handstand vs. parenting, or maybe both

 
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
60 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 30
Nantucket, MA.
 

So this is it Tribe; the half-way marker in my first ever attempt at doing anything for 60 days in a row. And I’ve done it. Not to toot my own horn- I’m going to anyway – but this feels like something worth mentioning. If you haven’t been following my very public attempt at yogic commitment, or haven’t read any of my previous posts about the 60 Day Challenge, all you need to know is this: I have been, up until recently, a complete and utter commitment-phoebe.

To put it plainly I have at times suffered from wanderlust, career dissatisfaction, long-term relationship fears, and geographic restlessness. Before finding massage therapy and teaching yoga, I was a dancer, exterior house painter, fishmonger, stylist’s assistant, studio manager, photo researcher, magazine photo editor, hostess, retail goddess and personal assistant. I have never been involved in a relationship that has lasted longer than the one I shared with my college sweetheart – and that was only lasted 3 years. But more to the point; I have never done anything consistently for 30 days, let alone 60. I’m not even sure I could honestly say I’ve flossed my teeth every day for 60 days in a row- though I consistently make the effort to do so. So this, my friends, is a big, big deal.

The cool thing is, though the point was to develop a more “disciplined” or “devoted” practice, I have actually accomplished a reverence for all the other little things that take up my time in between my asanas and meditations. Because the 20 minutes a day I’ve been consistently setting aside for the challenge has been so central, every other moment around the 20 has become that much more important. Time itself has become more valuable: time with my son, time with my partner, time with my teachers and students, and even all the insignificant moments of my daily life- now more significant. Instead of rushing through things to get them done, I now pause, and enjoy them all so much more – washing my face and brushing my teeth feels like a more like a ritual of self-care. The down moments stolen on the couch with Burr feel more potent and meaningful in fostering good bonding and a healthy relationship. Filling up the VW has morphed into an opportunity to smile at the guy with the pump in his hand, perhaps making his day (and mine) a little brighter Maybe most importantly -this challenge has helped me embrace Motherhood like I’ve never embraced it before. The time I spend with my son, Griffin (who is quickly approaching 2), has now become utterly priceless.

The practice of cultivating self-awareness that has been the point of all this daily meditation and/or asana, has facilitated a much deeper awareness of my practice as a parent – an amazing side effect I hadn’t anticipated at all. It was only a few months ago I felt like my life was a series of responsibilities linked in a forever repeating loop of daily tasks: wake up, heat the bottle, put the kettle on, change the baby, make the breakfast, pack the backpack and lunch, drop off the baby at daycare, go to work, pick up the baby, facilitate a nap, bathe the baby, make dinner, put the baby down, attempt to sleep until at least 5:30 or 6, repeat. And all that noise all the older mothers and grandmothers I know who kept repeating that mantra of “enjoy this time while you have it, he’ll never be a baby again.. ” yeah well, blah blah blah – didn’t they know how hard I was working just to get through my day ? How could I possibly have the patience to enjoy it. “They grow up so fast”  they’d say to me… Good, I’d think.

Ah, Om….

But seriously, of course I love my son. I love him more than anything in the entire world. And now I feel so grateful to yoga – again– for giving me the tools I need to honor my special little boy, and to be the best mother I can possibly be.

So to those of you who might feel like spending 20 minutes (or more, or less) on yourselves is selfish, or wasteful – to you I say this: cultivating a practice, whatever it may be; yoga, walking the dog, sitting in meditation, exercise, taking a bath, whatever, for the sake of cultivating self-love and self-acceptance is probably the most rewarding commitment you can make. Your whole family will reap the benefits of your practice.

In closing tonight, I’d like to extend some Thank Yous:

To my ex-husband Paul, for loving our son, especially when physically I am elsewhere.

To the powerful yogini-goddesses I studied and connected with this week: Elena, Shiva and Schyler (what a way to top off a month of practice).

To my teacher and mentor, Shannah, for her on-going support and love.

A big big thank-you to my partner, Burr, whos work in NYC made our trip this week a reality. For his on-going encouragement of my yogic journey, my teaching and not so pretty ventures deep into myself. And above all else for his patience. I am far, far, far from the perfect partner (see commitment-phoebia above), and prone to giving up… So far, he has not given up on me.

And to my son Griffin – who has made me a much better person, living in a much richer world. I love you Griffin, more than I could possibly tell you.

