“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
Archive for March, 2010
Let’s face facts, Super-people, certain topics are “loaded.”
Religion, politics, and sex are button pushers…but what about (cow’s) milk?
A student and friend wrote to me to suggest that I write about milk and how emotionally charged it is, and why.
As she said, “people can discuss vegan, meat-free, or wheat-free but approach the dairy-free subject and they shut right down. Most won’t even entertain the idea—‘Nope! Can’t do THAT!’”
The dairy industry has done such an excellent job of subtly but strongly associating cow’s milk with “real” milk (i.e. Mother’s milk), nurturing, healthy kids, strong bones, taking care of your children, loving your body, and even being sexy (check out the “Got Milk?” ads), that most people have a difficult time seeing the truth of the matter.
I personally had difficulty seeing the reality of the situation—probably because I was born and raised in the Midwest (“dairy country”)–and every day in school I gazed at a big chart in my classroom (paid for by the dairy industry) that told me in no uncertain terms how much dairy I needed to consume every day to be “strong and healthy.”
I gave up dairy while nursing my first-born, Madison (12.5 years ago) because I thought she was gassy and was advised to give up dairy to ease her tummy.
It was only after I noticed how amazing I felt after giving it up—and how awful I felt after trying it again when she had stopped nursing–that I was able to actually “take in” the fact that dairy wasn’t doing my body right.
“What IS the truth of the matter about dairy?” you ask.
Beyond all of the programming that may be hard for you to let go of (it was for me, Sisters!), there is a lot of solid information out there now for you to read, with which you can make an informed and unemotional decision about how dairy will or will not fit into your life.
Google it and make up your own mind. Also, there’s a good website with lots of information called notmilk.com.
As always, take what you want and leave the rest.
Follow your heart—it’s always giving you the most accurate information of all–the lobbyists don’t have access to it.
“You learn something every day if you pay attention.”
“Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn, and you will.”
“You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.”
“Never say, ‘oops.’ Always say, ‘Ah, interesting.’”
“I never teach my students; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
“Know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
When Philippe and I opened our first Prana Power Yoga Center in 2002 we taught every single class.
In fact, for the first year, we taught every class, checked in students, bought the toilet paper for the bathroom, mopped the floors—you name it, if it needed to be done, we did it.
“Wow, this must be really hard on you guys,” people would say to us, about just the two of us opening a Yoga Center.
Again and again, we’d answer, “No, it’s not hard. It’s what we love. It’s what we live. And it’s a joy to bring it to others.”
We were very blessed that Prana did really well from day one, and as more students came to us, we added more classes.
Within a year, as our class schedule became more abundant, teaching all of the classes ourselves became more challenging.
Many teachers came to us to teach at Prana, but no one felt right. No one had the Prana energy.
So we decided to handpick a few students who had the high vibration we were looking for, and train them (for free) to teach at Prana.
We began training them every Tuesday night for 3-4 hours.
In about 6 months, one of our “trainees” was ready to teach her own class at Prana. And with time and practice, the others followed suit, and we eventually had a fabulous staff of Prana teachers to help us spread the light.
Around this time, I took off for the Berkshires to train for a week with a well-known yoga instructor. Philippe and I are very into growth and transformation and learning, and something told me to apply to this training.
In retrospect, I know that it was my Spirit who “told me” to apply to the training, but not for the reasons my mental body deduced. Not because I’d learn more about teaching yoga, but because I’d learn about how NOT to train students to teach yoga, and from that knowledge, create the best Prana Teacher Training Program ever.
Remember, Super-people, it is from contrast in our lives (what we DON’T want) that we learn what we DO want to create.
I showed up at 7am the first morning of the training to a cold room filled with eager yogis, and the instructor immediately asked us to go into a backbend—before we were warm.
I had a very serious back injury at a young age (which yoga healed for the most part, as long as I practice daily and I warm up my body before I go into intense poses like back bends), and I know my limits.
So I “just said no” to a backbend without warming up.
The instructor was not pleased.
“It’s good to injure your body,” he said. “It shows you where you have weak points.”
(Please note that I am not exaggerating. He actually said these exact words.)
“Thanks, but no thanks,” I thought. “I’ll take a pass on injuring my body on purpose. And, from now on, I’m going to wake up at 5am and practice before I get here.”
And so I did, from the next morning on. I cranked the heat in my hotel room as high as it would go and practicing a full Prana Power Yoga flow at 5am, before I stepped foot into that teacher training for the day.
The instructor criticized me that second morning, too.
This time, for practicing before the training.
“I can tell that you’ve practiced already this morning,” he said. “I told you that it’s a good idea to see where your body is weak.”
I knew it not the best idea to argue with this guy—he was too full of ego and himself and there’d be no “winning” this argument—but I couldn’t help myself. My Spirit is way too strong.
“I KNOW where my body is weak,” I said confidently. “That became quite clear when I severely injured it at a young age playing tennis. I practice yoga to feel the best ever and to heal, not to injure myself. And I’m not going to be bullied out of practicing in the morning before I come here. That’s my choice.”
The instructor was not pleased. He went on to taunt and make fun of my “logic” in front of the other students.
I felt angry and humiliated and wanted to walk out, but stood my ground. I paid for a week of training with this guy, and I was going to stick around and learn something.
Learn I did.
I learned that in our Prana Power Yoga Teacher Training that Philippe and I would create and offer to those magnetized to us, we would treat the trainees with love and respect, unlike what this “famous” yogi did.
I learned that in a yoga teacher training program, it’s important to actually teach your trainees to teach yoga and to do so it’s essential to create time and space for them to practice teaching yoga, real-time!
Yes, during 7 days of training with this teacher, only 2 out of 50 students actually taught yoga.
I later learned that those 2 students were his (secret) girlfriend and her business partner.
I learned that it’s important to include many aspects of the yoga tradition in a training program and various modalities—not just get up on a soap box and talk the whole time about yourself and how you teach yoga.
And so we incorporated many modalities in our Training Program and brought in other people besides Philippe and me to teach some of the different modalities, so that our trainees could learn from many people with many different styles.
I learned that yoga and teaching yoga should be made accessible to people, not the opposite.
I learned that just because you’re “famous” doesn’t mean you are good at what you do, or are a nice person with integrity.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being famous, Super-people.
Bring on the abundance!
But serve it up without the ego and criticism and elitism.
The world has enough of that, and that’s not yoga.
“When the student is ready, the master appears.”
- The Taxi Service
- One Minute Makes A Difference
- Yeah, Who’s A Better Mom Than Me?
- Plane Karma
- What You Do Matters
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008