December 27, 2011

Yoga Classbook Project & a Yogini Friend

I'm back!

After quite the airport journey (I'll spare you the story and just tell you the ending), Bo and I are back home in Corpus Christi.  As always, it was a little sad to leave my family in Alabama behind, but I will say that having the blog makes the "goodbyes" a little bit easier.  One of the things that I love most about my blog is the feeling of connectedness I get from writing each post.  Even though all of my blood relatives - and many of my closest friends - are states away, writing each blog post makes me feel like I am talking/sharing/communicating with each one of you. 

I know you are probably wondering about my Christmas vacation (i.e. How many parties did I go to?  What did I cook?  What presents did I give and receive?, etc.), but all those questions will just have to wait because this post is about this:

And how I turned it into that:

So what is that exactly?  Well, let's just say that I intended on sharing this post with you BEFORE my Christmas holiday, but I didn't get around to it before it was time to pack up my suitcase and hit the airport!

That is the "before" and "after" of my Yoga Classbook Project.

What, you might ask, is my Yoga Classbook Project?  Well, let me explain.  It all started with this...

...a dining room table full of yoga asana sequences. 

I don't always follow these sequences exactly when I teach, but they do serve as a guideline and for my instruction.  Needless to say, my notes runneth over!  These notes were disorganized, in all shapes and sizes, and were quickly getting bent, torn, crinkled, and stained with use.  So, I decided to do something about it by organizing my notes by class type, shielding them in page protectors, and placing them in a three-ring binder.

Step #1:  Organize into seven minor class categories (Family Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Chair Yoga, Hard Body Yoga, Invigorating Yoga, Calming Yoga, and Dude Yoga).

Note: I do not teach seven styles of yoga.  I teach one style of yoga: Integral Yoga Hatha.  These categories merely represent the focus of the class, which is always taught in the Integral Yoga tradition using the designated poses, and their variations and modifications, for Hatha I.

Step #2: Combine the seven minor class categories into five major class categories (Family Yoga, Chair Yoga, Hard Body Yoga, Invigorating Yoga, and Calming Yoga).

Step #3: Place each yoga class into a sheet protector (I placed two per sheet protector, front to back).

Step #4: Label five tab dividers according to the five major class categories.

Step #5:  Place tab dividers, and their corresponding class page protectors, into a three-ring binder.

The final product is well-organized, easy-to-use, and light-weight.  I can't wait to carry my classbook to the studio this week :)

The weekend before Bo and I left for our Christmas vacation, I visited a good, yogini friend in Houston.  Fransisca lives in Santiago, Chile and we originally met at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville during the 200 hr. teacher certification program.

May 2011

Since we live nearly half a world away from each other, I wasn't sure when we would actually be able to see one another again.  We have always kept in touch via email and Facebook, and we have discussed the possibility of Bo and I coming to visit her in Chile, but the reality of a face-to-face visit seemed to be a minimum of a year away.  Well, God had other plans!  What a gift to be able to see Fran so soon...and to meet her family as well!

Fransisca and her mother, father, and brother were visiting Houston for a few days before heading over to Miami for the holidays.  Since Corpus is only a 3-4 hour drive away, we thought it was the perfect opportunity for visit!

Fransisca and I were instant friends.  Some people might say that it was the fact that we both speak Spanish, or that we love yoga, or that we have both endured (and overcome (!)) medical hardships, but the truth is I just think we have similar hearts.  Fransisca and I just "click," and our friendship, although relatively young, is deep and genuine.

One of the highlights of our reunion was visiting a local furniture/art gallery.  One of Fran's family friends is an artist who's paintings were being shown there.  The furniture was exquisite, and "if I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum" (yes, that was a play on the lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof), I would outfit my entire home in its confections.

One of Carmen's creations.

Fran and I in front of one of Carmen's beauties.

We also shopped, ate, and just visited during our time together in Houston.  Although I had only visited Houston once previously (and had not been impressed), I enjoyed my time in the city's downtown near the Galleria.  There were a plethora of restaurants, stores, malls, and hotels within walking distance.  All in all, we made good use of our convenient location and explored some variation of each of the aforementioned locations.  At one particular stopping point, I caught a cute shot of Fran assisting her father! :)

Meanwhile, Fran's mother and family friend, Carmen (the wonderful artist mentioned above), decided to rest their weary feet!

In the end, although we only had two days together, Fran and I rekindled our special friendship.  I LOVED speaking Spanish non-stop for two days (just ask Bo, he could hardly make me speak English for a day or so after I returned!), but the true highlight of my trip was just being able to hug my sweet-hearted friend.

I will close this post with an unique side note:

While we were at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, both Fransisca and I received spiritual names.  Fran was given the name Santoshi which, in Sanskrit, means contentment.  From what I know of Fran, through all of life's trials and tribulations, she is the most beautiful embodiment of contentment I have ever. seen.

Next up:  The green bean recipe I cooked for a family Christmas party (trust me, it was a HUGE success)!

Question of the Day:

Have you done a craft project recently?  If so, what was it; and was it a success?! 


Do you have a friendship that, although relatively new, is deeply meaningful?

Ally and Bo
Reader, whoever you are, I am thankful for you and I am so happy to consider you a part of the ABC blog community!

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