Monday, December 31, 2012

For Auld Lang Syne

On the eve of the new year, I always feel a mite of contemplation is in order. I see that many of my friends and acquaintances are very pleased to have 2012 over and done!  I am glad we're embracing the new and looking forward to bigger and better things, but at the same time, I don't want to send the old year away as if it were a dirty, regrettable thing.

We have faced our share of difficulties and losses.  We all have.  For myself, I lost several friends.  When I say "lost" I don't mean their friendship.  I believe the friendship endures after the person has left this earth.  I mean that they are no longer with us in this physical world.  These were all young people, too.  In the prime of their lives.  Lost to disease and unforeseen misfortune.  Too many, it seems.  It's hard to swallow.  On top of that, my mother has had a long and difficult fight with cancer this year.  There have been times that her well-being was the only thing in my thoughts.  People I care about probably felt neglected because I only had room for so many things in my head.  I changed my priorities a few times to make sure Mom stayed at the top.  There are times when that needs to be done.

But this whole year wasn't a blight for me, and I do not wish to release it feeling that it was only a year of facing death and illness.  This was also the year that I freed myself in many ways.  I spent probably the past 6 or 7 years in a frantic search to find myself, always feeling out of focus and slightly off course.  Well, things finally came into focus for me, and more importantly, I embraced my discovery.  I also paid off some debts, built my businesses, and gained some amazing new friends and clients this year.  My mother is winning her battle, when many doctors didn't think she would.  So there is too much to be grateful for to throw this year away like an old band-aid.

I prefer to remove it gently, moving beyond those painful things, but being joyful, and thankful for the blessings as well.  Yes, I am looking forward to 2013.  Yes, I expect it to be bigger, better, and greater in many ways than 2012.  It feels good to open up to something new.  New beginnings are always exciting.  For all of you, my friends, I wish you joy, love, and prosperity in the coming year.  When I say that, I don't just mean a bunch of words that sound good.  I mean that I wish you an abundance of meaningful friendships as well as time to pursue them.  I wish for you love that is heartfelt and always returned.  I wish for you more than enough resources to fulfill not only your needs, but also your dreams.  I wish you laughter, warmth, and success in all its many forms. I wish for you the wisdom to accept and recognize them, even if they come in surprising ways.

I raise my glass tonight to those who are no longer with us.  I love you. I miss you.  And also for those who are still here.  We have a great, wonderful, and joyous work that lies ahead, each of us, in our own way.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Little Courtesy Goes a Long Way

Let’s have a little talk about Yoga class etiquette.  I think these basic guidelines can be applied to any group fitness or wellness class, but are especially true for body, mind, spirit classes like Yoga and Pilates.  I suspect that as you look over the list, many of you will think these rules fall into the category of “common courtesy” or “common sense,” but as someone who has been a fitness professional for almost 15 years, I’m sad to say, that’s too often not the case.  Sometimes other people’s bad habits or thoughtless behavior give the impression that it’s OK to do things that really are unacceptable.  These behaviors come off as rude to the other people in the class and to your instructor. Often people do them thoughtlessly, not remotely meaning to offend or anger others, but that’s still not a good reason to do them.  Just in case you’ve ever wondered what is OK and what is not, or how should you conduct yourself in public classes, I’ll be happy to clear that up for you.  I think in some cases it’s nice to see it written out and confirmed, if only for your peace of mind.  Your mother probably told you some of these things a long time ago.  Turns out, they still apply.

