Goodbye Downward Dog Days of Summer

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September 27, 2011

Well I have to admit, I’ve been in a bit of a funk ever since Labor Day, when my beautiful days of summer were ripped away as temperatures dropped and rain clouds appeared. Worse than the fact that I had to turn my furnace on before summer officially ended, I had to pack up all my summer beach yoga gear and say goodbye to a bunch of super cool yogis and yoginis who attended my summer beach yoga classes.

My Monday morning nirvana of going to the beach to “work” is over, and all of a sudden I am back in my home office away from the sun, sand, and surf, dreaming about when and how I can get a winter beach venue lined up (hey, a girl can dream).

I have since given myself a swift kick in the ass; with most things in life, I have a choice. I can choose to be sad that summer is over, or I can choose to be happy about the change in seasons. To embrace the changing color of the leaves, pull out my sweaters, and jump into my new schedule of fall/winter yoga classes (which, by the way, I am very excited about).

I want to send out a big hug to all the wonderful students that attended my classes this summer. I really enjoyed getting to know so many new people while sharing the practice of yoga surrounded by nature in all its glory. It has been very gratifying to me to hear that many of you have fallen in love with yoga and plan to continue to practice it. I also want to send out thanks to the Vermilion Boat Club and Firefly Beach Resort for opening up your venues to me for these special yoga classes.

As the chilly northeast Ohio winter approaches, I will cling onto many warm memories of this summer. One of my most memorable experiences was a night in August when I taught a sunset yoga class. All day long the weather was beautiful, but the weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms to begin right about the time my class was supposed to start. Being the Polly Positive that I am, I held out hope and went to the beach as planned that night to set up for class. As I was raking the beach, the sky turned black, all the tell-tale signs of a good Lake Erie storm began brewing, and I figured the class would be a bust.

At ten minutes before the class was to begin, my first student showed up – right as the rain started to fall. She had a bad day and told me she had been looking forward to the class all afternoon, and now that it was raining, she was really bummed out. As we talked about her day, I saw a few more students dodging the rain and wind as they ran soaking wet up to the pavilion to join us. And then, another car pulled up with one of my students sticking her head out the window chanting, “yo-ga, yo-ga!” It was clear that these women wanted to practice yoga, and by-god, they were not going to let the rain stop them.

We waited a few minutes, the storm calmed, and a smidgen of clear sky started to form at the horizon. So we made the trek down to the beach and started class. About ten minutes in, it started to rain again. The class was looking out at the sky ahead starting to clear, but since I was facing the south, all I could see were black clouds. I kept looking into my students eyes, thinking surely they would want to get out of the rain, but they all had this fearless look of determination. These fierce yogini goddesses wanted to get their yoga on, and buoyed by their enthusiasm and smiles, I forged ahead.

It started to rain harder, and I started to worry about my students slipping on their mats, thinking to myself that surely part of my oath as a yoga teacher was to protect my students from the elements. I finally made the decision to call class, and we all quickly gathered our mats and scurried to shelter.

Within minutes, the rain stopped again (yes, the weather in Ohio can be psycho), and the vote was unanimous to go back to the beach and finish class even though the rain delays had left time for only a few more asanas. Their perseverance paid off, because when I awoke the class from savasana, we were all blessed to share one of the most beautiful sunsets of the summer.

In just a few minutes the sunset went from this...

 

...to this technicolor light show!

It was an incredible night spent with an amazing group of women, and it will definitely go down in my book of memorable yoga teaching experiences.

As you go into this new season, no matter where you are in your life, choose to be happy, choose to embrace the storms, and look for the blessings in your life with gratitude.

 

 

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