The First Day of Summer + International Day of Yoga

I started off the longest day of the year extending my waking hours even further by waking up at 5:39am to catch a flight to Indianapolis. While I was productive on my flight, I was productive with a purpose: I did the work I needed to do (and which I fully enjoy) so that I could take some time off during this vacation, and return recharged. This is only too appropriate as I intend for this to be the theme of my whole summer. I want to be disciplined Monday through Friday during the times that I am in my home city so that on weekends and during my whole month of August in Europe (Eeeeeeeee! – More on that later!), I can gallavant, rejuvenate, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

Today is also International Yoga Day and I am grateful for the reminders I’ve gotten on Instagram (I’m having a wee bit of FOMO concerning not being at Yoga in Times Square, but ya can’t be everywhere at once). Those Instagram reminders are what reminded me just now to do some sun salutations, which should be my go-to after being on a plane, but somehow isn’t always. I did some sun salutations, truly felt the spirit of summer in my bones – in my joints – and am now settling down to tell you, dear readers, my summer plans.

These plans that I am about to share are not concrete ones – there will be a variety of separate blog posts for that, including transforming this site into a travel blog for the month of August! Instead, the plans I would like to share now are broad; they’re more intentions – things that I would like to do – simple pleasures to invite in – that will bring about (I hope!) the feelings of summer: joy, ease, rest, and warmth. This summer, I would like to…

  • Say YES to the beach, and more! A few years ago, I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (oh, hay, Scandal). At the time, I had to dismiss some of her methods; it was impossible – working two jobs and attending graduate school – to make “yes” my default answer; in fact, I had to say no more. But this summer, I want to take advantage of the opportunities that arise when saying “yes” more often, especially when those opportunities involve going to the beach!
  • Go to the Farmer’s Market weekly. I want to start shopping at the farmer’s market. I love the Union Square Green Market, and the farmer’s market near Columbia, but I’m definitely open to trying some more out.
  • Walk the city. For obvious reasons, I walk so much more in the summer than I do any other season. This summer, in the United States and when I go abroad, I want to fully embrace flaneuserie.
  • Relish in yoga clothes. Whenever I can this summer, I intend to be either in a swim suit, sun dress, or yoga clothes (I want the latter to be the majority of my summer wardrobe). I want to develop a chic yoga clothes look, and take care in my appearance, which can be hard to do in sweaty New York, but can be an invaluable way to start the day off with positive self-esteem. But most importantly, I intend to be in yoga clothes because I intend to be doing more yoga and teaching more yoga (I already have!).
  • Enjoy time with friends. Time to pop the rose with good company, y’all!

Now tell me, what are your summer plans that are more like intentions?

Summer Yoga Teaching: June

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Post originally written on June 8.

I am so thrilled to announce that starting this week (not coincidentally my last week of teaching elementary school), I will return to teaching yoga. I am overjoyed for the encouragement and reminder of all that yoga does for me – a reminder that is made stronger when passed on to others through teaching. One of my teachers, Sheri Celantano, has a saying: “We teach for ourselves. We practice for our students.” That quote is a reminder of the kind of yoga teacher I want to be — one that uses a strong and fruitful practice to fuel empowering teaching. Continue reading for my teaching schedule this month, as well as the pertinent themes I plan to focus my teaching around.

June Yoga Schedule

Wednesday 6/7 5:45pm (60 min) Community Class at Harlem Yoga Studio

Thursday 6/8 7:45pm (60 min) OmPower Flow at One Yoga for All

Saturday, 6/10  9am (60 min) Vinyasa at Harlem Yoga Studio

Thursday, 6/15 7:45pm (60 min) OmPower Flow at One Yoga for All

Thursday, 6/29 7:45pm (60 min) OmPower Flow at One Yoga for All

Friday, 6/30 10:45am (75 min) Yoga Open Level at Harlem Yoga Studio

The theme at Harlem Yoga Studio for June is Second Chakra: svadhistana. I love, love, love a good chakra focus. The theme at One Yoga for All for the month is “Root Down to Lift Up.” So – you guessed it! (maybe?) – I will be basing my classes on the teachings of the first two chakras. For inspiration this first week, I’m using the teachings of Anodea Judith, chakra expert extraordinaire.

As we enter the second chakra, we encounter the watery realm of emotions. Where we hae worked for grounding and stability in the first chakra, we now cultivate feelings and movement. Our associated element has shifted from earth to water, from solid to liquid. In this transmutation we encounter change. Through consistency, consciousness finds meaning; through change, it finds stimulation and expansion.

To find consistency within change is to embrace the unfolding flow. Only by moving does our consciousness expand, and only through change is our consciousness stimulated. Movement and change stimulate awakening.

  • Anodea Judith, Eastern Body Western Mind

To close my classes, I’m using a poem that, to me, teaches the true meaning of presence by the Sufi poet Rumi.

THE CHANCE OF HUMMING

A

man

standing on two logs in a river

might do all right floating with the current

while humming in the

now.

Though

if one log is tied to a camel,

who is also heading south along the bank–at the same pace–

all could still be well

with the

world

unless the camel

thinks he forgot something, and

abruptly turns upstream,

then

uh-oh.

Most minds

do not live in the present

and can stick to a reasonable plan; most minds abruptly turn

and undermine the

chance

of

humming.