Rule #1: Wear appropriate clothing!
Please make sure to wear properly fitted under garments with appropriate over garments so as not to expose yourself accidentally to a room full of strangers.  If you are the sort of person who prefers to go commando for whatever reason, might I suggest you choose your clothing wisely and make sure all your personal parts and pieces are tucked in and secured BEFORE class. Remember that you will be moving around and stretching into a variety of positions.  Consider what this will do with your loose fitting, un-tucked clothing.  Yes, I’m sure everything is properly in place when you’re standing upright in front of a mirror, but you won’t be in that position when you get to class.  Consider what will happen in Downward Facing Dog or Plow Position when you choose your clothes.  Ladies, a good sports bra will work with just about any top and, in many yoga and fitness classes, would be fine on its own so long as you stay in it.  If you really want to wear a skirt, wear tights under it.  Gentlemen, boxers are not always your friend in inverted postures.  Those very baggy, wide-legged basketball shorts are great when you’re standing upright, running around on a court.  Not so great when you’re on the floor doing crunches with legs lifted.  Just something to think about.
Also, if you’re taking Yoga classes outdoors or on the beach, please note that there is a difference between a “bathing suit” and a “swimming suit.”  One is intended for lounging and the other for athletic activity.  Choose thoughtfully.  You will not be in savasana for the entire class.  And for the record, if you are an exhibitionist kind of person, fitness classes are not a good place to indulge in that unless you are specifically enrolled in a Nude Yoga class (such classes do exist).  For the general public classes in gyms, yes, you can show a lot of skin, but you still need to maintain a little modesty.  In my experience, when a stray breast, buttocks, or testicle becomes exposed, the owner is often so mortified that he or she never returns to class again.  Don’t let that happen to you.  If you can’t twist, squat, forward bend, or jump up and down in it without flashing someone, please wear something else.

Rule #2: Take care of the equipment and clean up after yourself.
If you are using public gym equipment, please take care of it as a courtesy to the other people who also use the public equipment.  I think it is a good idea to clean any mat or block before class, but I absolutely require that you do afterwards.  You can’t always be sure that the person who used it before you was courteous enough to clean it for you, but you can absolutely be sure that you don’t leave it dirtier than when you found it.  This is your chance to put into use as an adult something you learned as a child called “sharing.”  You didn’t like it when your kid brother damaged your toys, right?  Well, when you treat public gym equipment poorly, you’re being the kid brother to everyone else who also pays for a gym membership and wants to use that equipment.  This includes Yoga and Pilates mats, blocks, straps, balance balls, and courtesy towels.  If you want to be a slob at home and destroy your own belongings, that’s fine with me, but when you come into a class, please remember that those items are shared. You are borrowing them for an hour. 

Yes, after class I always go around the room, pick up discarded towels, throw out empty water bottles and trash, and straighten the blocks and mats, but since I teach adult classes, I expect my students to take some responsibility for these things as well.  Let me help you look at the big picture.  Of course, part of this is the common courtesy of leaving the room ready for the next group of people who will be using it.  But let’s just imagine for a moment that a manager or the facility’s owner comes in after one of my classes.  The impression he or she is left with will directly impact how much budget is available for that class format in terms of future equipment and resources.  Classes who take care of the equipment and leave a room neat and clean tend to have the luxury of better, newer equipment provided for them.  Classes who trash the space tend to lose the option of gym provided class resources all together.

I’m actually a big believer in bringing your own equipment (mats, blocks, straps) just because then you will have just the right one for you and it will only need to be cleaned of your personal germs.  If you’re planning to stick with learning a class format, it is worth the investment.  But if you do decide to use public equipment, treat it with respect.  It will last longer, is nicer for the other people you share it with, and may result in better equipment for you in the future.

Rule #3: No talking in class!
I understand that for a lot of people gym time is their personal, social time.  However, time spent in classes is for the class not for chatting and catching up.  Chat on the treadmill or at the juice bar.  Once class starts, it is time to pay attention and focus on the format you came to do that day.  It is extremely rude and distracting to the people around you for you to natter away with your buddy all through sun salutations or the hundred.  I know some instructors who believe that if you have enough breath to talk, you’re not working hard enough, so they will amp up the level of the class until the talkers are too warn out to keep chatting.  The problem with this strategy is that talkers aren’t paying attention anyway so they never work any harder.  But the rest of the class really hates them for riling up the teacher.  If you’re not going to pay attention, just go ahead and head over to the juice bar.  Pretending to workout isn’t effective, and if you’re just going through the motions to have an excuse to chat with your buddy, you’re still not getting any benefit from the class and you’re angering the other people who actually want to be part of that format.  If you can’t resist, take a class your buddy isn’t in or take a class that you can stay engaged in without getting distracted into inappropriate side conversations.

