Rox Does Yoga

Musings on Everything Yoga

Yoga Teaching Updates: Mother’s Day Class, Last Class at Wellness on Park May 4, 2014

Filed under: yoga,checking in — R. H. Ward @ 12:21 pm
Tags: ,

I have two yoga teaching updates today!

First, I’ll be teaching a special Mother’s Day yoga class at Wellness on Park on Tuesday May 13 at 7:30pm, full of fun partner poses and a music playlist powered with feminine energy! Moms, grandmas, and anybody who loves one are welcome (participants should be age 12 and up). Best of all, all moms pay only $5!

Secondly, I will be leaving Wellness on Park in order to spend more time with family and on my own yoga practice. My last class will be Tuesday May 20 at 7:30pm. I hope you’ll come out to make it a good one!

When I come back to teaching yoga sometime in the future, I’ll be sure to make an announcement here. Until then, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next yoga adventure will be.

 

My Year in Blogging: 2012 and 2013 January 9, 2014

Filed under: Miscellaneous,yoga — R. H. Ward @ 12:58 pm
Tags:

Each year, WordPress sends me a report of my year in blogging. Last year, I meant to post about it but just basically filed it and left it alone, so I thought this year it would be fun to do a bit of a comparison. Here are the links to the full reports: 2012 and 2013.

My blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2013, as compared to 18,000 times in 2012. That’s despite the fact that I added fewer posts in 2012 – I posted 76 times in 2012 versus 90 times in 2013. (I feel like I posted less and less often in 2013, but I’m guessing the volume difference came from the extended blog break I took after having YB in July 2012.) All of the most popular posts were from 2011 and 2012, too – none of the most popular posts were from 2013.

In both 2012 and 2013, the most popular posts were all “pose of the month” posts or sequences of yoga poses (a gentle prenatal sequence I did in 2012 ranked for both years). I think I was doing a lot less actual yoga posting in 2013; I feel like I posted more about spirituality, goals and resolutions, and about my family life in 2013. Those sorts of posts are less likely to get hits from internet searches, and are less likely to be read more than once or referenced regularly. That probably explains the decrease in blog views, since I was producing less of the hard yoga content?

My posts on Thread-The-Needle, Gorilla Pose, and Malasana (Squat) were among the top five posts for both 2012 and 2013. For each of these poses, I seem to remember the posts being difficult to find sources for, so it could be that these are topics not covered as well by the general internets. I’m glad that people are continuing to find my write-ups of these asanas helpful.

People who found my blog by searching online often used these search terms: yoga humor, prenatal yoga sequence, what to say during savasana, thread the needle yoga pose, and upavesasana. (And if you google upavesasana – a less common name for malasana – my post is the second link!)

In the new year, I’d like to come back to the pose-of-the-month concept (although it may be more like “the pose of the semester” or “the quarterly pose” or even just a “Pose Breakdown” – happy to take suggestions on a more accurate name for this!). I enjoyed doing those, and it seems like they’re useful to people. I hope too that at least a few of the people who found me by looking for a specific pose found something else here that they liked as well.

 

Yoga Goals for 2014 December 31, 2013

Filed under: checking in,yoga — R. H. Ward @ 10:38 am
Tags: , ,

Happy New Year! It’s the time of year when we set new goals and make new resolutions, which, if you’re a regular reader, you know is a favorite topic of mine. Right now I’m so busy between work and toddler-chasing that I don’t think I can set any strenuous goals. However, I do need to follow up on my yoga goals and make some plans, since I have some requirements to meet in order to keep my Yoga Alliance registration current.

First, I need to log ten contact hours of training, in a room with a qualified instructor, before December 2014. Back in August I started thinking about this, but unfortunately the workshops Amy had planned to teach for the fall didn’t pan out, so there went a big chunk of the training hours I’d planned on. I’ll need to do some serious investigating, and soon, to get this done by the end of the year. Amy is still hoping to teach the winter workshop series, so I’ll sign up for that if she gets enough students. I’m also going to look into workshops at Maha Yoga downtown (why did I not know about this place? 17th and Sansom isn’t too far to go for a class on my lunch break, and it looks like they have a variety of workshops for continuing ed!), at Dhyana Yoga downtown, and at Artisan Yoga in Wayne, PA (not too far from me, and I like the idea of the “yoga lab” and dissecting a pose – although I know I can’t do the flying split which is the next one they have scheduled, I want to keep an eye on them and see what they offer next time!). I found these options in less than 15 minutes of searching – Maha was actually the first thing that popped up when I searched “yoga workshop near philadelphia” – so there has to be more out there!

One other idea I’d had (which I think I got from Darshana Communications, actually) was to do a CPR training at a local hospital – they run those sorts of trainings often, and while I hope I would never have to use it, it would definitely be a good tool to have under my belt. I need to check and find out for sure if CPR training would count for my training hours (I would think it would, possibly under the “Techniques Training and Practice” or “Anatomy and Physiology” categories). I want to look into meditation classes, too, but I feel like it wouldn’t be right to take meditation classes now when I have so little time for practice at home. On the other hand, maybe taking a class would be a good idea to get me back into actually doing it? We’ll see.