Jai, jai, jai yogis!

~Bliss

rasafication in pranahatten: OM

Monday, November 7th, 2011
Nantucket, MA.
Challenge Day 27, 33 days to go…

Tonight will be my last day of teaching until Friday’s Sweat, Strengthen & Stretch class. As I’ve posted before, Burr and I are headed down to NYC for a few days of work & play. Bettina will be subbing for my Dynamic Flow tomorrow night at TYR – so tonight’s practice will be a combination of  Slow & Dynamic flows (5:30-7:00 p.m.).

Tomorrow I hope to take class with Elena Brower at Virayoga at noon, and then will be with the PranaFlow Goddess (Shiva, shiva, shiva) herself from 3-9 p.m. Wednesday I’m hoping to get over to Kula to take class with Schuyler Grant – and then, if I have any energy left, I might head over to Sonic Yoga (where I have a pass for a free class) in the late afternoon.

I hope to see a few old friends while in town, and of course to eat. New York is heaven for foodies… Angelica Kitchen here we come.

Stay tuned to see if I survive  tomorrow’s 7.5 hours of yoga… Bring on day 28!

~Om,
Bliss

loving the ladies

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

~Leonard Cohen

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wMUDodHW54]

The 60 Day Yoga Challenge, Day 22
Just home from Susan’s Vinyasa Flow class at The Yoga Room
Nantucket, MA.
 
नमस्ते Namaste Tribe,

Happy First of November! Can you believe Halloween has come and gone, and Tofurkeys and Recycled Tinsel are quickly approaching? It’s time to stoke the wood stove, roast root vegetables, get out the apple cider and put on the leg warmers!

For our little clan the November-December holiday season means lots of extended family dinners at the Inn, Thanksgiving in North Carolina, a holiday visit from my Left Coast sister, Grey, trimming a tree with my partner for the first time in our new home, and a number of big birthdays. My Dad is 63 on November 6th. Griffin is turning 2 next month, and I’m turning 35, okay- that’s a little yikes, but still kind of fun.  I just love this time of year.

There’s a chill in the air at The Yoga Room – but it’s a great an excuse to turn up the heat. Now that we’re dealing with record breaking chills, early snow falls in Boston, it’s time to pack away the Lulu capris, and dig out the good ol’ Groove Pants.  Recently, I’ve had to arrive at the studio at least 30 minutes before the start of class to take the nip out of the air and warm up the hard wood floor. After teaching last night, I forgot to take my yoga mat out of my car. When I rolled it out on the studio floor this morning it fused to the wood like a tongue on a flag pole.

But upward and onward. Put your layers on, and join the warming vinyasa fun. The new schedule is out at TYR, and though our class offerings have been paired down- Paul, Bettina, Clay and Susan and I are still here- happy to give you a loving space to get your Sangha on!

Assuming I can make it to November 10th, I will have hit the one-month mark of my 60 day yoga challenge next week, and that feels pretty significant. So to celebrate, I’m going down to NYC next Tuesday for a 2 night yoga getaway. I’m hoping to spend part of Day 29 with Elena Brower and take her 12 o’clock class at her studio Virayoga in SoHo, and the rest of the day with my teacher Shiva Rea! On Day 30 I hope to stop off in Providence on our return, and take class with my mentor, Shannah Green at Eyes of The World.

Having practiced fairly religiously over the last three weeks with Elena, I am super excited to meet her in person. As luck would have it, she’ll be at her studio next week, before taking off for various yoga appearances. So I feel like the uni-verse is working with me this week. Ahhhh, ommm…. To think I might be able to take class with Elena, and then Shiva; two of my Yoga Crushes, in the same day, is nearly more than I can bear!

Not including the intensive teacher training I did with Shiva at Kripalu in 2009, this will mark the 4th time I have been able to practice with Ms Rea. On Tuesday afternoon and well into the evening, Shiva will be teaching a full-throttle, Prana Flow Temple of Rasa event, sponsored by Sonic Yoga, which will be held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, on the lower east side.

The venue looks amazing, and I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be able to attend. I’ve had it on my calendar for months- but was unconvinced the reality would unfold. So, here’s where I’d like to extend a shout out to my Ex for agreeing to watch our son a couple of extra nights and enabling me to attend – “Thank You Paul!”