This rule does not mean that speaking up is never advisable.  The times when you should talk in class are when you have a question or when you are answering a question the teacher has posed.  I like to ask my class questions from time to time either to get feedback from them (“Should we do another set of these?”) or to help them think and engage in the material (“Can anyone tell me the difference between Triangle Pose and Side Angle Pose?”)  And always, if you ever have any question or concern about anything in a class, you should speak up about that right away.  Don’t wait until class is over to say, “I had knee surgery.  Was that posture OK for me?” or “This hurts my back.  Is there something else I can do?” Yes, there is a modification, but you need to tell me immediately and not after class when it’s too late to change for you.

Rule #4: Turn off your cell phone!
This is sort of similar to #3, no talking.  Whomever is trying to call you can wait an hour until your class is over to talk to you.  If you think there is going to be an emergency call, put your phone on vibrate and go outside to talk or answer the phone.  Better yet, take that day to walk the treadmill so you can watch for your call and not disturb other people in the class with your vibrating phone.

This also applies to texting.  Texting during class is totally unacceptable.  Just put the phone away.  Even if you don’t answer the phone, a ringing phone is a huge distraction to everyone else in the room.  Turn off the ringer.  Put the phone in your locker.  Don’t even bring it into the room.  The world will still be spinning in an hour even if you haven’t answered the phone or returned your spouse’s text about what to have for dinner tonight.  So your kid got out of baseball practice early.  You aren’t going to go pick him up any sooner, and he should know you’re in class and can look after himself until the time you agreed to pick him up anyway.  Everyone else in the room has family and friends, too, and they’ve managed just fine with an hour of phone separation. One of the reasons people take classes at the gym, especially Yoga classes, is to disconnect from the stress of daily life.  So, disconnect!

Talking, texting, or even listening to messages on the phone is very disruptive.  You may think you’re having your own little private moment on your mat, but you’re in a public place, and it throws everyone off when you do that.  We have signs posted at all of the facilities where I work that say, “Please turn off your phone before classes start.  Thank you.”  To my way of thinking, that means you have no excuse.  Many of my fellow teachers feel that means they have license to take your phone from you and lob it out the door!  I’ve seen them do it.  And no, they will not be in trouble with the management, because the person on the phone is in the wrong according to their signed gym membership (it states you must comply with posted signs).  I handle things a little differently.  I will not take a person’s property from them.  But I will come stand directly in front of them on the mat, and direct the rest of the class to read aloud the message on the hot pink sign posted on the door.  That method has been quite effective for me, and I’ve rarely had to do it.

Think about the level of importance of calls you might get.  Are there really any so pressing that you MUST know before the end of the 60 – 75 minutes of class time? If so, is this maybe a good day choose an activity that will allow you to keep your phone with you without being in class where it will disrupt those around you?  A little forethought goes a long way.  The “just order a pizza” text can wait until class is over.

Rule #5: Arrive on time.
This is an iron clad rule for most instructors.  I’ll admit, I’m more lenient than most.  I’m glad you came, and I know traffic can be a nightmare, especially if you’re trying to get to my 5:30pm class from Bothell-Everett Highway.  Whew! Nightmare Traffic!  I have very rarely encountered folks who arrive late or leave early without a good reason and most are very apologetic, but as much as possible, you should make every effort to always arrive 5 minutes early and plan to stay until the end.  If you can't fit the full class into your schedule, it would be better to pick a different day and time for your class when you can fit in the whole class. When you arrive late, you disrupt the flow of the class and often cannot get your space set up properly.  You want to have enough time to get there, set up your mat, get your blocks and straps, get your shoes off, sit down and start your deep breathing before the class actually starts.  It makes for a better experience.  This also gives you time to talk with your instructor and let him or her know what you need from this class.  I almost always arrive 15 minutes before each of my classes specifically so I can have the room warmed up and set up and so I can talk to my students.  That pre-class time is also great for socializing with other students so you can get that out of your system BEFORE the class starts.