I also have to log 45 teaching hours before December 2014 – the good news is that I’m at 39 hours now, so I just have to teach six more classes in 2014 to make that goal. That shouldn’t be much of a problem, although I do want to get more students into my class at Wellness on Park.

The other change I want to make this year is with regard to my blogging schedule. I love writing here, and the opportunity it affords me to look at yoga and other topics from a new perspective, but with my work schedule and the baby I have to recognize that I just haven’t been posting as often as I used to. I haven’t kept a Tuesday-Thursday schedule in a while. Instead of beating myself up about that, I’m going to acknowledge the limitations I’m currently working with and change my goal. I’m going to aim to post weekly, but will only hold myself to posting twice a month. If I can do better than twice a month, I will, but I think two solid, thoughtful posts in a month should be doable.

Here’s to accomplishing some yoga goals in 2014!

 

Travel and Such, and a New Class! September 26, 2013

Filed under: checking in — R. H. Ward @ 1:57 pm
Tags: ,

The past week has been very, very busy: I had a business trip to Baltimore and then on to Washington, DC for a conference, and after DC, F picked me up at the train station and we headed directly to Cape May for a long weekend at the beach! I had every intention of blogging while I was away, at least while I was on the business trip and had my laptop with me anyway, but it just didn’t happen. A lot of things didn’t happen while I was traveling, which may well be the subject of another post.

But I do want to take a minute and announce that I will be teaching a new yoga class starting October 1! I’ll be at Wellness on Park (100 Park Ave, Suite 1, Swarthmore, PA) teaching all-levels vinyasa, 7:30-8:45 on Tuesday evenings. I’ve added the new class to my schedule page, too. I’m really excited about this opportunity to get into a regular teaching groove! If you’re in the area, come on out and save $5 off the first class!

 

Yoga Plans August 8, 2013

The other day it struck me that I completed my yoga teacher training over a year and a half ago. I’ve been a registered yoga teacher since December 2011! What hit me, though, is a practical concern: yoga teachers have to fulfill certain requirements for teaching and continuing education every three years to keep our registration current with Yoga Alliance. That means I have a year and a half left to meet my requirements to stay registered – that seems like a long time, but with a full-time job and a little one at home, I need to start planning now if I’m going to get there.

The good news is that I have some of the work done already. Specifically, I have to teach 45 hours of classes: I’ve been keeping track and I’m more than halfway there (which is really reassuring, considering I took a huge break from teaching when I had YogaBaby). Clearly, though, I need to get back into a teaching groove somewhere in order to make the remaining hours.

I’m also required to complete 30 hours of continuing education: at least 10 “contact” hours, in a room with an actual instructor, and up to 20 “non-contact” hours, which can be met in a variety of ways like reading books, writing articles, or attending webinars. The good news here is that I’ve got a decent number of non-contact hours already, just from my reading and work on the blog. The bad news is that I have no contact hours yet, so that’s 10 hours of classes I need to find somewhere with an actual instructor. Luckily I really like taking classes.

If I’m going to make all this happen, I’ll need to get my own practice in good shape first. I’ve been pretty solid with staying on top of my daily 15-minute practice, but I feel like I’m losing momentum – doing the same poses every day, not feeling excited about yoga but just checking it off my To Do list. One thing I plan to do to fix this situation is to write some new short sequences that can be done in a 15-minute period. These will be themed (like “Balance”, “Energy Burst”, or “Gentle Wake Up”) and will use different poses so I won’t get into such a rut. I’ll put them all on a card that I’ll keep in my yoga space, so that when I’m sleepy at 5:45 in the morning I can easily hook into a set sequencing, won’t waste time trying to think of what poses to do next, and won’t just go back to the same poses over and over. And, of course, I’ll post each sequence here for you!

I’m really excited about this new project. It makes sense that, if I’d plan in advance for a yoga class to teach, I should also plan in advance when I’m only teaching myself! And writing the sequences is an interesting challenge because I don’t usually think about my yoga practice in such a focused way – it’s fun to brainstorm poses good for specific purposes and then figure out how to make them flow together.

