Monday, September 18, 2006

Yoga Teacher Training

I began my training this weekend, and it was truly fabulous. There are 15 students in the class and our instructor, making a sweet 16 of the group. One of the many things I've always liked about Yoga is that it attracts interesting people with a lot of positive attributes. Everyone in this class is interesting and contributes to the institutional learning base that makes this experience valuable.

After a 12-hour session on Saturday and a seven-hour session on Sunday, I have already noticed a change in my approach to Yoga. In class tonight, a flow class, I found myself looking around the room in the beginning of class. I found myself scanning the people in the room, observing how they were sitting and their initial posture. My thoughts raced back to reference the material I'd learned over the weekend and I started thinking about the things I might say or do to help the students be more comfortable in class.

It became more difficult to observe my classmates as we began our movements. Rebecca continues to bring new and refreshing "dances" to the class. Some of the postures are advanced, and I found a new internal thought process occuring as I explored both sides of my edge. I am more thoughtful of moving into the postures carefully and am starting to become more aware of the movements and the involvement of the body. (I have to do a deep analysis of 35 postures by next month, so it's really important to be aware of the muscles and joints, how they work, and which way they move to support the movements and postures.)

Having been away for several weeks, I haven't taken this class for a while. It was joyful to see Rebecca demonstrate the postures and to lead the practice. While in Chicago, I took classes with three teachers, and all were very good. I spent the weekend with 15 others who are thoughtful and diligent in their practice. Rebecca has a special way of taking the poses and moving between them, and she will always serve as a role model for doing a truly beautiful Yoga.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Milton, WV

Currently driving through Milton, WV on the way home. We have about 323 miles to go, which if driven straight through gets us home about 12:30. If we continue, it will have been a straight through drive from Chicago. We've been through heavy rain and heavy sunshine along the way.

Jenn called and is busy at school. She said it's noisy in the dorm, but suspects that this will settle once folks start their studies -- which begin in earnest next week.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Jenn's in School

We got Jenn settled into her dorm today. She was so excited about moving in that she didn't sleep much last night. Her room is nice and she and her roomate quickly created a home for themselves.

I have officially started missing Jenn today, but I'm not worried because I know that she's going to have an amazing time at school.

Bears Pitch a Shutout in Green Bay

Huh? This was the front page headline in the Chicago Tribune today.

I tried to find the online article to post, but I think this one has been edited hence.

And in tennis, I did watch the U.S. Open men's final with Andy Roddick's second cousin, a nice young lady who is a friend of my niece.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I did not get to do the double-header at the gym today due to timing. My daughter explained that the mat pilates class would probably blow my abs and leave me without the support needed for Yoga class. She is very wise, and I'm sure this was a good call -- although my abs are in very good shape after training for the last 3 1/2 years.

The Yoga class was spectacular with a most interesting, talented and unique teacher. Karolina provides a fresh approach to vinyasa, including a Nia opening dance. I haven't done a dance opening to Yoga for a while, and this was a fun way to warm up. The class ended with shavasana accompanied by a story which provided a connection from our current state, our desires, and a path to a desired outcome. This might sound a little off the normal course, but I assure you that it's most effective.

The studio has mirrors on three walls. While many Yoga teachers suggest looking past the mirrors, I find it helpful for alignment and adjustment of poses. The visual cues are very powerful. In addition, I have been practicing some tall mountain poses and working toward doing them with my eyes closed. Anyone who has tried a balance pose with their eyes closed knows that this adds an additional challenge. The thought crossed my mind that the feedback one receives from visual cues may be faster than than the feedback received from our inner ears. I believe that with practice that the balance poses with closed eyes can improve, and this probably makes the same poses with eyes open even easier.

Tomorrow, we take Jenn to campus. I'll miss seeing her everyday, but I will take comfort that she's close to family and that she is very sensible. We agreed to stay in touch by phone, and it's only about a month before we'll be back for parent's weekend.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hooked on 24

One of the nice things about vacation is that you have a few extra moments to do things that you normally wouldn't do. The show, 24 is most interesting and, yes, addictive. We're watching the show on DVD which allows one to traverse the 24 hours without the 20 minutes or so of commercials. Using the DVD is probably the best way to watch a series -- sort of like a long movie. The last time I did this was on the series Sports Night. And this was also on a vacation.

