I wanted to create a place where I could
keep connected to those I teach. Sometimes thoughts come in the room,
and I pass them on to those students....sometimes they come in the
middle of the night. Yoga is such a daily process for me. I imagine
it is for others to. How does it all connect to our daily lives?
March 15th, 2010- Today.... I am fighting sickness and realizing how much my attitude about getting well effects how I feel. I am going to get better and I am going to do what I need to do to achieve my goals, not put blocks in front of them. It is working!
March 16th- Even in the darkest and seemingly hopeless moments there is positive. Sometimes you just have to take a breath and allow it to surface.
March 19th- Being present. Allowing myself to really be in the moment and not attend to my to do list. I always feel stronger and a smile comes easily to my face.
March 20th- My sister and Jake came to class! What a great birthday gift! Family is so important and I am a fortunate woman.
March 25th- What is. Making decisions from there....not what I wish was or hope will be....but at each moment recognizing and being truthful about what is and moving from there. Makes me feel like I have a more solid place to move from!
April 22nd- As I was floating into Upset Rapid in the Grand Canyon, with a boat full of Prescott College students....one of them at the oars....there was a flip downstream, 2 boats ahead.....this is where focus became crucial, for everyone on the boat. To think ahead even a moment or be in someone else's present (those on the flipped boat) could have resulted in another boat flipping. Everyone gathered it together and the boatman had a great run. Yoga is something I find helps me everyday in life...it seems especially crystal when I am in the Grand Canyon and faced with the natural and human elements there!
May 17th- Time is passing so quickly. To be present and enjoy where I am at each moment. Sometimes that is difficult. When I take a moment to just accept what is, inevitably a smile comes across my face and I realize that no matter what.....Life is Good. There are things that happen and I don't know why; I have to trust that there is a good reason for what is going on in life. Often something is to be learned, especially from the hard moments.
June 3rd- Just got off the river, 2 weeks off now. Time for some more concentrated yoga. Lucky that more and more people are interested in doing it on the river so I can do more even there. Doing my 5 min. sleeping bag series, seems to be working! If you want to see what the sleeping bag series is all about check this link out!
June 13th- Thankful. For so many things in my life. Life is never one thing at a time but a combination of things working in harmony with each other to make perfection.
July 16th- River season is going well. Enjoying the pace and the time for reflection, on and off river. Thankful for so many things in my life. I feel inspired to connect with the broader yoga community in Flagstaff. Have been taking a few classes at the Yoga Experience and really enjoying both the feeling of the new poses in my body and the familiar faces in the studio. We are all part of a beautiful community here in Flagstaff. Coming to the mat, or practicing, is finding lots of new avenues these days.....writing an article to be published in the BQR about preventative health. Traveling this winter a little doing retreats?! Sky is the limit. Loving the free fall.
August 6th- finding time to be quiet. to let the brain have a rest and the breath take over....calming, centering, focusing. Sometimes I just sit in a quiet room, light a candle, and watch it flicker....noticing my breath slow and my mind quiet down.
September 21st- can't believe it is Fall already. Taking time to practice, time to check in with myself-- mind and body-- is definitely paying off. Feeling centered, strong, able. Find time for yourself. Quiet time to allow yourself to see and feel what is really going on.....sometimes just a few minutes each day is all you have and that time definitely adds up. See you in Flagstaff this fall!!! I may travel some this Fall to CB, Durango, and the east coast. Please contact me if you are interested in classes!!!
October 7th- I realize that it is hard to create new habits. I find it challenging, but worth it. Spending time figuring out what my body actually feels like and why is a worthwhile investment of time....even if it is a little time a day. The really amazing thing is that a new habit or way of thinking simply takes a second to do....as long as you commit to it and really believe in it.
October 21st- Reminding myself to focus on what is working, not what isn't. I say it so often in class. This concept directly translates to life. In every posture, every day, every moment of life..... there is beauty and peace and a place (mentally and/or physically) that is in balance. Let go of the struggle. Let go of the fear. Find the equilibrium. Some times I feel it--- the surrender and my body and mind----while walking with the dogs. Seeing and appreciating their pleasure and excitement and happiness. Being in nature.
November 10th- It is raining out. I see smoke from someones chimney....the seasons are changing. Time for renewal. An opportunity to shift. Every moment is. What do I need? It is so easy to talk yourself out of moving through the difficulty of transition from one state to another, one habit to another, one pattern to another, one way of thinking......to another. I want to be more positive.
