Fear & Snowboarding in Massachusetts

February 11, 2012
Great Barrington, MA
Butternut Ski Resort 

 

Sitting here in the snack bar at the base of Butternut Mountain, outside of Great Barrington, in an absolute shit storm of anxiety, I can’t help but ask myself why? Why do I consistently put myself in uncomfortable situations, expecting they will get easier? Probably because, on some level, I continue to expect that at some point I will somehow rise above the most basic of human emotions: fear.

Ironically I know I won’t though, because there’s no magic fear-removing fairy godmother involved. There’s only me, and the many different flavors of fear. The situations change; graduate level chemistry class, a social engagement with people I’m not comfortablHe with,a meditation technique that feels inapplicable, falling in love, travel to a foreign country, a business meeting about something that feels out of my depth, crowds, surfing, math, cancer, parenting, being alone for an extended period of time, loved ones with terminal illness, the immanent death of a spouse, pending divorce, how I might be perceived by my community for getting divorced- no lack of scary events, but I remain the same. I am the common denominator that does not change. And, though we are making progress,  fear and I are still not comfortable with each other. So here I go again, stubbornly forcing myself into an anxiety creating situation, and now I must figure out how to gracefully move through it.

All that being said, I have made some progress. As you can see from the list above, there has been no lack of opportunity. When I was a kid, I had few tools in my fear-coping tool box. But I have yoga now, and because it helps me stay grounded in the present, I have a better handle on reigning in my anxiety these days, then lets say 5 years ago? Okay, well, sometimes. I’m not doing the best job right now, but hey, it’s a practice….

It’s not a panacea for everything, but yoga helps with a great many things. It teaches us to focus not on the “what if” projections of the future but on the present moment at hand. Judith Lassiter, an amazing yoga teacher, author and physical therapist, wrote a great little chapter on Fear in her book, “Living Your Yoga”, in which she explains

One of the interesting things about fear is that it exists in relationship to the future. When there is actual danger present, I am not afraid. When you are truly present in the moment, even when that moment is life threatening, you are not afraid.

So true. Take handstand for example. The thought of practicing handstand used to scare the hell out of me. Projections about what would happen if I fell over would flood my mind, my heart would start to race, and I’d begin to sweat almost immediately. Fears about failure would take over. ‘What if I’m never actually able able do handstand?’ ‘Does that mean I have a sub-par asana practice?’ and so on… My ego would engage and become goal oriented, task driven, and a downward spiral of self-reproach would start, even before my first attempt. This went on for quite some time, until I began to soften with myself, and send myself a little compassion. Watching my breath helped me focus my attention on the sensations of my body in the present moment, I began to calm down.

With a calmer Self, and consistent practice I’ve managed to look the monster that was once handstand in the face, and the fear has dissipated. I still fall over all the time, but I know what happens when I fall, and thus spend less time projecting about what’s going to happen when I do. I already know. More importantly I’ve been able to practice patience with myself. Handstand is humbling. It’s a difficult pose, and unless you have a background in gymnastics, or your genetics simply stack up well against gravity, it’s a pretty challenging no matter who you are. It rarely happens overnight for students, and having patience with yourself is key.

Today my fear is wrapped up around snowboarding. I’ve never done it before, and now that I’m here, I not sure that I want to start. But it’s too late, we’re here. My feet are cold (literally and figuratively) and armpits are sweaty, and I wish I could jump into the rental car and drive far and fast away. I have heard stories all week long about how much it sucks to fall time after time on one’s ass, how sore I’m going to be the next day, how steep the learning curve is, and how frustrating it can be. One of my closest girlfriends told me a story about how scared she was to jump off the lift and made a humiliating trip all the way back down the mountain on the chair.

So as I sit here anxiously watching the clock,  until it’s time to wrestle with my rented snow boots and track over to my lesson, I am faced with several options: I can sit here and worry about the approaching event, and all the many different ways I’m going to fall, fail and frustrate myself. Or I can begin the practice of grounding myself in the present moment. After all, nothing bad is happening right now. 