I have never practiced in a place of this size and beauty. It seems pretty spectacular. And the gathering itself promises to be “centering, rejuvenating, creative and stress dissolving.” and boasts accompaniment by some of the master drummers of NYC. The 6-hour Dynamic Vinyasa Flow and Movement Meditation is apparently designed for “for yogadventurers, vinyasa lovers, tantrics, bhaktas, and those who feel the power and limits with releasing around their breath, spirit, natural rhythm and joy.” I guess I fit into at least a couple of those categories.

Anyway, the challenge is progressing nicely, and I’m really jazzed up to bring it to New York. Thank you to those of you still following me on this journey – and a couple of you for joining up. I hope your personal yoga challenge is opening up new areas of awareness for you, just as mine is for me.

BTW, I just found a cute article my friend and teacher KB wrote on Elena. Seems I’m one of many who has “the crush”. And here’s a short Shiva video I’ve posted before, but is so worth sharing again. It makes me tingle.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRQw5klvPN0]

in ecstasy over Elena

The 60 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 14

So here’s my big newsflash: I’m pretty sure I’ve found my teacher. As sure as one can be in a virtual world that is, having only met her on the face of my 14″ MacBook. And yes, I have many “my teachers”… but you know that already. Her name is Elena Brower. You can google her – all of a sudden, it seems like she’s everywhere.

Admittedly, I’m a skeptical, judgmental, and kind of fickle yogini (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone). I’m working on it. But it’s a process. I’ve often felt a little out of place in Anusara classes. The language around hearts melting all over the place feels foreign and a little, I don’t know, gooey. Historically, I’ve stayed away from the Shinny Happy People, and I’m not the first person to think that the Anusara bunch might be drinking the Kool-Aid (of course, it could also have been the individual teachers I had taken Anusara classes with and been put off by, and not the actual teachings- but that sounds all too reasonable). Still, when I first became aware of Elena Brower, she seemed different…a little less effervescent, and I was eager to check her out.

I’d known for a while what a big deal she had become in New York City circles, and first heard Elena’s name whispered around our Nantucket studio last summer. When I began to see her listed on the instructor line-up for Yoga Journal Conferences, and teaching at large-scale events like Wanderlust and Burning Man, I thought hmmm, maybe I should  really check this teacher out. I did some preliminary voyeuristic lurking on her website, and asked my dear friend and student Patricia if she knew anything about her. (Pat has practiced in styles I like, and often, and for years – so I pretty much trust her opinion on all things yoga). Well, Pat did know about Elena, and had in fact studied with her for a while in New York. Pat thought I’d like her, so I did a little more digging. I started to get excited, just like I always do when I intuit some big shift in my little world just around the bend. I began to feel tingly at the thought of exploring something/someone new. The kind of Christmas Eve feeling I had as a child.

Then stumbled on a video of Elena giving a  talk she called “The Freedom of Discipleship” at Wanderlust in 2010… and she lost me.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KX2iHhlzpY]

I wasn’t into it. In fact, I had such a negative reaction to the topic of discipleship, I think the first time I loaded the video, I turned it off 3 minutes in, and I immediately crossed her off my short list. In the beginning of her talk she speaks about being a skeptic,  – okay, check, I can hang with that. But then of course talks about the process of becoming John Friend’s disciple. No dice. I’ve never offered myself up to a singular satguru, except maybe my son…. So, I’m still the skeptic, and I guess the joke is on me, because -even though I’m always in search of another teacher and new teachings- I’m hugely skeptical of becoming someone‘s disciple. I can work with the term student, but disciple feels really scary. Anyway, I didn’t want to hear that crap: that kneel-at-the-teacher’s-feet bullshit. So I gave up on her. I wrote her off as one of those dogmatic teachers my anti-dogma White Lotus teachers had warned me about. Clearly Patricia was wrong.

And yet… a week later my November issue of Yoga Journal showed up, with Elena on the cover. Somehow Elena had turned into an itch I needed to scratch. So, 2 weeks ago, in the context of this 60 Day Yoga Challenge, I decided it was time to practice with her. The online classes at YogaGlo gave me the chance I was looking for. I had originally signed up for the Glo just because Kathryn Budig is on their staff. As it turns out, so is Elena. When I realized this it was nearly predictable. (Incidentially, guess who was also at the OWS yoga march I went to last month? Ha. Elena.)

