Sunday, November 28, 2010


I feel like I'm developing an intimate relationship with the garbage dumpster.

I've probably thrown away six bags of garbage/recycling and I've been up and down the elevator all weekend, carrying stuff down to the loading dock.

I placed a box full of items in the back hallway for my neighbours to pick through. It astounds me what people will pick up if it's free. Plastic travel mugs! Blank books! Gone! A jar of honey?! Yes, even a jar of honey! Everything disappeared within an hour. Old binders! A tea strainer! An old plastic spatula? Yup! A worn out skillet? Absolutely! Mind boggling.

The notes and papers from my YTT required two bags, two HEAVY bags, to recycle. I couldn't believe the huge space this created on my bookshelf. I kept some things - pop quizzes, my final exam and essay, chant worksheets and sentimental stuff. When I was finished, the keeper pile fit in a small file folder. Three giant binders were reduced to less than a centimetre. All these years, I've never even looked at this stuff...

I stumbled across the notes I took during my first year of teaching. I used to document every. single. class. Reading these critiques of myself and my fledgling teaching experiences was entertaining. It's a bit like finding the diary you kept when you were 16 years old. CRINGE! And then: RECYCLE!!! No, I didn't keep them. I'd prefer to forget my first year of teaching, thankyouverymuch.

The one thing I wanted to keep was a series of articles by Thomas Myers (Anatomy Trains) that were absolutely fantastic. I'm looking forward to rereading them. Of all the fluff I was forced to read for my anatomy module, those stayed with me.

Practice today was a typical Sunday practice, with one notable exception: I was able to move past that 'sticky hamstring feeling' and find true openness in my forward bends. Friday's experiment wasn't just a fluke. I was reveling in it! The one pose that still gives me problems is Krounchasana. When that one gets easier, I'll be relieved.

This was probably the futziest (is that even a word?!) practice I've had in ages. At one point, I was camped out on my mat, laying on my belly, propped up on my elbows, carefully studying my fingernails and trying to talk myself into doing my Intermediate poses.

Then I was reading Twitter when I should have been doing Urdhva Dhanruasana. I admitted as much in a tweet, appending it with the #badlady 'hashtag'. Ha, ha! But with all of my futzing, I still finished in 1 hour, 45 minutes.

When I woke up this morning, the sky looked like this:

This is reason enough to wake at 5:30 a.m., non?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


エスタ said...

Hey there I came across your blog on Grimmly's, I love the idea of a cyber shala, I too am a lone home practitioner.. Wanted to say hello as you have inspired me and remind me of me...I did the big clean out in March after a Vipasana retreat, felt great, I let go of books and clothes, my two weak points. What triggered the big clear out? Must give the house the once over again, it's amazing how stuff accumulates again... Thanks for sharing your practice.

alfia said...

Hi, Kai:

You are very inpiring. I have so much stuff from my YTT, but still did not part with it. Gotta do it - 90% of it was utterly useless.

There is something different between us, though - I still make detailed plans for each class I teach. Even after 5 full years of teaching twice a week. I tend to have the same students over and over, and do not like repeating stuff too much. And since my brain is fried most of the time, I just do not remember what I taught, unless I look at those lesson plans. I also re-use them after a couple of years, with appropriate changes according to the current mood. I love my lesson plans!

Maria @dailydownwarddog said... freaked me out a little bit with the statement that you wanted to throw out and forget all about your first year of teaching yoga. I am just now starting out as a yoga teacher and feeling the love of teaching. I hope I can look back at the first year without cringing (but I'm sure I will have a few memorable/embarrassing moments).