Wednesday, January 7, 2015

When & How I Knew I Wanted to Teach Yoga


    by teacher Bethany Eanes
    I was recently interviewed for an upcoming book, “Tales from the Traveling Yogini: My Quest for Wisdom Interviewing Top Yoga Teachers" (shameless plug). The very first question was, "What was the moment for you when you knew you wanted to be a yoga teacher and why?”
    At first, I had no clue how to answer. Was there a single moment I knew? How did I know? Why did I feel that way? In many ways, my path to teaching feels like an ever evolving one. Some days, I discover anew my desire to teach. Some days, I think I should stay on the other side of the studio. But, when I closed my eyes and visualized the answer to this question, I saw a distinct moment in my mind.
    About 5 years ago, I was working as an independent writer and web consultant. I had been working for my yoga teacher, Julie, for sometime when she mentioned I was welcome to trade services for her upcoming retreat to Joshua Tree. I jumped in. I’d been practicing yoga diligently for a year, and I’d come to think of Julie as my primary guru. I was intrigued and thought it would be a fun way to spend a few days.
    (Photo: The senior teaching staff of Mukti Yoga School)
    Looking back, I couldn’t describe the experience as fun. I was only a few months sober, riding the emotional roller coaster of waking up to life for the first time. Like most addicts, and indeed most people, I always had a feeling of “otherness,” of not belonging. And like most, all I wanted was to be accepted unconditionally; perhaps, if it wasn’t too much, I also hoped to accept myself unconditionally someday. At the time, I couldn’t have put that desire into words, but I knew it was there - the often named “God-shaped hole” in my life. 
    I spent that long weekend practicing yoga, meditating, breathing and performing the “yogi cleanse” for purity. It was a real-deal-yoga yoga retreat. On the morning of our yogic cleanse, we followed with the Sivananda Classical Program, and it would be the first time I moved through the sequence. “Moved” is a relative term, as there is very little movement at all in the program. My teacher put us in poses, told us to trust her, and read words from her teacher to us while we did our best to stay put. I cried a lot. I was always crying those days. I cried through the program, and I cried through the talk afterward. As I listened to everyone sharing their visions and dreams for their lives, a part of my heart was deeply moved. I wanted so much for all of them to achieve their deepest desires, and I had a feeling they wanted the same for me. I remember every face in that circle. I remember thinking, “These people, I want to be one of them.” And then, immediately, I also thought, “I am one of them.”
    This was the beginning of my teacher journey. I was initiated into what we lovingly call “The Mukti Movement.” The faces in that circle have since become not only my dearest supporters, friends and tribe, but also my colleagues. In the 5 years since then, we’ve gone from disciples of the path to leaders on the path. 
     I wish I could tell you the hole in my life has been filled. In all honesty, I don’t know it ever will be while I’m still in this body. But I’ve gotten comfortable with the feeling of discomfort. I know how to fall down without falling apart. And I have a community of the very best people I know cheering me along.
    It is always an honor to lead new students through this process. On Sunday, January 18I will lead the Sivananda Classical Program at Namaste Highland Park from 12:30 to 2:30pm. As is traditional within my school, I’ll be sharing readings from Swami Satyananda during the program.
    On Saturday, January 17, the newest class of Mukti Yoga School teachers will start their 200-hour Foundation Module. They will learn to teach in the Mukti style, but more importantly, they will be introduced into the loving tribe of The Mukti Movement. They will forever solidify their commitment to being their best selves, to remaining teachable, to meditating, and to the good work of loving, forgiving and accepting. 
    I am so excited, and I would be thrilled to have you join me for either or both events!
    With loving kindness, 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 in review and 10 goals for 2015

  1. by Vanda
    For many of us, the time when the year changes a digit is a time of reflection on the past year, and setting goals and expectations for the next. i usually don’t write them all out on paper, but have deep conversations with friends about what last year taught us, brought us and take away what we want the next year to be. this year i decided to throw it all on paper and continue doing this in the future.
    2014 in review
    it was a tough and fruitful year: my business got out of the red and i finally am able to draw a salary for myself. i took yoga teacher training, which brought a lot of spiritual insights to my personal life and gave me grounds to technically and objectively evaluate yoga teachers. it also meant that between the teacher training, managing the yoga studio, and working on the start-up brewery with my husband i had no day off for myself between january and the end of may. with help of B12 injections i pulled through in a good mindset and good health. dave and i partnered up with a brewmaster for our brewery project, a creative and talented individual, and together we are making our ambition of opening the greenest small brewery a reality. in this partnership we continue to learn how to work together, synching our strong personalities, and discovering nuances of our strengths and shortcomings. I did turn 30 and celebrated over a fun weekend surrounded by friends and family most dear to my heart. in 2014 i did get on top of my quickbooks, i did find a good place for facials, made new inspiring friends, did not drink enough water, did not learn the ukulele, nor got better with my spanish… and i am still not able to do full splits. on a personal level we decided to drop the birth control and see if a little baby is in the cards for us in the near future. we travelled to alaska to have our breath taken away by her beauty and after 3 christmases apart from my family, dave and i spent a very relaxing christmas with my family in slovakia.
    10 of my goals for 2015
    1. more homebound time - dave and i have a busy social life and toward the end of last year ended up eating most of our meals out. we live in an awesome house on a canyon, peaceful, with trees and birds and creatures all around. we both enjoy cooking for the two of us and groups too. 2015 is a year for more homebound time, reading books, cuddling with cats, cooking at home and throwing dinner parties for our friends! we start out with the month of january - no meals out, eating at home 100%. 
    2. take a sabbatical - i’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book about financials for yoga studio owners, this year I will pull together all the scraps of material i wrote over the past year, take a sabbatical for a week, maybe 5 days - be undistracted by the daily life and get a good start on the book.
    3. open the brewery - we’ve been at this for almost 3 years now, rented the space designed the brewing system, applied for licenses and 2015 is THE OPENING year!
    4. travel more - short weekend trips, more camping. this one does not need much explaining.
    5. flu shots - i’m starting the year with a nasty little undercover flu. no more flu in 2015 - get the shots!
    6. catch up with friends overseas - this year i will schedule in more catch up time with overseas friends from growing up or ones that moved away
    7. keep the garage organized - spend some time and $ on shelves, boxes and keep it organized!
    8. make peace with myself - as girls we are taught not to be a brat and then not to be a bitch, this year i will get in touch with the brat and the bitch within myself and go more with my gut, with what my intuition and third eye tell me - even though i may come across as brat or a bitch. I will work on my social programing and stop feeling bad about doing what my gut tells me - keeping integrity with myself instead of what society might consider “right”. 
    9. let it go - when i’m pissed, i’m PISSED. I am good about not making scenes and appear calm but deep inside I hold on to grudges and have trouble letting go. I forgive but not forget. This year I’ll work on the forget part.
    10. be a better boss - i do a pretty good job of not micromanaging and granting creative freedom to my employees. I need to be a better communicator though, provide feedback and not be afraid of hurting employees feelings with negative but constructive feedback to help grow and blossom.