These past 3 months have been a whirlwind of inspiration, movement, challenge and most importantly... growth. I figured it would be fun to give some insight about the journey and what has 'come up' for me during these experiences. After all, yoga is not about the destination... it is truly about the journey.
1st FlowFit Seminar in Las Vegas, March 29/30
Plane ticket, check. Hotel reservations, check. RMAX Ugg boots, check. Last March 28th, I hopped on a plane from Bellingham to Vegas, the first time I had ever left my little one Cedric for more than half a day in his short little life.
Those butterflies wore off once I arrived at the seminar to realize that I was going to spend the next three days surrounded by the some of the most inspirational people in the fitness industry. Scott Sonnon led a stellar seminar on FlowFit, teaching us his 6D Flows to unbind even the most stubborn bodies. I met two of his International Coaches, Iain Wisdom who is hosting Clubbell Yoga seminar in Brisbane Australia this October and Rodrigo Soto Feoli from Costa Rica, who is also doing great work bringing CST programs to Central & South America. The more time I spend working for RMAX, the more I realize that these people are like seeing long lost relatives, but the kind that you actually like.
I reconnected with Lisa Wheeler, Creative Director at Equinox, who had flown in from New York to take a peek at this new material. Also got to see my favorite Coaches from Los Angeles: Mr. Cody Storey of Storey Fitness & Mark Wildman of Wildman Athletica. They are doing amazing work pioneering CST & TACFIT in So. Cal. As if it couldn't get any better, I was blessed to share a room with Emily Fisher, who is heading up Clubbell Athletics on the east and west coast. I enjoyed getting to spend some time with her, as she is a brilliant woman and very inspiring. Overall, the trip was perfect. I had time for learning, networking, playing and getting some work done on my manual for an upcoming Clubbell Yoga project I have been working on for months now. Quality takes time... lots of time.
The take home message here... when in doubt about doing something to help you grow as a professional... take the plunge. Do it! Sign up for that workshop. Mix work and play, surround yourself by people at the top of their game and you will walk away filled with vibrant energy to serve the people work with on a daily basis.
Next up... London, Clubbell Yoga Seminar 4/12/2014
Arriving in London for the first time, I was picked up from the airport by my charismatic and beautiful host, Danielle Kleber. She took me directly to her and her husband, Diego Core's training centre, The Field.
As someone who has spent a good ten years explaining what a Clubbell is...I can't quite describe the feeling to walk into a perfectly manicured spa meets fitness meets pilates centre and see a window sill full of Clubbells. It was magnificent. There were dozens. I was home.
The seminar was very well received, and the students who attended came from all different disciplines. We had a gentlemen with over 30 years of yoga experience, we had a CST Coach from South Africa, we had a male Pilates instructor from Poland, we had a TACFIT instructor from England, we had several experienced yoga teachers, and everyone in between. It became clear to me that this system, CST & Clubbell Yoga, was bigger than me. My mission statement to "Bridge the Gap between Strength Training and Yoga" that I have been stating since day one, is absolutely being manifested with this work.
London was a complete success. I look forward to bringing another Clubbell Yoga Seminar to The Field next May with my host Danielle Kleber, who is expecting a baby soon! Congrats to her and Diego's new family!
New York City, June 7, 2014
I knew this trip would be special for two reasons:
1: I would be teaching a Clubbell Yoga seminar on my birthday (no I won't tell you how old I am, but you can guess in the comments section ;) )
2: I was returning to my old stomping grounds, where I had lived for 2 years and launched the first Clubbell Yoga youtube videos.
There were plenty of other things that made this trip phenomenal... ahem... the food in New York. It tends to ruin people. Or practicing with one of my favorite teachers, Sri Dharma Mittra age 75, who was one of the first independent yoga teachers on the east coast. This spiritual man has a brilliance about him that is hard to put in words, so I always go to practice his masterclass whenever I can. Or learning more about Hip Hop from one on my instructors and close friends, Brie Helmuth. All of these things put me in a very grateful state to teach a Clubbell Yoga seminar at the OM Factory yoga studio that weekend.
Saturday, day one of the seminar, we did a 90 minute Clubbell Yoga practice.
It was thorough.
It was sweaty.
It was deliberate.
I wanted my students to truly feel what this system could offer when the principles: Awaken, Condition & Practice are integrated with intention. Out of the 13 or so people in attendance, only one came as a 200 hour yoga teacher. By the end of the two day intensive (and I mean INTENSE-ive in every sense of the word)... Everyone left with their own unique yoga teaching voice. That is what this work is about, it is empowering the brave to find flow. Giving movement specialists who are willing to learn more, the opportunity to learn as much as possible about CST and Yoga in a 2 day period. To give them a framework for how to teach people to use yoga as a training tool, breath as a training tool and mindfulness as a training tool.
Everyone usually comments that there is so much to learn at this seminar, and I agree. It is a challenge. That is why you prepare (12 week prep chart comes to mind). My response is that I would rather overwhelm you than underwhelm you.
