This morning I taught a RIDE class at Romney Pilates Center here in New Orleans. Today’s Ride theme was: COMMITMENTS.
We all make commitments in our lives. There’s commitments to relationships (to Self and others), commitments to family, commitments to community, commitments to causes, commitments to craft, commitments to projects, commitments to resolutions, etc.
Some words that come to mind when I think about ‘commitments’ are: unwavering, steadfast, consistent, steady, and foundation, to name a few. It takes focus, attention, and practice to really keep healthy long-lasting commitments.
MAKING commitments is easier than KEEPING commitments. This I know for sure.
So where does all of this come into play on a bike (that seemingly goes nowhere)? If you love RomneyRide, or Spin, or Soul Cycle you know that the Ride is a music-filled, fun, physically intense, inner journey that is perhaps the greatest indoor cardio exercise experience out there. It feels SO GOOD!!
An unwavering strong core connection is a commitment to good form and steadiness on the bike. Keeping the beats of the music in the pedal strokes is a commitment to rhythm on the bike. This really gets us to the heart of our highest potential of balanced physical exertion.
At first Ride seems REALLY hard. With a COMMITMENT to regular practice, the Ride (in all of its intensity) becomes more fluid and steady and focused and smooth. But still remains massively, beautifully challenging and super sweaty.
RIDE like other commitments in general gives the ultimate payoff because it never gets easier, it just KEEPS GETTING BETTER.
If you want to check it out, come practice commitment, form, rhythm and FUN with me! I teach RIDE and yogaRIDE at Romney Pilates on Tuesdays and Thursdays in New Orleans.
This time last year I had one of those pivotal moments where I hit a wall and was faced with the reality of my life and the choices that lay before me. Things were going relatively well. A third teacher-training group was about to graduate from my Yoga Birds program and the studio was chugging along offering valuable services to the community. I had a nice house, great husband, awesome dogs, and loving family all around me.
My practices of daily asana and meditation were steady, life at home was good…but something was missing or just not right with me. I prayed and I meditated and finally realized that I was not where I wanted to be or doing what I truly wanted to be doing.
It was one of those God-moments when I realized in full force the finite nature of my time on earth, the importance and impact of every choice I make, and the preciousness of every moment that has been given to me.
I started making plans to close my beloved little yoga studio and to get back into film acting which I had left in 2008 when I moved to Fairhope from New Orleans. So, in case you were wondering, that’s where I have been all year…. In acting classes in New Orleans. More on that later…
I have not abandoned yoga. Or, more accurately, yoga has not abandoned me. I have taken a massive break and rest from daily vigorous asana (poses) practice. It was not intentional and happened naturally as I stopped teaching so much. I am still a firm believer and advocate that asana yoga teachers should be practicing what they are asking of their students. I asked a lot of my students ergo I spent a lot of time on the mat in my own personal practice doing sun salutations and warrior poses, etc.
This break from the physical yoga for me has been utterly healing and informative…which is essentially what our practices should be about. So yes, my chaturanga and my pinca mayurasana probably SUCK right about now, but really…. I don’t care. And this is cOMpletely LIBERATING for me!
What I do practice regularly is Restorative Yoga. Apparently my nervous system needs a daily re-set to truth, consciousness, and joy. My husband Burke who is a brilliant wordsmith dubbed Restorative Yoga a practice of ‘pillows and gravity’. It is absolute heaven and gives back to me ten-fold in the currency of connection to Spirit, relaxed groundedness, breath awareness, clarity, patience, kindness, happiness, contentment, and vibrant energy. All it asks of me is to stop, become still, and hang out there for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. And BTW… it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.
In these past several months I have explored different neighborhoods –literal and figurative. I miss my friends and family and community of yogis in Alabama and further east. I have made some incredible new friends in the acting and film and fitness communities of New Orleans. Life is a constant paradox. But it is certainly wonderful.
I am ready to start teaching again with a fresh new perspective on how yoga can support day to day life and courageous choices that foster the manifestation of the sparkling, healthy, vibrant lives that are our birthright.
Next month I will be in Fairhope at Prana Health and Wellness Sunday, November 24th. Becky Ardrey and I are co-hosting an open house and discussion about the collaborative 2014 Yoga Birds Teacher Training being held at Prana. Stay tuned for more details about the open house and about the training.
Also in the works in New Orleans is a yoga class in conjunction with the indoor cycling classes (called RIDE) I have been teaching at Romney Pilates Center on Magazine Street. More details TBA.
On Sunday morning, November 17th I am presenting a Restorative Yoga Session at the Mahabhuta Yoga Festival. I can’t wait to immerse in yoga for the whole weekend with so many friends and teachers! I hope that you can join me there for my class or to attend some of the fantastic classes of other teachers with me.
That’s all I have for now. Please be in touch with a comment below or drop me a line or a ‘like’ on my personal profiles at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And if you’re interested, check out my new acting website at www.melaniebuffett.com. Hope to see y’all soon in a festive and joyful place!
Spin Yoga is a one-on-one private session offered exclusively by Melanie Buffett. Melanie has been a certified Spinning instructor since 2004 and is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Instructor.
Combining Spinning (indoor cycling) and Yoga is evolutionary in bringing the BODY, MIND, HEART, and SPIRIT together in a fitness workout. Come explore this 75-minute holistic cardio workout that brings all the aspects of being (BODY, MIND, HEART, SPIRIT) into focus to experience your unique Peak Performance.
We begin with 15 minutes of opening stretches and Sun Salutations, a yoga flow focused on energizing the muscles, lubricating and warming the joint structures, and bringing awareness to the mind/body connection. Following is a 45 minute indoor cycling journey set to rhythmic, exotic, world and instrumental music.
During the Spinning ride, personalized attention is paid to maintaining good, strong form drawing into and emanating out from the abdominal core, revitalizing energy centers, using visualization techniques, and breathing patterns. We use a heart rate monitor for biofeedback to keep physical exertion efficient in order to achieve the optimal state of Peak Performance before cooling down properly on the bike.
Releasing negative energy, detoxifying the body, and awakening higher energy fields are key aspects in achieving Peak Performance. It’s totally exhilarating! A 15 minute yoga sequence follows the cycling. To counterbalance the ‘shape’ of the ride, we stretch and lengthen the quadriceps muscles, open the front of the chest with gentle backbends, and invite a few moments of stillness with a relaxation pose.
In only 75 minutes you can bring the body, mind, heart, and spirit to a harmonious, balanced state- ready to re-enter the world in a more light, graceful, productive, and creative way.
Spin Yoga Combo is held in the new Spin Den at Yoga Birds. This room is designed especially for the unique style of riding that encourages introspection, builds endurance, and facilitates weight loss.