Anyway, here I am, 2 weeks into my 60 Day Challenge as of TODAY, and the bulk of my practice has been around her teachings. I’ve been listening to her speak, reading her writings onHuffington Post and on her website, Art of Attention, and siting with her, al be it via computer, for regular meditation. For sure, I am now smitten with Miss Brower. Only weeks ago, my partner, Burr held fast the title of Predominant Yoga Crush. Now he has company. Elena reigns large. I am in thrall.

Why the fascination? Why the draw? Hm, I’m not totally sure yet. It may be because not only is she a yoga teacher, but she’s also a mother, and a writer, and as artist and designer. I think maybe it’s because she was a skeptic in the beginning, a non-believer, just like me. But mostly it’s because, for me anyway, her message rings true. Elena urges us to Welcome Ourselves. It’s sounds cheezy right? Yeah, I thought so too- however, listen a little closer to what she’s got going on, and it’s probably exactly what you need to hear. ‘Cause if you’re anything like me, full of self-doubt, aniexty around success and stability or uncertain that the path you’re on is the one for you, she’s going to help you feel supported. All the practices I have done with her so far have centered around self-acceptance and self-love. Who can’t use more of that?

As many know I’ve been on a veritable roller-c0aster of personal drama these past 6 years: I lost a spouse to Cancer, moved from Chicago back to my home town of Nantucket, married another, became a step-monther to a 3 year old, became a yoga teacher, got pregnant, had a baby, got divorced, became a single mother, fell in love again, and moved in with Mr. Predominant Yoga Crush this past May. All this drama, all these little stories, all this change, can really add up, and make a girl feel quite vulnerable.

So when I leave the mat, having completed a meditation or vinyasa practice with Elena, who invites me over and over again to find some space to soften into myself, I feel more grounded yet more open than ever. And cheesy as it all may sound, especially coming from a rocker girl covered in tattoos with a penchance for motorcycles and Doc Martins, when Elena instructs me to “Get over the self abnegation; (the) rejecting of (myself). ” and “To live in (my) body with total self-acceptance.” I want to do as she asks. I want to be accepting of my true self. For as she so conciscely says, “The Truth is where the abundance is”. And that my friends, is the what the whole journey, challenge, lifestyle and commitment are all about. Unveiling the truth.

Want more Elena? Watch her truth unfold here:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/30703996]

Her website is full of great writings, inspiring photographs, and of course, her schedule of classes and workshop. Take a look, you too might find something you like.

Love & Light,

~Bliss

ps. Join me for asana practice tonight at The Yoga Room. 5:30-7:00, and extend yourself a little self-love… I’ll try to help.

zip up your legs

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. Men are only free when they are doing what the deepest self likes. And There is getting down to the deepest self! It takes some diving.

D.H. Lawrence

It’s day 10 of my 60 day yoga challenge. I’m not loving every minute of it, but I’m definitely getting “down into my deep(er) self”. This, I think, is the not so pretty part; the digging in, the unveiling of the not-so-perfect parts. At this stage in the game I simply do not have the tenacity to stick my standing poses, hold my handstands for very long, or lift my heart to the sky in urdhva danurasana without out my arms shaking. But in this fatigue, I’m finding softness…

Today’s Yogaglow practice with Elena Brower, cast a certain irony on this cumulative process, by focusing on softening even more. The 60 minute vinyasa class was all about grounding into the lower body and really, I mean REALLY, keeping the upper body soft. It’s actually a lot more difficult than it sounds. For example, she asked us to step back into the widest lung possible and then straighten our front leg, as if going into Hanumanasana, but not to extend into it, to hover above it. And to then zip up the lines of energy in our legs; making them as active as humanly possible. Then she told us to relax our upper bodies, completely. I cannot explain how truly difficult this was. Feel free to insert the metaphor of your choice here… something about staying grounded in your self, while opening up to others, softly…  that of course, is the point.

So thanks Elena. It was a good one today. I like you. I really do. I think I’m supposed to come study with you, eventually. It would be awesome if the universe brings us together.

I’m super grateful there are so many skilled teachers out there willing to step up to the high-tech plate. I’m learning so much about my practice with the help of these online classes. And between the 1 or 2 live classes I get to attend a week, teaching 4-6 times a week, the intuitive flow of my home practice, and the classes online, I feel like I’m really learning a lot in a very condensed amount of time. It’s like my own personal 2 month long retreat- only in my own home, with my kid around. It may not be Kripalu, but it’s pretty great… and you know what? You can do it too. If you want to. I’d support you.

