Gentle Flow class to benefit March of Dimes

As I’ve said before, I have twin girls. We did what anyone with multiples should do, and joined a great club for parents of multiples, Gemini Crickets. We formed a playgroup of people who had kids in the same 6 months or so as you, although our particular playgroup just absorbed more and more folks like crazy, since we are a gregarious bunch. Now, I was super lucky. My girls went full term, and aside of a bit of jaundice and a hernia, they were healthy, and weighed about what many single newborns weigh (each).

In our playgroup though, I soon discovered that over half of the moms in my group had one or both children in the NICU (intensive care unit for babies). Some of them had prolonged stays. Some had extremely long stays, and some were able to bring home just one baby before the other one could join the family. Some were only able to bring one home ever.

My very good friend decided to lead the charge for preemie awareness join the March of Dimes baby-focused fundraiser, March for Babies. Since 2011, our team (Team Pirate Power) has raised more money than most other friend and family groups in the Silicon Valley, and is up there with the top teams in the state. This money goes to research and education to help prevent premature birth, and to help beat the odds when things go wrong.

I am offering a gentle flow class on 4/23, 4 pm at Willow Glen Yoga. They are generously donating the space, and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the March of Dimes. I am not taking a dime (haha!). If you want to just donate, you can do so here. If you’d like to donate online and come to class (please do!), just bring your receipt. You can also bring a checkbook or cash the day of the event (but still drop me a line to let me know you will be attending if you can). All donations are tax-deductible. Suggested donation is $20, but feel free to donate more, if it is within your budget. Please join us! MOD_class


Kindly rejecting our own expectations

In pretty much every class I teach is that there will be at least one person that berates themselves for their difficulty in approaching a pose. For example, a student of mine may be working towards Dancer pose, which is a balancing pose as well as a backbend. At the first sign of wobbling, or of falling out, the response is often “I can’t balance!” or maybe, “I’m just so weak” or “I have no strength!”.

What’s behind this unhelpful dialogue? In what universe is anyone expected to be able to do something perfectly every time, or even the first time?

I imagine the underlying thinking must be some variety of the following:

I can’t do this

I look dumb trying to do this

Everyone else can do this except for me

People must think I am really weak

I will never be able to do this

But, here’s the thing. The person who is doing it right now while you aren’t either really worked hard to get there, or has some genetic privilege in their favor. A perfectly executed yoga pose may take hours, or maybe even hundreds of hours to refine. And, here’s a secret you may not know. Yoga giveth, and yoga taketh away. You can practice a pose for a long time, and one day, it may not feel good in your body. Or you may have lost access to it due to illness or injury, or mysterious forces. And, that’s the practice. Yoga (despite what all those glossy magazine covers may indicate) is a practice of non-attachment, of being present with what is vs. what we want it to be. It may come back, it may not, and there are still other things to explore. Yoga isn’t just about one pose, or about perfection. Suffice to say, among many other benefits, yoga makes us more comfortable with our imperfections.

First things first though. Start speaking in the present tense. If you can’t restrain yourself from absolutes, at least put a time frame on them. Say, “I can’t balance today”. “Today, I feel weak”. Today may not be your best day, but you don’t know what tomorrow holds yet.