All fitness classes put you through specific warm up, main class set, and cool down exercises.  When you come in late, you put yourself at risk to injury because you miss part of the warm up.  Asking your muscles to go into exercises when they have not been properly warmed or stretched can cause tears and strains. Leaving out the cool down can also slow your progress over time, especially if you want to gain or maintain flexibility.

Some instructors and studios will lock the door once class begins, so if you do not arrive on time, you miss the class all together.  It is worth it to plan ahead.  You should already know which classes you plan to attend and at what times.  Consider what traffic will be like and leave a little early if you can to give yourself the time you need to arrive on schedule.  Being on time does alleviate stress.  It’s even harder to wind down in class when you’ve already wound yourself up about being late and come stumbling in, tripping over other people 5 minutes into the class.  Save yourself the stress.  You’ll be surprised how much more you get out of the class.

Rule #6: If you’re sick, stay home.
I wrote about this one at length in my October post, “Plague Spreaders.”  Please, please, if you feel unwell, don’t come to the gym.  You will only make yourself sicker and will likely spread illness to others.  This is counter-productive to everyone. If you come to my class coughing and sneezing, I will send you home.  I care about you.  I think you should be in bed.  I care about everyone in my class.  I need to protect them from your germs.  When I’m sick, I stay home.  I’ll call a nice, healthy substitute teacher to take care of you for the day.  When you’re sick, love yourself and your progress enough to know that anything you try to do while you’re not well will be poorly done.  Rest up.  Get well.  Give it you’re all when you’re healthy.

Sometimes even when you really do know how to conduct yourself, you forget, and a little reminder helps keep things in perspective.  If you see people in classes being rude or thoughtless, rather than following their example and assuming maybe it’s OK, choose to be the person who does the right thing.  Politely share a good example of class etiquette by always being one.  It makes for a better experience for everyone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Two All a Good Night

This piece is a follow up to my original article posted in June 2012, “To All a Good Night.”  I encounter so many fatigued and exhausted individuals trying to push themselves through a fitness routine at the end of a long day, who then injure themselves or do not experience success because they are just too tired.  So, I feel we should touch on this subject at least once more.

For the record, I am not a sleep doctor, but if you are having trouble sleeping, you need to visit one.  Poor sleep habits, or inability to fall asleep, can be signs of serious mental or physical issues that should be addressed.  Over time, poor sleep habits can CAUSE mental and physical issues, as well.  For one thing, feeling chronically tired or stressed can raise your blood pressure and potentially cause other cardiovascular problems.  Lack of sleep also shifts your internal chemistry slowing your metabolic rate and disrupting your digestion.  If you need the help of substances to fall asleep or stay awake during the day, then you should be seeking medical help.   Consider also that substance dependency (to even common place things like caffeine) can cause fatigue.   Many people end up in a never ending cycle of needing caffeine to get through the afternoon or become awake in the morning, but then cannot fall asleep at night. It sounds cliché, but cut the caffeine and try getting to bed on time. You’ll feel better.