I listen to my breath, and try to smooth the next one out. Inhale a little deeper. Exhale a little longer. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Okay, time to go.

Love,
~Bliss

Strolling into Christmas

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Nantucket, MA.
60 Day Yoga Challenge Day 50
October’s Practice Record via YogaGlo

It’s hard for me to believe but true: as of today, I am ten days away from finishing my 60 Day Yoga Challenge. 50 days of yoga in a row have done a number of things to not only for my body, but also for my soul. Without a doubt, I’m stronger and more flexible. I’m holding handstands with more easy and for longer and longer periods of time, and I can melt into hanumanasana (full split) without so much as warming up. But more importantly, or perhaps more interestingly, I am happier. This is not to say that I’m sweet and cheery all the time, or easy to live with, or even nice 24/7 – but I’d like to think I’m a little softer.

If there is evidence to be had, I can look to my son. The playtime we share is full of even more goofy smiles, the hugs and kisses he gives me are even more plentiful, and silly laughter fills our living room most afternoons and evenings. The calm that feels more accessible to me now, has been regularly reflected back to me via my son. It’s pretty amazing.

You mean there really could be something to all this talk about the benefits of yoga? 

Yes. Yes, it’s true. I can now honestly attest to all the things I have been touting for years- my regular yoga practice makes me a better person, a better mother, a better lover, a better partner, and a better friend. Need more proof? I guess we could ask Burr…but you know, he’s a private kind of guy, so he may not want to publicly weigh in.

This week’s practices on the road included one 30-minute self-practice outside the B6 gate in Logan Airport, 3 classes as The Bindu in Lake Norman, North Carolina, one class at Yoga One, in Charlotte,  one YogaGlo class with Elena Brower I did in the middle of my boyfriend’s sister’s house in Davidson, and one self-practice I did in their upstairs “Bonus Room” to a video I made of my own Sunday Sadhana class at TYR last February (um, it was hard. I give my students a lot of credit).

B6 Loganasana

The Bindu is a very pretty studio, who’s owner Kelley Gardner is a certified Anusara Yoga Instructor. Kelley offers a heart-guided and alignment driven practice, which feels to me, very typical of an Anusara practice. Yoga One on the other hand is a Baron Baptiste affiliated, Hot yoga studio. To put it nicely, let’s just say that the teacher who led the practice was about as far away as one could get from the seasoned and attentive Ms. Gardner at The Bindu as possible.

November’s YogaGlo Practice Tracker

Oh, and just quickly…

On the personal and familial front, I would like to say a big thank you to the Heiser and Keible families for all their hospitality over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Though it was difficult at times for me to focus on what was in front of my face, rather than the pangs of Griffin-sickness, I really enjoyed my time with my partner’s family, and felt truly welcomed into all their various homes and hearts.

And while it’s safe to assume I won’t be rushing out to play Mini-Golf again any time soon, it’s true what Burr said: if I had not played, I wouldn’t have been able to come in last. 😉 Nor would I have gotten the chance to add the Mini-Golf Natarajasana photograph below to my  “Where in the Natarajasana” Facebook album. Now wouldn’t that have been a missed opportunity!

 

Golfasana

As we prepare for the unique experience that is the Christmas Stroll on Nantucket, I would like to encourage as many of you to keep up with your regular yoga practice as possible. We had record turn out of students in class the week leading up to Thanksgiving… let’s keep building the amazing connectedness that is our local sangha. Christmas time presents us with many challenges but just as many opportunities for growth, connection and gratitude. Act from the heart. Stay true to your Self. And remember to breathe.

Oh, and BTW, my 35th Birthday is this Sunday the 4th of December. All I want, besides a sexy new black Manduka Yoga Mat 😉 is to practice yoga with my tribe. Please join me in celebrating during my regularly scheduled Sunday Sadhana class at the Yoga Room. The flow will be mixed level, open to all looking to smile, hoping to play. Please don’t be mad if I play a few loud rock tunes.

