The Pauli exclusion principle is the principle in physics that states no two identical fermions may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. Or as Lauryn Hill so peotically put it, “Two MCs can’t occupy the same space at the same time.” I often think of this principle (and of this Fugee song) when practicing. I’ll admit without reservation that I often apply the laws...
Thursday, April 25th, 6:10 AM
It’s 6:10 on a Thursday morning. The streets of the city in the EV are empty. I wait for the green light, and a black SUV pulls up beside me and rolls down the windows. I don’t turn to look. The light turns and I begin to cross the street; the black SUV honks. I don’t look back. The diesel truck I pass revs its engine as I walk by, the driver says something obscene. I try to...
So long as you are having fun
On March 7, 2012 I taught my first yoga class. There were 27 people in the room including fellow classmates, my best friends, and well known faces around the studio who came out to support the girl at the Front Desk. I was a nervous wreck. I felt like my heart was going to explode out of every and any orifice at any moment. I walked around the room reciting my cues I had studied so diligently, and...
I want sun. Shorts. Swimsuits. Un-abandoned nudity. I want ice cold water to be enjoyable. Cute flats. To see my dark olive complexion in the mirror. I want to run in a fire hydrant in my bare feet on a hot summer night, the kind you can smell in the air in the city. I want ice cubes on my legs at a table at brunch, mid-day. The joy of a cool breeze. I want grass between my toes. Tan lines on my...
I spent many days this year lost in thought, full of anger, that I did not have a Guru, some wise teacher to turn to in times of trial and doubt. I would ask myself repeatedly if I would ever find one; wonder whether one existed. But reflection has show me that this year has been my greatest teacher. Every experience has been a Guru. I would be a fool to think that any moment I lived was not a...
Oldsmobile with garbage bag taped rear window. Rusted doors and hood, you remind me of where I once was. Eyes swell as distant memories of a past way of life come up like something forgotten below the surface. Your pull up push down door locks. Your cracked door handle and leather seats. That musty smell of the foam crumbling out the tears in the cushion. Your trunk full of greasy towels. Squeaky...
Good teaching isn’t about technique. I’ve asked students around the...– From “What makes a good teacher?”
Patience, gratefulness, and not smashing things
I hurt my shoulder yesterday and I’m angry. Just, simply, angry. I want to punch things, throw things at the wall, scream at the top of my lungs, fill myself with bad food, sit on the couch and watch horrible day time TV and sulk around thinking to myself “You suck. You suck. You suck. You suck. YOU SUCK.” I could very easily do all of these things. I’ve spent the last...
When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust,...– When I Am Among the Trees - Mary Oliver Remembering mornings with Shosha and Io in LA. Miss you ladies immensely.
Little Girls Dream Big
When I was a little girl we’d take day trips into the city. We’d wake up early, bundled in coats piling into the car. It was the only time the cold didn’t bother me, because I knew in a few hours I’d be in my favorite place in the world. Walking through central park, visiting museums, sitting on park benches waiting patiently to get that first taste of a NY dog dripping...
Teaching yoga is the most difficult job in the world. You are completely...– Domenic Savino, Yoga Vida 200 Hour TT, Fall 2011
Just a thought...
Last night I subbed a class for a dear friend who had caught a nasty stomach virus. I arrived about 20 minutes before class began, and the 25 people pre-registered for class quickly turned into 70 people in the room. Sold out room = get close to your neighbor. A sea of New Yorkers sat before me ready to move. As I gazed out over their faces, I remembered sitting on their side of that same room...
Do the things that scare you the most. Get to know yourself before you get to know others. Follow your heart and your gut, tell your brain to shove it. Laugh often. Love unconditionally and without expectation. Fail as much as you can. Stop, and breath. Keep moving. Be feisty. Be humble. Surrender. Just be.
@monicavanleer: By June 2013 @monicavanleer: http://youtu.be/_f_lzj4Gy6w @cyclingyogi: I’ve got some reservations with the concept of goals @monicavanleer: hahaha @monicavanleer: goals are just a broad horizon in the distance @cyclingyogi: As long as you don’t think that not reaching them is a failure, they are great @monicavanleer: you can’t ever “get there” you just...
Show me a person who says out loud “I love myself” and I will show you a person who finds flaws in others. Show me a person who admits their vulnerability but doesn’t flaunt it, and I’ll show you someone who teaches others what it truly means to love themselves.
Analyze your dislikes
There is a student I see every Tuesday night at the studio. Last night, after he got out of class, I asked him how it was. “It was FANTASTIC.’ he exclaimed. ‘Every time I come to yoga, my mind is blown. I feel like it keeps changing how I see the world. But then I have to go ride a shitty train home packed with people and I feel like everything I learn just melts away, and then...
I’ve seen it with my own eyes How we’re gettin’ otherwise Without the luxury...– Going On - Gnarls Barkley What is it about letting go that is so difficult? I’ve seen what happens when you do let go, when you stop over analyzing every little bitty thing and just live as opposed to thinking about living or planning how you will live. But it is still scary to dive into an...
