Author Archives: Megan

Beauty Tidbits of the Week

Reporting in here on your Sunday for a round-up of fun, interesting, and good reads around the web. Enjoy!

 

Keeping Our Minds in Practice: An Interview with Yogini Carol Horton. ~ Mary King
[side note: I just discovered Carol and am eager to read more of her writing and upcoming books.]

How To Ensure You’ll Do Anything  

What’s Your Yoga Name? (via Yoga Dork)

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My blog has moved!

My blog has been re-vamped with a new name and location. Please visit http://blog.megankeane.com to check out the latest blog musings.

Thanks for reading!

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Pinkie Toe Possible

I was practicing yoga the other day and glanced down at my feet.

My pinkie toes were spread away from my fourth toes.

How did this happen?

Now let me explain. One of the basic moves in Forrest Yoga; one of those phrases you’ll hear me say again and again is “active toes.”

The first time I went to a Forrest yoga workshop, I noticed that all the assistants always had their toes spread out to where they almost looked like fingers. I looked at them and down at my feet. Other than my big toe, I wasn’t able to get much in the way of space between any of my toes. Especially not my pinkie toe. “That is impossible”, I thought. Well, at least for me. I continued to lift and spread my toes, or at least tried to, but just assumed that this was just one of those things that I couldn’t do.

So imagine my amazement when one day I’m looking down at my feet and suddenly it occurs to me that the impossible has occurred.

There is indeed space between my fourth toe and my pinkie toe (and my other toes at that).

It got me thinking: if this seemingly impossible feat, however insignificant it might seem, is in fact possible, how many other things might be doable that I’ve written off into the dustbin of unachievable? How many things have I given up on or stopped putting effort into or avoided trying altogether because I’ve written myself off as hopeless?

More and more I’m finding that yoga is often the one arena in which I don’t doubt immediately that I can do something. When I see a difficult pose, I don’t think to myself, “Oh, I can never do that.” Instead it’s, “I wonder how much of that pose I can do?” I wonder when I can do that.

Just like my toes, my thoughts are in need of some re-patterning. When the immediate, “I-can’t-that’s-impossible-maybe-other-people-better-than-me-can-do-that-but-not-me, blah blah” comes up, insert: I wonder when I can do that.

As with most yoga realizations, the hard part is taking the insight off the mat into all other parts of your life. But I don’t think it’s impossible that I will ever be able to stop this default self-doubt. I don’t think it’s something I can’t do. I only wonder when.

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Yoga Month Free Yoga class & week of unlimited yoga

September is Yoga Month and in celebration, I’m teaching a free yoga class this coming Friday, Sept. 30, 7 PM at Type A Yoga. This Time For Yoga class is part of an international event where yogis worldwide will be practicing yoga at 7 PM their local time. That means there will be a wave of yoga rippling all around the world.

This event is for all levels and ages. Even if you’ve never done yoga before, can’t touch your toes, or just haven’t rolled down that yoga mat in awhile, this is a class for you. If you’re a seasoned yogi, never fear, there’s some some challenges in store for you too. Laughter is allowed and encouraged.

AND…you can also take advantage of getting a free week of unlimited yoga from Type A Yoga. Get your free pass here.

See you on the mat!

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New yoga class in Potero Hill

I’ve started a new class over in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. This is a perfect opportunity to get your yoga on before heading into work. The class is Friday mornings from 7 AM-8:30 AM at Divine Essence Yoga (16th and Connecticut).

The studio space is gorgeous and chock-full of props, so you’ll be well-equipped! Plenty of free parking and easy freeway access are big pluses too. This is a donation-based studio. I’d like the class to be as affordable as possible for everyone, so I’m asking for a sliding scale fee of $10–$15, with a special rate of $15 for the first two classes.

Come join me, bring a friend, and spread the word to any interested yogi (or yoga-curious) folks you know. Hope to see you there.

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Top 10 Costumes from Bay to Breakers

Flickr photo from Kevin Krejci

Sometimes I love San Francisco, even when the forecast is foggy rain in the middle of May. The annual Bay to Breakers is one of those quintessential San Francisco events that I love.
Getting to the starting line, I watched as a group of Japanese tourists looked on with slightly puzzled looks, cautiously smiling as they took a picture of a woman dressed as a bride with thigh-high garters, accompanied by two friends in tacky bridesmaid dresses. A couple of businessmen emerged from the nearby convention center looking bewildered.

