Run, then yoga. Perfect way to end a long day …
If you know me, it’s no secret that I’m addicted to my hair straightener. I was not blessed with frizz-free hair and I am not afraid to admit I need help from time to time ;)
Of course, with all that heat comes the inevitable heat damage and in recent months I’ve adopted a technique that my mother used when I was a child. Like most Indian girls, I had long hair, so very long, and it was always treated with coconut oil and done up in a braid.
But thanks to that treatment, I always received compliments on how shiny and healthy my hair looked. So when I started to notice the recent dryness I decided to look into this whole coconut oil business. I visited the health store near my workplace and from the moment of my first application I was hooked! The results were instant, and now I make a point of treating my hair at least once a week to keep it nice and happy :)
So what makes coconut oil so special? Well, I learned that it’s effective in reducing the protein loss for damaged and undamaged hair. How you ask, well when applied as a pre-wash conditioner, it inhibits the penetration of water into each strand which would otherwise cause the cuticle or surface of the hair shaft to rise, making it prone to damage and breakage. This property is what helps reduce frizz! Yay [insert happy dance here]!
The best part is, giving you shiny, beautiful, manageable hair is only one of the many benefits of this wonderful oil.
- Is a great natural moisturizer. When applied, the oil helps keep skin nice and supple as well as providing anti-aging benefits and treating skin conditions such as, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin irritations
- Contains fat, but the good kind, thus promoting heart health. When eaten helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure and not to mention makes your entire place smell amazing!
- Aids in weight loss
- Supports your immune system, and
- Supports the proper functioning of your thyroid gland
I came across this article the other day and I felt as if the author was inside my head. For the last few months, my connection to yoga has shifted. Don’t get me wrong, I love the practice just as much as I always have, but my desire to teach has admittedly waned. With the time constraints imposed by my day job, I have become more protective of my free time, yearning to go back to the student life. I’ve limited my teaching to one day per week, and when things get really crazy, even that seems like a lot, but the sense of accomplishment I feel after the fact keeps me coming back for more.
I know this internal struggle will not go away quietly, but when I read the following words something resonated within me and I wanted to share them with you as a way of letting the world know how I have been feeling.
Why I don’t teach yoga
By Jessica Berger Gross
When I began practicing yoga, I fell in love. I was 26 and in love with the practice, in love with the community, in love with the ritual of heading to my favorite yoga center every other night after work. Soon enough I wanted more, I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to change my life.
I wanted—you guessed it—to quit my job and become a yoga teacher.
How else could I wholeheartedly embrace my new passion? Sure enough, a few years later, I left my non-profit research job, enrolled in a teacher training course (a mere two weeks in Mexico with a dynamic teacher), moved from Brooklyn to a small rural town near the Massachusetts, Vermont, New York border, and—thanks to a slashed cost of living and my then boyfriend’s generous financial support and emotional encouragement—I traded in my New York University office for a 20 year old Volvo station wagon packed with yoga mats and props.
I was a yoga teacher. Or so I thought. I did, I hope, a decent job of taking my students through a yoga practice. We saluted the sun, worked on our standing poses, moved through backbends and forward bends and ended class with a peaceful Savasana. I threw in the yoga philosophy I was reading in my spare time, played Krishna Das and Wah! and hoped for the best. I charged a sliding scale in community center basements, subbed at Canyon Ranch, taught college students and employees at Williams College, booked the occasional private lesson. The boyfriend and I married and moved to LA. I did another, much more thorough teacher training, began studying Iyengar yoga, and taught a few classes a week. But I was way over my head in a town that knows its yoga. Still, I tried my best, teaching at a yoga center in a canyon community and volunteering at an inner city public school where I led 50-plus kids in an improvised curriculum.
The problem? The more I taught, the more I realized how little I knew. After a miscarriage, I experienced an internal shift. I was too sad to show up in front of a class, but more, the miscarriage offered me the chance to pause and reflect on where I fit within the yoga world. Did I have something to offer my students that other teachers didn’t? Wouldn’t my students be better off taking classes with the teachers with whom I was studying?
I ended up giving up my classes and concentrating on my writing career, my other true love. (Writing about yoga was a bridge between these two worlds, something I could offer to the yoga community outside of the classroom.) Then, I became a mother. My teachers, wise and deeply experienced, not only took me from pregnancy to postpartum, but provided a foundation for the physical and emotional wellness I continue to seek out.
My yoga practice has grown and deepened and matured in the years in which I have given myself over to being a student. My days are jam- packed between writing projects and childcare responsibilities. Now, when yoga world peers ask me if I teach I say no, without hesitation. Maybe one day, years from now, I’ll know enough to begin teaching again. Maybe when I have more books written, when my son is older, I’ll go back to teacher training and devote myself wholeheartedly to helping others learn the poses and philosophy that have so changed my life.
For now, I’m more than content to be a student. (Yoga Journal)
(Jessica Berger Gross is the author of enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer)
“What barrier is there that love cannot break?”
― Mahatma Gandhi