Finally, I’d like to close by saying how extremely grateful I am for this:

The nearly matching, but certainly unique enough, luggage and complementary Timbuktu messenger bags… to say nothing of the yummieness carting them around the airport. Dear man with the bags, I love you.

In other not as self-absorbed news, here are my up-coming subs

Eager to get your vinyasa on? I’m subbing a lot over the next month, so if you’re on Nantucket for any part of December, please stop by the Yoga Room, and check out the ever-changing holiday class schedule. As far as I know, I am currently subbing the following classes:

Thursday morning December 1st for Bettina @ 8:15 – 9:35 a.m.

Thursday evening December 1st for Susan @ 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Thursday evening December 22nd for Susan @ 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Saturday morning Christmas Eve for Clay @ 8:15 – 9:35 a.m.

Monday morning December 26th for Clay @ 8:15 – 9:35 a.m.

Tuesday morning December 27th for Susan @ 9:00-10:25 a.m.

*Gift Certificates for classes are available at The Yoga Room, and I have some pretty gift certificates available for massage. Check out the winter massage specials I’m offering at Nantucket Massage Therapy here.

Love, Light & Vegetarian Blessings,

~Bliss

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]

Justice. Unity. Love.

Tuesday. October 11, 2011

Nantucket, MA.

I’ve just returned this morning from a quick and spontaneous jaunt down to NYC to visit the OWS movement on Wall Street. As I sit here reflecting on the last 36 hours of my life including but not limited to the subjects of love, relationship, yoga, protest, unity and call to action, I’m listening to a beautiful song called “Angel Echoes” by  the British Electronica band Four Tet. It’s off their album There Is Love In You. The refrain is the same as the title of the album, and it’s a great mantra. As the pulsation of the song progresses the mantra is repeated over and over and over again. It’s exactly the mantra I need to hear right now, and one I think our country could stand to hear too.

This is the mantra that keeps coming up for me these days. It’s become relevant on a personal level as well on a big, vast political level. And it’s not too far off from the mantra of “100% LOVE” we used over and over again yesterday on Wall Street.

I went down to the OWS demonstration to join up with my better half, 200 plus demonstrators, yogi activist Seane Corn and her Off The Mat and Into the World girls for a little prayer, tree pose, marching, and rolling “OM”s. It was powerful to see the 200-some hard core protesters living out Day 24 of the Wall Street occupation in their make-shift Zuccotti Park home. As you know by now, the energy is rising. The movement is growing. The people will be heard.

Seane’s message took a slight detour from the more separatists’ 99% vs. 1% POV, but it was rooted in ahimsa and supportive none the less. You can take a listen here – (and you can find me in the crowd sweep wearing my favorite Purusha Fight Back With Love T-shirt).

I’m glad I went and joined my voice with all the others. It’s not the perfect protest. It’s not the most organized or well-structured, but it’s genuine and authentic, well-intentioned and generally positive. It’s inspiring. It will continue to attract attention from the political machine, and maybe even rock the boat for the 1%ers who have not struggled like the rest of us. In the end the OWS movement is a show of The People’s solidarity. It’s wonderfully American and it’s hopeful. Who can’t benefit from Love, Unity, Justice and Hope? There is a great love in us all. It’s time to share it.

We’re all in this together.

Come raise up the energy tonight at class (I’ll be leading Dynamic Flow at 5:30 p.m.)  send it out to the dedicated OWS activists, and rock out your vinyasa to Four Tet’s message of Love.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti,

~Bliss.

BTW: You can follow the OWS here,  read more about it on Elephant Journal, read the article about Seane’s call to love here, and see more photographs from yesterday’s event here.

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


the early May update.

Thursday. May 12th, 2011

Nantucket, MA.


Okay Tribe,

It’s been a while, I know… but I was packing, and then moving, and then painting, and then landscaping. Not to mention dealing with all sorts of crazy personal “stuff” like knee and ankle issues, mammograms, and a toddler newly diagnosed with asthma. It’s been one hell of a spring so far.

