Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My new blog project

So it is coming! Starting January 1 2009 I'll be blogging everyday for 31 days. Mostly about practice, but I am sure so much else will come up. I have been cooking up some changes that I am looking forward to making this year, here is what I have so far.

1. this blog
2. practice 6 days a week
3. longer closing asanas, and longer savasana
4. more vegetables (for Krishna's sake I am a vegetarian!)
5. increase the amount of joy in my life
6. plan to celebrate Guruji's birthday with him this July
There is more to come...come and practice with me at Wake Up this January 1 and celebrate the newness.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Honestly blogging about yoga

When it comes down to talking about practice and preference is it ever kind to be true? I mean what is true for me can't be true for everyone, so (lift your tongue to the third mouth position) what to do? I was chatting about this with Amanda before practice. I hate when others chat before practice, but when there doesn't seem to be a rule about it I lean on chatting. At the Shala in Mysore there are loads of signs that clearly state, "maintain silence." There I have witnessed students giving other students the stink eye for chit chat, or even going so far as shushing each other.

Maybe discipline is the key to freedom?

"maintain silence" = I don't have to chit chat. Even this morning in the middle of practice student A is practicing, student B comes in (like an hour into student A's practice) and feels the need to say, Hi student A, and then she would be rude if she didn't say, Hi student B and so she does.

All in all I made it to my mat, made it through practice maybe tomorrow I'll make it a more silent experience if only internally (unless I make a sign for the Shala in Philly.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Coming in January

One of my resolutions is based on the title of my friend Tarica's blog. While she was in Mysore, her blog was called 31 days in Mysore. I have decided to pick up that idea right here in Philly. I will document each day in January along with the struggles and joy of what practice means to me for the first 31 days of the new year.

It has been a really tough time for me this holiday season and I am ready to get over myself and turn toward practice, friendship, lots of harmonium Ho-downs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sister Shakti

I talk to my big sister everyday. Siblings are so important. My husband is an only child, and really there is no one better to go through life with then someone who has been in the thick of all the family drama with you then your sibling. I understand that an age difference may play a huge part in this connection, but for us, me and my sis we could go all day with the craziness that was and still is our family life. Sometimes it feels like a great game of tennis (which neither of us play) she'll serve her best doozy of a memory, and I'll volley one back. It could go on all day!

I think I spoke to her four times yesterday. She now has a blog (I have added it to the stuff I love list) and I 'll read that in addition to the many daily chats. For me, she is the only one who really gets it. I am not surprised that she is blogging about food, and about weight. Yesterday we spoke about honesty in blogging. When I was away in Mysore I felt really free with the flow of writing but here in Philly where I live and teach I tend to be more careful. I think that one of my '09 resolutions is to be more candid about the yoga community here in Philadelphia and try to distill down what works and what is not working for me in the larger scheme of things.
Yoga is universal, and yet such a personal journey. Yoga is so intimate, and most often in such a public forum.

As always I need to get dressed and get to practice, and then later a little Christmas Eve with my Super Shakti Sister.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My mini yoga pilgrimage to New York was perfect! I went right from the bus to a Mysore practice. Walking along 5th Ave (midtown) was magical. I am not the biggest fan of the holiday season, and this year Mike and I are choosing to buy gifts for Operation Santa versus buying gifts for those so gifted in our lives, but walking past the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center filled me with excitement. I fondly remembered ice skating at the famed location with my sister as teens.

After a practice that was filled, in my opinion with way too much chit-chat I ran to meet Samantha. We ate and gabbed and then went Kirtaning. The crowd was crazy with bliss and while we ashtangi's hang out in the world of restraint it was refreshing even as it was slightly irritating.

Went to sleep and then back to practice. It is no joke the pilgrimage that you need to take to get to Guy's shala, and as promised it was the most silent silence I have ever heard. It was a true Mysore morning with a long breakfast with friends popping in. I left and walked to Ma's house had a great lesson, and then came home. All in all in was really a densely packed trip.

