What does surrender look like to you? Do you have a snapshot in your head from a moment of surrender that you’ve recently experienced?
I have one from a family trip to London recently. Now, my story is going to be from the mom perspective. But I think this little foray into yoga philosophy can be helpful to anyone living in our modern media-driven world.
In April, Sofia and I joined Jason while he did the first of three teacher trainings this year at triyoga. This meant three-weeks of full-time Mom duty with a jet-lagged two-and-a-half year old. There were so many amazing firsts on this trip and moments I hope I’ll never forget. Then….there were some mother-daughter moments I wish I could permanently delete from the cache.
Like everyone, I find parenting challenging. One of the most difficult aspects is not having any control over how my days will go. Will she be sweet and happy? Or will she suddenly throw herself screaming onto the ground in the Tube because her princess sunglasses “make it too dark in here” and I didn’t take them off fast enough?
Before I had my daughter Sofia-Rose, I dreaded the toddler phase. Because, let’s face it, before you have kids, toddlers seem like whirling balls of crazy. They are the antithesis of what most of us try to create in adult life–things like order or predictability or, really, anything that resembles logic and practicality.
Fortunately, living with your very own toddler is completely different from witnessing one meltdown in the middle of the mall. Well, most of the time anyway. There are incredibly challenging moments and yet, you love them more deeply than you could have ever imagined – and that’s what makes them such great teachers.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ways that my girl reminds me of the lessons I try to learn on my mat as well as the ways she puts my yoga mental, emotional, and spiritual practice to the test. I may not get on my mat as consistently, but I am certainly learning yoga’s lessons #everydamnday. Here’s just a sampling of my thoughts about life with Sofia-Rose and the lessons she’s teaching me these days.
After interviewing many traveling yoga teachers, I wanted to talk to a teacher who has focused on building a successful career serving her local community. Enter vinyasa yoga teacher Stephanie Snyder.
Although Steph (@stephsnyderyoga) has spent her fair share of time on the road teaching, she also has one of the most devoted community of students in San Francisco that I’ve witnessed. And now, after years of surviving studio changes and closures, she’s opening a studio of her own in San Francisco, called LoveStory. I have no doubt that her local students will rally around to make it a huge success. (Full disclosure: Jason will be teaching there, too. For details and 2017 teacher training dates, go to the LoveStory web site.)
We talked about why it’s important for teachers to “think local,” as well as:
* How she incorporates philosophy into vinyasa flow classes (she is exceptionally gifted at this)
* Where she derives inspiration for the philosophical themes of her classes (scroll down for her favorite texts and translations)
* What her daily practice involves
* How motherhood has changed her yoga practice
* How yoga fortifies her through the challenges of motherhood
* The story behind LoveStory
“Yoga has been the greatest love story of my life and I believe it can be that for everyone.”
— Stephanie Snyder
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