Dance, Dance!

[Insert Fall Out Boy lyrics here]

So class has started up again, which for me means I’m dancing again. That’s about it though. I’m not taking any other classes this semester because we need to move in the middle and I am a mess right now.

I am glad to have dance again, AND a performance coming up at the end of September. I’m so excited for this. I also need to work on choreographing a solo, or “learning” the music so I can “improvise” on the spot, but that’s just for my class. I promised my instructor I would do a solo this semester before I left and I plan on keeping that promise.

I honestly don’t mind if she doesn’t remember. This is something I need to do for me. I want to do it for her, kind of like a thank you, to show her how far I’ve come. But I need to do it for me to prove that I can do a solo.

Let’s be honest, there aren’t any mistakes in solos, they’re just improvisations. My issue is that I love choreography, but can’t seem to choreograph my own dance. I try, but it never really works for me. I stop halfway through, or I just grumble and give up. It seems the best method would be just doing it, no choreography. Perhaps knowing the song, and figuring out a general structure, moves that go well with it overall, and small parts of choreography, but I really just need an outline.

Now I just need to pick a music piece. I would love something short, but I can only seem to find long pieces that I like, like Sonic Muse by Govinda. Like 4min long. Which isn’t that long for a song, but when you’re doing your first solo, it’s long… And no, I am not going to dance to a Fall Out Boy song.

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Dos and Don’ts of Beauty – Rant Time

We interrupt the normally eloquent blog posts to bring you this. Excuse me, but I need to rant real quick…

Does anyone else feel like the “Do and Don’t” makeup videos make no sense?

Not only is beauty entirely subjective, makeup is also a form of self expression. Some even say it’s an art form!

If makeup is supposed to improve my self confidence, if makeup is for me, if makeup is self expression… You can’t tell me what not to do.

ALSO, culturally, makeup differs from place to place. So by saying that you shouldn’t have heavy eyeliner on the bottom of your eye is disregarding what other cultures find beautiful and fun. Also, girl, I look damn good with heavy eyeliner on my lower lash line.

I don’t care if you started your video by saying, “Everyone can do their makeup how they want.” You’re still running the risk of making someone feel bad, or feel wrong. You’re essentially saying, “No offence, but you suck at makeup.”

Seriously, no one sucks at makeup. I may not do my makeup like you do yours, but our faces are completely different.

You wanna know the REAL list we should be spreading?

Don’t use products that aren’t meant for your face. Don’t use products where they aren’t meant to be used. Don’t listen to people who say anything negative about your makeup or lack thereof.

DO love yourself and embrace this form of self expression. Do allow it to improve what you want to be improved to feel better. Do wear makeup that makes you feel sexy.

Finally, do wear makeup if that’s what you want, regardless of your gender.

[drops mic] Namaste

Compare and Contrast

Let’s just start this up with a little update. I’ve decided I’m going to post more on a whim. Partially because I won’t post routines here, but also because I find there are a lot of little life lessons, which I feel I can draw from and put on here to help myself learn and grow, and perhaps give others a little insight. Plus it’s fun! Why not post a blog post here and there without schedule. 

Recently I’ve been watching friends graduate from University left and right. I think I had something like 5 or 6 friends all graduate on the same DAY. It’s crazy, and I am so unbelievably happy for them, but at the same time, I find myself feeling this immense amount of sadness. Like they’ve accomplished something and I haven’t. For a couple of days I tried to just put it away, because I really am happy for them. I saw another friend graduate today and it hit me AGAIN.

Let’s be honest, pushing anything down and away never really works. I suppose I thought it would pass, and perhaps it would have, but I think in the long run, it’s better to figure this out and make myself realize I don’t need to feel upset about anything.

Since this is based in an insecurity, I thought that even if it did pass, there is something greater I should be looking into.

First off, school has never been for me, and to see the people who have gone to university because they felt it was what they needed to do, rather than what they wanted to do, has made me feel more comfortable in my own decisions. Let’s just say, they weren’t happy. I’m very glad I chose not to go, this gave me the opportunity to start going to school when I felt ready, and even finding ways to work classes into my own schedule better.

