I am so honored to have been chosen as a Featured Teacher on the wonderful website Teacher Goes Back To School. (Click the link to read the interview.) If you’ve ever wondered how this wild rebel got into the Yoga game, or what my classes are really like, this is the interview to read. Thank you to Tami Hackbarth for giving me the forum to speak my truth. Much love to you, sister and, if I may say so, word to YOUR mother!
I am always being told that there are no rules for this grief thing, that everyone does it their own way, in their own time, that whatever I’m going through is okay. I agree with them. It’s total anarchy over here. I’m sure that some of the choices I have made – or are contemplating making – cause folks to think I’ve lost my damn mind. I want to ask those people the following question: did I ever truly have it?
It’s no secret that I’m not your typical yogin. I like steak, I like to have a cocktail, I like motorcycles, tattoos, bearded men, bar room brawls, I can cuss like a sailor and make inappropriate jokes. I’m also the kind of yoga teacher that cares more about what an asana feels like rather than what it looks like. What feels better for me might not be what feels better for you. As long as you’re not going to hurt yourself (it’s my job to prevent you from doing that,) get in touch with your inner self and do what feels right. Break the rules. Rule yourself! Anarchy.
All of this came to a head a couple of weeks ago when I realized that there is no way I will please everyone all the time and there are times that I will please no one, so I might as well do what pleases me. I can’t care about what anyone else thinks as I’m grieving my husband. As long as it feels right to me, it’s the right thing to do. That might look like staying in bed all day. That might look like going out and meeting new friends. That might look like getting a new tattoo. That might look like riding down the highway on the back of someone’s Harley. That might look like any number of things, and here’s the thing: I get to make my own rules. The process is sort of Anarchy.
I’ve been watching Sons of Anarchy a lot recently. There’s some release in watching people act out the feelings I have deep inside that I can’t safely act upon. It’s cathartic. Whether that means watching people express feelings without fear of repercussion, loving fearlessly, or getting revenge for someone hurting your loved one, seeing it is better, for me, than acting upon it. The other great thing about SoA is that it has an amazing soundtrack. When everything started coming together, I made a playlist that was almost 100% of songs from SoA. The only exception is one song from Shooter Jennings and one from Frankie Miller. As it turned out, folks responded like gang busters to this playlist and, since I’ve been asked several times to share it, I am going to post it.
Fortunate Son — Bob Thiele, Jr. & Lyle Workman
He Got Away – Noah Gundersen and The Forest Rangers
John the Revelator – Curtis Stigers and The Forest Rangers
This Life (Instrumental) – Domink Hauser
Someday Never Comes – Billy Valentine and The Forest Rangers
Travelin’ Band – Curtis Stigers and The Forest Rangers
Girl From the North Country – The Lions
Gimme Shelter – Paul Brady and The Forest Rangers
15 Million Light Years Away – Shooter Jennings
Sympathy for the Devil – Jane’s Addiction
Higher Ground – Franky Perez and The Forest Rangers
Jealous Guy – Frankie Miller
Bird on a Wire – Katy Sagal and The Forest Rangers
What a Wonderful World – Allison Mosshart and The Forest Rangers
Forever Young – Audra Young and The Forest Rangers
Total Running Time: 1:00.23
Lawlessness never sounded so good!
Have you heard the news? Have you heard the news? Have you? Nope. You haven’t, because I haven’t said anything yet – until now.
I am excited to announce that I am a new writer over at Free Hug Yoga Times! What is Free Hug Yoga Times, you ask? Well, click that link and find out? Too lazy? SLACKERS! Okay Okay, I’ll tell you. Well, more to the point, I’ll cut and paste because, hey, I can be lazy, too!
is the platform for all skilled people, without any discrimination of religion, race, age, gender, language or yoga practice. Here, we express and share freely with others our experiences, skills, learnings, ideas, where we are free to be who we are, where we can dare to share our creative side. Or just spend some nice time together!
Our articles are often oriented towards yoga practice, but what really is yoga?
Yoga is Union. Yoga is Balance. Yoga is Freedom.
Yoga is science of self-evolution.
And this is what FHYTimes is all about. We work and share together, in Union, which provides better Balance in our life. The more balanced we feel, The more open we are and the process of liberation start. Our self-transformation leads to Freedom!
We used to publish our e-zine in English. However we have friends and yogis who are talented, amazing beings, but English was the obstacle in the way to express themselves. We decided to open the web to any language, finding its own audience as we believe that the skills, creativity and love are a universal language and they will always find their readers.