Many times in my classes, students fall asleep during savasana (the relaxation and meditation portion at the end of Yoga class).  I know many of my fellow teachers (and students) become irritated about this.  The purpose of savasana is conscious relaxation.  This means that you should be aware of your thoughts, your state of physical relaxation, and you should remain aware even as your relaxed state deepens.  Conscious relaxation should not result in falling asleep unless you are over tired. However, I always emphasis “listen to your body” as a foundation Yoga principle.  If your body is telling you to sleep, listen.  For that reason, I always allow students who drift off during savasana to have that extra sleeping time.  It may not being deepening their road to conscious relaxation or helping them learn to meditate, but I feel if their need for sleep is that great, I would rather let them have it.  It is a miss-step in the practice of spiritual improvement to ignore the body’s basic needs in order to practice any spiritual teaching.

Of course, this does not mean that you should give up on the practice of conscious relaxation or purposeful, mindful meditation and just opt to sleep through savasana!  Conscious relaxation takes work.  It really does.  It takes practice to learn to meditate.  So don’t give up or use “I always fall asleep” as an excuse to take a side door out of learning the process.  Listen to your body, and nourish it with the sleep it needs.  When you are well rested, focus on your practice of mindful meditation. 

Make sure you’re getting your 8-10 hours per day. Your body, mind, and spirit really do need it.  Best of health, and pleasant dreams.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

April's Recipe for Natural Pain Relief

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about this natural remedy, so I’m going to share it publicly.  This is my personal recipe for a natural, safe anti-inflammatory that is low cost and has no side effects (that are known to me). It's also inexpensive and easy to make.

Here’s how I came by this remedy.  A few years ago I had an injury that ended up putting strain in my lower back.  Eventually that issue in my back began to travel down my left leg causing both pain and numbness during the day and night.  I had developed sciatica secondary to my injury.  I managed to heal my primary injury, but even after I returned to exercises that support the spine, the sciatica didn’t abate.   Let’s be clear about this: it was not just a throbbing pain that didn’t stop.  It was the worst kind of horrific pain that just as I thought I could stand it, would suddenly get worse.  The numbness and tingling that accompanied it all down my leg were also painful.  If you suffer from this issue, I sympathize with your pain.  The pain stopped me from doing all kinds of normal activities, and caused me to start hating things I had previously loved.  I was given all kinds of painkillers to help, but quite frankly, they just didn’t seem to make a dint in the pain.  However they were tearing up my stomach lining.

Frustrated with that absolute futility of conventional methods, I decided the pain had to stop, and I was not giving up any other aspect of my health or mobility in exchange for being pain-free!  I did some research on natural anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers.  Turns out, I had everything I needed already in my kitchen.  My recipe was mostly a guess in terms of amounts, but the final result was extremely effective.  After a short time of taking it, I was feeling functional again.  Sometimes I would still feel the pain, but never as bad as it was before, and eventually I healed this issue entirely.

Here’s what you need to recreate my magical concoction: ground turmeric, fresh ginger root, organic molasses, organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar.  I’ll be honest with you; this stuff tastes bad.  It truly does taste like medicine, but the relief made it worth the effort of swallowing it down.  The result was truly magical.  It isn't something you feel right away.  Rather about 15 minutes after you take it, you'll realize that you feel more like normal than you have in ages, and your every thought is not filled with some side-effect of being in pain.  It's a very gentle remedy. It allows you to be comfortable.  If I did something that aggravated the nerve, it would remind me that I was not yet healed, but I could get back to a regular routine without pain being in my way.  I like to think of this remedy as a way to reset your body so you can focus on the work of healing rather than being caught in a cycle of pain.  Just being able to relax without constant pain is valuable beyond words.
I didn’t measure the exact amounts, but the mixture comes to about 2/3rd turmeric to 1/3rd freshly grated ginger.  Add just enough molasses to roll the powder into tablespoon sized medicine balls.  This is the anti-inflammatory element, and it is powerfully effective.  In a shot glass, pour apple cider vinegar and molasses in equal portions.  You’ll use this to wash down the medicine balls.  The combination of natural molasses with unfiltered apple cider vinegar will combine in your stomach to make a gentle muscle relaxer which boosts the effect of the turmeric-ginger mixture.  I recommend you hold your nose when you swallow this (I did).  You can chase it with water or any beverage that you like.  I would recommend starting with 3-5 doses (1 medicine ball and 1 vinegar shot per dose) equally spaced throughout the day, and as you feel less pain, taper off the use until you don’t need it any more.