I had to combat a lot of pressure to go to a 4 year university, I still do in fact. Feeling like you didn’t achieve what you were supposed to is a serious downer. Talk about feeling like a failure…

When I have that feeling of failure tug at me, I pause to think of why I didn’t go in the first place. I didn’t go, because it made me happier not to go. To me, the benefit of going to a university at that time was outweighed by the happiness and other goals I could achieve by not going.

That is what makes me feel better. I find comparing myself to others to be very deadly. But I have found that when you had the ability to make a decision, it can be easier to accept that it’s OK. Even if now you wish you had done something differently. At the time, it was probably better for you not do said “thing”.

I also have achieved quite a bit. I’ve taken classes at a local community college to find my areas of interest, I’ve become a licensed helicopter pilot and a licensed yoga instructor, AND I’ve got this awesome YouTube and blog thing going for me. I tried things, had fun, and I learned a lot about myself. Did I mention I also got married? All this in the time it took them to get one degree! Psh, I’m wonderful.

That’s a joke! I am wonderful, but they all got something really valuable too. All my friends have had great life experiences, made friends, been in relationships. Heck, I have friends who have been busting their butts off making movies and getting amazing internships! We’ve ALL done amazing things.

I’m having this nice revelation, where, if you take a step back from it all, you’ll notice that you and all of your friends are all equally wonderful in your own ways.

I’d also like to point out that if you just spent the past 4 years working at a McDonald’s or cleaning toilets, you’re just as wonderful too. You’ve worked and earned money, and I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two, even if you haven’t realized it. I don’t believe anyone’s experiences are any less wonderful or important.

If you’re ever feeling a tab jealous, just take a step back and look at all the different wonderful things you and your friends have done, and even those who you’re jealous of are all super different from each other.

Ahh, I’m definitely happy for everyone now.

Namaste

Creating a Safe Yoga Space | Yoga Advice

When it comes to yoga classes, different things bother different people. Different teaching style work for different people. Different communities work for… you get it. That means that there are thing you can do to ensure you find a class that makes you feel safe and comfortable and things you can do to help maintain that comfort.

Everyone is going to classes for different reasons and with different intentions, but being in a public space like a studio can come with some concerns. Practicing something that is so much about silence and vulnerability means that we all need to be extra respectful. It isn’t so hard, but let me just give you the run down on how you can find and create a safe and comfortable place for everyone involved!

 

  • Finding the studio

    First off, you should be searching for an instructor and a studio, which make you comfortable. Walking into your studio should be a positive experiences, so this could even mean not going to a studio because the drive there sucks.
    Don’t be afraid to go to a different studio or to see different instructors either. We all understand that you need to find your perfect fit, plus seeing multiple instructors is a really good idea. As an instructor, we get it and we do it too! We also understand that even if we don’t agree with other teachers, you might be getting a better class from them for whatever reason.

    On top of that, you want to make sure your instructor isn’t a really bad and unethical instructor. They should be respectful of you and your space and ask before touching you. (Often instructors forget, or think only asking once is enough, so feel free to remind us if you wish we would ask more or tell us if you’re uncomfortable with what we do. It’s all good.)
    If an instructor is particularly creepy or doing anything super illegal, tell the studio owner! That studio surely has potential, but a bad instructor is the last thing they want. Owners need to know who is having trouble with instructors and they should take it very seriously. (You can also always tell other instructors, or if it’s REALLY bad, contact the authorities.)

  • Communicate

    Just because you found an awesome instructor, doesn’t mean they can read your mind! (Or maybe they can and haven’t told us yet.) Either way, don’t be afraid to approach them! They’re there for your health and safety. We want you to have a good time! Tell us what’s on your mind, say hi every time you walk in, anything. We may be busy before class and may not have time to chat, but if it’s very important you tell us something, then we will listen!