November 29th- Went to dinner with my father, sister, brother-in-law, and boyfriend tonight in Flagstaff. It is easy to be thankful and present sometimes. This dinner was one of those occasions. The more I practice, the easier it becomes...and I don't mean just yoga class.....yoga in life......finding the balance and the ease and the things I am grateful for each moment, not just as I am standing on a yoga mat. Sometimes the mat is the place it is most effortless to be completely "there", where ever "there" is for that session. Sometimes, because I have dedicated a specific time to practice, I am more keenly aware of my mind's chatter during time on a yoga mat and quieting it down is more challenging than when I am running around. This is why I practice. One of the reasons anyway.
December 6th- Taught tonight. I love teaching. I love watching people work through things (physically and mentally). I love it when I can provide some clarity to a student regarding a posture or an idea in yoga. My new thing, which has evolved over many years.....make time for me.
December 10th- I don't think I understood how powerful a few minutes a day looking at a candle flame and thinking about people or goals or whatever was on my mind would be. It started as a holiday tradition with my family.....lighting a candle and knowing that around the country other family members had done the same from sundown till bed on christmas eve. Now, I do it every time I travel-- as I am getting ready to go to bed I light a candle....I breathe....I think of a few things that I want to focus on. These few minutes a day have changed my life and evolved into something more.....a home practice. For both the days I get to do a class or lead myself through a set of asanas and the days that just fly by and I get to the end of the day and realize that I didn't stop moving and thinking all day. A yoga practice, like a yoga class has no expectations, no plans....just show up and do it. Close the door, turn off the phone, find something to help you focus....an object, a scent, a light, and how ever long you have....enjoy!
December 19th- Just returned from Crested Butte. Teaching there is so fun. The work ethic of the students blows me away. I very infrequently feel I need to even encourage pushing limits....they are always doing that. Instead we focus more on breathing, alignment, release. Every person is so different. Every class is so unique. It is easy to be in the moment while teaching....so much to see, feel, experience, learn. I also got the chance to finally take classes from Brenda Fleming in Gunnison, a well known Iyengar teacher. What a gift. To have someone see my body and what it needs...I am incredibly grateful to her for her knowledge and to Angie and Alex for giving me a home for 2 weeks while I both took and taught classes! Now, heading into the holidays........so much to look forward to and to be thankful for right now!
January 9th, 2011- a new year! So much going on. So much change. Venturing into a deeper practice of Anusara while still teaching Bikram as much as possible. I feel strong. I feel more positive and centered than I have in a long time. Things seem to be coming together, creating a path that feels good to be on. The person I want to be, my best. Making choices rather than excuses to push my boundaries even further. Having faith in myself and what is possible for me. Teaching, as always, a beautiful component of my life. Bringing my river world and the yoga world together in a beautiful place....the Grand Canyon. The trip is full and there will be more in the future. Working for a company that not only has faith in themselves, but also in me. I am fortunate. Taking class at noon....making my practice a priority. Teaching at 4:15. Sunday class is always a lot of fun. A community class, accessible for everyone! (just $5 for Flag residents) Hope to see you there!
January 16th- a new week ahead. You know when you go out of your comfort zone, say in hand stand or something else? That feeling of precariousness, attention, searching for the strength and balance. It is almost impossible to be any where but right there as you step into unfamiliar territory. That is the overall feeling right now in my life. I was beginning to feel a little concerned of the awareness and clarity I feel right now. But truly it is transition. It is moving from the known into the unknown and being open to that, not resisting that. The wabble of headstand, the intense focus while jumping over a small chasm in the Grand Canyon, the awareness of my body language as I explore new relationships.....being right here. Right now. So much going on. I could feel overwhelmed or I can take it all in and feel the centering within myself that keeps me grounded.
January 25th- The difference between awareness and analysis. This is an important topic for me. When I am in my body, present, feeling what is actually going on with me in that moment..... I am aware. When I start hearing judgments, comments, reasons why I feel what I feel....I am moving into analysis. Which is great, just not on my mat. The analysis takes me away from what I am experiencing and doesn't allow me to stay focused, go deeper safely, or clear the mind. When my thoughts go beyond a word or two and move into full sentences I can feel myself tensing up and being out of my practice. Does this ever happen to you?