Ten days down.. Only 50 left to go!

~Bliss

Inter-diciplinary classes, prenatal yoga and the 60 day challenge continues

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Challenge Day Nine

First, a few announcements about classes and things, and then I want to get into talking about the challenge.

Sweat, Strengthen & Stretch

with Lisa, Stacey, Erin & Caitlin

Okay, if you haven’t heard about it already, I’m super excited to announce something really, really special. Lisa Wisentaner of the Nantucket Cycling Studio, Stacey Moran of Krav Maga Nantucket, Eric Shaw-Ranney of Nantucket Fitcamps and I are thrilled to offer you Nantucket’s first inter-disciplinary and inter-studio cross-training experience; incorporating cardio and strength training, interval training and plyometrics, core yoga fusion and introductory work in boxing and vinyasa yoga.

Have you always wanted to check out the Krav studio or The Yoga Room, but have been intimidated at the prospect of walking into a foreign situation? This is your chance to conquer that fear and check out THREE awesome and uniquely flavored local resources without any monthly membership fees or long-term commitments.
Sweat, Strengthen & Stretch will offer it’s clients a total mind-body workout packed into a dynamic 4 week session. With 4 classes a week, 4 differentinstructors and 4 different but complimentary approaches to physical health, no stone will be left unturned. Cost for 4 Weeks is $250. Schedule as follows, with detailed class description below.

Mondays at 5:15 a.m. OR 5:30 pm. Indoor Cycling with Lisa

Tuesdays at 5:15 a.m. OR 5:30 p.m. Interval training and intro to Boxing with Stacey

Thursdays at 5:15 a.m. OR 5:30 p.m. Functional Training with Erin

Fridays at 5:30 p.m. or Sundays 2:15 p.m.*  Intro to Core Yoga with Caitlin

*the morning sections of SS&S will be paired with my Sunday afternoon class

Sweat, Strengthen & Stretch will start Monday October 24th and run thru Friday November 18th. Space will be limited to 16 students.*Please register thru the Nantucket Cycling Studio’s website, by first creating an account, and then clicking on the “Events” tab. Payment is required to secure your spot.

______________________________________________________________________

The 60 Day Challenge Continued…

On a personal note, I’ve now made it 9 days in a row of practicing. Asana, that is. My original goal was to do at least 20 minutes a day, in any format possible (at home online, to a DVD, in a class, or completely on my own) in any way possible – asana, meditation, pranayama, mantra, study, etc. for 60 days in a row.

Well, I’m at day 9, and I’m feeling strong but sore as hell and a little emotional. My hips are tender, my hamstrings are tight and there’s a deep warmth between my shoulder blades that’s not completely comfortable. I’ve felt some big feelings, and they haven’t always been nice. But I’ve gotten thru the first week and have found myself really looking forward to my 20+ minutes of self-study each day.

On day 6, I taught a 2 hour vinyasa class, and in my personal practice, walked 4 miles. On day 7 I did my 20 minutes of vinyasa with Kathryn Budig on Yogaglow, and taught a 90 minute vinyasa class. And yesterday, day 8, I took Bettina’s 90 minute vinyasa class, and taught 3 hours of yoga.

There have been a number of personal dramas that have informed my practice along the way, making me work harder at times, or deeper and at times. And sometimes the dramas have really gotten in the way of a more grounded practice. On a couple of days, the drama has nearly forced me to give up.

My partner’s decision to leave the island for a second weekend in a row for business and pleasure felt a little challenging. The timing of the second trip felt off for a number of reasons I won’t go into here.  Let’s just say that our relationship is still in it’s toddler stages, and I’m not always the best communicating my insecurities. In any event, my heart was feeling pretty raw and the house felt lonely – especially when it was time for Griffin to return to his father’s house, and Saturday and Sunday night I was completely on my own again. My meditation practice was on the scattered side, and my insomnia was in full effect.

Then, on Sunday night, the 16th, Nantucket suffered a great loss, the loss of my friend and surrogate mother – Linda McDonough, my son’s other primary caregiver, and I felt thrown into the arms of grief for the third significant time in just a few years.