    If you’re concerned about a pose, tell us.
    If a student is making you uncomfortable, tell us.
    If you have a medical condition, TELL US!
    I cannot stress enough how important it is that you tell us if you have a medical condition. Even if you’re not sure if it’s related, or will impact anything, don’t be afraid to tell us. We also might not know much about the condition, so if you’re open to helping us understand and learn, we DEFINITELY want to know.
    Your medical conditions, if you have any, should be the first thing out of your mouth after, “Hi, my name is ___” when you are joining a class for the first time. Take the time to help the teacher get to know you if this is your first class with them. Like I said, we may be busy, but this is important information for us. We will listen

    Note: If you are taking a class at a community college, your instructor may not expect an introduction with just your name. Often they do a roll call or something along those lines. They DO still need to know if you have a medical condition though. 

  • Complaints about you

    I know this sucks to think about, but it’s possible there will be complaints about you. Not likely at all, BARELY likely. Let’s just start with the worse case scenario and work our way up.
    If you get kicked out, stay out. Yeah, it really sucks, but they’ll probably tell you while, and it’s best to just accept it and leave. There are tons of studios and instructors out there, you can find a new one where you fit in better.

    That being said, before you even get kicked out, someone will approach you with the concern or problem (unless you do something heinous…) Listen to those concerns. Usually they’re easy fixes. The most common complaint I’ve heard is about people wearing perfumes. You don’t need to stop buying scented soaps and deodorants, but avoid cologne, perfume, scented lotions, and things like that. If your deodorant is super scented, perhaps put it on well before going to class, so that it has time to wear off a little bit.
    I’ve also heard complaints about the opposite, people not wearing deodorant. Sometimes you can’t help your natural smell, but please try to shower at least the night before class.

  • What you can do

    Yoga etiquette is a real thing, it’s also very easy and most of it you probably could have figured it out. I’ll go over a few here in a moment, but here’s a really basic list of what to expect from ABC of Yoga.
    Next up, check out studio rules. They may have them posted on their website, or in their studio. There’s a good chance they’re 90% basic yoga etiquette, but you never know if they need to make a new addition for any reason.
    Lastly, your instructor might have their own rules too, though usually those are exactly the same as the aforementioned.

    Some rules I want to emphasize are:
    1) Respect other’s space.
    This could also be written as respecting another’s mat. Unless invited, you should avoid walking, standing, or using another person’s mat. Once I was sitting on my mat before class and two ladies stopped to stand on my mat and talk to each other. I wasn’t even part of the conversation. RUDE!
    2) Avoid talking during class.
    Easy peasy. Don’t talk to your neighbors. Though some teachers are find with speaking out of turn, and the occasional comment to your friend MIGHT be okay. 9/10, don’t. People are there to learn from the instructor, so you should be too.
    If you need the instructor’s attention, you can speak to them or say “excuse me” or whatever, or raise your hand if they’re like 5 miles away on the other side of the room and you don’t want to yell.
    3) Avoid looking at other students.
    It happens, you glance at each other, you’re across from each other, what can you do. But you can often avert your eyes down a little or close your eyes. You don’t want a student to feel like you’re staring at them. If you need to look at someone for help with a pose, try to look at the instructor.

  • Listen
    It’s especially rude to take over the instructor…
    Also, you should do what the instructor says, it’s distracting if you start doing your own poses/workout in the middle of a class. Don’t. Just… don’t…
    If you can’t do what the instructor says, you can tell them, or quietly take a child’s pose or any other resting pose the instructor has advised for the class.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the video, is please do not act like an expert in a class. If you don’t like what the instructor is saying, you shouldn’t be in their class. Even if you are an instructor or have been to India, they probably have a good idea of their own teaching style. Unless you’re literally Indian, don’t correct a pronunciation of a word either. (As an Indian, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people try to correct an instructor with an equally wrong pronunciation. I often also accept mispronunciations because it can be hard to understand a teacher who can rattle off the names in perfect Sanskrit.)

  • Take care of yourself

    It’s really important you take care of yourself in all of this. So don’t feel pressured to do anything. Most instructors will strongly encourage you to try new poses, but they’ll never force you.

    Finally, while you should be respectful to everyone, everyone should be respectful to you and each other as well.

    Namaste!