There is also writers not using English as their mother tongues. For few of you it can be shocking, and we also love to read beautifully flowing English, but as the teacher of my son said once: “I don’ t want to miss some great idea only because of the grammar. “
SUSTAINING EACH OTHER TOWARDS BALANCE AND FREEDOM.
ONE IS ALL, ALL IS ONE!
How badass is that?
Anyway, I have a profile being set up and should start posting fairly soon, but the web dude is Czechoslovakian. I only speak English, smartass, sarcasm, and bullshit, so I’m sort of at his mercy. That’s cool. I can dig it.
Most of the writers and readers over at FHYT are European and Asian. Very little comes from the good ol’ USA, so I’ll kind of be representing. How scary is that?!? I promise I will do my very best to equally and adequately represent this entire country – as long as the entire country is exactly like me. 😉 All I mean is that I was asked to be myself and only myself. That I can do!
I’ll update when my first post is live. It’s a great opportunity because not only can I post and share new things, but I’m also allowed to post my Greatest Hits from this blog and the one I wrote for years prior to Sarahsana. This is excellent news for me because, as odd as it is, I’m the kind of person who writes stuff (here and in my own personal journal) and very rarely goes back to look at it ever again. Now we all get to have flashbacks. HOORAY!
Until I’m up and running, PLEASE go give Free Hug Yoga Times some love and attention. There is some incredible writing and brilliant ideas over there. And, of course, they have a Facebook page, too, so go make friends, okay?
Off to go buy a sari, make fish & chips, touch the Blarney Stone, visit Mysore, and all kinds of other stuff…
Waylon Lewis over at Elephant Journal posted this little write up about the much circulated lululemon spoof. The picture above is the spoof itself and you can visit the website to read more about each claim (click above to go to Elephant Journal and follow the link.)
It seems that everyone who has ever heard about lululemon has opinions, passionate opinions at that, about the yoga clothing / retail store and their products. I am no different. I will come right out and say that I do not own any lulu stuff. Not a single piece. I’ve heard that they are incredible, made from great fabrics and quite comfortable and I have seen more than enough people wearing it to class to convince me that they probably are. I wouldn’t know, I will never know, because I refuse to buy yoga pants for $98+.
That’s a large part of my problem with lulu. I find it incredibly interesting that this practice of yoga started out with folks who had nearly nothing because it needed nearly nothing! You don’t have to buy expensive equipment (mats are optional and there is even a movement running right now that says mats are a hinderance,) you don’t need special shoes, you can do it anywhere, wearing anything (or nothing,) you can do it for an hour or a day or a minute. It’s a practice of nothingness and muchness. What it is not, however, is something only for the elite. There is no reason on earth or any other planet that you need to spend an electric bill on freaking pants.
Also, what exactly is up with the butt thing? Don’t get me wrong, we all like to have great asses. Don’t lie, you know you do. Guess where you can get one? FROM DOING YOGA, even if you’re wearing $10 sweatpants or, better yet, your pajamas! It will look awesome in any pair of pants – for free! And really, if you’re walking into a yoga class and you’re worried about how your ass looks in the pants you’re wearing to “focus inwardly,” I think you might have gotten lost along the way – the singles club is around the corner. If you want to wear pants out and about that make your butt look amazing (and I admit that I often do want to do that,) wear pants for that, but don’t call them yoga pants. They aren’t yoga pants. They are ass pants.
And one more thing: while I am not prohibited from wearing any particular brand of pants I choose, there are many, many amazing yogis and yoginis who are because even the largest of lulu’s sizes don’t even come close to fitting. If I would buy lulu, I would have to be in the largest size. I am nowhere close to being the largest yogini out there. That just isn’t right. Why exclude? Why limit? If we are all one, let us dress one, eh?
I may be given a pair of lulu pants some day. I might fall helplessly in love with them. I might wear them every single day, but I won’t buy them. Nope, I won’t, because it’s against my own manifesto which, in case you were wondering, doesn’t care in the least how great your butt looks or how much it cost to make it look that way.
Michael Franti, Jolene Rust, Polly, Gina Caputo from Kansas Siddhi Yoga
Me, J Bowman
File this under: LIFE IS TOOTHACHE SWEET!
The last 36 hours have been surreal. If I didn’t have the sore feet, the permagrin, the pictures, and the lack of voice, I would think it was all a dream. It really did happen, though, and I cannot stop reliving it.