Home in Bellingham
So as I prepare for the next three seminars, I am left to contemplate what you all have taught me. I am challenged to bring you the material in a way that is meaningful for you. I can't explain to you why this system is something that will change your life. That is something that you have to be open to discovering on your own. It is something that if you do the work, you focus, you breath and you release your former idea about what 'yoga' is... then you will start to understand. It is a process. We are all still learning and steeping in it.
www.clubbellyoga.tv for Scheduled Events
Whistler, July 31-Aug 4th
Orcas Island, August 22-24
Los Angeles, Sept 27-28
Brisbane, AUS Oct 18-19
Being a parent is stressful. There. I said it.
Being a parent is the most difficult and challenging job I have ever had, but also the most gratifying. Everyone says my son is calm, and that he must get it from me... but most of the time I am anything but calm. My multi-tasking has reached an all time high with scheduling clients & meetings, writing emails, planning my lectures for teaching at University, writing manuals, cleaning house, running errands, creating & directing film projects, teaching yoga or clients, oh and opening a new fitness studio. Did I mention I am trying to coordinate international travel for this spring and summer to teach Clubbell Yoga seminars, all from a small sleepy town known as Bellingham. Somewhere in that tornado that is my life, I find time to come home and nurse my little one everyday between engagements and make him homemade organic baby food purees, play with him and take him to the baby's story time at the library a few times each month.
There is absolutely no room for mind states that are not serving me or my family. This is why my non-resolution for 2014 is to give up negative stress. And also to give up anything and everything that brings negative stress or contributes to a stressful environment. I simply don't have any extra energy to waste on it.
Some stress is actually good for you. Positive stress is referred to as Eustress: the positive cognitive response to stress that is healthy or gives one a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings. That is the stress of having a reasonable deadline, or being nervous to present in front of a large group. That stress can actually help you perform. The negative stress I am talking about comes from over booking, allowing negative self talk to creep in, self doubt and lack of balance.
I recently read a blog from a woman who committed to eating only Starbucks products for an entire year. Now that would take some serious discipline. I read the article, though brief, her main reason for doing it was simply because she enjoys being human and asking Why?
"So again, WHY? am I doing this challenge? Or WHY? will I do any challenge in the future? Because I LOVE being human and I LOVE the privilege of being able to ask the question WHY? in the first place! I love the question WHY? because sometimes I find that the answer leaves me with even more questions about life…"
If a woman can consume all Starbucks for an entire year, then why the hell shouldn't I be able to give up stress for a year. A daily regimen of meditation twice a day, yoga, hugs, less caffeine, more balance. I think that sounds like a really great way to bring in the New Year. Yes, it will be challenging, I may fail, but I will very likely grow in the process. Changing habits is the hardest thing to do. But it just takes commitment to changing your mind and your perspective.
develop - expand - unfold
When I started my business several years ago right after I got back from my 200 hour yoga teacher training in Baja Mexico, I had the goal to teach yoga classes. Only yoga classes... My teacher training was an intensive month living "off the grid" engrossed in the yoga lifestyle. We woke up at 6am daily to meditate, slept in tents on the beach, practiced yoga all day, and had community satsang with authentic yoga music every night. It was a little yoga bubble of paradise... then I came back to the real world in the states.
I had my little plan: I would find my own space to teach, then find the students, and teach what I loved to teach. And everyone would want to take yoga, or so I thought... However, once I launched Fit Body Wellness, there was a strong response from the public for private training sessions. So, I had to adapt my business to fit the needs of the community and train people to be stronger, and more functionally fit. What I discovered is that I love coaching people, and empowering them to be able to do the things they love (whether it is yoga or some other sport). More importantly, I used what I had learned at yoga training to help people connect their body and mind through movement. This developed gradually as I grew into my role as the owner of Fit Body Wellness.
At the time, I didn't think much of it. But now looking back I realize that I had to EVOLVE as a business to fulfill the needs of my clients. Now I specialize in getting people fit and healthy using the Circular Strength Training Method (CST) in the safest way possible, having a ton of fun doing it. Every time I get a new client or semi-private group of trainees, I watch them EVOLVE... their movement always becomes more fluid as they progress from simple to more complex movement.
Another example of an EVOLUTION taking place currently in my life is the "Clubbell Yoga" project. As a trainer, I spend a lot of time teaching clients to train with Clubbells for fitness and yoga for flexibility. Eventually this EVOLVED into Clubbell Yoga, combining strength & flexibility. I am super excited because this coming March I will be teaching the very first Clubbell Yoga teacher training, hosting trainers and yoga instructors from many different regions. Now I am EVOLVING into a teacher to the teachers, which feels like a huge responsibility, but also an opportunity for growth. Coach Scott Sonnon (CEO of RMAX International & inventor of the Clubbell) will be attending the seminar with Head Coach Alberto Galazzii from Italy (former bodyguard to the Italian prime minister's family & European director of CST Italy). I know that this first training will be another opportunity to EVOLVE and grow, and though it can feel scary at times, I am ready for it!
How have you been challenged to evolve in your life in the last 6 months? Or the past year? Sometimes we don't realize that we are EVOLVING until it has already happened. Please comment below with your story! You never know who you may be inspiring by sharing...
Entrepreneur, yogi, creator who seeks to inspire people everyday through movement.