February 3rd- Heading out on the road. One month-- 6,600 miles, 2 dogs, and the spirit of adventure that is essential when heading out just behind one of the most intense winter storms the Midwest has ever seen. This is where discipline and clarity of goals becomes essential. Yoga mat, clothes (for Bikram and Anusara), eye pillow, candles, Iyengar and Anusara texts, and journal are all packed! I have information on yoga studios across the country and can't wait to practice with new people, in hotel rooms, with family, and out camping. Out into the unknown, armed with love, passion, and excitement for the journey!! I hope you are finding your own adventure this winter.....something new or old, easy or challenging.....or a little of everything?!
February 23rd- When I don't do yoga my arthritis flares up. It is that simple. It is so nice to know that there is something that will carry my through my life to help me stay healthy and pain free! Anusara yoga class in New Orleans tonight!
March 9th- Back in Flagstaff. Sunny, crisp, and beautiful. Taking time to see and honor my friendships. Having a support system and people who understand me is so important. Additionally, awakening strength that lies within. Supporting myself and my needs. There is the yoga. On and off the mat. The place where I discover over and over again who I am and who I want to be. Making choices that give me hope, make me laugh, make my heart light. Walking Lucky is one of those things......it isn't on the mat, but it is a potent time for me to be with myself and celebrate a being that makes me smile! Thank you Flagstaff for having so many incredible places to explore in nature.
April 5th- With the structure of my life.....I am finding a new freedom. Freedom to rediscover each moment, each day.....who I am. I am truthful. I am loving. Starting with that and going with where the wind seems to be blowing me. There is amazing strength in the wind. It is challenging to stand grounded in it's presence, yet let it in....let it move me.
May 4th- I was talking to a friend the other day about how different a yoga practice is when you approach it with a framework that includes: respecting where you are at that moment; challenging yourself to look beyond the limits your mind might set for you; and leading with an openness to experience something completely new....whether it is a thought or a physical strength, or whatever seems new to you. Does that make sense? You can practice yoga for years and not really get all that is possible out of it. It is those moments where we allow ourselves to play and experiment and believe in ourselves that we gain the most. I try to approach life that way....each and every moment....sometimes I fall off track or get caught in an old pattern that isn't serving me...then I try again.
May 30th- Firmly in Summer now. Wind is strong and some have mentioned feeling very off balance. Surprisingly, I feel very grounded, yet effected by the wind...it's strength. A reminder for me of how easy it is to be knocked off center if I am not paying attention. Also finding myself really thinking about the incredible friends I have in my life. Still finding strong relationships even now....new people entering my life who influence me and inspire me and support me. What a gift, life.....people.....hearing the wind in the trees as the dogs run around the meadow.
June 12th- What a week in the Grand Canyon!!! So much going on. So much intensity. Noticing my thoughts a lot this week and working on letting go of the one's that don't serve me and where I want to be at that moment or in general in my life. Understanding where the thoughts originate from sometimes helps me to release the thought.....sometimes it comes from beliefs that I don't really even have anymore.....easier to find the lightness and the beauty and the gratitude when it isn't so cluttered with old notions of what I hold true for me. I feel lighter today. Smiling a lot, without effort. Some days I feel I have to think a lot about smiling , today....it is coming easily.....the work pays off.
August 20th- I can't believe how quickly this summer has gone. Makes me realize the importance of living in the moment. Appreciating what is going on right now. Because before I know it....it is gone. I have felt more present than ever this summer. Taking time to be with the people I love, do the things I really enjoy, plan for the future so I can keep doing things that feed me. Teaching, doing yoga, showing people the Grand Canyon, reminding the people in my life how much they mean to me and how important they are to my and others' lives. More than anything for me life is about people. Loving fully my friends and family. Never being afraid to say 'I love you' or feeling it is over-said. Life is moving fast. I want to enjoy it.....every moment of it.....that is my moment to moment intention.
October - The river season is over, yet it doesn't feel like something is ending, rather a continuation. Life is starting to have a through-line! Yoga- River- Friends- Family- Lucky- Love- Adventure. I am heading on a private river trip this weekend- Westwater Canyon! Can't wait to have it all! My brother is on the trip with his wife and my sister-in-law, Liz! My dog, Lucky, will have his first real whitewater experience....he doesn't need to stay home when I start packing my river bags!!!! New friends and old will be on the trip....music......I can't wait! This is the true meaning of being FULL!