In the last couple of weeks my son has morphed from a baby into a full-blown toddler, and despite his disinterest in meeting typical child “milestones” he is now 17-months and walking and talking. His one word repitoir now flaunts some real highbrow vocabulary including uh-oh, hot, botthank you, car, truck, bath and bye-bye. I’m sure he’ll be saying visvamitrasana any day now.

In addition to all this verbal fun, Griff and I took our first trip down south to meet Burr’s family for Easter, and I found myself working my sleep-deprived brain into over-time to remember all the names of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews of this new and charming extended North Carolina family.

Griffin and I at Logan Airport at 6 a.m. on our way to Charlotte

Griffin’s first ever Easter Egg Hunt @ The Keible’s

and last but not least: Captain Griffin, driving Uncle Ed’s little speed boat, and totally ready for his Ralph Lauren photo shoot.

So as I settle into yet another home (this is the 5th place Griffin & I have lived in the last 9 months) I am reminded of how moment-to-moment my life has been. I have always created Flow in my yoga practice and in my life. Not one for settling down, living too long in one place (city, state, apartment or house) or staying on any one particular career path, I have spent most of my life flying from one place to another, always seeking and never finding. I occurs to me now though, that I am ready: ready to be in one place for a while, on one path, with one dharma. I am finally happy here back on Nantucket, teaching yoga, healing people with bodywork, spending time with my kids, and planting some roots. If yoga is all about balance, it is time to temper the flow of my life with some stability. And for the stability I now have, I am very grateful. So to those of you who have helped create it, thank you.

That’s it on the personal front for now. Below you’ll find a short-list of a few yoga-related topics.

Om Shanti,

Caitlin

The Spring Yoga Short-List

1. Beginning this week, Saturday night’s Asana Clinic will be canceled. I hope to re-launch the Clinic in the Fall, when there are fewer Spring & Summer social gatherings and charity events. I consider this Winter’s Asana Clinics a big success- with some students reporting major changes in the way they now approach their physical practice, and really enjoyed leading a weekly workshop-like practice. Many thanks to those of you who came out on your Saturday evenings to explore specific postures with us.

2. Sunday, May 29th will be my last class at The Nantucket Health Club. Depending on how my Fall shakes out I may resume teaching there come September.

3. As many of you know the schedule at The Yoga Room will be changing shortly, and our director, Shannah Green, will resume her busy summer offerings. I am honored to be able to keep my 2-hour Sunday morning Sadhana class (taught at The Yoga Room Annex), Monday night’s challenging Slow Flow (taught at The Yoga Room Annex), and Tuesday night’s Dynamic Vinyasa Flow class (taught at The Yoga Room). In addition to these three unique classes, I will be offering an additinal class, late, on Monday evenings after Slow Flow for those of you who really need to burn the wick at both ends. 😉

Beginning Monday night, June 20th, please join me for a sweaty 45-minute Core Yoga Fusion class at The Yoga Room Annex! As you can tell by it’s oh-so-descriptive name, the focus of this class will be building up the core. Core Yoga Fusion can be a nice addition to  a Slow Flow practice, or can be taken independently. The drop-in rate for this class will be discounted due to it’s shorter duration, or you are welcome to use one of your regular class card punches.

4. We’ve got some great workshops and guest teachers coming up. Be sure to keep a look out for a return visit from Coral Brown in August, and a 3-day retreat in September with my teachers Ganga White and Tracey Rich. There are other treats in the works, but I can’t tell you about them until they’re a little more firmed up. I’ll be creating a page on this site devoted to Ganga & Tracey’s visit- so stay turned to read up more information on this dynamic duo, and in the meantime check out their website at the White Lotus Foundation.