I'm going to try not to sweat a few idle hours. In fact, I'll do a double session tomorrow with this most fabulous instructor. The first session is mat pilates for 50 minutes, which I've never done before. This is followed by a 25 minute break then a 75-minute Yoga session with the same instructor.


I wasn't really familiar with the original suicide, but I'm told there was no revelation in this film. It seems that the investigations in the past that didn't reveal anything are not likely to be enhanced via screenplay.

The characters were interesting and well-portrayed, but the pacing was a little slow. I also found the ending uninspired, although I am not going to talk about that here -- just in case.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Windy Suburb

The weather here in the Chicago 'burbs has been incredible this week. Temps in the low 70's, clear with blue skies. With my bio clock still on EDT, I've been waking up around 5:30 in the morning here. There's only so long that you can lie in bed and think happy thoughts, so I found my way out to enjoy the sunrise with a book.

Today, the winds are picking up and the blue is turning to gray. That's okay. As I'm not necessarily and outdoor person, the weather is mostly the domain of the forecasters (and some of my customers who predict the weather with powerful computers).

Speaking of work, I did have the opportunity to release some tension of those who aren't on vacation. Swooping in on the occasional conference call with a clear head allows for quickly identifying the missing pieces and helping the team stay focused on the true objectives (which should never be the escalation of interpersonal conflict over silly stuff). The vacation mindset is a great one to keep. But, like sleep, you can't make deposits and withdrawals from the tolerance bank.

Friday, September 08, 2006

More Yoga

I had a great Yoga class today. The teacher, a young woman from Poland who descended from a family of gymnists, guided the class through a very interesting series of vinyasas. She offered a joyful and light-hearted approach to the class, and finished the session with the gentle distribution of spearmint/eucalyptus oil along the forehead and temples.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Yoga in Chicago

In addition to being a visiting "expert geek" and helping with electronic esoterica, I enjoyed doing a 45-minute meditation class followed by a 75-minute Yoga session. This was my first formal meditation class, which included a warm-up followed by 30 minutes solid. It was pretty intense sitting still for the half-hour, although I was entirely willing to release the layers of work, travel, and the chaotic nature of being away from home (and staying with family).

The weather here is really wonderful. Clear, dry, and low 70's.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mobile Blogging

Riding through Columbus, Ohio, and blogging along I-70!

The wireless adapter doesn't connect real easily while moving, but once the connection is established it holds up pretty well.

There is broadband in Columbus and the download rate is up to 1MBb/s.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

New Gizmo

I picked up a Verizon broadband adapter for the computer today. With the forthcoming trip to the midwest, I wanted to try this on the road. While I don't expect to get broadband the entire way, I'm curious to see if I can do internet on the highway. I expect to be able to connect while stopped, but the true test will be connectivity while moving.

Earth Wind and Fire

On Friday, we went to Charlotte to see EW&F. I had listened to a lot of their music in the mid- to late-70's and always enjoyed their groove. Seeing them live was a real treat, and the band was definitely cooking. They were a little less "cosmic" than they were in the 70's, except for Verdeen White. He came out in a tight, pink outfit with frills at the ends of the sleeves. His long hair flowed down both in front of and behind his shoulders. This man was totally grooving and clearly gave his all with each breath.

The opening act was Chris Botti. I was concerned that I would be listening to smooth jazz for an hour, but was pleasantly surprised. Chris played a wonderful set of incredibly musical numbers which, unfortunately, was mostly lost on the crowd. (I have never been able to figure out why people shell out to listen to music and then talk on top of it.) In Chris' band, Mark Whitfield played guitar and did some truly incredible solos. He went to another place while playing. While much of the crowd realized that something special happened, I suspect few would realize how in music there is a transcendence.

We enjoyed a lovely picnic in Davidson on a beautiful day Saturday, and then headed back home.