November 1st - I have experienced a huge shift in my world. This has been a year of change and upheavel. It is hard to explain just how grounded and comfortable I feel in my skin today, but everything feels right. Does that sound familiar to you? A lot of my friends and family and colleagues have had a similar year.....lots of shifting and challenges. Speaking from someone who was in that tornado with many others....it feels really good to have stayed the path.....listened to my instincts.....focused on the positive and what I could influence. Dedication and perseverance payed off. I am a thankful and happy woman!
November 27th- I have to acknowledge that sometimes I am more focused than other times. The power of thought and concentration is truly an amazing thing to me. I was sitting down at my home last week, trying to figure out who I could call to take care of Lucky when I was on the east coast for thanksgiving. (There were several possible plans that didn't seem to work out and time was running out! ) I don't like having to leave him, but he can't fly! I want him to be happy and taken care of when I am gone. I love my family and being home for thanksgiving is really important to me. As I am creating this list of possible caretakers...... my friend Katie calls me to tell me that she is available to watch Lucky! Pure thought. Direct intention. Operating from a place of love. I don't think it was purely coincidence that she called! I was, and am, very thankful that she is staying with my dog. I believe in the power of pointed thoughts.
December 4th- Home practice. Where are you at with that idea....or is it a reality, not just an idea. Where is it going? What do you want to achieve or is it simply the act of doing something at home without any real goals? This has changed for me year after year. Season after season. I believe, like practice itself, it comes as it needs to. When you have the inspiration to do it.....home practice will happen. And like class practice, it takes diligence and hard work to keep motivated on the days where you don't feel so inspired. Kind of like a good relationship. It won't always feel easy but it will always be rewarding. It is always worth it. The time, the effort....it is an opportunity to grow.
December 20th- Have higher expectations of myself and not place so many on others. I have enough to work on in my own life, before I start working on the worlds problems. Not so say that I can't give to others.....but, as many have said before me.....start with yourself. When you are clearer, more honest, truer to your nature.....it can provide an opportunity, but not an expectation, of those around you to be the best that they can be.
January 11th, 2012- Clarity. How do you know you are clear, true, honest.....with yourself and others? That is a tough one. Some times you think you are being those things and something is veiling the truth. Taking a step back. Listening, more than talking. Having faith in instinct and myself. When I can take a moment to really calmly listen.....my truth becomes clear... my instincts become sharp and in focus. Logic plays a part, but ultimately inside my heart I know what I want and what I feel and what I need and I go for it....without apology. For me to operate from that place I need to be really grounded. For me, I find that through my practice and through being with people I love and trust.
January 21st- Setting goals. It is amazing to me how much I can accomplish when I set my mind to it. Let myself be taken by inspiration. So, I starting singing again. Inspired by the Whaling Jenny's and their beautiful harmonies and music. I love singing. I have missed it. Heading out on a snow filled hike with Lucky.....singing with my ipod at the top of my lungs.
January 27th- Ok, goals are good. There is a balance though. For me to be present and not just looking ahead, I need to allow myself to be spontaneous and just go with what a given moment is presenting. Check in with fear...make sure I am not operating from that.....and then trust and see what happens.
March 6th- I can not believe how fast time is moving right now. Some days and periods of life just feel that way I suppose. Evaluating where my body is in my practice right now. What feels good and healthy and what still needs some attention, especially thinking of my activities ahead....the river....rowing....sleeping on paco pads? I love that when I go to class I am asked to do things that aren't easy for my body. Reminds me of why I like going to class and not just doing a home practice where some parts of my body might not get the attention they need simply because I may not choose (consciously or subconsciously) to do movements that hurt. That pain is information. It tells me what is going on and informs me of what I need to do.
March 14th- Teaching at the Yoga Experience was all I imagined it would be and more. I learned so much. Just as yoga practice takes "practice" so will teaching a new style. Each class that I led was so different. The patience and openness of the students was incredibly energizing and filled my heart, truly. I have and will continue to love practicing in this kula. I look forward to continue teaching amongst this diverse and passionate collage of instructors. Lots of gratitude for so many things in my life right now.