This year, San Francisco officials proclaimed that they’d be cracking down on the Bay to Breakers shenanigans. There’d be none of this beer drinking and nakedness and floats were officially banned from the race. As a result, there were no floats to speak of, but there were record numbers of participants dressed as law enforcement officials, particularly SFPD. Walking over to meet up with my friends, I stepped over twelve packs of beer and dodged half a dozen naked people running (never the people you ever want to see unclothed) through a cloud of marijuana smoke to our meeting place.  Ah, the spirit of Bay to Breakers will go on, crackdown be damned!

Top 10 Costumes from 2011 Bay to Breakers

Photo from Melissa Chang

10. Robots
These ladies were just two of the handfuls of elaborate robot costumes I spotted. Expertly crafted…and how can you not like robots?

9. Osama Bin Laden
I was surprised that I actually only saw one such costume as I thought it might be a popular one this year. It also surprised me that there was no Obama costume or perhaps an Obama/Osama hybrid, with one person sporting the beard and robes, the other waving a birth certificate

8. Jellyfish
I loved the family of jellyfish. Mom, dad, and kids all had a what looked like a pastel-colored, balloon-like jelly fish top attached to their head with little streamers running down. So simple, yet clever and original.

7. Frank Chu
No, honestly, it wasn’t the real Frank Chu, only a guy that looked stunningly like him, complete with the sign. My friend first thought it was actually Frank himself until he got a closer look.

6. Zone of Zero Tolerance
Well it certainly was not an illegal float, but rather a running tent touting the law enforcement decry. The SF Zone of Zero Tolerance Tent zipped along with several costumed law enforcement officials pounding drinks underneath.

5.  Celebrities!
It was a tie between a lady Elvis, a stunningly accurate Prince, circa “Purple Rain”, and a crazed looking young man with an, “I’m on a drug called Charlie Sheen. Winning!” sign.

Image from Sylvain Kalachie's photostream

4. Bacon
It takes many running bacon bits to make a striplet. Even vegans have to smile.

3. Traveling Port-a-Pottie
Complete with a sign that read, “Come in if you want to get shit-faced.”

2. Running Grandmas
Armed with walkers, hairnets, and bifocals, grannies with names like “Gertrude” and “Bernice” bustled along.

1. Hey, what a great costume! Oh wait…
After the race you’d still see many race-goers around. However, it was sometimes hard to determine if the person in question was wearing a great costume for Bay to Breakers or was actually just a regular denizen of San Francisco.

More pictures here!

 

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Two Mints

I am really not a patient person by nature. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in “that line” where I’m internally fuming over the slowness of the patrons ahead of me, the inefficiency of the checker, berating myself for not choosing another line, all of which look to me to be moving faster.

All the more reason I really loved this story a friend of mine told me. There was a man in the grocery store line (and yes, it was “that line”). The man tried to be patient watching the customer in front of him slowly placed items onto the conveyor belt and asked for several price checks.  As the customer proceeded to painstakingly write a check the man could feel his impatience and irritation rising.

When the man finally made it up to the cash register, the clerk rang him up, bagged his items, and then added two mints into the bag. “Here you go”, he said, handing the bag over. “Sorry for that wait.” The man was stunned. This thoughtful act by the clerk completely changed his mood. The massive frustration he’d felt just minutes ago slipped away and the man left the store in better spirits than when he arrived.

I love this story for two reasons. For one, it demonstrates that patience sometimes has unexpected rewards. Secondly, it illustrates that even a small act has the power to transform someone’s mood. It can be something of little monetary value but it can really make someone’s day.

When I’m feeling particularly cranky, it helps me to get out of my blahs by thinking about how I can give two mints. I also find when I focus on all the mints that I receive, I start noticing them more…and some days I find I have some serious wintergreen going on.