Michael Franti and Spearhead are on The Sound of Sunshine Tour. We have known for some time that they would be coming to Columbia, MO, for a concert and, of course, we all rushed to get tickets. If you don’t know Michael Franti, you are missing out. If you’re my student, you have heard him. Michael Franti is walking love, light, wisdom, peace, hope, unity. Michael Franti is inspiration in bare feet.
We know that Michael is a devout yogi. We also know that he likes to take a class in almost each city he tours. Knowing this, Polly called his agent and mentioned him coming to Yoga Sol. It looked promising, but we didn’t hear anything back for some time, so we kind of figured it was a wash and just looked forward to going to the show.
Fast forward to Sunday night….
I was just getting ready to go to bed when I decided to check my Facebook one more time. What I saw was Michael Franti and Spearhead had started a new page for fans who love yoga to discuss yoga with him. One of his first posts was asking for yoga studios in Columbia. My heart skipped a beat and as I was getting ready to respond, I saw that my friend, Nancy, who lives in Connecticut, had already mentioned me and Yoga Sol! ONE WORLD! So I commented back and next thing I know, we’re chatting back and forth.
I barely slept. I spent a long time excitedly texting back and forth with Rebekka Mars and Lisa Bradley, two of the new Yoga Sol teachers. Was this really going to happen?
Monday morning, Polly called and we screamed like schoolgirls again because she was just called in to The Blue Note to meet Michael’s manager and talk yoga. We barely breathed for several hours. Then Polly asked me to meet her at 2:30 to meet Michael! WHAT THE WHAT? Holy granola, indeed. We found him outside of Teller’s, eating lunch on the sidewalk. I met Michael, J, and Jolene and immediately felt enveloped with love and light and hope and peace and joy joy joy joy joy! These people are unbelievable! Hugs and kisses passed left and right and it was agreed that Polly would pick them up at 5:30 for class at Yoga Sol! WOOOOHOOOOO!!
Polly taught such an amazing class. The most amazing thing about it, honestly, is that it was just like every other amazing class she teaches. It was full of love and light and peace and laughter and joy and .. it was organic, pure, natural. The room was packed. Michael, J, and Jolene had mats in the front row and, let me tell you, those folks are BEAUTIFUL on the mat. Handstands and arm balances and flying like winged creatures. The energy was magical. WHAT A BLESSING! ONE LOVE!
After class, we dressed in the t-shirts Rebekka and Bea Wallace (another Yoga Sol teacher) had designed for us to wear (they even had one made for Michael himself) and headed to the show.
I don’t know what to say about the show other than it was the best show I have ever seen in my life. The energy, the music, the beauty … indescribable. I danced and danced and danced and danced and danced.. oh how I danced!
I don’t remember the last time I had this much fun! Michael has joined forces with Soles4Souls. I was so moved that I took my favorite shoes, my signature shoes, my red Converse off my own feet and put them on the stage. I left in barefeet. ❤
Fueled with adrenaline and love, I came home and found the following:
WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?!?!?
And then this …
Too much to wrap my brain around.
Pictures don’t capture it. They try, they are my best representations, but let me tell you, I am INSPIRED! I am awake, aware, present, ALIVE. I am blessed beyond measure. I am that.
Power to the Peaceful, indeed.
Thank you, Michael, Jolene, and J. Thank you for spreading The Sound of Sunshine to us all.
I believe in you. I believe you can do whatever you want to do. I believe you are made to do what you love. I believe you were put here on this earth to do just that. Get out there. Go do it!
Ohhhhh my. I’m in a bit of a quandary.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that Eat Pray Love has hit the theaters. It’s everywhere. Oddly, it didn’t beat out a bunch of old geezers on opening weekend, but still there is a huge buzz around it. And, where there is buzz, there is merchandise. LOADS of merchandise.
HSN has a whole event around EPL. You can by a $350 mala, for pete’s sake! They are selling clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, electronics, beauty products, the works. Hell, I’m sure if you look hard enough, they’ll try to sell you enlightenment, too.
I have such a hard time participating in such blatant commercialism. While the book is about more than yoga, of course, there is a HUGE portion of it that is devoted to a yogic lifestyle and life in an ashram. She takes the lessons learned there throughout the rest of the book. It feeds a huge portion of her self realization.
Can you please tell me what is so yogic about $36 lipgloss? How about a $277 purse? Or maybe a $50 plate of shrimp alfredo? I swear, those are all things in the EPL collection. And I barely got started looking!
I don’t get it. It hurts my head, it hurts my heart.
I do want to see the movie. I do. But I honestly cannot, in good concious, feed the money making machine that feeds off of the names Yoga, India, and LOVE.