So (if we’re thinking in terms of goals, resolutions, and habits), my overall goal is to maintain myself as a registered yoga teacher. My next major milestone date for this goal is December 10, 2014. That’s the three-year anniversary of my YTT graduation (Yoga Alliance counts by my anniversary date for registering with them, so if I count by my graduation date that will give me a little extra time to get everything into their system). In order to achieve this goal, I’m following my resolutions to cultivate a daily yoga practice, to continue to grow my practice by educating myself, and to explore teaching opportunities. Here’s what I’ve done lately to further those resolutions, and here are my specific plans for forward movement:

  • I’ll write ten short 15-minute asana sequences that I can use to keep my personal practice active and varied. I’m planning to have a few little rules for myself with how I use these sequences (for example, I’m thinking I won’t be allowed to do Gentle Wake Up more than once a week and will require myself to do Energy Burst at least once a week and Strength at least once every other week), but I’m going to see where the actual sequences lead me after they’re all written.
  • To keep myself accountable, I’ll post each sequence here on the blog, starting on Monday August 12. I’ll post ‘em daily, Monday-Friday, for two weeks. This will interrupt the usual Tuesday-Thursday flow of the blog, but I’d rather post each sequence and have them all done than let it trail on. I want to have ten sequences written to choose from for my practice, and I don’t want any excuses for procrastinating on writing them!
  • I’ll be going to the Philly Wanderlust Festival on Saturday September 7 with the lovely Sarah Trout. This will be a great way to connect with the yoga community here in Philadelphia, meet some local teachers, and get my yoga groove going. Maybe we’ll see you there!
  • I’ve sent out email queries to a few local studios that offer continuing education workshops. So far, I’ve decided that I’ll be taking at least one workshop on hands-on adjustments with Amy at Yoga with Spirit, and I’m hoping to take the three-workshop series that she’ll be offering this fall. She’s also considering offering some anatomy workshops in the winter too; winter is not my best time of year, so I’ve put this on the calendar already in hopes that it’ll give me something to look forward to!
  • I’m also going to look into some meditation classes, since that would count for continuing education contact hours as well. I may explore options to travel for a long weekend next summer (maybe at Kripalu or the Himalayan Institute?). That’s pretty far off, but we’ll see what develops!
    • In terms of continuing ed and contact hours, I’m most interested in classes that will help me step up my teaching – learning more about anatomy and hands-on adjustments, for example, which is why Amy’s workshops sound so perfect for me. I’d love to do a real prenatal training, if the right one came my way, but that may be a project to postpone for a few years. Chair yoga and yoga for older people are topics I’d like to explore, but that may need to wait until I can bring more anatomy knowledge to the table.
  • I’ve ordered some new books and I plan to look into webinars offered by Yoga Alliance and other organizations.
  • Finally, I’m going to get serious about finding teaching opportunities. Short-term, I’m going to try to get back on the sub list at Awaken and EEY (where I think I am still on the sub list, actually, but they just don’t need subs very often!). Long-term, after Wanderlust, I’m going to explore options for classes that I can attend downtown on my lunch break or right after work, and I’ll go from there in looking for a an opportunity for a regular class to teach.

In summary: Plans! I have them!

 

Guest Post at 5 Cities 6 Women May 13, 2013

I’m happy to announce that I have a guest post up this week at one of my favorite blogs, 5 Cities 6 Women!

My post is about breastfeeding, pumping, and mom-life balance. It was fun to write a blog post and not feel like I somehow had to bring it around and relate it back to yoga and wellness. I hope you’ll go check it out, and while you’re there, take a look at what Katie and the other ladies are up to. There’s always something interesting happening at 5 Cities 6 Women.

 

Wellness and Work March 26, 2013

Filed under: reflections,wellness,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 12:16 pm
Tags: ,

Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults, by Carol MillerIn my new job, I have the opportunity to think about wellness surprisingly often: I was assigned as editor of the book Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults. It its current edition this book features a photo of a beautiful, relaxed, peaceful older woman doing a yoga pose (the entire editorial team agrees: we wish we knew this lady!). Just imagine how delighted I was to be assigned this book project the week I started my new job. Wellness for older adults is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a yoga teacher in the first place. Working on this book seemed like a cosmic sign that I’d made the right decision in leaving my old job, where my books were typically about surgically managing disease, but rarely about healing more than the physical. This is one reason why I think I’m much happier working on books for nurses rather than books for doctors or surgeons – although both groups work in the medical field, the nature of the work they do is fundamentally different, and the work of the nurse feels closer to my own calling as a yoga teacher and a karma yogini than that of the doctor.

Recently I’ve been pondering what the focus of this blog should be. I started the blog to write about my yoga teacher training experience; without that as an organizing principle, I’ve just been following the lead of the blog title, “Rox Does Yoga”, and writing about things that are related to yoga in some way, even if the relationship is only in my mind: sometimes yoga postures or breathing, sometimes meditation or spirituality, but often things like physical fitness, exercise, happiness, goals and resolutions, motherhood and parenting, vegetarianism, and even fantasy and science fiction every once in a while. But “Rox Does a Lot of Stuff That’s Sort of Tangentially Related to Yoga” just isn’t very catchy. I’d been fiddling with the wording on my About Me page for a while when it finally struck me: “wellness” is a perfect term to describe what I do here. Physically, wellness incorporates yoga, physical fitness, and other health-related topics, but it can also include spirituality, parenting and relationships, and my interest in happiness and, more recently, resolutions, because all of these things contribute to a person’s overall wellness. It took my work at my day job to bring this perfect word to mind. Hooray for cultivating wellness!

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 191 other followers