5. Wanderlust, VT. It’s still happening. And it’s coming fast. If you haven’t already, mark it on your calendar. The festival runs Thursday June 23rd through Sunday June 26th. If you’re interested in car-pooling to and from the event or connecting with me to arrange housing, please, please, please e-mail me ASAP at caitlinmarcoux@comcast.net

Burr and I will be taking Griffin with us, so I’ve checked into childcare options. Turns out, it IS available throughout the duration of the festival through Stratton Mountain, with adventure camps for those ages 5 and up. Daycare is available for little yogis ages of 6-weeks to 5-years, for $69/a day (8am to 5pm). I’m sure I’ll be rockin’ out with Griff during Wanderlusts’ evening concert series- but if any parents want to take turns watching the kids so that grown-ups can have a chance to cut a rug, that’s a nice idea too.

breathe. flow. connect. 

home coming & dynamic vinyasa flow

Monday. March 6th, 2011

Palm Springs International Airport.

Jai Yogis!

So, this is it: the last entry from the road. We’ve completed a whirlwind tour of yoga teachers, studios and classes, and are now winding it all down, and heading home. As I write we sit in the terminal waiting to board our flight home to the great Eastern state of Massachusetts. It’s been an amazing trip- and I’m left feeling super blissed out on great yoga, full of California sunshine, thick with love and teaming with gratitude. In the last week I’ve taken some of the greatest sadhanas, and had some of the most eye opening instruction. I’d like to send out a huge shout-out to all the wonderful teachers at Exhale: Annie Carpenter, Seane Corn, and especially Erich Shiffmann, and Kathryn Budig and Vinnie Marino at YogaWorks, and to my amazing yoga partner-in-crime Burr Tupper- who not only made this trip happen, but who has taught me much about my practice and my path as a yoga teacher in these past few months, and especially in the past 2 weeks.

There’s not enough time before our flight leaves to describe all the fantastic yoga that happened between my last entry (and class with Seane Corn) and the most recent complimentary class I took yesterday morning at The Parker Palm Springs. Vinnie Marino’s class on Friday morning was rockin’… and the yoga Burr and I did while hiking up the Tahquitz Canyon today was breath taking.

We had an amazing time today, hiking up through the canyon and stopping to take yoga photos. To my great enjoyment I watched as Burr regress 30 years when he braved the icy snow-melt water fall and completely submerged underwater. (Burrrrrr!) Can you see the 13 year-old boy in the photo below? So worth the cold.

I feel so very, very lucky to have had such an amazing trip… and I cannot wait to get home and share it all with my favorite yogis – the yogis I practice with 12 months a year, right at home.

Please join me for a Dynamic Vinyasa flow tomorrow night at The Yoga Room. I’ll be back at the studio for my regularly scheduled class- Tuesday night 5:30-7:00 p.m. Come practice! Om shanti. Om peace. Om love.

YogLa: days 4-6

March 3rd, 2011

Venice Beach, CA. 3:30 p.m.

Namaste Yogis!

So I’m happy to report that yesterday and the day before were both pretty awesome. They more than made up for the rocky start we got off to (i.e. flu viruses, injuries, bad weather and substitute teachers).

On Tuesday I woke up again at 4:45 a.m., made coffee and did my obscenely early morning thing. Leaving Burr at home, I headed out around 7:15 a.m.  and went to Santa Monica to Yoga Works, where I took a lively class with Kathryn Budig. It was a level 2/3 Vinyasa class, and was well attended by very fit, able bodied students who ranged from about 30 to 45 years old. Once again, no music was played (except for the Tibetian bowls which were performed live during meditation and savasana) and Kathryn did a great job of coaxing the class into a dynamic group flow. She dedicated a nice amount of time to the practice of inversions, and led us through a unique sequence involving tripod headstand with a twist into side crow moving back up into tripod headstand. I loved it. Holy oblique abdominals batman. I was super psyched to get back to the house and share it all with Burr…. who, to my pleasant surprise was UP when I got back.

Kathryn Budig

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh6h4_67ae8]

Not only was he up, but he was ready to go to class. So, that being said I did a quick about face, showered and got back into my lycra-spandex, and off we went- this time to Exhale, for a class with none other than Erich Shiffmann himself. I was thrilled Burr was with me for that one, as Erich started off class with an amazing Dharma Talk I knew was right up Burr’s alley, and was exactly the material I needed to hear myself. Erich really deserves a blog entry of his own- and I’ll get there at some point, however I’ll say this for now;  he is RICH with spiritual knowledge and uses a vocabulary out of the 60’s to convey it. He looks like Santa Claus, if Santa was a Buddhist and formidable yogi who maybe ate Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy. He refers to our world as the Psycho-sphere, believes we are all brothers and sisters, and touts the benefits of living and participating in the Magic Kingdom. He is warm and funny, very tall and pleasantly round in the middle. He’s also extremely flexible, especially for a dude.

