I (heart) SLC

I really do!

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Salt Lake City twice a year for the past 6 years.

I’m there during the winter (30F) and summer (95+F).

But, it’s a dry heat!

On this last trip, I stayed a little longer than usual.  I got to teach several yoga classes.  I sauntered through the aisles at a trade show instead speed walking, attended multiple seminars and ventured out!   I even took the train.

I think I like Salt Lake because it takes me out of my comfort zone.  Mormonism isn’t historically diverse.  Some of the more dogmatic beliefs can be seen as, well, backwards.  Especially to a San Franciscan.  Years before, SLC was a nothing more than a connection airport.  My experiences were similar to traveling through parts of the Middle East—I was treated as inferior because of my gender and skin colour, and even considered suspect as a woman traveling alone.

I thought Utah sucked.

We do this every day.  We embrace someone else’s opinion as our own.  We listen to gossip.  We treat others poorly or unfairly based on a history that should be acknowledged but left in the past.  How often do we judge an entire group or place based on a single experience?

The amount of baggage we all carry makes it impossible to move forward.

As my yoga life moves into a different stage, I’ve paid more attention certain things.  In my practice, I’ve been more honest with myself about where I have limits and where I have laziness.  In my teaching, I’ve started looking more closely at the students’ experience.  I’m still trying to figure out how to help students get real about their own limits and laziness.

A lot of people tune out in the middle of class—start picking at their toes, staring out the window, adjusting the outfit, staring at other people, going to the bathroom, getting water.  The list goes on and on….  These students are, typically, the most vocal after class.  As I mentioned in an older post, people love or hate me.  There’s no in between.  I used to be shocked by bad comments from students with no focus or humility on their mats.  Now, I almost expect it.

Lucky for me, the number of students who understand and appreciate what I do out-weigh the “toe pickers”.

And, I (heart) my students too!

Are we alone?

I’ve been eavesdropping on Olympic coverage this week. Most of you know about my torn ACLs.  That’s why I practice yoga.  And, many of you know I tore my right ACL while fencing in high school.

I’m a left-handed fencer; which immediately puts thought of future Olympics in coach’s heads. Most people are right handed, so we’re hard to beat. Put out your left the next time you shake hands…that reaction is why lefties tend to win. Coaches also love having us spar with any right handed superstars. Keeping them on their toes and ready for anything!

Fencing is my sport of choice in the Olympics. Track, swimming, blah, blah, blah…not interested.

When Shin A Lam lost the gold medal this week because of a clock error and stupid (yes, stupid) decision on appeal, I cried.  A few WTFs went flying too.

Because of the rules, she had to sit on piste, all alone, during the appeal.

30 minutes.  We all watch her emotions ebb and flow.

I couldn’t help but think about personal disappointment (my ACL!!), heartbreak and aloneness.  30 minutes!

So often, things happen and we retreat to that safe zone in our own heads.  We isolate ourselves mentally or, even, physically.  The great thing about this shot, from Getty Images, is that you can almost see the thousands of people directly behind her in the stands.  She’s not alone.  I was right there with her and so were millions of others around the world.  We all supported her.

I guess the Olympics are like life…