I’ve always considered myself to be a generalist, of sorts. For example, I resisted specializing in environmental policy, already quite specialized, and chose communications instead of a particular policy focus.
Well, that was another lifetime, but recently, I’ve described my yoga teaching as covering the entire prenatal-to-death spectrum. I teach toddlers, preschoolers, school-age kids, adults, prenatal, postnatal . . . but I’m finally thinking I need to specialize, at least a little bit.
My father has always said, “If you want to know what someone wants to do, just watch what they do.”
Original Post, August 27, 2011:
Have I told you about my new job?
A couple weeks ago, I gave notice at The Nature Conservancy. While I've enjoyed the last two years writing newsletter articles about their global conservation programs, I'm finding myself more and more drawn to teaching yoga, specifically to kids. So starting this fall, that's what I'm going to do.
Some of my classes have already started. Recently, ten three-year-olds and I went on a trip. We packed our bags, took an airplane ride, went swimming on the beach, and went dancing in New York City, all without leaving their colorfully decorated classroom in Northwest DC.
Partial class plan for Planes, Trains and other Mobiles:
pack our bags
- wash our clothes: twistee
- dry our clothes: nahbi
- hang them on the clothes line: half moon
- iron the fancy stuff: moon toe
- fold the shirts and pants: toes to nose
- put everything in the suitcase: forward bend
pack the car: in-out breathing
drive to the airport: red light-green light x2 or x3
check our bags at the airport: ring around the yogi
airplane ride: play The Airplane Song: jump, spin, gallop, dance (Laurie Berkner)
visit the beach
- make a sand castle: wide angle forward bend & variations
- read book: sing These Are My Glasses (Berkner)
- take a bicycle ride
train ride home
Sure yoga teaches patience and mindfulness and is a physical exercise that's good for kids, but it's also wildly fun.
for 4 week old to nearly crawling babies
for crawling babies to 2 year old toddlers meets
for 21 month toddlers to 4 year old preschoolers meets
for 21 month toddlers to 4 year old preschoolers with younger siblings welcome meets
for mom with 6-week old to nearly crawling baby present meets
It's not just here. I've barely been posting to twitter and only sporatically posting at Care2. I've simply found myself busier than expected in 2011: managing the day to day, but also figuring, planning, and dreaming.
I didn’t consider how the two fit together until this morning when I plugged the 40 days into my Google Calendar (yep, I’m that kind of yogi) and discovered that the 40th day will be the day before the Itsy Bitsy weekend.
Friday, I quit my job.
Sunday, I decided I needed a little structure to contain and
energize my personal yoga practice. I also feel my knee is telling me
to take a break from my spotty and therefore guilt-inducing running
plans while I focus on personal practice.
Baron Baptise, one of this country's more renowned vinyasa yogis, authored a book called 40 Days to Personal Revolution in which he lays out a progressively longer yoga and mediation
practice. He recommends eschewing other exercise in the process, to be
reintroduced later if desired.
Baptiste also developed a program he calls his "Yoga Bootcamp,"
a very western title for a weekend intensive yoga and mediation
retreat. Since Mac and Maya are staying a few days with his parents in
August while I pursue Itsy Bitsy Baby Yoga certification, I thought
that would be a good weekend to do the intensive meditation and vinyasa
practice and journaling exercises Baptiste recommends (though not on
quite the same schedule because of the training).
I didn't consider how the two fit together until this morning when I
plugged the 40 days into my Google Calendar (yep, I'm that kind of
yogi) and discovered that the 40th day will be the day before the Itsy
I will cut myself some slack.
I'm not meeting my own expectations and I suspect that it's the expectations that are the problem.
At work, I expect myself to be as effective as the most dedicated (frequently but not always childless) public interest advocate.
At yoga class, I wonder how I don't manage a daily asana and mediation practice.
Maybe I should give up sleep . . . Oh right, I already have. So far, Maya has been sleeping less well in her second year than she did in her first. I've been told that learning to walk can disrupt a child's sleep (it's a neurological development thing) and so can teething, colds, travel, the stomach flu, more teething, more travel, more colds, more travel . . . It's been a fall of unpredictable nap patterns and night waking.
That is nearly as tough on Mac as me (he, at least, is the less favorite parent at 3 am) because it's during nap times that this mostly-a-stay-at-home-Dad becomes an adjunct dance professor with papers to grade and lessons to plan, a dance company director with performances to arrange, and a choreographer with art to make. Mac has managed to stop expecting the floors to be quite so regularly cleaned (He still manages all of the laundry, most of the grocery shopping, and a lot of the cooking.)
So, in 2009, I will:
The day after, I realized that it was a very anti-climactic quitting.
I’m still there while I find my replacement and then I will
work for him/her part-time doing some of the stuff that I never have
time for when I was in the job. So, I’m not actually leaving.
Several frustrating weeks of trying to do a very demanding full-time
job in fewer than full-time hours and a weekend of soul searching and
budget analysis resulted in this unexpected turn of events.
Perhaps my future holds more blogging?
. . . and maybe a little tranquility
First, a recap of my 2006 goals:
Find a new physical event goal.
Nope, I never did. I kept considering all sorts of races and then deciding against them. Each threatened to skew my workouts entirely toward one activity. I’ve been running, biking, swimming, and doing yoga. It took me all year to come a good balance of those activities. It took a full eleven months to come to terms with running only twice a week. I’d been running three days a week for years, which is a recommended minimum for building to longer distances. However, if my longest run is 6 miles, twice is sufficient. Twice, doesn’t support running 10 milers and half marathons. I think that’s ok for now.
Do more yoga.
Yep. I spent 4 months early in ’06 attending Bikram classes before changing jobs/graduating/going to China. Since returning I’ve been much more regular at yoga than I have in years.
Loose 12.5 more pounds.
Lost 2.5 pounds and 1 more pant size.
When I mentioned in my last resolution post about wanting to really enjoy my allotted 3 starches per day, I was reacting against both the quality of mass produced baked goods and our detachment from their creation. In the last year, I have found cooking and baking from scratch to be incredibly satisfying. I’m confident about the quality, can control the nutritional content, and am connected to the creation. I even made the foray into yeast breads.
We have recently acquired a soy milk maker which rapidly makes a quart and a half of hot soy milk from soaked beans but also results in a couple of cups of nutritious, high fiber soy pulp. Luckily, the pulp, called okara, can be baked into almost anything for a nice nutritional punch and a little extra leavening action. I predict more bread in 2007 . . . and many okara veggie burgers.
On Balance, a heck of a lot happened to us in 2006. Doubtless, 2007 will bring more changes, challenges, triumphs, defeats, joys . . . .
My 2007 goal is (to strive for) Balance.
Here’s wishing you a balanced, tranquil, and joyous new year.