Thursday, May 3, 2012


Life is a little extra busy this week, or maybe it's just always busy, but the bottom line is I'm not keeping up with a few things.

I have so many thoughts I want to write about.  Another round of KS questions are await, questions which are good and which I am still developing answers to.  On top of that, last night I received the most heartwarming fedex package ever, a thank-you card from my Team Challenge peeps, a cool keychain commemorating the season, and a gc to Bergamont spa, all of which deserves it's own post.  I was actually thinking, moments after finishing up my top 10 post, that I left out a few major moments.  Perhaps the biggest omission was the whole Vegas coaching buildup and the chance to mentor and guide that group through December and then Kim and Monique through March.  How great is my life when stuff that I forget to include in the top 10 still totally rocks my socks?!?  I suppose because the coaching experience was stretched over many months it did not fit into the same space as some of the other events I chose to remember, although it was very comparable to the yoga TT process which did make my top 10.  Anyway, I'd like to save this line of thinking for a future post.

I also have some thoughts to dive into about yoga TT in general, about the differences I observe between Haute, and Core Power.  I'd like to go into detail about the pros and cons of the Core Power approach to teacher training.  On the upside, the training I went through is applicable to any style of yoga and the focus on foundation and the rigidity of the requirements form the nucleus of any high quality instructor.  Put more simply, you can tell when an instructor has gone through the Core Power system because they are better than they would be without having gone through it.  On the other hand, the Core Power method has a tendency to produce an unnecessarily robotic or disconnected instructor since the aspects of spirituality, individuality, and creativity were not discussed or nurtured, at least not in the basic training.  The focus on foundation and fundamentals felt so heightened as to almost dessicate the uniqueness of the individual instructor, which in some ways devalues the personal connections (or are they all illusions of connectedness) which make yoga so special to me.  Maybe everyone else goes to class for the yoga and the alignment cues, but for me, the person speaking is at least 50% of the experience and probably more like 90%.

All of those thoughts deserve further discussion.

But right now, specifically yesterday and today, my heart grieves for the loss of one of the most respected San Diego sports heros of my lifetime.

#55 Junior Seau
I did not know the man personally, just as I did not know Dino, just as I do not really know so many of the people in my life who I choose to admire, respect, and in various ways attempt to emulate.  However, I still felt a certain connectedness to Junior, without having spoken a word to him.  He was an example of hard work, of success against the odds, and of lifting up a city on his shoulders, one step at a time.  What he accomplished in his short lifetime is nothing less than awe inspiring, and yet he, just like all of us, struggled with the basics of living, breathing, and being.

I've been fortunate enough to share a few yoga classes with another Charger linebacker, one who I've watched on tv on numerous occasions, cheered for, and idolized.  His yoga practice is actually quite graceful and beautiful, this large hulk of a man can do things I can't do and his humility and approachability match everything I've read about Junior Seau.  It's not fair to compare the two men, one still very much alive, one now having passed away, but I think it really helps me to have practiced next to one of my sports heros in order to humanize and empathize with all of the others.  It helps me to see a 240 lb linebacker who could knock my head off my neck struggle a little bit and even topple over on the mat next to me.  It makes me feel like we are all in this thing called life together, that sometimes the s that is freaking easy for a 110 lb 25 y/o girl is just plain difficult for someone else.  Most of all, no matter how awesome we may seem to the entire world, no matter how gorgeous a photo is or how incredible our athletic or intellectual ability makes us seem, sometimes we look in the mirror and we don't like what we see.

I've thought about suicide a lot.  And of course, being a type A engineer, I think about the mess and the cleanup.  I could never leave something like a gunshot suicide around for someone else to have to deal with.  I also think about Hunter and my father and I know I could never harm myself because of how unfair it would be to them to do something so selfish.  But that doesn't stop me from having moments where I'd like to give in, where I'd like to end it all.  I'd like to think that makes me human to feel that way and to rationally dismiss those thoughts after accepting them for what they are, irrational reactions to some of the normal difficulties of living.

Junior's decision actually brings more clarity for me more than it brings confusion.  I don't need to know why he made the decision he made, I don't need to know why someone who had everything I could ever hope to have would say goodbye to the world.  I don't need to know if all of the collisions on the field somehow affected his ability to make decisions or if the simple letdown from a long and successful career coming to a close proved too much of a burden to someone who's entire life has been a series of beating the odds and overcoming challenges.  I don't need to know why.

The clarity of Junior's passing is that I know I can never do the same.  I can never cause that kind of pain to my family and my friends.  I can never walk away from the bountiful beauty of the present moment, of all the joy that life offers me every single day.  I can't snuff out my own light because even though my flame burns sometimes, the moments when I bask in it's glow more than make up for that.

With renewed dedication for life, I remember you as one of my heros, Junior Seau, #55.


  1. I totally get the engineer response of the "mess to clean up" - we are practical folks by nature. I think it's kind of blessing in that sense.

    It seems pretty clear to me that he was battling mental illness - perhaps in the form of severe depression. Left untreated, it's a recipe for disaster :(

    And on a more superficial note, the TT. I have never been to a Core Power Yoga class but I totally get this idea of robotic-ness. I think there is a large percentage of casual yoga practitioners that only see yoga as a physical exercise without the spiritual part. Which I suppose is fine because at least they are doing yoga! But they are missing out on the other part.

  2. It sounds like you're assuming that your mind exists entirely outside the biological functions of your brain. Unfortunately, with a sufficiently progressed neurodegenerative disease, you may lose the ability to perform your type A engineer rational analysis of the consequences of your actions. YOU could never make Junior's decision, but under those circumstances YOU would cease to exist.

  3. I've considered that finding thing, too, and I'm not very enginerdy or type-A. Just considerate. It is shockingly sad news, Junior looks so happy in all those surfing photos - like life was great. He must have lost all hope. Or been ill, as chacha said. A combo, maybe. All I know is that I am very lucky that someone tried and failed (2x), because he makes me happy everyday.

  4. I agree that thinking about ending things is part of human nature. I won't go into my thoughts and issues with this, but I will say that being type c, or even type d, the clean up never came to mind. This is a really thoughtful post. I was on a suicide watch(of course I ramble) and I remember someone telling me how selfish I was. At that moment I couldn't see past where I was, how low I felt. Now that I look back I see it exactly that way. Needless to say, getting to the point of contemplation and planning is a dark spot to be in.

    On a more chipper side, yoga teaching is an art, I think. One that is so awesome to be part of and at the same time to be a student of. A teacher once told me that your first 200tt hours really are just about foundation. I totally believe this. It is the start of a journey that might just deepen our own practice or help us find the next road to travel down. All good stuff. As a teacher and student, I agree that who ever is leading is as much a part of the experience as the class itself.

    I look forward to your comparison between the two yoga genres. And, I can only imagine this next round of questions from KS; they must be insightful and fabulous.

    Great post.