I had the privilege to teach yoga to the freshman class at Oak Ridge High School the last two Mondays. Through this experience I was reminded of the importance of five specific fundamental principles that I value: INTEGRITY, CONSISTENCY, SERVICE, PRESENCE and TRUST. When we are able to embody these principles we give ourselves the opportunity to make a bigger impact within a community that we are already apart of AND in developing NEW community.
INTEGRITY is the foundation of life. The standard at which we hold ourselves accountable to our values and beliefs creates the level of integrity that we live from every day. When living from a place of integrity, we are confident in ourselves and in our choices because they are aligned with our beliefs. One of our core values at Spotted Dog Yoga is integrity and we believe that the type of yoga we teach and practice allows people to create personal accountability to recognize when integrity is missing AND gives them the tools to bring themselves back into alignment…to be true to themselves. Teaching yoga to high school students is not easy but I have no doubts around the quality of the experience that was delivered to them. I was able to be myself because I hold myself accountable to “doing the work” and I was confident in the yoga practice because I know that it works!
CONSISTENCY is one of my favorite words, because I have learned that it is the only way to create discipline, focus and effectiveness in doing ANYTHING. When we are consistent in embodying what we stand for, people will follow our lead! I taught Baptiste Power Yoga to the Oak Ridge High School students. I teach Baptiste Power Yoga at Spotted Dog Yoga. This practice is what I believe in and what I know works. As a teacher, I believe that what I teach is just as important as how I teach and I would never compromise what I stand for no matter who I am in front of.
SERVICE makes a difference. When put in front of a group of people, we can never know who is in front of us or what type of impact we are having on them. When we offer up our knowledge in the spirit of service, we share tools and skills with people that may not have had access to them otherwise. When we remove expectations or attachment to financial or personal benefits, our true passion for what we love to do flows out of us! I was honored to donate my time to Oak Ridge High School in order to share my passion for teaching yoga and connecting community.
PRESENCE is a super power. When we are able to come out of our head and into the moment at hand, we give ourselves the ability to find untapped potential. When we are stuck in thought, we can get stuck in our default patterns of being. When we are in the moment, we are working from RIGHT NOW and connections just happen. I can easily worry about “what could go wrong” when anticipating working with a group or in a space that I am unfamiliar with. Through the practice of Baptiste Yoga I have learned that all I have to do is let go of sticking to a plan and be present with the people that are with me right now.
TRUST the process. Incorporate integrity, consistency, service and presence into your awareness and do the work to keep them present. Beyond that, trust that what you are delivering, sharing, saying is authentic to YOU and that it matters. If something doesn’t work out the way you planned, trust that everything happens for a reason!
Thank you Oak Ridge High School for having me! I also want to thank Chantell Trumbull for volunteering to be my assistant…it made such a huge difference to have your support and share this with you!
My husband is incredibly competitive. He’s the youngest of three boys, with brothers who are seven and nine years older than he is. He’s a type A personality, which plays into it. And just being a guy could be a contributing factor too. When we started doing yoga together several years ago, he would tell me after each class if he won or not. I found the idea incredibly amusing, bordering on the absurd. And though he would say it with a smile, there was an element of seriousness to it. For Tim, winning meant never resting in Child’s pose, doing every single part of the flow full on, and basically kicking ass the entire class.
I’m not very competitive, but as I thought more about this idea I realized that I can let this win or lose attitude come into my own practice. I’m just a little sneakier about it. When I see another yogi in an advanced version of a pose I struggle with, I can let that suck away any joy I might have in my own practice. It shows up in forward fold poses when I’m scanning the room to see who’s more folded than I am. And because for my entire life I’ve wanted to be a dancer, full Hanuman (front splits in non-yoga speak) is oh so hard on my very fragile ego. Because to my eyes, everyone does it better than I do.
Ego is really what it comes back to. Of course yoga is not a competitive sport. But my ego really can turn it into one so easily. What’s the solution? As usual it’s simple and basic. I’ve never heard a teacher at Spotted Dog say, “scan the room to see who’s doing the pose better than you are,” but I’ve certainly heard, “focus your gaze.” I can also tap into my tapas (discipline) and like they used to say in school, keep my eyes on my own paper.
A change in perspective can make all the difference too. Seeing someone in an advanced pose can be inspirational, right? I’ve been told that the only valid comparison is where you used to be and where you are now. Truth is, if I’m on my yoga mat, I’m already winning and so are you!
It’s a huge understatement to say that the world has changed since I was a child. Digital distraction is everywhere, which can make quiet moments few and far between. And the minute kids enter high school it becomes a race to join more clubs and get better grades and do more community service, all in the hope of getting into a good college. None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but they create a pressure-packed environment that is so different from what I remember as a teen, when my biggest concern was if the right boy would ask me to the school dance.
This is why I love the IPlay Yoga kids program at Spotted Dog. With classes for younger (ages 4 – 8) and older kids (ages 9 – 13), all students gain a foundation of mindfulness and confidence to help them live inspiring empowered lives. The teachers make the experience fun and engaging, but the lessons learned will benefit them for their entire lives. And the kids classes are always held at the same time as the adult classes, so the whole family can learn and grow together.
If you have a kid between the ages of 4 and 13, or if you have a friend with kids in this age group, get them to “The Dog.” By reaching the kids we can truly change the world.
Curious if your kids will like yoga? Sign them up for one of Spotted Dog’s kids camps. Click here for more information! There is no better time than NOW to get your kiddos involved!
Starting on October 11th Spotted Dog Yoga will be offering FREE yoga classes! Classes will be held in the yoga space at El Dorado Hills Taekwondo: 4822 Golden Foothill Pkwy Unit 7, El Dorado Hills, California 95762. Join the SDY community for awesome yoga and connection!
SDY is a proud supporter of the Yoga Across America Challenge. In order to raise money in support of Yoga Across America, the Spotted Dog Community held an event on September 11 called “Tribute In Movement” where we raised $180 through donations for the class. In addition, we have received other donations and raised a total of $300 for YAA. Way to go!
Join us this Sunday on the north steps of the California State Capital building in celebration of Peace Day. 108 Sun Salutations will begin at 8am!
Wear your Spotted Dog SWAG and come say hello to the entire yoga community here in Sacramento.
If you would still like to donate, please click here! Thanks for being awesome!!