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.– Thoreau (via nevver)
The reality of the situation is that beneath this god awful uncomfortable sports...– From my latest entry on Recovering Yogi http://recoveringyogi.com/one-of-those-days/
Tapas for the New Yorker
Tapas is a Sanskrit work for “heat”, and it refers to the heat we build in our bodies through our practice. It also refers to the self discipline that is fueled by our desire and our passion to practice. As New Yorkers, we are great at this. We are FULL of passion and full of purpose. Every time we leave the house we have somewhere to go and something to do. As we build self...
…”My God-Life!” Who can understand even one little minute of it?” “Don’t try,” he said. “Just pretend you understand.” “That’s-very good advice,” I went limp. Castle quoted another poem: Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, “Why, why, why?” Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land; Man...
What will you give?
Today, as I unpacked my laundry during lunch, it hit me - I’ve become a yoga teacher. A seemingly simple thought at first cascaded into thousands more to culminate a pin board story of memories that got me to this moment. All so oddly related, so perfectly aligned, leading me to where I am today. It’s not something you can easily wrap your head around, or that you can easily explain...
hey amber rae: What we resist, persists →
Some amazing advice from the ever talented and insightful Amber Rae heyamberrae: Annoyed. Frustrated. Stuck. It’s 9:24 p.m. on Monday and I’m trying to figure out what the hell to write about for tomorrow. I have three half-written posts about three topics that other people encouraged me to write about: passion and suffering, taking bold leaps, and how people are…
Starving for life
The fun thing about life is that you get to do what you want with it. If you are quiet enough, and you listen, you realize that everything is possible. The trick is that you have to desire from your heart. There needs to be a hunger, one that drives you because of a starvation in your soul. A starvation that’s never quenched because your actions are continually contributing so that there is...
Haters gonna hate, Yogis gonna swag
My friend and I have decided that this week we’re going into a hardcore conscious practice of Sutra 2.33, the old thought switcheroo. This is harder than you might imagine. I live in NYC, and at any moment of the day a million people have the opportunity to piss me off. Commuters in the subway refusing to move to the middle of the subway car, tourists who find every opportunity to stand in...
Don't be an asshole
“Monica, I need your advice on something. I know you’ll have the answer to it.” I hear this a lot, maybe it’s because of my name, maybe it’s because I’m really methodical in my thought; whatever the reason, I’ve always been the one people ask advice of. This time it was being asked of a teacher at my yoga studio. The details of the question don’t...
hey amber rae: Cut the Bullshit: Radical honesty,... →
heyamberrae: Imagine if we lived radically honest and naked lives. We told the truth, all the time. We stopped dancing on eggshells. We eliminated secrets. We cut out the filters between our brains and our mouths. Instead of a passive “no worries,” we tell our friend he pissed us off. We stop saying…
Achey yoga hips [mumble mumble mumble grrr]
During meditation, try not to think at all. If you think about God then you are...– Sri ShivaRudraBalaYogi (via lazyyogi)
If I only had a (blank)
In ancient Indian folklore there is a story of a Monkey God named Hanuman. He is a supreme God, capable of amazing and wonderful things. As a child however he is mischievous, as children often are. He angers the sages in his village and they place a mild curse on him by which he becomes unable to remember his own ability unless reminded by another person. Because of this, every time Hanuman...
Look at your thumb. No really - take a good look at it - at its shape, its length, and the hangnails you keep picking at. Take note of the wrinkles in the knuckle, the swirls in your fingerprint. Notice its range of motion and how unique it is from the rest of your body. This thumb makes you. It differentiates you from every other species and life form on this planet. It is the reason we have...
How are you?” is not a simple question at yoga. No one at yoga is ever...– Why Yoga Can Be So Irritating (Although You Should Go Anyway!) by Sarah Miller | The Awl http://bit.ly/Agoqap
They are besties
Jena: Monica, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. You know who told me that? Eleanor.
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.– Lao Tzu (via 122782)
march312012 asked: I'm interested in yoga teacher training this summer or possibly fall. I was just wondering how you feel after completing Yoga Vida's training. I practice there frequently, and I've considered their program. Do you feel prepared to teach a class? Are you continuing on to 500 hour? Any information you can give me would be amazing! Thanks - Lauren
Once upon a time
Once upon a time in March of 2010, my best friend was walking through Union Square. She passed a sign: “Yoga Vida NYC $10 for one week of Unlimited Yoga”. She called me to tell me about this new studio that had magically popped up seemingly out of thin air and the next day we were on the mat practicing. After Shavasana we faced each other and shared in a moment: “This is the...
…why do I spend a good deal of my morning attempting to turn my body into...– Sting, in his foreword for Yoga Beyond Belief by Ganga White
Fear is a Yogi's biggest enemy
I have to surrender to life and love like I surrender to this city. Each day I take the subway. I surrender to the crowds, to the stairs, to the turnstyle. I barely hold on to the railing when I ride. I grab on when I need to, otherwise I sway with the cars. If I can surrender to this city, why can’t I surrender my happiness? I trust this city will always support me. It has never left me...
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are...– Marrian Williamson, “A Return To Love”. My teacher read this to us yesterday after we completed our training. Not a dry eye in the room.