Griffin had been in Linda’s care since he was but an infant of 7 months old. I don’t think that, as a newly single mother, I would have been able to support myself and my son by returning to work in a present and meaningful way, had Linda not been able to take Griffin into her care.  Many, many wonderful things have been said, and will be said about Linda. She was an amazing woman. I’m not going to attempt to eulogize her here, that time will come, and many people will do it better than I. Suffice to say that I have learned more about being a parent from her in the last 16 months than anyone else in my life. Her support, encouragement and wisdom has been that of a Satguru सदगुरू. Invaluable.  She has taken care of many, many of Nantucket’s children. Her spirit will live on in their laughter, and her love in their smiles. My thoughts, prayers and love go out to Linda’s family at this very challenging time.

For the moment I feel a bit devastated, and the last couple of days of asana practice and meditation have been full of grief, sadness, and tears. I couldn’t wait for Burr to get home Monday morning, and to get my hands on my son again last night. I have spent most of the day hugging and kissing my little guy and telling him how much I love him.

Obviously the lesson here, and in any one’s parting, it how important it is to be grateful and appreciative of the beautiful things we have in our lives, when we have them, for we never know when they will move on.

Lokha Samastha Sukino Bavantu. 

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

~Bliss

______________________________________________________________________

And last but not least:

BEGINNING THIS WEEK: Fall Prenatal Yoga, Section Two

I am super excited to offer a second section to the Pre-natal class series I taught last month. The course will run for 4 consecutive weeks beginning next week, the exact time and date are still a little up in the air. Classes will either be on Sundays from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. or Mondays from 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. depending on the number of students able to attend either slot. Please e-mail me for further details, questions or concerns.

caitlinmarcoux@comcast.net

Opening the White Lotus: A September Nantucket Yoga Retreat

September 23rd, 24th and 25th @ Bartlett’s Farm

Nantucket, MA.

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Dear Tribe,

The gap between the planning stages of our upcoming Yoga Beyond Belief Retreat and the first session of the workshop is closing in. My esteemed teachers from the West (Ganga & Tracey) will be here in no less than 4 days! I couldn’t be more grateful to have this opportunity to share my home and my students with them, their teachings with you, and the experience of entering into a sangha all of us, together. The retreat promises to be a special and unique opportunity for students who live on the (at times isolated) Island of Nantucket who do not often get the chance to travel for similar yoga immersions, nor have the means to travel all the way to Santa Barbara, CA. the home of Ganga and Tracey’s residential yoga training program.

When I first approached Tracey with the idea of doing a weekend retreat on Nantucket, she was hesitant. She and Ganga no longer need to travel to spread the seeds of their teachings, and prefer to focus on cultivating their practice at the Foundation – which is snuggled deep into the San Marcos Pass above Santa Barbara, and surrounded by 40 acres of sacred ground, a former home to the Cushmas Indians. Ganga, who has been teaching students and teachers of yoga alike since the early 1970s, is a pioneer of yoga in the West, and his reputation, amongst those in the serious yoga world precedes him. Students come to him… from all over.

Still, Tracey assured me way back in March of 2009, that she’d put the idea to Ganga and admitted she would love to spend a little time exploring our equally sacred spot. I brought up this dialogue again both to Tracey, and to Shannah, director of The Yoga Room, where I teach, last September – and it began to take root…. Here we are 2 and 1/2 years later, and Ganga and Tracey arrive on Wednesday! This has been a dream for me for so long, I can hardly stand it’s imminent reality.

Of course, I don’t need to tell you that Nantucket has forever attracted visitors from all over the world, and from all walks of life. This weekend will be no different. Looking over the sign-up sheet for Friday night’s master class (which, btw, is an option open to everyone, even if you can’t sign-up for the entire retreat), I am thrilled by the diversity of students; young, old, teacher, beginner, Nantucket resident, student from afar. It is going to be an exciting amalgamation of practitioners, and a real microcosm of the new yoga world at large.

Please, if you are here, or even if you are not, please consider joining us. There is still room available for the entire retreat, as well as in the two al la carte options – Friday night, and Saturday morning. If you need more information about the retreat please click here, where you can also sign-up and use Paypal to reserve your slot.

and then other news from the yogic path….

