Saturday, June 5, 2010

You Told Me To Do It

The general public does not have the advantage I have in understanding some of the things that are going on behind the scenes with the Gulf Oil disaster. I have some direct conections within the "Company" and find the discrepancies between the breaking news headlines and comments from high officials, and the real story upsetting. But what disturbed me recently were comments from companies somewhat indirectly involved in the disaster. They claim that they will not have any legal obligations because they were told by the "Company" to do certain things against their better judgment (that is what they say - we really don't know that for a fact). My question is "What happened to their better judgment?" Why did they not stop something they didn't feel was right or they had knowledge of was wrong? Do they always just do what the "boss" says to do?

In yoga class I provide verbal instructions for poses as well as actually performing the pose for a visual reference. I also make recommendations for modifications. I let participants know that if they have injuries or a pose doesn't feel right or forces them to breath through their mouth instead of their nose (a sign they are struggling) they should back off or not do the pose at all. I trust them to know their bodies and know what is working and what is not working for them. I would not want them to keep pushing a pose or continue struggling if they knew it was not right for them just because I told them to do it. I believe these instructions and my participants' common sense (i.e. better judgment) keep them injury free.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tell Me What I Am Doing Wrong So I Can Fix It

I brush and floss my teeth daily and make visits to the dentist for a cleaning and check up every six months religiously. My teeth are important to me. Maybe the fact three of my five brothers are dentists has impacted my habits over the years, but there is nothing like that great feeling you get right after your teeth are cleaned. I don't want to eat because I don't want to mess them up. So, it was a surprise to me that with all this care I take I had a serious problem develop under a crown that required advanced dental care. I had to wait an entire month to get in to see the specialist. In the meantime I was encouraged by a fellow gym member to try their dentist - who could do everything in one visit. I decided it wouldn't hurt to check them out and see what they had to say.

I was a little apprehensive when I called for an appointment and was able to get in immediately. They tried to impress me with all of the fancy equipment and technology. They were still trying as I stood there with my purse in hand, my trademark sun visor on my head and my sunglasses perched on top ready to go. I never did tell them why I left. I wasn't sure the doctor really cared. I may still write to them in the hopes that it will make them think just a little bit more about the message they are sending out.

I usually have at least one new person in my yoga class every time I teach and several others that have only tried the class a few times along with the regulars and my hard core fans. Rarely, but it does happen, that a new person will roll up their mat and exit the room before class is complete. It breaks my heart that they might be frustrated or overwhelmed by the class. I always encourage the new people (actually everyone) to take breaks whenever their body tells them to and not to worry about what the other person's pose looks like - just make the pose work for them by modifying it however they want to. Normally, they hang in there and talk to me afterwards about their experience. But once in a while I can tell someone is overwhelmed and leaves. I wish I could run after them and talk to them and encourage them, but I have to stay with the rest of the class. I wish I could find out what I was doing that made it diffucult for them. Or maybe - they just wanted to try a little bit and will be back. But I don't know - because they never tell me.

I wish they would.

Make Me Do It

When you walk in the door of your house at the end of a long hard work day, what you really need is some time to chill and make the transition from work to the family. A friend was telling his story about coming home from work, having solved problems all day and just wanting some time to relax and slow down before greeting his young son and hearing about the antics of the day. His wife, a stay at home mom, looks forward to the time when he gets home so she can enjoy adult conversation and usually starts to share her day the moment he comes through the door. I referenced the "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" book. The author describes how a man (and women do too!) needs a cave to escape to and a few minutes to transition before being ready to talk. He said his wife read the book but doesn't do it. I suggested she get a coach - someone to encourage her to practice the principles in the book.

I teach yoga and other fitness classes. My schedule makes me do the exercise. I have to be at a certain place at a certain time to teach, which guarantees I will exercise. I love it too so it is not hard to do, but that is beside the point.

What can you do to make sure you implement learning you have experienced through training or reading or keep up with an exercise program? I suggest you get a sidekick to encourage you and keep you motivated. It can be a friend or a professional coach. Try it, you will like it.