For the record, I no longer have any kind of back pain or issues with my lower back or sciatic nerve.  The remedy I used didn’t cure the sciatica, but it did allow me to release the pain and inflammation enough to get back to my life and allowed me to be able to do physical therapy exercises that relieved the pressure on the nerve.  Previously, the inflammation was too great to be able to gain any benefit from the physical therapy.  But once I got the inflammation and tension down, the pain was no longer an obstacle, and I could gently work on realigning my spine.   That, in turn, eventually cured my problem.  This little remedy is also effective for muscle and joint pain.  If you want pain relief that won’t harm your body or cause you drowsiness or other mental setbacks, then I recommend you try my recipe.  You can find all of these items in large quantities for very little cost at any grocer or apothecary.  Of course, I should also state that I am not a doctor or naturopath, and I cannot diagnose or prescribe for you.  I am just a Yoga Teacher who wanted to make peace with her body.  This is the way that I did it, and I am more than happy to share the route to my success with you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Midnight Cat and Pumpkin Spice

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.  It's not about the candy.  I'm not really a big fan of candy, but I love the costumes, the spiced cider, the pumpkins, the spooky decorations, and the willing suspension of disbelief.  On Halloween if you say, "There are fairies dancing on my lawn" or "There's a ghost standing in the living room," people don't look at you like you're a weirdo.  That's a holiday tailor made for a dreamer like me.

I also love the feeling of community that I associate with Halloween.  I grew up in rural Wakulla County where there was a lot of forest between the houses, as well as miles to cover for trick or treating.  The adults in our little section of woods would arrange a hayride to take all the kids around, up and down the unpaved, dirt roads to every winding driveway with a carved pumpkin out in front.  That was the signal for the hayride to stop.  Where there were jack-o-lanterns there was adventure to be found, so long as you were brave enough to trek down a dark, booby-trapped driveway and the make shift haunted house on the dimly lit porch to get your confectionery prize.  You never knew for sure how many people would put out pumpkins for the hayride or what they might hang in the trees to scare kids on the way up to their house, but that was part of the fun, and of course, we knew these people.  It was a small community in the middle of the Florida swamp, and we all knew it was safe to be scared.  It was safe in general.  Unlike many of my city friends, whose parents inspected their candy haul and threw out anything suspicious, we EXPECTED home made treats. Those were always the best.  I think that is the reason I associate Halloween with community.  I doubt kids today have the same kind of experience that I did, but based on the number of community centers that offer activities for youngsters on Halloween up here in Everett and all around the Seattle area, I would hope they still feel a sense of community and gathering in this day and age.

Sadly, along with all my warm and fuzzy feelings about the scariest night of the year, I have some very serious concerns that I would like to address.  Having worked in animal rescue for many years, I have seen first hand that for some people, Halloween is an excuse to act out on internalized fears and long held superstitions.  Black cats receive the brunt of the persecution.  It may sound silly to most, especially those who are owners of loving pets that happen to have black fur.  Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for people with old superstitions to torture or even kill black cats (and sometimes black dogs, too) that they come across on Halloween night.  If you own black furry companions, please keep them indoors.  Not everyone out there knows, loves, and understands your pet the way you do.

I experienced the surprising truth that people still believe crazy superstitions about black cats for the first time when I was about 12 years old.  I was walking down a winding dirt road into the swamp with a friend of mine when I happen to see a man throwing a black kitten out of the window of his trailer. I have often suffered the affliction of speaking my mind exactly as I see it without a lot of forethought, so I marched right onto this man's property prepared to tell him off about animal abuse.  The little black kitten ran up to me, cheerfully vocalizing, so I scooped her up in my arms and banged on the door.

