included Side Crane in the arm balancing series. I also taught an alternate version of Spine Twist, since one of my students has flexibility issues.
December 14, 2017, 6:00pm, 8:00pm - class 698 Core 40 and Bishnu Beats - My students in my 6:00pm class wanted me to teach Core 40 rather than Core 26, so I did. What a workout! I advised my student, Bill, to stop wrenching and torquing so hard. He seems to be trying to get to the finish line in leaps and bounds rather than small, incremental steps. He doesn't seem to believe that yoga can cause serious injury if done incorrectly.