With the arrival of Fall on Nantucket, I find that my practice has shifted dramatically, once again. The summer for me felt full of tapas and sweat and maybe one too many handstands. Given our short season for making money- a mer 8 weeks, I found myself thinking as a single mother would, chasing the flow of cash, and hoping to put some away for the slimmer winter months. I booked as many massage appointments as I could, taught as much as my child custody schedule would allow and shoved in as many classes with my mentor, Shannah (director of the Yoga Room) as I could.

As a result of all this go-go-go, I burned into the rotator cuff of my right shoulder demonstrating way too many arm balances and jump-backs into chatarunga, tore something deep in the attachment of my left hamstring, and got a cortisone injection in my left knee. I must admit, that though I had every intention on implementing sustainable physical practices, I was not ultimately very kind to my body.

Oh, and I forgot to eat…. duh. It seemed like often there simply wasn’t time… not until 8 or 9 at night, and by then I was too tired, and too anxious.

But life has slowed considerably – and It’s almost scary how unscheduled my appointment book is at the moment. I am teaching just 5 classes a week, and booking clients for massage 2 out of 7 days a week verses 7 out of 7. I’ve taken Griffin out of daycare, and am spending four times more time with him. Instead of working handstand, we’re working on the 1, 2, 3s and A, B, Cs. Instead of deepening my titibasana, we’re turning Griffin’s constant barrage of “Nos”  into “Yeses”. In August, the alphabet wasn’t on my radar. Today it seems really important.

When I have the chance of practicing asana, I’m holding more restorative poses, and holding them longer. Sirsasana (headstand) feels more appropriate than Pincha Mayrasana (forearm stand), and Pigeon a better fit than Hanumanasan (split). When I’m home, and planning my classes out for the week, I find myself spending more time thinking about my Fundamentals class (Tuesdays at 10 a.m.) and my prenatal class (Monday nights at 7:15 p.m.) then about how kick-ass rockin’ my Dynamic Vinyasa class “has to be” (Tuesday nights at 5:30 p.m.). It feels more appropriate to focus on cultivating a gentle, beginner’s mind – and less important to work up a lather. This is not to say I don’t still love a good heating flow- but it’s Fall, and I find myself honoring the process of slowing down. And truth be told, I think Griffin is liking it too.

Hope to see you this weekend.

Love,

Caitlin

*for more information on my current class offerings please see my classes page here.

The practice of gratitude.

Nantucket, MA.

Saturday night. July 16th, 2011

As I sit down to write, the orange glow of a divine sunset is filtering in through my living room windows, my baby is sleeping soundly upstairs, and my heart is effulgent and full of love. The love shifts back and forth between a reverberating sense of gratitude and a feeling of divine connection.

I am so very, very lucky these days; my life is brimming with things to be grateful for. I live on a stunningly beautiful island. I support myself and my son doing the things I am most passionate about (yoga and bodywork). I have a healthy and happy 19 month-old boy who fills my days with laughter and play, and I have an amazing partner who has opened up his home to us; giving me a treatment room in which to do my work, and my son a nursery in which to feel nurtured, protected and loved. AND as if that weren’t enough to feel blessed by already, I get to spent my extracurricular study time learning more about the practice with people like Andrei Ram.

Today completes day two of Andrei’s Self-Realization Immersion at The Yoga Room, with one day (tomorrow) left to go. This is the fourth time I have had the privilege of studying with Andrei… and each time I feel his message on a deeper, more cellular level. We are so lucky to have the chance to be a part of Andrei’s sangha, for truly being near him pulls one closer to the source… the prana that fills us all.

Please, if you’re still on the fence with your Sunday afternoon plans and haven’t had a chance to attend this workshop before, consider joining us tomorrow at the Annex. There are still spaces left for Andrei’s last session on Nantucket (at least last session this time around). Tomorrow’s practice will be accessible to all levels, and open to the general public. You do not need to have attended Friday’s or Saturday’s classes.

And so it is that I sit here, having absorbed the practice of the last two days, reflecting on all the riches in my life, and feel deeply deeply thankful. My partner is away, having a boys weekend full of waterskiing and wake boarding, and I have had a chance to miss him. My son spent part of the afternoon with my dear friends at the beach, and I have had a chance to miss him as well. But what I will not miss is this chance, another chance, the chance we are given every single day to be grateful, to be mindful, and to be love itself.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti.

~Caitlin

Summer Yoga on Nantucket

Monday

June 20th, 2011


Good Morning Yogis!