No sooner had I launched into my speech than the man bellowed back at me, red in the face and smelling of beer, "You want it?  Take it!  My daughter keeps bringing that thing in the house.  I don't want no damned black cat around here! It'll bring bad luck down on all of us!"  So, I did take the kitten. I named her Blackstar, and my family had that cat for 20 years.  She was every bit the perfect feline companion, playful, bright, and loving. Why would anyone treat such a friendly cat so badly? Even more astonishing, how did Blackstar retain her friendly personality after being treated that way? From my point of view, she was a lucky creature.  She was lucky to have found me, and everyone in my family was lucky to have her companionship. Now, more than 20 years later, I have another midnight cat.  Her name is Abbey, and she is also a rescue who had to endure abuse and neglect before she found her forever home with me.

Abbey is the most Halloween cat I've ever seen.  Her black fur is dusted with the occasional hint of pumpkin spice orange, and her eyes are every bit the full, pale yellow moon. This cat does not know the meaning of the word "fear."  She's bold, talkative, and friendly to everyone who enters our house. I'm sure she will be the social butterfly among guests tonight at our Halloween dinner, but she will absolutely not be going outside.  I know a lot of other people with very fine black feline and canine friends.  Because I too know the value of a fine midnight cat, please, keep them indoors.  Familiars are still persecuted in our modern age.

For tonight, I wish you all the blessings of community.  May all your midnight cats sing happy songs to you from the warmth and safety of your living room. May your pumpkins be fat and your cider well spiced!  Happy Samhain to all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yoga Update

Just a quick update for anyone in my area who is currently attending or would like to join me for my Tuesday night Yoga Flow class in Canyon Park (Bothell, WA). The schedule has been a little weird these past few months with competing events at the club, but we'll be more predictable through the end of the year.  Through the summer I've been doing a lot of standing series postures and Yoga techniques that energize.  Now that the rain has returned to Seattle, we're getting large classes of quiet, introspective folks.  I'm going to be focusing on balancing postures and floor work through January.  Come on out at 7pm (Pacific) for my class at Vision Quest Sport and Fitness for a taste of this relaxing format before whatever busy plans you have for Halloween.

Halloween is my personal, favorite holiday.  There will be no classes tomorrow, but I do plan to post a little blog about Halloween things near and dear to my heart.  Be safe, be well, join me tonight for Yoga if you're in my area.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Plague Spreaders

This is my public service announcement.  It’s that time of year again: “Flu Season.” On behalf of your classmates and co-workers, if you get sick, STAY HOME! If you even think you have a cold, the flu, or any other brand of creeping crud, just go back to bed.  Do not come to work!  Do not go to the gym!  Drink your fluids, take your vitamin C, and get some rest!

Let’s talk about you for a just a moment.  I love you.  I really do.  I love your good health, your dedication to improving yourself, and every step of your personal journey to success.  However, I do not love your germs, and I especially do not love it when you share those germs with healthy people who are also actively on a journey to better health. Your intrepid visits to public places when you have the sniffles undermine everyone’s efforts to be healthier.  Many of us have this mentality that if you push harder, you will somehow function normally even when you’re sick.  I'm sorry my friends.  This is simply not true.  You do not function normally.  You do not think clearly.  You will cause your illness to last longer than if you had just allowed yourself time to heal in the first place, and by embracing this mentality, you become what I think of as a plague spreader.

If you try to sneak into my class or crawl into the back row sneezing and sniffling, I will send you home.  Do not misunderstand.  This is a loving act.  I am protecting my students from plague spreaders, but I am also giving you permission to take care of yourself! Sometimes what we really need the most is a few days to quietly rest and recover.  Love yourself enough to do this the moment you start to feel an illness coming on so you don’t end up wiped out for weeks to come.  The world will still be spinning once you get well.  Wishing you all the best of health!