I'm not afraid to say it.... I'm about to turn fifty. I think it's pretty nifty;-) Like anytime of our lives, there are positives and negatives. The last two years were very hard in so many ways, and at this point I'm just trying to focus on what I can do NOW with what I have and with what I may be able to create and access moving forward.
With this birthday coming up, I have been doing a little looking back too. I devoted my last 20 years to my family. Even though I've been working (at least part-time) the whole way through, my kids were my main priority. I designed every other aspect of my life around them. Now that they need me physically less in their lives*, I've been thinking a lot about who I am — besides a mom. (*What I'm learning is that being the parent of semi-independent children is that you're more like an emergency care giver who is always on call. The problems pop up out of nowhere and you have to do really quick problem solving and you have no idea how this person is going to respond to your care. It's not for the faint of heart. Thank goodness for the toddler and tween/teen years to prepare us for this — wink wink;-)
A constant in my life is coaching. Good coaches have always been my role models and I started coaching myself at the tender age of 14 when my gymnastics injuries prevented me from carrying forward. So it's coming up on 36 years of some kind of consistent coaching, personal training, and teaching some type of movement arts! While I started teaching fitness and fitness yoga classes in my late teens and early twenties, I'm coming up on my 25th anniversary of teaching yoga classes that include yoga philosophy and inspirational themes. 25 years is a long time to do anything — especially for a creative type like me who gets bored quite easily. The themes help keep the sequences and content fresh for me and I'm glad to have a good group of regular students who appreciate the inclusion of what I think of as food for the soul, mind, and heart in these body-movement based classes that we share.
For the bulk of the last 25 years, I looked for inspiration in my everyday experiences that highlighted common yogic themes. I suppose it was the cultural lock -down and then my own physical lock-down, that had me looking to the stars for inspiration. I used a lot of Astrology themes that correlated to yoga themes throughout the last year. I had a lot of fun with the symbology of the planets cycles through our solar system and know that many of my students did too. The spring equinox, on March 20th, marked the new astrological year. While I still feel quite enthralled with the star symbols and their cycles, I felt a craving for something new to work with this year and I've settled on.....
The Tarot! (Read on Below)
While some may poo poo the idea that things like Astrology and the Tarot have any merit for informing our understanding of our lives, I find these divining tools to be very helpful in getting our minds out of our own gutters. It's so easy for us to ruminate on our currrent understanding, perception, and mental processing about our life experiences. In my mind, the divining tools help us see a broader picture, they give us more to think about, and if we're brave enough, to open our minds and hearts to new ways of seeing and being that are more fully in-line with our growth potential.
I'm not quite sure exactly how I'll cycle through the tarot as inspiration for yoga classes but I can tell you that in just the first week, I'm having a lot of fun with it. In my mind — that's the point. Yoga is serious business but it doesn't mean we can't have some fun with it too.
The Fool is the first of the Major Arcana of the tarot. The Major Arcana represents aspects of a life cycle — our experiences, our understanding, the pitfalls, and the positive potential of each life cycle. We may (hopefully we do) have more than one life cycle in our lifetime.
So here I am. Embodying The Fool which represents a New Beginning, A (New) Dream, The Dreamer, and the Brave Heart who is willing to dream a dream and go after it even — when (s)he doesn't feel quite ready for it.
Above pictured are a few of my favorite Tarot Decks. I love the rich imagery, the big ideas, the inspiration to think and dream bigger than I would if I let myself stay locked up inside my own head of perceptions and ideas. Top left is not a traditional Tarot deck but one of my favorite Oracle Decks (which is just a bit of a different thing. The card on top was the card on top when I opened the box and I think a perfect fit for this post. It's "The Wild Unknown Archetypes" by Kim Kranz. Top center is "The Wild Unkown Tarot" also by Kim Kranz. Top right is The Chrysalis Tarot by Toney Brooks & Holly Sierra. Far left is by our Shine Yoga & Cincinnati local friend Brenda Rose. Next in that line is the Tarot of The Four Elements by Isha Lerner and Amu Ericksen. The next two are my go to decks. I like the traditional quality of the Paulina Tarot and I like the addition of totem animals in Paulina Fae's other deck, the Spiritsong Tarot. The circular card at the bottom is The Motherpeace Tarot by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble. On the right is an amazing little gem of a book called The Big Little Book of Tarot by Rachel Pollack. One last resource I want to mention to help learn, understand, and play with the Tarot is Theresa Reed who has an amazing website called TheTarotLaday.com in which she has informative, funny, and fun descriptions of every card of the deck.
OK so that's it for now. I'm not really sure how much I'll be posting about our Yoga/Tarot adventures in social media world but you know where to find me if you want to practice/play along in real life. xo
And if you don't know how to find me yet, go to www.shineyoga.com. Click the big red sign up button on the top of the page to find our Shine Yoga schedule. From there you can find our schedule to what's available and begin the sign-up process if you like. There are lots of options to fit your needs and goals. The schedule has live links to get more information about the different types and levels of classes I teach each week.
Each week, I offer several of my classes in live-stream and then on-demand format in the Shine Yoga on-demand library. Those can be found on the On-Demand tab at ShineYoga.com. You'll need to set up an on-demand account through our MindBody portal.
During the pandemic, I started a YouTube channel. There are many "old" classes that you can access for free. I also update the channel every once in awhile with a new public video. Our YouTube Channel is Shine Yoga Collective.