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Top 10 Gems from Ana in the Forrest Yoga Advanced Teacher Training


Wow, I am still processing the amazing experience that was the Forrest Yoga Advanced Teacher Training. I spent nine days in Chicago at Turbodog Spirit Center with an amazing group of yoga teachers and Ana and her top-notch assistants. There was a lot of sweat, emotions, learning, and more arm balances than I ever thought I could do. Ana is full of wisdom, some of which can be put into words; others which can only be experienced. Here’s my favorite Ana quotes from the training that particularly resonated with me.

Top 10 Gems from Ana in the Forrest Yoga Advanced Teacher Training

10. Celebrate your breakthroughs
9. You can’t be injuring and healing yourself at the same time
8. An advanced practice is finding how to delight in your spirit in every pose
7. The Dalai Lama says, “My religion is kindness.” Can you move in a way that is compassionate to yourself?
6. Thank God for death. Once you’ve allowed that old stuff to die and cleared it out, now you can cultivate the energy you most wish to have in your life
5. Pain is not an indication to push harder or quit. Pain is an indication that something needs to change. Your quest is to find out what needs to change.
4. When Einstein was asked how he discovered the theory of relativity he said, “my left elbow.” Who knows what you might find in your body through your practice.
3. Give yourself permission to relax
2. Be fucking fabulous
1. The great part is we get to bring healing to others and use that healing to feed ourselves. It’s a great job.

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At Peace

I just got some really terrible and sad news last night. The best friend of my youngest sister was found dead in a river up in Oregon. She was just 26. They’d been best friends since early elementary school and our family knew her well as she was a fixture around our house growing up. I was shocked that this wonderful, happy-go-lucky person that had everything going for her was driven to commit suicide. It shows that you just don’t always know what is going on inside a person. My heart just goes out to my sister’s friend, Carly for the pain she had that led her to that point.

As I talked and cried with my family last night, I remembered when I was in the depths of depression when I was fifteen. I just felt like I was in a dark hole where no one could pull me out and I couldn’t see anything positive beyond it. I thought about suicide a lot and even had a plan for how I would do it, where I would go so my body wouldn’t be found by anyone until it was too late. Would I have gone through with it? I don’t know, but it struck me how lucky I am to have gotten out of that place and not ever been back there. It could’ve been me in that river of depression. I don’t know how it is that I got lucky enough to pull out of it, but I am so grateful to have made it out of that hole. It makes me heartsick to know how awful Carly must have felt to feel that was the only way out.

I hope that wherever Carly is now that she is out of pain and her spirit is at peace. We miss you, Carly.

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A Little Bit of Heart & Soul

I volunteer for a number of nonprofit organizations and you what I’ve found to be the most important part of being an advocate for a cause is? The elevator pitch. Yup, that’s articulating the mission of your organization in a way that is succinct but truly demonstrates the passion and importance you feel for it.

So there’s a great opportunity for organizations to refine that sound bite–literally, into a sound!

This year’s Heart & Soul grant program, put on by the CTK Foundation challenges organizations to write an original four- to eight-line poem or stanza that reflects the work or mission of your nonprofit. No poets on staff? Ask your supporters to write a poem for you.

The 1st place winner will receive $10,000 and will have their submission turned into a song to be used in public education or awareness. The song will be written and recorded by songwriter Bill Dillon — who was recently exonerated after 27 years in prison thanks to Innocence Project of Florida — and produced by Jim Tullio of Butcher Boy Studios. The contest is open to all nonprofits in the United States, Canada and the UK.

Heart and Soul 2011 Grant Award

 

The winning nonprofits will receive one of the following awards:

  • 1st place award is the song, plus a cash grant of $10,000 (US) or it’s value in foreign currency
  • 2nd place award is a cash grant of $5,000 (US) or it’s value in foreign currency
  • The 2011 Blogger’s Choice Award, where a randomly selected blogger participating in spreading the word among nonprofits about the H&S Grant Award Program will choose a nonprofit applicant to receive a $1,000 cash grant or its value in foreign currency
  • 2 steel-stringed guitars, signed by all members of Los Lonely Boys (which you can auction for fund-raising)
  • Up to 20 technology grants, valued at $10,000, to nonprofits that indicate an interest

There is a quick turnaround on these grants. You must submit an application by midnight on March 28, 2011, and you’ll be notified if you’ve won on April 10. Visit www.communitytech.net to apply.

Follow the effort on Twitter at #ctkgrant.

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