Happy Official start of Summer Yoga on Nantucket! In case you haven’t heard, today is the beginning of the new schedule at The Yoga Room and our TYR Annex space. Classes will now be held at both our Studio location (49 Fairgrounds Road) and our Annex (9 Amelia Drive- between what was  Cinco Restaurant and Windmill Family Dental). We have many new offerings including my new Monday night class Core Fusion– 45 minutes of inner and outer core strengthening! Please be sure to check out TYR’s new schedule here, and note that ALL of my classes will now be held at TYR Annex, which offers more space to flow, and more wall space to play against.

I’ve tried to design classes this summer which will all complement each other- focusing on different aspects of the practice. If you haven’t already, please check out the descriptions of Slow Flow, Core Fusion, Dynamic Flow and The Sunday Sadhana. Each class can certainly stand alone, but all 4 are meant to work together, bringing about balance and strength, focus and playfulness.

Things are getting busy, but I am still available for private yoga instruction & massage!

See you on the mat!

Bliss


Flight of the Yoginis

Wednesday. June 15th, 2011

Nantucket, MA.

Dear Tribe,

My apologies for the long absence and lack of useful information. I still have high-hopes for adding onto the White Lotus Workshop page I’ve created for our September retreat, and sending out some additional info on some upcoming Yoga Room Master Classes… But the details of life have run a little wild, and I’ve been preoccupied by child-rearing, domestic projects, weddings, my massage work and most recently learning to fly.

This past weekend, my friends Sherry and Caroline  and I had the amazing fortune to study with the lovely and sweet Kathryn Budig at an intensive workshop at Kripalu. The workshop: Flight of the Yogi, focused on inversions and arm balances, and I am sore in places I dare say I have not felt before. It was amazing.

We did things I’ve had glimpses of- but have never attempted, other things I had done before, but never will confidence. Kathryn helped us navigate our way thru fancy transitions from tripod headstand into eka pada koundinyasana I, and moved us from  titibasana into bakasana and then urged us to jump back into chaturanga. There were headstands a million and one ways, forearm balances in various degrees of scorpion, and all sorts of approaches into handstand (my new favorite is a “press-up” into straddle handstand; which I managed but could not seem to finish with full vrksasana). The cannon of planned poses could have been easily intimidating- but Kathryn’s commitment was contagious, and her “Aim True” philosophy helped ameliorate our fears and free our hearts.

It had been a long time since I had done something “girly”. Not that balancing up-side-down is your typical dainty activity- but hanging out with Sherry, and our other friend Caroline, was really awesome. And though I missed Griffin and Billy, I am so grateful to have had the chance to share the weekend with the girls- both of whom are skilled yogini goddesses.

Caroline, Sherry, and Bliss CP2, Sherry & Bliss

It was hard saying good-bye to KB, to the girls, and to Kripalu. It will most likely be yet another year or more before I get a similar chance to escape, and devote 3 entire days to the practice of asana and self-care. But I’ll take what I can get (and be grateful for it at that). As I drove away from Kripalu on Sunday afternoon I felt sure that the bond I had forged with my sister yoginis and KB would last a long, long time.



Double Pincha with KB

So now that I’ve spent 9 or so hours standing on my hands, it’s time to bring the focus bACK to the studio here. The summer class schedule is about to launch (Monday, June 20th) and I have a new class to teach (Core Fusion), and a new location to teach it in (TYR’s Annex at 9 Amelia Drive). I’m excited to welcome our summer yogis and yoginis back, and hope that many of you will seek out our Annex space, and continue to practice with me there. (ALL of my classes will be at the ANNEX).

In addition to all our offerings at the Yoga Room & our Annex, there are many exciting things coming down the pike including the return of Andrei Ram for yet another amazing weekend of Self-Realization, two master classes with PranaFlow teacher Coral Brown, a workshop with Kevin and Dana Coutney from Kula Yoga in NYC, and VERY SPECIAL TREAT of a retreat with my teachers Ganga White & Tracey Rich- coming here to Nantucket all the way from The White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA. So keep yourselves up to date, and check The Yoga Room‘s website often.

Oh, and as per usual, please continue to send me your asana and musical requests… Not everything works well in class, but I love a little musical challenge!  You can e-mail me @ caitlinmarcoux@comcast.net

Until next time, remember.. there’s a karma camera everywhere. 

Namaste,

Bliss