May 19th- Wow. It has been a while since I checked in here. Many moons. Many moments have come and gone. The universe has influenced me in pretty profound ways the past few months. Going with the flow doesn't even really capture it. I have learned to trust my instincts and follow my heart without so much questioning. I hear in my words and feel in my head a pulsing....thoughts jumping and ideas brewing. Stay the course. Believe in the path that I am drawn to. More and more it seems to be centered around making choices that have to do with people. Spending time with the people I care about. Making that a priority. That is so important to me. When I do this....other things and ideas and goals find clarity....just when I least expect it. Ultimately, I think it is about being present. Being with people and in places that I enjoy.
June 24th- Doing a Teacher Training with Noah Maze here in Flagstaff at the Yoga Experience this week. Today was day 6 of 7. What an inspiring teacher and yogi. I think I connect most to the fact that yoga is not just something he does but a way he lives and thinks. He has struggles, questions, moments of doubt and fear and he is willing to share that and embrace it! That is the way I think of yoga. It is not just being on the mat, but continually asking the question: How does what I do on the mat translate to make profound and small changes in the rest of my life? As a teacher, I believe part of what I can do is help relate the experiences we have in a yoga room to what happens outside those rooms. I love that part of teaching. Actually, I love all aspects of teaching. I guess that is why I keep doing it. It keeps calling to me....in different forms, with different styles, even in different environments. What is your calling. Your Dharma? What you believe marries your passions and your gifts? Mine has changed so much - shifted over the years. I imagine it will continue to do so.....evolving, transforming.....ever fluid and dynamic.....like a river.
August 24th- The ups and downs. Enjoying the feeling of the roller coaster, not resisting it. Not thinking in terms of highs and lows just a feeling of exhilaration and freedom. There is so much unknown. So much out there that is possible. Sometime it is crystal clear to me that I am exactly where I should be doing what I should be doing, and sometimes I feel literally lost and floating. Learning to enjoy the floating. Remembering when I went skydiving and was free falling for a few miles. I loved it! Completely out of control, completely free, completely happy. Learning these days what non-attachment to outcome really means and how it serves me. Feeling more myself than I have in a while. My true self. My best self...with all the imperfections and craziness that is me. Embracing that.
October 4th- The changing of the seasons. I always welcome it. I love the possibilities that change presents. Believing in who you are, your integrity. To speak the truth. To live life passionately and fully. I can't wait to take on my life in Flagstaff....teaching yoga, organizing weddings, working in Physical Therapy offices, playing in the mountains in and around Flagstaff. The movement from one season to another is an opportunity to shift life to be what you want it to be.....no holding back.....no fear. I have to say, 'I am pretty excited about what lies ahead!'
November 9th- Embodying fully what you are doing, what you are saying. Sometimes that is hard. Sometimes that is downright painful. The quote that is coming to my mind is that one about- dance like no one is watching, love like you have never been hurt......Live with abandon. Not lack of awareness or thought. Approaching postures and life with that attitude. Try side crane as if I have never fallen out. Do hanumanasana envisioning myself in a full split. Try on the mat and in each moment of life to embody things fully.....from every cell in my being. Not from a place of fear or just to the level that I am sort of there....but be there. Fully. Wholely. I believe the Anusara term would be "shine out!". Once you have set the foundation (of your posture or your intention or your life on the whole)- opened to grace/possibility, engaged the muscles and made the effort to do what you need to do......SHINE OUT. Be in the moment fully, with a open heart, and the strength of mind, body, and spirit that is completely you.
January 20th, 2013- Welcome to the new year!! Embracing this turning over of the calendar. Happened to visit some Mayan ruins in the beginning of this new year...ironic to be there and hear of the history of the Mayan Calendar and how the modern day Mayan's see the new era we have begun.
From all that has already happened in these last 20 days....being grateful for what I have and more importantly who I have in my life. So much is just unknown and out of our control. To focus on what I can affect....telling people I love them and appreciate them. Doing my best in whatever I am doing and giving myself the space to not be perfect. So much is swirling in my head and it is hard to put it all into words. If these last few weeks are any indicator of the year ahead....it is going to be beautiful, exciting, intense, and unpredictable.
Yoga and teaching--I have decided this is the year of the hips, literally and symbolically. My hips are an area I have often dismissed as tight and inflexible. I am changing how I look at them. It will take tremendous effort and some pain, but I know that if I keep avoiding what I know to be true it will always stay the same. I want to change my truth. One pose, one breath at a time.
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