Erich Shiffmann

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OiyYhEYT0I]

In the afternoon Burr and I got to visit with some relocated ACK friends of ours, and then drove up to Topanga Canyon. We were blessed enough to be invited into the home of one very prominent (and world famous) yogini, whom shall remain nameless. Suffice to say that we were honored to chat with her in her living room, tour her newly acquired property at the top of the mountain, survey the construction of her new yurt, and share a mexican meal with her for dinner. I found myself blown away that this most beloved, most well-known and busy woman wanted to share her precious time with us. I should point out that this connection happened all because of Burr – who despite his self-deprecating insistence that he is nothing special– was indeed the one who made the magic happen, and was gracious enough to share it with me. The conversation was rapid-fire (true to this yogini’s teaching style), and free flowing. And in the nearly 5 hours w spent with her we talked of LA, home crafting, life sharing, family, parenting, relationships, love, yoga, teaching yoga, mentorship and how to support one another as women and teachers. She was grounded and real, giving and funny- and for a yogi, she sure does like to say fuck a lot. She was inspiring.

Yesterday (Wednesday) Burr and I were fortunate enough to take a private with Annie Carpenter. I have to say it was the best money we have spent since arriving here. I think I learned more in the hour and 15 minutes with spent with Annie than I have in most weekend-long or even week-long yoga workshops. She welcomed us into her beautiful Venice home (no kids, three cats), and up into her private studio. Photographs and posters of ground breaking modern dancer/choreographer Martha Graham graced the walls, and I immediately felt I was exactly where I was supposed to be, studying with exactly whom I was meant to learn from. Annie asked me what I wanted to focus on, and we did just that: Pranayama, and internal rotation of the legs. We worked on Vira I, Vira III, standing splits and Hanumanasana. I struggled to apply the key alignment points she illuminated- but I left with a vastly different understanding of these 4 poses.. … which was fortuitous, because those were the posed we ended up working in our evening asana class with Seane Corn! I couldn’t have planned it any better. And as a result I had the best feeling, deepest Hanuman in Seane’s class I’ve had in my entire practice. I knew after working with Annie, that I’d be back in her studio in the future.

Annie Carpenter

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIuZsD5zvaE]

Seane Corn‘s class closed out our Wednesday evening. Practicing yoga in LA has been very interesting and emotionally challenging. I’ve cried a lot since we’ve been here. On the mat, off the mat, in the house, at the beach, on the bicycle, and in the Jeep. You name it and I’ve probably cried in it or on it or at it. So in any event, Burr promised me- no wagered me- a good cry in Seane’s class. But I have to say, though I was open to it- no tears came. For probably the first time in weeks I felt really strong, and really grounded- and though I was soaking wet by the end of practice it was pure sweat. I heard Annie’s corrections in my head and plugged them into the vinyasa and prayers Seane was leading, and I had a rock solid, stellar experience. It was without a doubt the best class I’ve had all week.

Seane Corn

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ5Ss0ayF-Q]

 

Today (Thursday) Burr and I parted ways to do some solo stuff. I ventured back to Exhale, and took a 9 o’clock class with Annie, and a 10:30 a.m. class with Erich. Burr went to a local meeting, and then met up with an ACK friend at Yoga Works to take a class with Vinnie Marino. We rejoined for lunch with an old friend from my East Coast Seafood days, and then came home to Cactus Flower for a nap. Class with Saul David Raye is on the table for tonight, and tomorrow I hope to get one or even two more classes in in the morning before we pack it up and say good-bye.

That’s it from the yogic path for today. I hope to write more about tonight’s yoga tomorrow.

Om shanti. Om peace.