My winter solstice workshop was a sold-out success! If you are interested in the next workshop please register early space is limited and I hate to turn people away. Keep checking jillmanning.com.

Love and Peace

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm leaving today

I just returned from the Wake Up Yoga TT program retreat. Retreat is really a very bad description for this experience. It reminds me of those corporate jobs that supply everything you could every want or need during the day to insure that no one needs to leave the building and work can be possible all the time. We work the whole weekend. I swear I have no more words to describe yoga, or yogic things. I guess now is the perfect time to get a little Guru love.

I have a really tight schedule this trip

Practice at Yoga Sutra NY (for free!!) 4:45pm
Meet Samantha-Ji AKA Fiona Anew at some yummy vegan eatery
Kirtan at Jivamukti
Back to Sam's house and most likely endless gabbing about Mysore, Yoga, Mysore, Yoga etc....

Wake Up
Head to Guy's Shala, this is where Sam practices, it will be my first time there

I am bringing my camera this time and hope to take many pictures for the follow up blog about the whole experience.

I am excited to say that My Winter Solstice Retreat has only one spot remaining...if you are interested check out jillmanning.com

I am already hammering out the juice for the drop back workshop (who couldn't use a drop back workshop?) Check it out, and yes! space is limited.

Love. Practice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've got the Yoga Blues

Why is practice in Mysore so sweet? It helps to have to not "work." It really helps that everyone all around you is as sore as you are (at least) everyone is sleepy around 7pm, and the community is so large that you can find with relative ease a little sanga to go through it all with. Oh. yeah, and The Teacher. Here in Philadelphia we (and I mean me, or I) lack a Teacher. I know there are many wonderful teachers, I include myself as one of them, but a Teacher is still missing. I look forward to David Keil coming for weeks on end, I mark it on my calendar and count the days. I found with this past visit the sting of his departure was harder than others for me.

I am trying to climb out of the hole that I so enjoyed digging and climbing in. Off to play harmonium with a friend.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Practice First

Last week I forgot the Maha rule...practice first. If you can make the first order of the day practice you will surely succeed. Last week I made sleep first, and put practice all over the place, and ultimately had the worst practice week since July. Practice first.

So, it is now 5:40am I can hear the wind, and have a blanket wrapped around me, but will go out into the December morning and practice. My research has told me the rest of the day will go more smoothly, and then I can go to bed as early as I want.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Weak Week

I have been home from India more than two months, and this was the hardest week yet. It feels like I have been running, organizing, teaching, promoting, studying, practicing on end. This week I have a cold, a sick husband, a bum right big toe, and managed to only practice asana three times. I know, shock and horror all around. I do have the first 7 yoga sutras memorized, and the Sanskrit alphabet in the bag!

Even yoga teachers get the blues. I started feeling glum with the approach of the holiday season. I have never been a big fan of this season, but this year I was ready two weeks ago to pack a bag head to Mexico and not return until January. I love to escape. On top of it all the attacks in India are so confusing and upsetting, both Mike and I who have walked Mumbai's beautiful streets, felt the funk.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week, and I am practicing and then starting my first day volunteering at the SPCA. I am really excited about the Winter Solstice celebration at Wake Up Yoga two Saturdays from now. Please join me. Check out the events page on jillmanning.com.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

will asana for clothes

I consider myself to be a slightly shy person. My family is pretty small, and I grew up with one (older) sister, I feel most comfortable and confident as a number two. I guess if I were a boy I would make a most excellent wing man. I like being the echo. The yoga/lifestyle clothing company Lululemon has just opened their beautiful and epic store on Walnut Street, and I was asked (all local yoga teachers got the call) if I wanted to do yoga in the store for their opening weekend. Normally I would just say no thank you, but in an effort to "do one thing a day that scares you" I thought why not.

It was the weirdest hour of yoga in my life. I did get a nice black top, and a chance to explore my inner exhibitionist. Would I do it again? Like the title of this blog...for sure Lululemon, I will asana for clothes, so call me anytime.